Thursday, 29 May 2008

Always wear a seatbelt

Just got back from Turkey after what feels like a pretty full-on few weeks of gigs and travel. The last month has been a fascinating mix of flying, driving, gigging and meeting people but not really enough sleep at any point so right now I'm in bed with a cold which is telling me to chill for a couple of days. Well, if I must... :-)

I won't go into everything that's happened in Mexico, Soctland, Derbyshire and Turkey but I'll mention a couple of things from the last two days. In Istanbul I met up with an old friend and his wife who just happened to be in town for a few days same time as me (they live in the US and I hardly ever get to see them, even over there, so being in Istanbul at the same time was quite a coincidence). It was great to hang out and catch up and yesterday we had half a day to go see the sights so went to the Blue Mosque (pretty cool but not as amazing as I had been led to expect), the Byzantine Cistern (totally surreal massive underground water store all columns and arches, pure Indiana Jones) and most amazingly the Hagia Sofia. It was built (I think) as the main church by the crusaders at some time or another and it is massive, totally awe-inspiring and the most amazing place I've been for quite some time. Really made an impression on me so expect some music inspired by it soon!

And the other thing I want to mention about Istanbul? Well, we were joking at one point about how the seatbelts in the back of Turkish cabs don't work so you can't wear one even if you want to. So of course you know what happened next... On the way to the airport the driver managed to completley ignore the fact that the van in front of us had stopped and drove straight into the back of it. Thankfully we weren't going too fast so no major injuries occurred (as far as I know , I haven't seen the driver since) but it was a bit of a shock to say the least.

Hence the title of this post. It's the second car crash I've been involved in when I've been away for gigs (the other was in Japan) and has really brought home to me that if you spend a lot of time in cars, especially with drivers who may not have been getting much sleep for a while (e.g. after a Japanese festival), then putting the seatbelt on just might make a difference to your future quality of life.

But what do I know? I couldn't wear a seatbelt in Istanbul and I survived intact, but another 10 miles and hour faster and maybe I wouldn't be playing guitar any more...