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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in The unbearable lightness of being a dickhead's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, August 24th, 2006
1:40 am


Current Mood: FUCK THIS

(2 upstanding citizens | would you like to know more?)

Tuesday, July 18th, 2006
8:15 pm
Hey Israel. Remember the last time you went into Lebanon to secure your northern border and clear out a radical group that had set up a pseudo-state without the consent of the Lebanese government? Remember how well that turned out?



(1 upstanding citizen | would you like to know more?)

Monday, March 13th, 2006
1:34 pm

Oman was intense, but it sure as hell was never dull.

Current Mood: jetlag

(1 upstanding citizen | would you like to know more?)

Sunday, February 26th, 2006
2:49 am
As of today it has been exactly six months since I left the US.

(I've also started salsa classes oh god what's happening)

Current Mood: awesome

(9 upstanding citizens | would you like to know more?)

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006
1:31 pm
Where did I go today?

Oh my. What ever does this mean?

Current Mood: mystery!

(4 upstanding citizens | would you like to know more?)

Saturday, February 11th, 2006
4:04 pm
There is a guy in Ankara who protests various things by riding around on a horse dressed as don quixote. I went to a potluck at his house today. He served me kofte, and explained how the Southeastern Anatolian Project is destroying important historical sites. Later the Americans had a drunken snowball fight coming in after curfew. The Most Beautiful Girl On Earth(TM) also said that I was "like a turk".

Hey, all I gotta say is ne mutlu turkum diyine.

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Thursday, February 9th, 2006
1:59 pm
Ankara is still frozen. It starts melting during the day, but that nasty high-altitude temperature drop just solidifies it all overnight. Coming back from break just about everybody has slumped into some sort of dismal winter/second term depression. Except for me. I'm managing to stay just perky enough to sort of wierd out my despondent comrades.

Look, I'll be the first to admit that Ankara is pretty bleak. We've taken to calling it the Peoples Republic of Ankara, for obvious reasons. It's mostly made up of grey cubes guarded by soldiers. Okay, the population is 1/4th Ataturk statues. Yeah, we've all reached that uncomfortable five/six month mark where everybody has pretty firmly left life in the sates behind, but are still not quite at home here, but let's quit the whining.

Because really Ankara is beautiful. It's beautiful in a really wierd, surreal way that creeps up on you when you aren't looking. It's hidden in there somewhere between the state water works building and the ground forces high command building. You have to fill out several forms to get there.

This city is a planned bureaucratic center that was built by Turks. It's like somebody loosed a bunch of failed social realist artists on the town with the only caveat being that everything be just a little less threatening than soviet work. It's not like the bird-crescent is really all that unique. Bizzare stuff like this is everywhere. I think the Turkish government really wanted to create a dyastopian 1984-style city but just didn't have the heart to go through with it. So they propped up bird-crescents and left in some bizzare alleyways.

P.S. I also made an ass of myself while speaking to the newly appointed US ambassador to Turkey but I think that's a story for another entry.

Current Mood: cold

(1 upstanding citizen | would you like to know more?)

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006
9:10 am
This is the winter of our relaxed sightseeing.
I left Ankara in a blur of caffine and stress, emailing in my last term papers as I threw clothes into my backpack. Boarding the Fetiyeh express, it really hadn't sunk in yet that I was on vacation. The train rumbled away into the Anatolian night. Riding that last crest of energy from the godawful german nescafe drinks (mit pseudomethamphetamine!) I nervously inventoried my baggage. Before I had the chance to really start fretting that I forgot something, sleep came with merciful speed.

The next morning I was in Istanbul.Collapse )

Current Mood: cold

(1 upstanding citizen | would you like to know more?)

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006
2:02 am

Consider this the winter break photos teaser. If nothing else it forces me to eventually post the rest of them.

Current Mood: awake

(6 upstanding citizens | would you like to know more?)

Friday, January 27th, 2006
12:34 am
Today I hit my limit for travel. I'm all travelled out, dammit. For the past twenty-three days I've seen art galleries, ruins, palaces, tombs, and museums just about nonstop. So I decided today; screw it. I went to the movies.

Again. But this time it was Brokeback Mountain.

Most American movies make it to Turkey eventually, but somehow I get the feeling this one will not. It's actually really wierd- I got homesick watching it. This is something that almost never happens. If I do get homesick, it's for something really shallow and silly, like my xbox or loud black people on trimet. I really missed America, just the landscape of it when I came out of the theatre today. Ah, home- where the mountains are majestic, the plains wide open, and the homosexual cowboys crippled by their inability to express love through a stoic exterior or just by a really dumb-looking moustache.

Hell, and now The Notebook is on one of the thousands of channels my Aunt and Uncle get and if nobody stops me I'm going to stay up until one AM bawling.

(wow, the UK is making me go soft)

Current Mood: NOT GAY

(3 upstanding citizens | would you like to know more?)

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006
10:55 am
I think the UK is just one huge elaborate prank created to mess with my head. I realize this is a rather egocentric view of the world, but at least from where I'm standing it's making a lot of sense. It's cute, it's really really really cute, to the extent that it's making me a bit nervous. The ever-so-proper old people strolling around kensington-chelsea just look like they're in the know about something I'm not. There are little red phone booths and pubs with names like "the axe and donkey" everywhere.

I haven't spoken turkish for days. Honestly coming to London was more culture shock than going to Turkey in the first place. I've been making the best of it, though. I went to both Tates yesterday. The Tate Britian was full of miserably stuffy paintings of sheepdogs and countryside windmills, the only saving grace being occasional heroic paintings of the death of effeminate napoleonic war-era officers.

Then I found the pre-raphelite section. It was amazing. Ophelia offing herself in the pond, more heartbroken victorian beauties than you can shake a stick at, with the occasional over-rouged heroes of greek mythology for less (but only slightly less) feminine change of topic. Actually, with the exception of the miserably stuffy country life exhibition, the whole museum was pretty cool.

The Tate modern was just a really, really cool building- it's an old power plant and the main turbine hall had one of the coolest installation art pieces ever, which was made up of thousands of white plastic boxes- I'll post pictures later. Walking through it was like either being among some wierd glittering ice-scape, or realizing that I had been shrunk to a tiny size and would soon enter mortal combat with the ants for control of the precious sugarcubes.

I don't get British people. They're still a mystery to me. They dress horribly. I'm thinking of submitting a case to the Hauge for British crimes against fashion. Harrods was a fucking travesty of $200 shirts that were godawful ugly. They have Zara's here, at least, but why pay British prices when Turkish ones get you the same stuff?

The boys here are cuter, I'll give them that. Then again, coming from Turkey it's hard for the guys not to be better looking. They all have adorable slightly-scruffy hair that isn't encased in a thick layer of grease and hair gel. They smell way, way better than Turkish guys.

Actually this whole country smells better. It's amazing. I've spent too much time writing, though. I think it's time for me to go look at boats.


Current Mood: curious

(1 upstanding citizen | would you like to know more?)

Wednesday, January 18th, 2006
10:24 pm
I just realized I haven't updated this thing in about three weeks. I'm currently in Istanbul, although I woke up this morning in Izmir. Day after tomorrow I get on a plane for London. Winter break thus far has seen me drinking baileys and nescafe in the back of the Bursa-Ankara night bus, breaking into my own dorm via the fire escape, touring the Blue Mosque hungover (I'm sorry, Allah, really) and getting my left arm covered in cat snot.

It shows no signs of stopping.

(2 upstanding citizens | would you like to know more?)

Saturday, December 31st, 2005
3:56 pm
Mutlu Yillar!

Okay, so I guess new years wasn't so boring after all.

Current Mood: drunk

(3 upstanding citizens | would you like to know more?)

4:09 am
Guess what, guys! It's new years eve, and vague plans to go to the black sea/kapadokia never got beyond vague plans. I'm kinda bored, and there's not much to do except wade through layers of bureaucratic...joy in my efforts to get my winter break travel plans in order. What I do have is skype out minutes, so if you want a call, from the internet, from Turkey, just email me (linkwerk@hotmail.com) your number, and if I like you, I'll call you!

Also this may take the cake for most pathetic livejournal entry ever. I promise I have friends here, okay?

(2 upstanding citizens | would you like to know more?)

Thursday, December 29th, 2005
7:48 am
Last night I had a dream where I got into a screaming argument in Turkish with a waiter because he wanted to charge me something like eleven lira for buttering my kebab. I don't know if that means I've been here too long or if it means I'm just really really boring.

(2 upstanding citizens | would you like to know more?)

Thursday, December 22nd, 2005
7:28 am
Godammit, stop leaving. You hear me? One semester abroad is forbidden from here on out. This is for your own protection, people. You simply will not be permitted to leave Turkey. I'm buying a baseball bat and loitering at the door of the dorms to enforce this.

If I fail, maybe the ice will keep people on campus. Or I could bribe the guards.

That is all.

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Monday, December 19th, 2005
1:34 pm
Ankara says hi!

Not so jealous anymore! Take that, portland!

Current Mood: happy

(6 upstanding citizens | would you like to know more?)

Sunday, December 18th, 2005
3:06 pm
So it's snowing in portland? Eugh. Jealous.

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Saturday, December 17th, 2005
4:19 am
I don't quite know what the hell happened last night, but I was party to some pretty serious anthropological experience. Sometime late last night on the top floor of a 25 story Ankara hotel, watching rich 20/30-something Turks drop ecstacy I felt like an explorer. I was probably the first foriegner and certainly the first American to get my name on "The list" for what may be the only electro-pop club in Ankara (thank you gay guy at clothing store).

I mean, shit, as the blond guy standing over in the corner wearing a black sweater and looking disinterested for most of the evening, I may even qualify as eurotrash. I mean, what the fuck? It was a trashy club-rat scene in Turkey. Two women were sitting at the bar, blond-highlighted hair worn up and bobbing about as one drunkenly tried to make out with her (obviously uncomfortable) friend. They were dressed like Lindsay from Arrested Development. What the fuck.

You know, I hate that I'm starting to drift into "deep cultural analysis" because every time I read in a book about how somebody "understands the real Turkey" I want to rip their face off for being so condescending (both to Turkish culture and to the reader) but I have realized something about this place. There exists in Turkey a huge number of underground, private spaces. Be it the family that forsakes Turkish for Kirmanjii Kurdish in their home, the Alevis who worship discreetly (if not in secret), or the guys who slip off of the street and into the gay bar tucked away, they all burrow out little worlds beneath the surface.

To be melodramatic about it, last night I found one of those little burrows. I found one, and it was filled with awesome electronic music, expensively dressed Turkotrash, and heavy recreational drug use. The lower levels of the burrow are probably flooded in a sea of MDMA and meaningless sex.

While I was writing this, the campus military detachment jogged past my window in formation. This is a very strange country, and I deeply regret not being able to stay longer than a year.

Current Mood: enthralled

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Wednesday, December 14th, 2005
3:19 pm
Godammit I'm tired, I'm worn down by these damn papers, people are all leaving, and the loony bin that is the expat community is driving me fucking nuts. The turks I know have ceased being cute little couples are are now just making me bitter.

Also who the fuck invited this guy? Santa doesn't come to muslim countries and we all know that!

Current Mood: cranky

(3 upstanding citizens | would you like to know more?)

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