Jet Lag Morning

In Featured Posts, Jesse's Journal, Transportation, Travel Stories, Turkey by Jesse Anderson2 Comments

It’s my first morning back in Istanbul—the first morning of a long trip. Well, kind of. I’m feeling like I just went through a time machine. Is it even morning? I’m jet-lagged and outside the window is a city wall that’s probably 1,500 years old…

Yesterday was spent traveling. Actually I don’t like to use the word traveling for what happened yesterday. I spent yesterday in transit from one side of the planet to the other. Two hours on the bus to O’Hare airport. Two hours sitting at the airport. The seven hour flight from Chicago to Madrid. Two hours at Madrid Barajas airport. Finally, the last four hours to Istanbul was claustrophobic. I needed to move my body and sleep at the same time. Impossible.

After getting my huge pile of luggage together—more than one man probably needs—there was a final hour waiting for my girlfriend and her sister to pick me up. At least I was breathing fresh air and able to walk around (with four big ass bags). After having a nice dinner, the jet lag set in. I’d been awake for 32 hours, moving through lines, figuring out which terminal/bus/gate I needed, talking to people and sitting in one too many uncomfortable seats…

And here I lied on the floor at 6 am… well my body thought it was 10 pm the day before, and I was wide awake after what I’d barely call sleep. I guess I went to bed at 2:30 pm home time. I don’t even know, I can’t do math right now.

I’ve just finished rummaging through my bag for my European power adapter in the dark. Though I can’t see anything, I know I am in a muslim country. The first Islamic prayer call of the day blasts off. The prayer call is basically a man broadcast over a loudspeaker at the nearby mosques singing the praise of Allah and instructing believers that it is now to pray. It would be very hard to put the sound into English words. My first thought comes to that song by Baltimora: Ohooh owuowuowuoooo Ohhh Ohhh… You know it. I can say that because it is annoying me, but I am not that culturally insensitive. It can actually be a beautiful sound to some people, depending on the voice and the quality of the loudspeaker the mosque is broadcasting. The sound reminds me, now that I’ve slept a little and the daze of long-haul transit has worn off, that I am not in Wisconsin anymore. I’m back in Istanbul again.

With that thought, I go back to sleep to wake another day, or the same day, and see what it brings.


  1. Welcome and happy that you arrived safely. I will look forward to reading of your experiences, thoughts and feelings as you once again become integrated into a world I can only imagine. Sleep well, my friend.

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