I am completely dumbfounded.
Sitting three floors away from the Earth in my friend's adorable one bedroom, I listen to the Istanbul noise. I hear people below talking, Turkish music in the distance, and a man yelling something foreign to me. The breeze is brilliant and the sun shining. All these things I would typically enjoy, I cannot find peace. I am haunted by last night's conversations. My Turkish friends confronted me with something I wasn't expecting on this trip. And why I was so surprised, I am unsure. I knew the rest of the world hated America. We learn that in school, through the news and through casual political discussions. So why was I so surprised? I guess to hear it first hand, in your presence, directly from someone's lips can change everything.
"I hate America."
"Surely you don't hate America. You mean their government..."
Well, he didn't hate American people it turned out. But everything else...especially baseball.
I tried to explain to him that I didn't hate Cuba, but I hated Castro, that he should reword his statement. But he stood firm. He hated America. This wasn't the view of one individual, but all participants in the conversation. The heated discussion continued for over an hour. Michael Moore was the hot topic. Having never seen his documentaries, I was a little caught off guard. I tried to defend my point by saying Michael Moore is biased and extremely leftist. Their entire argument was propelled by Moore's theories. I was so frustrated trying to defend my home against three people and Michael Moore. I don't understand how someone can make such accusations about their own country. Apparently in one of his films, he claims 911 was a lie. A lie in the sense, and this is what I came to understand, that it was created by our government. Does he not realize the mindset he is shaping for the rest of the world? When I heard this being explained to me, it broke my heart. I tried to illustrate to my friends just how devastating and terrifying this day was for us, but simply could not put it into words they would understand.
I became so heart sick I had to end the conversation. Very firmly I said "I don't want to talk about this anymore!!" My friend said he would burn a copy of Moore's film for me and I said No...I don't ever want to watch it. As if I didn't take enough American bashing for one day, we went on to watch a Rammstein video appropriately named "America"
I learned this video is banned in Turkey. There is a brief scene where a Muslim man removes his shoes and steps onto a carpet. You watch him traditionally kneel to pray and find out he is praying to petrol. This video disturbed me too. Especially where the band members (dressed as astronauts) hold hands and dance around the American flag. I am going to try to add the video to this post but I'm not sure if it will carry over...but you can certainly Youtube it.
Its shocking the feeling... when your whole world gets turned upside down. I recommend it once in one's life. To be truly mind fucked.
I had never felt more homesick than I did last night. I miss baseball and hotdogs (and pork!) and American football. I miss reality shows and fast food, I miss capitalism and air condition.
I'm starting to feel sad I will be spending my Independence day in South Korea. But I cannot be weak now. I'm only two months in and have a while to go. Perhaps I can just pretend I am at Epcot.
oh well, I love you America and see you soon!!