Friday, May 12
8:55 am, Paris time (2:55 am Boston time): Our flight lands 20 minutes late.Our plane taxis for what seems like forever and then stops in what seems like the middle of nowhere. We finally make it off the plane 20 minutes later, then get on this little shuttle for another 20 minutes, until it finally lets us off at the terminal. Except it's terminal 2E and we still need to get to 2B and there's no way to get there except by taking another reallllly slow shuttle. It was stressful/maddening. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 10:05, so we were pretty much resigned to missing it unless by some chance it too had been delayed.
10:05 am: We FINALLY make it to our gate, and apparently our plane had been delayed, but not long enough. Here is a free piece of advice for you: if you can at all avoid it, do not fly through Charles de Gaulle airport. Or at least make sure you have at least 2 hours in between your flights. It is totally the worst airport I've ever dealt with. Anyway, the guy at the gate told us to go down to this desk where we'd get a new flight. So we went downstairs and waited in this big line full of other various passengers who'd missed their connections (they must be pretty used to this there). Luckily, the lady we dealt with was actually pretty nice (or at least helpful and un-rude) and there was another flight to Istanbul at 12:35. And we got vouchers for free beverages. I figured an Orangina would be pretty appropriate, being in France and all.
I also tried to call our Turkish promoter, Firat, several times since he was supposed to meet us at the airport, but I don't think the French payphone system wanted to cooperate with the Turkish phone systerm, because I just got weird messages that his phone number was unavailable. I gave up and figured he'd figure it out once our flight showed up and we weren't on it.
12:00 pm: We went to our gate and I will say this much positive about the airport: they have nice freezepoppy-colored seating at the gates.
12:35 pm: We took off. It was a bit bumpy and scary, but then I went back to sleep for a while. The kids on this flight were much more well-behaved too.
4:55 pm, Istanbul time (9:55 am Boston time, 3:55 pm Paris time): We landed in Istanbul. We had to buy tourist visas, but other than that, made it thru passport control/customs very quickly. Walked into the arrival area, and there was Firat waiting for us. He was wearing a Back to the Future t-shirt and his phone had a Star Wars ringtone, so we figured he was pretty a-ok. We crammed all our stuff and ourselves into his car and drove downtown.
The traffic was pretty bad, but it's apparently always like that. We drove under a Roman aqueduct at one point, and passed by some crazy ruins. That kind of thing does not happen in Boston. The weather was kind of Boston-like (sunny/overcast-ish, 60s), but there were some palm trees here, which was a nice touch.
So we went to the club, which was conveniently located across the street from our hotel. We checked in and decided to get soundcheck over with so that we could hopefully nap before our set.
6:00 pm: Soundcheck was pretty easy. The club, Balans Music Hall, was really big and cool-looking, with a great sound system. We met some folks who were shooting a Plastic Stars video for a school project, so they took some footage. After that, Firat and his posse took us for dinner. There was a big busy pedestrian street nearby, so we went walking along there. It was pretty crazy, because there were lots of posters of us around. We felt like real rock stars, it was pretty surreal.
Anyway, they took us to a cafeteria-style place. I'd never had Turkish food before. (Except for Turkish Delight, I don't know if that counts.) Anyway, my food was really tasty, I got these cheesy/pastry stick sorta things, and this broccoli/potato-y/cheesy stuff that doesn't sound especially Turkish, but it had dill, so I guess that made it more so. It was quite yummy, anyway.
7:30 pm: We walked back to our hotel and had a much-needed nap.
11:00 pm: REALLY confused when my alarm went off. I think I thought I was still in England. Anyway, got dressed and woke up the boys and met Firat in the lobby. At the club, he brought us "backstage," which I guess was really upstairs, and it was painted in nice Freezepoppy colors. We don't often get to play clubs that have backstages, let alone ones that are bright and pretty. I could definitely deal with that more often.