Category Archives: Weird Happenings

Welcome to Boston

I wrote this “memoir” sophomore year for a communication writing class. I thought it was pretty entertaining so I assumed the readers here would too. Many of you have heard this story…if not, well, it’s definitely memorable. It’s also pretty long, so don’t read it if you’re in a hurry.

It starts below the city of Boston in the tangled system that hosts trains going anywhere and everywhere, with no concrete schedule of when they’ll arrive or depart. It starts with the time you’re given to stand and wait while the train is running around the city. It starts with that dull olive army cap that always seems to stay in the same corner of your eye as you stand patiently by yourself, waiting.

It’s odd. Even in the middle of the growing crowd of people waiting to get somewhere, that army cap never seems to go away; it stays near you, bobbing along with the rhythm of the masses. The cap is misleading too because it’s clear that it doesn’t even belong to an army guy. Instead, the only visible cues of life from that hat are grey, matted hairs springing out from underneath it. These hairs are sparse, but frequent enough to provide a little shade for the glassy-grey eyes that sit below a wrinkled, spotted forehead. All of these features exist undercover with help from that fake cap.

Its frequent persistence is a little unnerving, so you decide to move away. Being stared at is nice sometimes, but why from an old guy? Apparently the young, strapping army lads are at boot camp and you’re stuck here, in this dingy train station, with their homeless grandfather batting eyes at you.

As you walk, you take in all the other sensations specific only to this place. This place where trains come and go, people stand and wait, and musicians play for quarters with the hope of a big break. Sometimes it’s hard not to feel bad for them—nobody really gives them a second glance. You keep moving in hopes of escaping the hat and those eyes. The magazine stand looks informative enough, hosting dozens of papers and tabloids promising that they know the secret to the new Hollywood diet. It’s all very intriguing, but the sugar infused junk food they sell is what really grabs your attention. Rows of chocolates and sweets and sugars and all sorts of things that you were warned about as a child fill at least half of the stand—there are so many choices that it’s almost hard to decide. The magazine men are nice enough though. Give them a dollar twenty-five and they’ll respond with a Snickers bar. Continue reading

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Heartbreak in Istanbul: the final installation

I want to thank you all for your dedication to my blog and this story…hopefully the last part won’t disappoint. (Note: please see previous two entries for any hope of understanding what I’m talking about.)

I wanted to go home. Alyssa, Spanish-guy Manel, and I quietly discussed our plans for the evening and came to the unanimous decision that a cab was definitely in order, as it was almost 4 in the morning and we were already exhausted. Hookah with Mike and his pals would just have to wait. (I forgot to say how Mike planned out our activities for the next night also, telling us to wear our best clothes and to look extra good because he was taking us to the snazziest place in town. Having only brought one small backpack, Lord knows we had no “good-looking” clothes…I guess it was fortunate things ended as they did because I would have been way underdressed.)

When we presented our decision to the group, everyone looked somewhat disappointed but gave us a warm smile, handshake, and goodbye. Mike, on the other hand, threw a tantrum. Like a 3 year old. A 3 year old girl.

First he scoffed, then he blinked a lot, and then he stared at me like I’d just killed someone he loved…then he repeated this sequence 5 times before saying a word. When he finally did speak, this is what came out:

“No, we’re going to smoke hookah. You promise me you smoke hookah with me tonight. You PROMISE ME.” He was yelling.

First of all, no, no I did not. That is an incorrect statement. Earlier in the day, he listed several activities that he would like to do and I do believe I agreed to these activities, if and only if, I was not tired at any given time. Being that I was at that point tired, as were my comrades, I believe I was acceptably exempt from all further activities. Oh but he was not having it.

“No, I said we are going to smoke hookah now.” I stared at him and blinked. He began breathing hard and his face started turning red. Manel tried to intervene by telling Mike what a great night he had and how we’ll all see eachother tomorrow, but Mike ignored him completely.

“Fine, you want to go home, I call you a cab.” He proceeded to walk to the street, yell (and I mean YELL) for the nearest taxi. He then hurried us all in the cab and proceeded to whisper something in my ear.

“You ruin it all. You will never see me again.” I sort of wish he were telling the truth. Continue reading

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Heartbreak in Istanbul: the saga continues

(For those of you just joining us, the previous entry is a prerequisite to this one. Enjoy.)

Okay. Now where was I…

So there we were: two American girls, one Spanish guy, this Turkish chick, and maybe 3 Turkish men. (Sounds like the beginning of a joke…sadly it’s not.)

After experiencing varying degrees of discomfort after our investment in only one cab, we arrived safely in the downtown area of Istanbul, called Taxim. This is the part of town that was absolutely breathtaking…not because of historical landmarks or anything like that…just by the sheer volume of people. It looked like the entire population of New York descended upon the street with only the desire to go window shopping.

After making our way through crowds of people and avoiding being hassled by Turkish entrepreneurs selling roasted chestnuts, we finally arrived at our first destination: Jazz Stop. It was a swanky spot with an edgy feel–the entire bar was bathed in a red wash while the stage hummed its cool blues and greens.

One of our new Turkish friends, we’ll call him Jebodiah (I don’t think I ever knew his real name), kept assuring us that this would be the best performance of our lives and to be honest, it was right up there. The band members were all apparently very famous individually and knew our new friends well, so after a series of hugs and variations on the American hand-shake, the performance began. It. was. awesome.

