i have moods when i travel. they're a frequent thing, and they're pretty unpredictable. back in february when i was in tromsø for a week, i was having one of those moods. it's my favourite place on the planet, and i really didn't feel like taking any photos. the weather was gorgeous, albeit fifteen below zero, but the weather was gorgeous and you just couldn't motivate me enough to take a photograph. one week, and when i wasn't chasing the aurora from dinner time to the early hours of the morning with kjetil, i took less than fifteen photos. not even three a day. i just didn't feel the need to, i didn't want to, and it felt to me like everything i wanted was complete in the moment i was living it. i remember feeling the shivering cold walking the twenty steps outside from kjetil's basement suite to his living room for dinner. i can recall their accents, and their kids giddiness of having a canadian guest stay with them. my senses of it all are so sharp, so complete, and with no images to help bring the experience to others. i walked off the ship in sinop, turkey. it felt good. really good. the sky was pretty overcast in the morning as we started out, and i gravitated to some street cats. of COURSE i did. if i didn't feel like making dilapidated buildings look interesting, i could photograph a cat and feel like an accomplished travel photographer. what's that magazine in the movie notting hill? horse and hound? yeah, maybe they'll see my work and HAVE to have me employed with them. i'll travel the world and photograph street cats. how could i ever go wrong in my thinking. so taking some images of cats, holding up my aunt and brother from continuing through a sleepy turkish town on a sunday morning. what's your hurry, everything is closed anyway, guys. apparently a man parked his car next to the wall there and began to talk to my brother and aunt. i had other priorities. but the cats ran away, and i engaged in some conversation. what were the odds of running into someone who speaks better english than i do in a town of a few thousand people on the coast of the black sea. one hundred percent.
a few minutes go by and we're laughing and joking. well, the turks think i'm hilarious so i'm never leaving now. he yells up to his family through their apartment window. they would love to have us into their home for breakfast with them. rustic. authentic. surreal. it's perfect. their home is beautiful. there is fresh breakfast baking all over the kitchen. coffee. tea. amazing conversation. it was all making sense. i didn't need some photos of the outside of their building, or of a colourful parked car. i had the exact moment right in front of me. all the smells, all their accents, all the translating. the playing with the iphones. it was perfect. and later once we had said goodbye exchanging an email address or two, i found those photos of buildings, cars, and people anyway. ohh, and the sunset. the best sunset ever.
ohh, speaking of turkish hospitality. how's this for some. our ship had made a local paper in one of the previous ports. dozens of photos. a few interviews. it was exciting stuff, it definitely wasn't the everday. they wanted so much for us to have some of these papers to keep and take home that these folks came screeching up, literally, in a beautiful mercedes, jumped out of their car, tied up some papers in some string and tried to throw them onto our ship which had already pushed off the dock. the papers missed and are on their way to the bottom of the sea. they call over some guys PERSONAL boat, get on it with more newspapers, speed off toward our ship and tie up the papers in one of the guys' sweaters. well they make our ship, a cheer goes off from everyone watching and so long, sinop - you have been incredible.