THE ISTANBUL DIARIES: Day zero

“They got into a taxi and drove out to Rimmily Hissa along the Bosphorus, and around, and back in the cool night and went to bed and she felt as over-ripe as she looked but smooth, rose-petal, syrupy, smooth-bellied, big-breasted and needed no pillow under her buttocks, and he left her before she was awake and looking blowzy enough in the daylight and turned up at the Pera Palace with a black eye, carrying his coat because one sleeve was missing.” — E. H.
That great sentence comes from one of my favourite short stories. The word ‘Bosphorus’ arrived at the perfect time and when I read it I had to stop reading. I thought the effect was just beautiful.

In three hours (Monday 27 Aug, 3am) my flight will take off from JKIA and six and a half hours later I will be floating over the Bosphorus. I have packed my bag:

I am going to Istanbul for the bi-annual Chess Olympiad. This is one of the biggest events in the calendar. 162 countries will send in their biggest chess addicts. Kenya is sending me and 9 of my colleagues. The world’s best will be there — over 800 players sprawled across the floor-space of the huge Istanbul Expo Center. This is the greatest team championship in sports (forget World Cup or Olympics). This is the chess olympics. Nothing but chess for 2 solid weeks.

So what’s in my bag? My clothes, toiletries and the following:

Chess Books: Only the ones neccessary for my opening preparation. I can’t carry everything and I will be buying a bag load of new ones at the Olympiad.

For Reading: I found something called ”Rivethead” for 50/= on the streets. Have read a few chapters and it’s…riveting. I have to take a DeLillo along and “The Names” has been in the news lately. So I now feel like re-reading it.

Dangerous Album: This is obligatory. MJ’s greatest creation.

And it’s time to pack up the laptop as well.

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2 comments

  1. Satish Deshpande · August 27, 2012

    Best wishes Team Kenya

  2. Victor · August 27, 2012

    Go team kenya!! 🙂

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