Mike showed up a little late because he had to work until 11:00, so the band had already begun to play and I’d already begun to really start enjoying the music. Jebodiah saw Mike come in first and immediately looked to me and exclaimed, “Morgan, look! Mike is here!” I turned around to wave at Mike but, that sneaky little devil, he’d already wormed his way directly behind me with a suave look on his face. He greeted me with a slight arm graze with his right hand. I squinted, gave him a sideways smile, turned around, and proceeded to enjoy the music. As I danced with the music, I could feel his body heat behind me (not in the trashy novel sort of way, please…) so I’d inch my way forward so as to escape it just a bit. He inched forward with me. I excused myself to the bathroom and returned to see that he’d ordered me a beer. My first thought…. FREE BEER! Awesome. So I drank it and enjoyed the rest of the show.

During the remainder of the performance, Mike attempted to paw at my hips and everytime he looked at me, he looked a little…well, we’ll just say “intense.” He then proceeded to tell me things like, “you dance so good…i love they way you move…” If you’ve seen me dance, you know that that is simply untrue. But I laughed and shrugged it off because it all still seemed to be in good fun. (Note to self: don’t smile at Turkish men…don’t smile at Turkish men…) Continue reading

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Turkey–not only known for its tryptophan.

Suspense: (n.) pleasant excitement as to a decision or outcome.

I’ll thank my good friends at Merriam-Webster for this hearty definition, which I’m sure suits all of you avid Morganizers quite well. I hope my brief “Urlaub,” if you will, from writing has kept everyone in suspense and hasn’t deterred too many of you from reading, but rest assured that Morgan has returned with every intention to begin writing regularly again.

(I hope.)

(Put a 21-year-old smack dab in the middle of Europe and see how much of an attention span she has for witty recollections and grammatically correct memories. It’s not easy…my attention is forever being averted. I’m like a cat when you snip it’s whiskers too short—-scatterbrained and all over the place trying to avoid running into walls…but I wouldn’t know about that, my brother was the one with the scissors.)

In hopes that this blog doesn’t terribly disappoint your suspense-ridden expectations, I will recount the time I broke a Turkish man’s heart in Istanbul. I didn’t mean to and I still hold strong that I actually had nothing to do with it, but I’ll let you decide. I won’t reveal his name in fear that he might somehow locate me, so we’ll call him Mike.

Upon our arrival to Istanbul, Alyssa and I really didn’t know what to expect. We were excited about the city, the history, and the opportunity to meet a lot of new people, none of whom we’d ever had the pleasure of encountering. But our non-existent opinions of the Turkish menfolk began to sour moments after exiting our introductory cab: after paying the driver, he proceeded to reach over, grab my thigh, give me a wink and click at me. Yep, click–you know, with his tongue. Call me a prude, but no thank you. And thus, our first impression of Turkish men was born.

There we were, two cute American girls on our own in the big city streets of Istanbul, the Hagia Sophia to our left and Blue Mosque to our right. We encountered stares and clicks to last us a lifetime as we probed our way through the city searching for our hostel, but we didn’t let it get us down…not immediately, anyhow. After locating our amazing hostel (the Cheers Hostel–HIGHLY recommended if you visit Istanbul) and napping for a moment, we determined that an impromptu tour of our surrounding area was a must. After our earlier experiences with the Turkish men, we agreed that the best way to complete this task successfully was to stare directly in front of us, ignoring all male onlookers and catcallers with a stone-faced glare. This worked for awhile until the clicks and the whistles grew to an unreasonable number.

“Hey lady…Where you come from…lady, excuse me, hey lady, you forgot your rug…you come from paradise? Hey lady….hey lady…. click click click click whistle click.”

We became agitated and decided to swear off all Turkish men forever. Continue reading

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I’m a Poet and I didn’t realize it.

My attempt at poetry. (Maybe soon I’ll write a real blog about the incident[s], but for now, a short poem will suffice. Enjoy.)

Day One

Flight Delayed,
My laptop sits on top of my lap,
dying.
Finally on the plane,
the woman going to Tampa won’t stop talking.
My eyes shut and my head nods.

Soon I’m in Atlanta—no, HOTlanta—
the only place with no internet. At all.
Can’t watch episodes online.
No interesting people—even at an airport.
I sit and wait and sit and wait.

Flight boards.
Toddler behind me insists on screaming Happy Birthday
to every passenger.
Over and over and over.
Awesome.

We “deplane.”
The baggage claim fills up
with bags of every color and shape.
All except mine.
It’s lost, they say.
Super

I frowned.
Day Two

One missed phone call, angry voicemail.
Can’t return call.
3 hours later, 3 more missed phone calls.
Another angry voicemail.
Finally given a return number.

I return the call. I get yelled at.
“You know, work…phone is on silent.”
But the man doesn’t listen, just yells.
Blahblahblah WHERE ARE YOU NOW, NEED TO DROP OFF BAG.
Still at work.
Address?
I told him.

3 hours later, another call.
I answer.
Courier is outside.
But not really.
He doesn’t speak English and I can’t communicate.
He’s lost, but says he’s where I am.

He’s not.

Lo siento! No se que yo puedo hacer! Lo siento.
That’s all I could say.
And then he realized he was in Boston—
I’m in Cambridge.

20 minutes later, he arrives.
For real.
He hands me my bag…and I thank him.
He says de nada and stares at me.
Do I tip him?
Nope. The airport owes me my bag.
Still standing there.
“Uhh, really, thanks, means a lot.
Have a good day. Adios.”

I go inside.

3 minutes later, another call.
“You nice girl.”
“Thank you.”
“I want to practicing my English.”
“Uh, okay. I mean, you’re okay at it…”
“You are married?”

“Yes, yes I’m married.”

And then I smiled.

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