Thoughts on ELT, English and whatever else comes into my head
A night out with friends in Istanbul in 2007 was a thing of tension. I’d watch the clock and my phone with growing unease. The sentinels of my evening, they acted as lieutenants to my Turkish boyfriend. If I missed the commands of the clock, the phone would ring and questions would dissolve my night.
Where are you? Who are you with? What time will you be home?
Questions segued into orders.
Be home by X o’clock. Call me when you get home. If you’re not on the next ferry, don’t bother coming.
It was easier not to go out with friends at all.
And of course, I didn’t really have friends in Istanbul anyway.
“Who are these people? You don’t even know them, yani.”
I’d plead my newness in the city. How could I have friends I’d known for ten years in a place I’d been less than a year?
But on this weekend’s visit to Istanbul, six years later there I was, in a cafe with people I’d met in 2007/8. People I’d worked with or shared time with, one I stayed with in New York last year. One of them had even rerouted a trip back from Belize to Ukraine via a sleepless over-nighter in America and a further 18 hours awake to be in Istanbul.
All of them I’d pretty much cut off completely for the last two years and had let drift prior to that when things had got really bad in Istanbul. I couldn’t bear to be around anyone that knew me when things were “normal” in 2007/8 and I was just scuttling home from curtailed nights out, rather than the destruction of my personality that came later on.
Why were they there? Because I’d invited them. Because they’re my friends.