Tuesday, 9 April 2013

It burns! It burns!

On Sunday I went to my first ever Pilates class. 
Hooray! shout the cats. At least she has a hobby other than stalking us now! 

I actually quite enjoyed the class too. A lot of the time I spent lying on my back and even though it burned (and oh it burned) I found it more appealing than yoga. I think it might have been all the repetitive moves (good for my OC tendencies)  and also the fact that because I can't speak Turkish I can guess what we are doing much more easily  because we stay in the same positions for longer. Anyway I came out of the class with a burning abdomen but a feeling of accomplishment in my bones so I decided I would wander up to Istiklal Street and and have a leisurely afternoon stroll. 
Now Istiklal Street is very close to my street and it is sort of like the Oxford Street of London, Queen Street Mall of Brisbane, or Via dei Calzaiuoli in Florence.It is very central and full of shops and restaurants/ bars etc.  So there I was happily strolling along like a Pilates Queen when suddenly my eyes, nose and throat started burning. I mean really burning. I was passing a bar at the time so I assumed ( wrongly) that they were renovating and had accidentally sprayed some sort of noxious fumes into the air. Anyway I scurried out of the street with my mouth covered by my bag ( not tomato bag luckily) and suddenly I found myself in a rush of people who were running down the street. Obviously I began to run too and I noticed they were diving into shops so I flung myself in a jean's store just as they were beginning to lower the grill at the front of the shop. The owner stopped it halfway down so people could still get in and then we all stood in the shop holding our throats and our noses and rubbing our eyes. I crouched by the front window to look out and all I could see was water/ ice on the streets and columns of police boots marching past the window. No one else was about just an eerie procession of boots. Then another billowing cloud of white gas came down the street and more people came running into the shop. The owner decided to shut the grill entirely but unfortunately some of the tear-gas ( I had finally cottoned on) made it into the shop so we all ran to the back of the shop in tears...literally. It was a horrible experience and to be honest as I looked around the shop at my fellow tear-gasees I have to say there were a number of shady sorts that I wasn't particularly pleased to be holed up with.
Anyway after some time they opened the shops again and we all went outside. I went straight to a coffee shop I like very nearby and had a big fat cappuccino ( adios pilates goodness.)
I later discovered that the trouble had been over a theater which is being closed for renovations! I can't even imagine what happens if the protest is political! But it was a very good lesson for me to keep my wits about me and remember that things can change here on the flip of a coin.

No comments: