World Tour

4/3/02 - 4/15/02

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"Then my next door neighbor with a daughter had a favor,

So I gave the girl a little kiss.

Like this."



The three dozen red Roses that Idil brought for me.

So it's now Friday night and I'm finally a free man!

Idil was waiting at the house when I got home, and boy, was I happy to see her. I wasn't really sure why I was so happy. Was it because of all the time we spent talking to each other on the phone, or was it the relief of finally being done with this ordeal and knowing that she was here to see me the same way I was there to see her, but either way I really liked this girl. I unpacked and got myself settled in for a relaxing night of not being in Jail or an Army Base.

The next morning I was informed that we would be going out that night to the Sultan's Palace, and was asked if I had brought any nice clothes.

(You gotta love the little mouse socks!!)

Since I had a whole 6 square inches of room in my suitcase for clothes, the answer was no. So we went shopping.

Now I'm not the kind of person who goes crazy for clothes. I'm most comfortable in jeans and a T-shirt, but I can dress up when needed. In Istanbul, dressing up is a way of life. No one goes out in less than their best, and that's fine. But I do have my own "style" of clothes that I like, and the Turkish styles really aren't appealing to me. So shopping that day was quite an adventure.

(She doesn't look too happy, huh? A day of shopping with Spat will do that to you!)

Idil and my stepmother, Gunten kept picking out clothes that I would never wear in a million years. I like simple clothes. Solid colors, simple patterns, nothing too crazy. But in Turkey, they like stripes. And I'm not a fan of the stripes. It took much whining and bitching and moaning for them to pick out solid colors for me. At one point one of the sales people asked me why I didn't like this one striped shirt. "We wear this shirt here at work." he told me. Great. So they want me to wear their uniform!

Then came these sweaters that they wanted me to get. I'm all for sweaters, but these were... odd. They had a zipper in the front, and because of all my chest hair, zippers on my shirts scare me. Besides, all the sweaters were way too tight in the arms and I just felt silly in them.

We finally ditched the sweaters.

The jackets they picked were super nice, and when I did finally get home, Calvin tried to steal one. But when it came time for me to pick out shoes, things got ugly.

I had brought a nice pair of black shoes with me from NY, but they wouldn't hear of it. They wanted me to get these Turkish shoes. Square toed Loafers. I hate Loafers. I like laces, but I just could not get these girls to understand that.

So I got Loafers.

On the way home we stopped in at Melike's house for some tea. Melike is Gunten's stepdaughter, so my stepsister I guess. And her daughter (or my step-niece) was there as well, her name is Miray. On the way I was warned that they also have a puppy named Jako that is very rambunctious.

This is the puppy Jako!!

Big puppy, huh? Here's Idil and Jako playing.

Miray and Jako.

My dad being attacked.

Such a happy little puppy.

My dad punching and biting Jako.

See the magazine in the bottom of the second picture above? It's an Art and Decoration Magazine. So while I'm sitting there and everyone is playing with the dog, I looked at the house featured on the cover. It had a nice couch. That looked just like the couch my father was sitting on. The magazine also showed this really nice wall unit that looked just like the one to the right of the couch. As I looked and noticed more and more of the same features in the magazine house and this one, it slowly dawned on me that Melike must have modeled her whole house after the one featured in the magazine. How odd.

Actually, this was the house featured in the magazine! (You kind of knew I was going there, but I wanted to throw you for a loop) I wonder if a magazine will ever feature my apartment? Is there a "Condemned Monthly" magazine?

Idil watching my dad biting Jako.

So we headed home, showered, got changed and headed to the Palace.

On the way, Idil and I were talking and she told me how bad she felt that I had been taken by the Police. And while we were talking I realized that this whole thing was basically her fault since I went to Turkey to meet her! Not that I blame her, I just thought it was funny!

We went to a place called Q-Bar. A Jazz Club in the old Palace to see a musician named Askin Arsunan. He's apparently very famous in Europe and has played with Janet Jackson among others (she's the only one I remember him telling me about). Askin will also be playing in my dad's bar in Turkbuku this summer.

My dad and Gunten.

I'm all dressed up, got a gorgeous girl on my arm. Who could ask for more?

She's wearing the sparkly body lotion I got for her. Mmmm.

Gunten and Melike. Turns out that Askin is Melike's boyfriend.

Idil. I have about a million silly comments to throw in here, but I'll keep them to myself.

Askin playing.

When he finished, Idil and I went into the back room of the club where Turkish Delight was playing. She's apparently a famous singer/belly dancer.

