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Leaving Tucson by bayripley
21/05/2013, 00:00
Filed under: life, the city | Tags: , , , , , ,

Loft and Rocky horror

I have so much to do before I leave but I will take a moment to list some things I want to remember about Tucson. Let me tell you what Tucson did to me.

I grew up a lot in Tucson. Especially professionally. I had a certain plan about my future, and nothing turned out as planned. So, besides everything else, I once again realized the inconsistency hidden inside every plan. I came here to spend five years and get a PhD. I rather spent three years, got a master’s, and now I am moving to New York City for my PhD.


I paired up with mind-blowing professors and thinkers. I translated a novel with one of them, while I learnt a lot about my research with the other. I started learning how to research, analyze, argue, and write from scratch. They were amazing guides all along. I cannot think of a professional future without any one of the two.

I experienced the harshest of work politics, as well as friends’ support, and past-friends’ treason. Again. I have learnt how to turn everything into a learning experience, not to hold grudge, and get things done no matter what. Again. I thought Galatasaray University’s academic and social environment had taught me all. Apparently, they had only prepared me for worse.


I discovered friendship and its various forms. I made two BFFs at first sight; I saw how a high school friend turned into a partner in crime; I became a colorful figure on a multinational canvas with big words written on it. I also sadly witnessed how past-friends jumped off the ship when I was out of sight. My new life was full of such wonderful people or their wonderful versions, I really didn’t care a second as bad things happened. Life was hashtagging snapshots of my life with “#zerof*cksgiven.”

I fell in and out of love; broke some hearts and bones. I loved, left, returned, left again, but mostly wandered in the grey area between heart-shaped boxes and bed. I got addicted to the excitement of not knowing what will happen in the end. My love life in Tucson was a Tucsonan July. You knew it would rain, but you never know when and how much it would.


I became someone else. If you don’t believe in that, look at my left arm. You’ll know what I mean.

Now Tucson’s time is up. I know I will return one day for a brief visit. I’ll collect memories from the rapidly gentrifying downtown, and reflect on them whilst walking on 4th avenue. I’ll probably stop by Plush. You know I don’t like Sky Bar. I actually hate it.


2012: A Year of Firsts by bayripley
19/12/2012, 19:45
Filed under: life | Tags: , , ,

This year has been the year of firsts. Here is what was new to me in 2012.

The first time I was left behind

Since 2003, I move. I change apartments, schools, cities, countries, and continents. I describe life as “perpetual movement.” For a long time, it hurt. Now, it just feels natural. However, for the fist time this year, I was the one left behind. A very close and dear friend of mine moved away, and I felt what my thoughtless ventures out of my “safe zones” meant to me dear friends left behind.

I met P. in Tucson in the middle of a health crisis. I had recently moved to a new apartment, went through a break-up, and had been continuously sick. I missed school for a whole week, cancelled all my sections, and stayed home for days and nights. Those lonely and dark and hazy days lead to some serious reflection about who I was, what I was doing, etc. In the middle of this, P. showed up out of the blue, and said: “Run with scissors! F*ck everything off!” We were like two kids who played a game, had so much fun, and shouted with joy: “We are best friends forever!” It was that simple.

kids playing

The following months were dominated with my tumultuous love life, and his sincere attempt of making sense of American dating scene. We both failed. However, along the way, we became so close that he didn’t mind driving down to the city for 30 minutes in the middle of the night just because I called him and sounded awful. He let me spend a weekend on his couch, obsessively watching Sex and the City and reaching enlightened revelations about my life while he ran his experiments at his laboratory. But his time was limited in Tucson, and had to leave when everything was so perfect.

parlez vousAnd he left. On a plane. Just like that. For weeks, in any discomforting situation, I said: “Oh I wish P. was here now.” For months, whenever I had the urge to instantly gossip about someone around me, I quasi-yelled at my friends: “Why don’t you speak French like P. does?” The fact that I was the one left behind, and I was the one immersed in a worse version of life without him hurt me more than I anticipated. I finally realized what I have been doing to my close friends for 10 years now. I am sorry y’all, but this is how life has been.

My First Vegas Trip

We were such good friends with P. that we decided to test it with a trip. Although we still don’t know whose idea it was at the first place, we went to Vegas. And wished we had never gone.


Las Vegas promises good time only to those who are not willing to think about the actual quintessence of things in Vegas or who are too drunk to do so. Vegas is a messy and flashy stage where a third-class play is performed with second-hand costumes and run-down make-up. Las Vegas is where people go to drink and be promiscuous, on the streets. The whole trip was dominated with an existential dissatisfaction and class-aware frustration. Vulgar use of space, abundance of tackiness, and too-many light bulbs made me constantly sick, and I wanted to get away.

We found ourselves in the Valley of Fire, and then at the Hoover Dam—a set for Cold War movies with a handsome Western agent trapped in a Soviet military facility. Who knew the best part of a Vegas trip was when we were the farthest from people?

When we were leaving Vegas, I remember mumbling about not going back ever again. I don’t know about P., but I still stand where I was back then.

My First Madonna Concert

Another first and last experience. I remember hearing about Madonna and her outrageous behavior when I was growing up. But it was not until Frozen exploded all over our teenage minds that I got to know her. Since then, I have been a Madonna fan. A loyal one. I even liked her “American Life” album.

When I moved to Paris in 2008, Madonna was on her “Sticky and Sweet Tour”, and she scheduled an extra show in Paris at the last minute, leaving a lot of tickets unsold. Until the very last day, I could get a ticket and see her with my own eyes, reaching to a level of completion in my “fandom.” I didn’t do it because I had no one to go there with, and regretted for years.

Not my best shot.

Not my best shot.

The moment I heard she was coming to Istanbul, I messaged my friend HC, and told him that I want a ticket to MDNA. I added: “You are the only one who is capable of doing so. I trust your skills. Let’s do it.” Years of organizing college events together blessed us with such a confidence for each other at moments like that. When I came to Istanbul months later this conversation, my ticket was ready. We went to the concert, and had a great time.

However, the whole Madonna experience was also a “once in a lifetime” thing for me. It was great, she was queen and all, but something about that concert told me that I could not do things over and over. Some experiences in life are meant to be done once. My first Madonna Concert was awesome, but also unique in my own story.

And other things…

This year I tried many new things, and had other firsts. There were bad moments such as when I experienced my first mobbing at work. Or there were great moments such as I went camping for the first time. There were milestones based on one little man, my nephew. Overall, I must say it was a good year. And it renewed me in many ways. I even tried those frames!

Have a good new year y’all!