~ 3AM on the median of Av 9 de Julio, Centro, Buenos Aires
Doug and I had just finished sipping some café con leche while he explained to me what an MVC framework was. In my back pocket I carried the lecture’s key notes, crumpled paper-thin Argentine restaurant napkins crawling with arrows and references to ORMs, controllers, views, etc. My mind was boggled as we walked towards our apartment.
Doug must have a thing for dogs, and I mean the wrong kind of thing (https://perhapsyouspeakenglish.wordpress.com/2013/07/23/dont-bark-at-rabid-dogs-istanbul-2012/). We walked by a group of street mutts. I was a little nervous, I looked at them, they seemed calm, we passed. A few seconds later, the two of us both looked at each other and looked back… they were sneaking up on us… we B O L T E D. The chase was on, and the barking was effing scary.
Doug ran across the street and then continued running in the same direction. I stayed on the median and channeled my inner Forrest Gump. I saw a hedge approaching and thought, well, I hope there isn’t a ditch on the other side. I hurdled it, landed safely, and ran across the street to join Doug… the dogs stayed on the median, guarding their territory. Time for bed.
One late night in Istanbul, Doug and I were making the long trek back to our flat in Balthilimani. We walked by the Bosphorus, smoking cigarettes. We finally made it to the street right before our flat.
It was really dark — only a couple of street lamps gave their light. Doug was wearing his fucking 3 wolves howling at the moon shirt. We’re about 10 min from our flight, and then we notice that to our left, maybe like 25 yards away, was a pack of mangy stray dogs. They looked mean.
The Brilliant Doug, wearing his wolves shirt, takes one look at them and barks. Yes, Doug barked at the pack of rabid mangy stray dogs. They paused for an infinitesimal moment … and then started barking and charging us, foaming at the mouth. A pack of mangy stray dogs. We shat our pants and fucking booooked it up the hill to our flat. We didn’t risk looking back. It was some scary shit.
A long, long time ago, in a city far away from South America, I left some clothes at Doug’s place. A v-neck shirt and some nice jeans. I’m pretty absent minded, so I forgot about them. (For the trip to South America, we had all packed really light — merino wool athletic stuff (I left all my hipster accessories back in San Francisco)).
One day in Buenos Aires, Doug busts out some clothes that fit him pretty tightly. He looked pretty good. I was wondering why he looked at me with a fucking cheeky grin on his face (if there’s anything that’s sure to get my attention, it’s a cheeky grin).
HE WAS WEARING MY CLOTHES!!! FROM A LONG ASS TIME AGO!!
Istanbul is an insane, insane city. I mean this in the best possible way. It’s home to more than 30 million people, a wide mix of arabs, jews, christians, and everything in between. The city center is pretty damn hip and people stay out partying all night. The old town is a hookah filled Ottoman hangout. And the area where the Women’s Tennis Championships were being held — well, outside the arena there was just… more insane hustle and bustle. A modern day spice market. A bazaar filled with hawkers and peddlers.
After experiencing the WTC and gawking at how big Serena William’s shoulders are from 30 feet away (another post coming up), I set out to find Doug. He had to leave the WTC early to take a business meeting. We made plans to meet at some cafe nearby that had Wifi around 11:30PM and catch the last midnight train back to where we were staying. It was about an hour and a half commute from our place to Zeytinburnu where the WTC was being held, and the commute involved switching off on trains and all sorts of circus. So I really didn’t want to lose Doug and have to figure out the way back by myself, sans map or internet.
I couldn’t find Doug. I went to the cafe we were supposed to meet at sat around for a few minutes, pretended to look at a menu. All the while I was thinking “fuck, we have to catch the last train back.” I went up to the waiter and tried to describe Doug. “IRISH.. BEARD.” Nope. I looked into his vapid eyes and didn’t see a morsel of understanding. I was getting a little panicky at this point and it was almost time for the last train to leave so I just sprinted to the train station and got on.
There were like 5 people on that train. Me, two Nigerian dudes talking loudly, and two guys who appeared to speaking Russian. The Russian guys were dragging a large body bag with him (it was probably an instrument or furniture… or a body). They got off at the most fucking random stops in the middle of nowhere. I was just huddled in the corner. The train ended up stopping early because the last train doesn’t go all the way, so I hopped in a cab and got out about 20 min from our place next to the Bosphorus. I’m getting pretty fucking worried about Doug at this point, cuz like I’m brown and I can survive in Asia but this is an Irish dude with a RED beard.
Anyway, I’m strolling along and I look up and I JUST FUCKING SEE DOUG STROLLING ALONG in front of me. At this point I’m 50% sure he’s in some Turkish prison somewhere. I’m like WTFFFF and I just casually spring up on him. Both our minds were blown.
(apparently, he waited for me and thought the train was leaving, so got on the train right before me)