Melike and Idil.


She loves to pose for pics. So I figured I'd do some posing of my own!

Spat Style!

This is some drunk British guy that kept trying to dance with Idil and she kept running away until I pushed the two of them together. I'm so evil. So she made me promise not to take any pictures. Oops. Evil again. But I did promise I wouldn't put these two pics on the web page. Darn! Evil wins again!

By this time, my dad and Gunten had gone home, so we went with Melike back to her house. On the way were were talking about the Belly Dancer we saw, and I reminded Idil that she had promised to Belly Dance for me during one of our phone conversations. She claimed not to remember that....

So we got to play with Jako again!

Damn that puppy is strong!

Idil. I love that second pic. Don't know why!

Hey, I'm getting jealous!

Red fishnets. How deliciously evil.

I think this is going to be next months cover of the SpatCave!

Idil getting sleepy. Well, it is about 5 or 6 in the morning.

I guess we woke up Miray! Sorry.

Melike and Jako!

Then it was time to head home.

Had to get a shot of the back of that outfit! Still love the sparkly body lotion. Actually, the perfume I brought her was a huge mistake! Just one whiff of it would drive me crazy. Damn me and my good taste and great gift giving skills!

We changed for bed, and by that time is was about 7 am or so.

What a long night.


You can imagine we slept pretty late the next day.

When we were talking on the phone from New York, Idil had told me that she would be making reservations for us at a very romantic restaurant in Istanbul. A place called "Kizkulesi". It's a very old Lighthouse in the middle of the Bosphorus that you have to take a boat to. It was featured in a James Bond film, but I can't recall which one.

The story that Idil told me about the place was that the Sultan locked his daughter in the tower there to prevent her from marrying a commoner. But when the commoner found out she was there, he swam out, rescued her, and they swam back to shore together. But on the way to shore they drowned. That may be a very romantic story for a girl, but me, I would have liked it better had they lived. But what do I know?

Here it is as seen from the shore.

It was pouring rain the night we went, and we had to run from the boat to the door of the restaurant to keep from getting soaked.

We had a great dinner, some great wine, and really nice conversations. She told me about when she lived in Washington DC (she actually already has an SSN!!), about movies (The Fifth Element is her favorite), about her work (she not only acts and dances, but she does the voice-overs of some cartoons when they come to Turkey (how cool is that?). She really is a great girl.

About half way through dinner it finally stopped raining. It was still cold, but at least it was dry, and we wouldn't have to make the mad dash to the boat!

Here are some pics taken by the cameraman in the restaurant.

These were taken by us.

Here's the view from the top of the tower. I know it's kind of dark, but that's Istanbul out there somewhere.


A shot of the tower from the ground.

And a shot of one of the 2 dogs that live on the Island.

That night when we got home we had a really long talk, and since she has no intention of moving to the US (apparently she's the only girl in all of Turkey who feels that way), and I have no intention of moving to Turkey (except to serve my time in Turkish Army Rehab) it would be best if we just be friends.

The next day I went into Istanbul with my dad to spend some quality time with the old man.

That night I gave a call to some friends I knew from Bodrum who lived in Istanbul and ended up going out for dinner and drinks with them.

Me and Didem at Angelique Bar on the European side of Istanbul. They asked what I had been up to while in Istanbul, and I told them the basic story you've just ready. When I told them that Idil and I had gone to Kizkulesi for dinner the night before, they were rather freaked. I really didn't know why until one girl finally said, "None of my boyfriends ever took me there." I think she was jealous. Apparently it's a very romantic place, more so than Idil let on.

I talked to Idil on the phone, and she told me she had some meetings to go to for work, so I decided to hit the town on my own Tuesday night.

My father told me about a Rock and Roll club called Kemanci that used to be hopping a few years back. He wasn't sure if it was even still open, but I figured I'd check it out. So, into a taxi and off to a town called Taksim.

I got a little lost, ended up in some other bars and clubs along the way. Ended up being attacked by a Ukrainian prostitute named Natali, didn't know she was a prostitute at first. I just thought she was really friendly! But sooner or later, I found Kemanci!

You can't beat a club that has an old New York License plate hanging over the bar!

This is Mehmet! One of the bouncers at Kemanci. He told me he'd let me in free next time I came back, but of course, I never did go back. But I definitely will next time I'm in town. It's really nice to hear American Rock and Roll!!

These are pics I snapped out the window of the Taxi on the way home. I noticed at one point in the night that with Idil not around I really hadn't taken many pics in the last 2 days!

