an electronic diary recounting the journey of modern day nomad

the meat market at Marche Central (in the Medina), Rabat, Morocco

House hunting in the Kasbah, Rabat, Morocco.

House hunting in the Kasbah, Rabat, Morocco.

Positive (Gratitude) Challenge D2 - three things I’m grateful for;

4) Bursa water. It has been like a dream. Everyday, wake up and have this fantastic spring water available to you 24/7. It has been a long time since I drank tap water, perhaps forever? even while in America, never did I drink from the tap as the water “may” contain contaminants; such as 1. Microbials such as viruses and bacteria that may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife. 2. Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, that can be naturally-occurring or result from urban storm water runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, or farming. 3. Pesticides and herbicides that may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban storm water runoff, and residential uses. 4. Organic chemical contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals that are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from gas stations, urban storm water runoff, agricultural application, and septic systems. Finally, 5. Radioactive contaminants that can be naturally-occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities. Don’t forget the chemicals added to combat this and make it drinkable ( for those who do not believe me – read this http://www.sandiego.gov/water/pdf/wq12.pdf )

By living in a city with a fantastic water source, it has cut the expense of buying water ( or saved me the energy from boiling it) and reduced my plastic consumption. I would also add that it is readily available in the streets ( like Rome). water is truly a common pool resource here, because it is free.

5) becoming a teacher. There is a quote, “Those who can, do. Those who can’t do, teach. Those who can’t teach, go into politics.” while this may be true for many people, teaching is my second career. I did, I can still audit a company, tick n tie financials, prepare tax returns etc, but I thoughtfully chose to teach, share knowledge and positively contribute to society. I despise this quote just a little. I have met so many really good teachers who chose this from the beginning because they knew this is what they wanted to do. As a teacher, I can say that most of my students have positively contributed to my life (one way or another) and generally been a fun profession that makes your heart happy.

6) being born with the “happiness gene” - the oxytocin {not to be confused with OxyContin } receptor gene (OXTR) is a strong predictor of optimism and self-esteem. while a problem at times, since I am always unreasonably overly optimistic, it isn’t a bad disposition to be stuck in. So if you ever need a healthy dose of happy & positive, drop me a line.

For all my feminists out there <3

reportagebygettyimages:

'In Rubaya, it’s the Nyatura who call the shots. The Nyatura are a Congolese Hutu group who are now allies of the Congolese government armed forces.  Without their permission, no one enters or leaves. A group of soldiers stops us as soon as we arrive in the town. Two white men do not go unnoticed in Rubaya. We are escorted to the Eden hotel, where Colonel Marcel Habarugira invites us to take a seat. The colonel begins to speak: “In wartime, brothers help one another. And since you wouldn’t be able to get out of here alive without our help, I’m asking you how you can help us, what you can offer us in exchange for your life, which we’re saving”.'

Photographer Marco Gualazzini won the Getty Images Editorial Grant in 2013 for his proposal M23 – Kivu: A Region Under Siege. Since then, the situation in Democratic Republic of the Congo has changed dramatically, including the disarming of the M23 rebels. Here, he relates some of his experiences from working on the project last October.

Iznik plates ~ unique and handmade by female artisans

today I visited Iznik, which is located around 1.5 hrs from Bursa. The ancient city is surrounded on all sides by 5 km (3 mi) of walls about 10 m (33 ft) high. The ancient walls, with their towers and gates, are relatively well preserved but, Iznik is “ruined”, from earthquakes, invading Sultan’s, Greeks, and other conquerors; and experiencing an economic slump. As As it is overrun by herbicide/fertilizer sales offices and has one of the highest populations of bread (ekmek) shops in Turkey - ok I am kidding - kinda. 

so why is this place famous anyways?

1) Nicene Creed - This is the place where a council was held, in 325 A.D. by Emperor Constantine, who called together Christian bishops from across the empire to the city of Nicaea. This council would have an immeasurable impact on the subsequent development of Christian theology -  because these bishops debated Jesus’ divinity and produced the Nicene Creed, still recited by churches today.

2) Tiles -  On 2 March 1331, Sultan Orhan conquered İznik, and the city soon possessed the first Ottoman theological school. In 1514 Sultan Selim I captured the Persian city of Tabriz and sent all its artisans west to İznik. They brought with them their skill at making coloured tiles, and soon İznik’s kilns were turning out faïence (tin-glazed earthenware) unequalled even today. The great period of İznik tile-making continued almost to 1700, before going into a decline that lasted until 20th-century fashion (and business sense) brought about a revival.

History

İznik may have been founded as early as 1000 BC, but it became a town of any significance only under one of Alexander the Great’s generals in 316 BC. A rival general, Lysimachus, captured it in 301 BC and named it rather romantically after his wife, Nikaea. The name stuck, and Nicaea became the capital city of the province of Bithynia, which once spread out along the southern shore of the Sea of Marmara.

