Monday, April 06, 2009


Istanbul, phase II

So I decided to extend my stay in Istanbul until April 15th!!!!!

The Land of Antrenman

My teacher Bunyamin has been practicing with me like 8 hours a day! The other day my lesson went from 4pm to 4am! I feel like I’m in the next phase, because I studied with him for one month and then I practiced on my own in Egypt for a month, so coming back now, I can keep up with him much more! We are composing a sick ass duet together!

Finally! Meeting Missirli Ahmet and Levant

Yay! I finally got to meet Missirli Ahmet and Levant!

So a few nights ago was our show in istanbul and a bunch of missirli ahmets students showed up! They were soooo sweet and nice and ever since I've been hanging out with them! I get them drunk and then make them show me the stuff they're learning, hee hee.

So they had their lesson with him last night and they said they would tell him about me and ask if I could come meet him. So i was at Bunyamins and i get a message that I can come meet him!

So I went over to the school and I got to hang out with with Missirli Ahmet and Levant. They were very sweet to me and invited me to a party at their school the next day.

So I walked into the party and Levant was jamming. I must say, I’ve never seen dumbek playing like that. He was flying. I ended up staying until the morning and I had a nice bond with both Ahmet and Levant. Ahmet didn’t play but I got to jam with Levant. Everyone was very nice to me and made me feel welcome and I got compliments on my playing by Missiri Amet. Many of the students had seen my videos on you tube before so they really treated me like a celebrity!

Levant is based in Paris but he wants to come visit me in NY. I told him he can stay w me at my apartment if he agrees to practice with me every day and he said okay., so I hope all of you new york messengers get to meet him soon. who knows, maybe he’ll come on a retreat. We both speak French, Arabic and English, so we switch back and forth from three languages! He is very handsome and charming!

Motorcycle trip to the Black Sea

I was supposed to have a kemenche lesson the other day, and my teacher called me and said “it’s a beautiful day out – lets go on a motorcyle trip to the black sea instead” So I said yes, and he picked me up on his Harley and we rode along the Bosphorus all the way to the black sea stopping occasionally for tea and snacks. What a wonderful day!

My New Group of Friends

I love my new friends, the students of missirli ahmet. They are soo nice to me and next weekend one of them is having a bon voyage party for me!


Last Week in Egypt


Right after our concert we hired a mini van to take us to Ras Hasatan in the Sinai Desert. I think that’s my favorite place on the planet. Nataia and I stayed for five days. She got tan, and I got burned and we swam and walked in the desert mountains and gazed at the amazing stars at night and most of all, PRACTICED! Sinai is the best place in the world to practice and we had some incredible sessions on a cliff overlooking the Red Sea with the pink mountains of Saudi Arabia visible on the other side. Paradise!

My Egyptian Movie Star

One day a very attractive Egyptian man tried to join Natalia and I as we were doing our morning yoga in the Sinai Desert. He gave up after 20 minutes, but we ended up hanging out. and it turns out hes a very famous Egyptian Movie Star named Sherif Helmy.. He offered us a ride back to Cairo in his fancy car. Usually when we drive back we are stopped at numerous check points along the way and it takes like eight hours but because Sherif is a movie star and all the soldiers recognized him we breezed through every check point and made it back to Cairo in the record time of 5:30 hours.For the rest of the week I hung out with Sherif and it was so fun getting star treatment everywhere we went! We got go to the Pyramids at 4am when it was totally closed, we got to walk in to a restaurant where you always need a reservation – everyone in Cairo bends over backwards to please him! And the scary thing is, I could totally get used to that kind of treatment!

Movie Set

Sherif is making a new movie and me, Natalia and Marjory got to go onto the set and watch them filming the movie! It was so much fun! He’s such a good actor!

Magic Girls Trio

Now that Rami and Lara have left, its down to a trio – me, natalia and adama. I love trios! We are called the Magic Girls

Nile TV

We had a really fun appearance on Nile TV. Check out how much makeup they put on me! Yuk!

Entourage to Airport

Everyone came to the airport! All of the Newbian boyfriends, Dr Dave, my Movie Star boyfriend and Marjory were all there waving goodbye as we went through security. What a beautiful sight!

Plans with Said

Said El Artist wants me to come to Egypt in the summer and play three concerts with him! Yay! Marjory has a beautiful apartment with a guest room for me, so I’m all hooked up. We will play in the Citadel in Cairo, the Citadel in Alexadria and in the Cairo Opera House, ein sh’alla. I’ve never been to Cairo in the summer, I bet it’s gonna be HOT!!!!

Extending my Trip

Back in Istanbul, I realized that I have nothing scheduled for the first two weeks of April and the guy who owns the apartment in Istanbul said I could rent my room for those two weeks, so I said , why the heck not? and so now I’m staying here to practice for another two weeks! Yay! Bunyamin is excited that I’m staying and he said we can practice together every day. Yay!

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