Such measures as spraying the students with [tear] gas and [accidentally] chopping of [one student’s] testicles. That snowballed very quickly into a full-on riot against the de-secularization of government and the corruption going town. The movements and violent protests spread to every major city in Turkey within a few hours. As of this morning, there were around 50 dead [this turned out to be false, actually, as I remember] and almost 1,000 put in jail. Of course, we’re safe on the ocean, but we’re here to watch history take place. I mean, if these demonstrations accomplish their goals, there should be elections for a new leader within a week or so. it’s amazing to me how fiercely independent these people are and that maintaining and efficient, secular government is worth these kinds of prices. I should email mom soon to tell her I’m safe. Anyways, we spend the afternoon in the small coast town of kas (pronounced like the word “cash”) so we could so dome shopping and sight-seeing and the boat crews could stock up on groceries for the remainder of the voyage. Robin, Jarret, and I hung together and bopped around small business selling shoes, clothing, jewelry, pottery, books, and other odds and ends. Basically, it was the Turkish sea-side version of Lititz [my hometown: http://www.lititzpa.com/]. Robin got a really nice platter set for her new apartment in the state of Indiana for grad school, and Jarret and I invested in sunscreen and aloe. And not to brag or anything, but the two of us looked so fly. He was wearing a pair of slim-fitting trousers, a plain white oxford, a red bowtie, a grey cardigan, and hipster sunglasses, and I was in a white-lace-and-mint-green maxi dress with a red hibiscus in my hair and equally hipster-esque sunglasses. Basically, we were perfect. Also in kas, we picked up an old friend (and I think ex-girlfriend) of Umit named Aisha (don’t judge my spelling [though it turned out to be right]). The way she explained her name to us was priceless. She preferred to the Islamic prophet Muhammad as the “desert-shitter.” I guess he had two wives – one who was 30 years his senior, and one who was 13 years old. “He was a pedophile!” she said seriously between drags on her cigarette. Her name is the same as that of his younger wife. Now, I was much too drunk to get a picture of her with Lola, but let me tell you about this 50-year-old Turkish neo-hippie. A woman of comfortable build and quite some height, she chain-smoked, drank, dreaded her bright-blond hair, wore intense (not bad, but a lot) eye makeup, inked up both her arms and her chest, and didn’t give one single fuck about what anyone thought. She’s never been married, but has one son who was raised without boundaries at all, and she’s now retired from her job and lives off her pension in kas. She ate dinner, drank, and stayed the night with us on the boat. She told all kinds of stories about when she and Umit were growing up, how she hates society’s
I found a photo of her and the students on our boat from that night! This was just before we got really really REALLY drunk and started belting “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys,” and Tolga joined us rolling on Raki. The other boat was quite upset with our 1-in-the-morning concerts, but it was a night to remember…or not, as some blacked-out students’ case may have been.