Nicaea lost some of its prominence with the founding of Nicomedia (today’s Kocaeli/İzmit) in 264 BC, and by 74 BC the entire area had been incorporated into the Roman Empire. It flourished under the Romans, but invasions by the Goths and the Persians brought ruin by AD 300.

Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/turkey/iznik/history#ixzz3E4OqENqD

Man’s Tea Party

Positive Challenge

I’ve been nominated by my friend Giulia F. to participate in the “Positive Challenge” and write down three things I’m grateful for each day for one full week. It is an interesting time for me, but accept today’s challenge.

1) this conversation has stuck in my head for a few months now, a friend (+family) of mine has been living as a “refugee” for several years now due to the civil war in Syria.  

"Sometimes I envy you. You’re lucky. I hope in five or six years I’ll be German and will travel the world and get rid of my shitty nationality”…

depending on your school of thought, people are born with +/- benefits. I was lucky to be born in Huntsville, Alabama, USA ( kinda?)… being born in Alabama is the source of many jokes while growing up, so it isn’t something you are necessarily proud of. but today, given everything I know and have experienced to date, I am grateful for my nationality. I do no’t say this in an overly zealous nationalist way, but as someone who gets that the passport you carry is important as it affords you certain luxuries that other people do not have.

2) Instagram. yes I said Instagram. I wasn’t a fan earlier this year, but have come to appreciate its value. As a kid I would spend my days looking at old travel magazines and national geo mesmerized by photos from all over the world. today we have instagram - takes a bit to cut through the fat, but there are some extremely talented people from all over the world sharing their work and view of the world.

3) little Ms.Terra Melek, she represents the evolution of two people; started as individuals, became friends, united by marriage and now parents. who knows what the future holds, but for now she has positively influenced their life, her extended family, mine,and many others with unity and unconditional love.

Dare to dig deeper instead of blindly and unquestioningly taking any official mainstream narrative at face value. Aim always to acknowledge truth when it is encountered, without regard for its source…

Home invasion

wow. holy shit. two neighborhood kids just tried to remove the lock on the front door and break in the house today.  I do not usually answer the door, it is just too much trouble given the language issue. I can understand them, but they can not understand me.

first there was a doorbell ring. next came the banging on the door. i peeked through the peep hole and looked directly at the young man. our eyes met. he didn’t know it. i decided to wait in the kitchen. then there was lots of noise, like someone trying to slide something between the door jam like a slim jim. what i didn’t know at the time was that they began removing the entire door lock.

as i listened quietly in the kitchen, i was thinking what to do. i didn’t know what was going on, just the sense that it was abnormal.  the southerner in me started wishing I had my remmington shotgun, or a weapon. should i grab a knife? maybe nothing is happening really and it is all just something in my head? but I am in Turkey. then i imaged the headline, American commits assault and battery [ the unlawful and unwanted touching or striking of one person by the other ] during an attempted home invasion.

i decided to do two things, scream profanity and violently swing open the door - armed with my best kukri. what the fuck are you doing seemed appropriate. the perpetrators quickly ran down stairs and disappeared.

jesus. wtf. this is a seriously quiet neighborhood next to a mosque!!$%$#

then realized i have such a different mentality.  later that day i was asked, why did you open the door? because i wanted to beat them, legally should wait until they enter the home to beat them.

In the United States, a home invasion is an illegal and usually forceful entry to an occupied, private dwelling with violent intent to commit a crime against the occupants, such as robbery, assault, rape, murder, or kidnapping

The legal defense of self-defense in California law means that you can’t be found guilty of a violent crime that you committed in order to protect yourself, as long as your conduct was reasonable under the circumstances.  means that you need to have:

  1. Reasonably believed that you were in imminent danger of being killed, injured, or touched unlawfully,
  2. Reasonably believed that you needed to use force to prevent that from happening, and
  3. Used no more force than was necessary to prevent that from happening.

Moreover, thanks to California’s so-called “stand your ground laws,” you are under no obligation to “retreat” – that is, to run away or try to escape – before you use self-defense to protect yourself. 

definitely one of the more psychologically damaging crimes that people commit.

i am fine now, but catch myself listening to all sounds attentively.

100 posts! Awesomeness

I have often wondered, is it ever illegal to sleep in public?

in most American cities it is illegal for you to sleep in your car. many city ordinances also ban public sleeping, like one in Santa Cruz, CA, and refers to all sleeping in public as “camping”. i have encountered many “campers’ in my day, in assorted locations. I have yet to camp personally, but perhaps one day soon - ear plugs required.

I spend a year of my life here in this cozy neighborhood of Kurtulus on Bilezikci Sok. there are many spoiled cats in Istanbul, but can be found in large numbers here. folks love their cats. they take care of the them by leaving out food and treats out. people pet them. talk with them. love them. cats rule the roost here, and pretty much everywhere in this city.

 “Cats are lazy anarchists. This is one reason why they conform with us just fine in big cities.” Özgür Kantemir