This article is in response to Barbara Franken’s challenge: link
I am asked to relate my awakening experience. This article is about the time that I first became aware of all that we take to be ‘the world’ is not what we think it is. It was in 1966 and I was a 16-year-old who had hitch-hiked to Istanbul from Trieste, Italy where I lived at that time. Continue reading
“Coffee should be as black as hell, strong as death and as sweet as love.” Turkish proverb
This image brought back memories of my time in Istanbul when I was 17 years old. I had the good fortune of having parents who allowed me to hitch-hike from Trieste, Italy (where we lived at that time – 1967) through Yugoslavia and Greece to Istanbul. There I spent 10 days roaming the mosques, the historic old town and the casbah. I stayed in Hotel Gulayani , with quite a few Westerners. Those were days filled with adventure! Next to my room was an ex GI, an Afro-American, who whiled away his days mostly in bed smoking hashish and listening to Jimi Hendrix “Are You Experienced?” on a small portable record player. This is where I was introduced to the experience of hashish, which at that time showed me that there was more to reality than I had assumed up to then. I remained interested in that experience for some years but later realized that is was as limited as all other artificially induced states of consciousness.
The Turkish Mokka, as pictured above, was served in the casbah cafes and tea-houses where one sat on low cushions at round brass tables, embossed with exotic designs, and the walls hung with Persian/Turkish carpets. What strongly impressed me was not only the wonderful fragrance of the mokka itself and its fine velvety texture, but they also laced it with rose water…quite an exotic treat!
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