Stress (Jan 6th)

I enjoy my work, I love Istanbul city-life; at least once a day I meet random interesting people, regularly see random acts of kindness (my favourite thing to watch), so stress has been a stranger to me for quite awhile. I react to it by drinking too much coffee, smoking to many cigarettes and not eating.

It’s been so long since I felt that monster I’d forgotten the symptoms until I’d going through half of my third pack in a week, was finishing my second pot of strong arabic coffee and my stomach was churning from lack of food.  Oh yeah, I remember this.

The American style attack inside Reina on New Years Eve hit me hard. Not only because I’ve been there, but how could a man armed with a kalishnakov walk into a 500tl ($200) person event and start shooting for 7 minutes? And get away  with the police station 200m up the road? That changed things for me.  My friend lost 2 friends in Reina and his uncle in Syria on that day.

And twitter is poisoned by sickos celebrating it and debating the merits.  UGH!

The other day I was on the ferry and started thinking about all the things I’d left unfinished, stories unwritten, ideas unspoken. I wondered what my death would do to my mother, my daughter;  for my grandkids to vaguely remember their grandma as they grow up. I’ve lost interest in old family arguments and tensions and started thinking about the people who I should get in touch with just in case.

Do people get a feeling before they meet their end or are they just walking down the street when boom. Then I gave my head a shake out of the melancholy.

Hold on a minute – didn’t I want to be a foreign correspondent in my younger days? I”ll never forget Ann Medina reporting from Beirut, the city burning behind her. She was so cool; I wanted to be her.  The excitement of reporting on the front.  I thought of Rick Micinnes Raye’s Dispatches, the gold of CBC radio.  Now I’m here.   Be careful what you wish for it may fall in your lap.

In about half an hour I’ll be taking an alternate route to Osmanbey avoiding the security disaster-in-waiting that is Taksim tunnel.  Tomorrow I cross the Bosphorus Bridge.

And life goes on as normal.  Until next time.

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