There are some bars you go to where you know every song they play, and that’s great.
There are other bars you go to where you know absolutely none of the songs they play, and that’s better.
I got to see one of my old flat mates last night, something I was really looking forward to, and she was nice enough to invite me out with her and her friends. Taksim at night felt like I’d never been gone. We met at the Burger King and got just a little lost on the way to the bar, which no one really knew the location of to begin with, and which I would never be able to find again. The entire time I felt like the people who I studied with two years ago, the Americans, the Dutch, the Turkish, would come in at any moment, like we were all still studying there and they had just taken a later bus from Hisarüstü. Disko Partizani even played.
I forgot that I liked Efes Dark before it became one of only three choices of beer.
The first hour or two was Balkan folk music before devolving into music that I still didn’t know, though there were a few Turkish songs that sounded familiar. It was hot, the beer was only slightly overpriced (I didn’t find out until later how much the price of alcohol in Turkey has shot up, and now I realize how fairly priced it actually was) and I had forgotten how much fun going out dancing could be. A string of Spanish and American songs came on after midnight, broken up by a Turkish cover of Should I Stay or Should I Go.
I regret to say there were no islak burgers or mussels at the end, I was too tired. I said goodbye to everyone with enough energy to bargain a taxi price back to Sultanahmet, and trade Turkish words with the taxi driver. I think he tried to teach me the words for ‘drunk’ and such, but we sort of just repeated words back to each other. Like many previous Taksim nights, I paid for it the next day via sheer exhaustion. Thankfully, also like many Taksim nights previous, it was worth it.