Wednesday I went out to visit Idil at her house. On the way I got a call from my dad telling me that Alpay wanted to take me out to dinner that night. I couldn't say no, the guy did save my life, so when I got to Idil's, I told her I couldn't stay long.

She was upset. I found out later that her and her mother had planned to cook me a really nice dinner that night, but since no one ever tells me anything more than 2 hours in advance, I'm never able to really make plans.

And what made it worst? She was wearing the perfume I gave her. Even though I asked her not to wear it around me anymore.

I felt horrible. Had I known? Who knows? Would I blow off Alpay for dinner with Idil and her mother? Thankfully I didn't have to choose, she didn't tell me about the dinner until after I left to meet Alpay.

Alpay and I went to a Kebab restaurant called Tiki. It was really nice, and we had dinner with Alpay's brother-in-law. This guy had done the same 28 day Army tour that I was going to be doing. So I asked him what it was like.

"It's like being in the Army, but shorter. You run, do push-ups, shoot guns. Army stuff. But it's a little easier because they know that most people who go in there aren't teenagers, so they can't run them as hard as they'd like." He told me.

"So it's not too bad, right?" I asked.

"No, but it's even easier if you know how to bribe."

Huh? He explained that when he went in, he slipped some money to the Commanders and spent his 28 days sleeping and eating. Never ran, never did anything. And on weekends he would go to the Sheraton in Antalya and party.


That night I really couldn't sleep. I don't really know why, maybe because tomorrow would be my last day, or because of the whole Army thing, or most likely, because of Idil. Either way, not one wink of sleep.

The next day my father and I decided to head into Istanbul and do some shopping.

We took the Ferry from one side of Istanbul to the other.

A Mosque! Actually, it's 3 Mosques, one behind the other.

Here we are in Fatih at the house my father grew up in.

And here is the Kiz Tashi or Girl Rock in the center of Fatih.

From there we headed over to meet Mujdat Gezen at his Acting School. It's an affiliate of the Actor's Studio in the US.

Be sure to check out some of my other stories from Turkey for other stories about him.

While we were there, Mujdat was interviewed 3 times. For TV, a Magazine, and a Newspaper. Popular guy.

He also spent a lot of time on the phone. I was trying to get the shot of him with his cell phone in one ear and the regular phone in the other, but he hung up to quick!

Us and Mujdat! He was very curious about the costumes I make and how I make them. Turkey isn't exactly known for their Sci-Fi films, and I'm sure he would love to do one!

While in his office, Idil called me and asked me what I was doing that night since it was my last night in Turkey. I told her I didn't know. My father had told me I had plans, but never told me what. It turned out we were going to Melike's Art Gallery Opening. I told Idil, and invited her to come, but she said no. So we made plans to meet up after the opening.

At the Gallery Opening with Askin.

Miray, me and Gunten.

Melike, Miray, me, Gunten and my dad.

After maybe 10 minutes there (and while I was having some great conversations with Ashkam, he's a really nice guy, and is almost as interesting as I am.... almost) my dad told me to get ready to leave. Why? Because I was going out to dinner with Miray, my Niece.

Once again, plans that no one tells me about.

We went to a restaurant called "Ulus 29". Another incredibly romantic restaurant.

Istanbul is built on 7 hills, and this restaurant was on the top of one. Out the widows, all of Istanbul could be seen. And I'm here with my Niece. We had a nice dinner, a few drinks, and then in the bathroom I called Idil. Oddly enough while a guy in the next stall puked his guts up.

I told her where I was and she seemed a little shocked. And when I told her who I was with she seemed even more shocked.

I told her to come by and join us for a drink and she refused. I told her I wanted to see her on my last night, and she said I should come by her house (on the other side of Istanbul) and see her.

I told her I'd call her back.

I went out and told Miray what was going on, and Miray picked up her cell phone and called Idil. I didn't think they knew each other that well. They talked in Turkish for a few minutes, and after a few more calls back and forth, some small yelling (which I won't go into detail about here) we finally convinced Idil to jump in a cab and meet us for drinks.

After we got off the phone and were sure Idil was on her way, Miray and I started talking. Miray was under the impression that maybe Idil just wanted me to chase her more. More chasing? I chased the girl 6,000 miles!

Well, when Idil arrived a little while later (wearing the perfume, probably just to annoy me) we all sat around talking and having drinks. After a while I realized that my feelings for Idil had changed. I now really only felt friendship towards her. My romantic feelings were pretty much gone (though the perfume wasn't helping any!). I was both happy and saddened by this. On one hand I did really like this girl, we had a lot in common, and I really had hoped that we could have had something together. On the other hand, I was happy that even though we wouldn't have the relationship, and she didn't feel for me the same way that I felt for her, we could at least be friends. And that was a nice thing. I was glad that we didn't ruin the friendship, and I was happy that I could be comfortable around her without feeling... those... urges.

We decided to head somewhere else, and the girls picked up their cell phones and started calling different clubs to see which ones we could get onto the guest lists for. Gotta love hanging out with girls in the know.

The first place we hit was the "People Bar".

Here we are by the bar of the People Bar.

Then we moved over to the lounge area where the comfy chairs are.

Then the alcohol kicked in and the dancing started.

That I didn't mind too much, because like I said, my feelings had changed. I even noticed that I really wasn't paying as much attention to her as I used to, but I guess that's to be expected....

But what's not to be expected is Idil starting to Belly Dance for me. I swear, I will never understand women.

Miray watching.

Then it was off to Mix to see Kenan Dogulu and his band play.

There we ran into some friends of the girls, Ferruh and Eray. Ferruh is a member of the Paparazzi who has promised never to write anything bad about Idil. Of course, I never made that promise. :)

Ferruh, me and Ferruh, Eray and me.


The gang hanging out.

Then it was off to Angel Bar to see Arto sing.

When he found out I was from NY, he kept coming over to talk to me. He asked how I knew Idil, and I forget what I told him, but it was naughty.

Then he asked if I knew any Turkish, and I told him that Idil had taught me some. Now remember, this is with the microphone in my face so the whole place can hear it. So he asked me what she taught me.

"Merhaba" (Hello)

"Naber" (How Are You?)

"Op Beni" (Kiss Me)

"Orospu Chogu" (Son of a Bitch)

"Chok Ayip" (Shame on You)

Idil was so embarrassed! And Arto asked why did I learn those words, so I told him;

"I go up to her, say Merhaba, Naber, Op Beni, and she yells back, Orospu Chogu, Chok Ayip! And that's how I learned it."

Everyone loved it!

Idil giving me the "Chok Ayip" look.

The bottoms of the glasses are cut at an angle. Very unsettling.

Idil singing with Arto.

And again with the Belly Dancing! Women are evil.


Idil and I with the singers.

Leaving there and heading to another bar with another lounge singer.

Another flamboyant lounge singer.

Idil text messaging. Turks love to text message.

After that we started heading home. Now it's about 5 am, and I need to leave my house at 6:30 am to head to the airport. But I still haven't packed!

So we head first to Idil's house (still have no idea why, I would have thought it smarter to drop off the guy who needs to catch a plane first, but that's just me...). We get out of the car and start walking towards her house so I can say good-bye, and what does she do? Takes out the bottle of perfume and spritzes herself with it! Thirty seconds later we hug each other, and now I have the perfume all over me! When you read a little further into the story of the next morning, you'll understand how annoying this was.

We said good-bye and I headed home to pack. Got home at 6 am, packed super fast, and we were off to the airport.

Fitting, huh?

I checked in, got on line for passport control, and was taken back to the Police Station.

Why? Because I'm still in the computer as a Draft Dodger. Even the papers that I have giving me permission to leave the Country didn't matter because I'm still in the computer!

The Police instruct my father as what I have to do. I now have to go to Amasya (13 hours by bus) fill out forms at the Police Station there, take them to the Army Base there to be approved. Then bring them back to the Police. Then come back to Istanbul and do the same thing here. They estimate that it should take between 3 and 5 days!

My dad has to leave for his flight to Bodrum, so I check out of my flight, get my luggage back and jump in a taxi to go to Alpay's office. Once again, haven't slept in days. I fell asleep in the back of the taxi and woke up at the office. Alpay went crazy again with phone calls, and soon we were on our way to the main Police Station in Istanbul.

After 3 Security Check Points, we finally got in to meet with the commissioner. We had tea and cookies and I gave him all my paperwork and they went and checked the Computer to see what could be done.

After a half hour I fell asleep again. I woke up about a half hour later to Alpay telling me it's time to leave. They gave me back my paper work and we headed back to the office. Once there I conked out for an hour.

Alpay woke me up, fed me, and took me back to the airport. Why? Because instead of taking 3 days to correct all this crap, Alpay did it in under 3 hours! He is the MAN!!!

He also booked me on a later flight, and by 11 am I was finally on my way to London!

Now on to the England Stories! (Finally)

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