I was never a lover of the pop group Queen, their dress style, their hair, their choreography on stage, well that is apart from some of their music.
Their music was very popular, with their records reaching number one in the charts on many occasions, and being played continually on the radio, they grew on me.
I hardly ever listen to the lyrics of songs, never search out the hidden meaning, the messages other people seem to hear, perhaps I am more interested in the musical arrangement, the interplay of the individual instruments, but, after a few plays the lyrics get into my subconscious, and I often find that I am singing along with the song, or that the words pop-up into my thoughts, my inner mind.
So it was with Queen’s song Bohemian Rhapsody, a masterpiece of a song, an operatic piece in its’ own right, giving a story which flows with the music,
I had never really understood the lyrics, only that it was about a young man who had killed a man, singing to his mother and using strange words that I had no idea how they fitted into the song, well that’s the way I understood the song.
“Scaramouche“, who or what is that? I now know, just found out that it is a character in an early film referring to a comic character, “Scaramouche” also refers to a Greek translator of the Old Testament, and why does it ask “Scaramouche“, “will you do the Fandango?“.
Why “Galileo Figaro“? Still do not understand that.
Then there is this person called “Miss Miller“. Who is this “Miss Miller“? Where did “Miss Miller” come from?
As usual, miss interpretation, it is not “Miss Miller“, but “Bismillah“, an Arabic word used to mean “in the name of God, most Gracious, most Compassionate“, or “in the name of Allah (God)“, as used in the Islamic faith.
Looking at the lyrics now after all these years I see the word “Beelzebub“. What does that mean? I had heard the word over the years, just the word without knowing the meaning, it was just the sound. I now find that a “Beelzebub” refers to a once worshiped Philistine deity, “Beelzebub” meaning “Lord of the Flies“. Later it was used in the Christian faith to refer to one of the seven princes of Hell.
All the above came as a Thunderbolt to me. All these years I had been happy in my (miss) understanding and ignorance of the song, yes I was a little bewildered, but who isn’t with lyrics of songs.
I had put my interpretation, my understanding or lack of, on the words, “Miss Miller” – “Bismillah“, “Scaramouche“, “Beelzebub“.
I had put my “Cat on the Mat“, my understanding, and I was wrong. How many times a day do we do the same thing in understanding the world about us, and how many times a day do others misinterpret our meanings?
Another question arose from one of my Turkish translators and friend, Asu Yildirim, asking, did I take the saying I often use in my courses, “nobody loves me” from this song Bohemian Rhapsody? No I did not, at least not consciously. But Asu, I know that you are mentioned in the song, “thunderbolt and lightning, very very frightening“, the translation of you family name Yildirim as in the display of Antep in Gaziantep Castle Museummeaning, “thunderbolt“.
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a landslide No escape from reality Open your eyes Look up to the skies and see I’m just a poor boy (Poor boy) I need no sympathy Because I’m easy come, easy go Littl
e high, little low Any way the wind blows Doesn’t really matter to me, to me
Mama just killed a man Put a gun against his head Pulled my trigger, now he’s dead Mama, life has just begun But now I’ve gone and thrown it all away Mama, ooh Didn’t mean to make you cry If I’m not back again this time tomorrow Carry on, carry on as if nothing really matters
Too late, my time has come Sends shivers down my spine Body’s aching all the time Goodbye, everybody I’ve got to go Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth Mama, oooooooh (Anyway the wind blows) I don’t want to die Sometimes wish I’d never been born at all
I see a little silhouetto of a man Scaramouch, Scaramouch, will you do the Fandango Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very frightening me (Galileo) Galileo (Galileo) Galileo, Galileo Figaro Magnifico-o-o-o-o I’m just a poor boy nobody loves me He’s just a poor boy from a poor family Spare him his life from this monstrosity
Easy come, easy go, will you let me go? Bismillah! No, we will not let you go Let him go Bismillah! We will not let you go Let him go Bismillah! We will not let you go Let me go (Will not let you go) Let me go (Will not let you go) (Never, never, never, never) Let me go, o, o, o, o No, no, no, no, no, no, no (Oh mama mia, mama mia) Mama Mia, let me go Beelzebub has the devil put aside for me, for me, for me!
So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye So you think you can love me and leave me to die Oh, baby, can’t do this to me, baby Just gotta get out, just gotta get right outta here
[Guitar Solo] (Oooh yeah, Oooh yeah)
Nothing really matters Anyone can see Nothing really matters Nothing really matters to me
After years of working for computer manufacturers, and being an Amateur Radio (Radio Ham) enthusiast, (G8YJQ), electronics and gadgets fasinates me.
If it is new, I want it, I want to see how it works, has it any benefit to me.
I may try it once, understand how it works, and then never use the gadget again. But, my curiosity has been satisfied.
Visiting many countries as I do, staying in contact is a must.
With the internet, as long as a WiFi connection (free) is available I can be in contact with others.
With mobile phones, covering nearly every square inch of our planet and beyond, we can stay in touch, sometimes at a high cost, sometimes with a bit of out-of-the-box thinking, cheap calls can be obtained.
One way to get cheap mobile calls is to get a local sim card of the country I am visiting, a local telephone number.
But that means I have to carry two telephones, one for my British mobile, and one for the local country I am visiting.
More holes in my trouser pockets.
Problem solved now.
I came across a mobile phone, the HKV HK5000 Dual Sim Mobile.
The HK5000 allows me to have two sim cards in the same hand unit, and it will operate both, so I can make and receive a phone call from my British telephone number 07973178602, plus my Italian, Turkish, Malaysian or whichever one I wish to insert.
Now I only need to carry one phone.
Forget about the new iPhones, Blackberry, HTC, PDA’s smartphones, that do things I personally rarely use, I now have a phone that is practical, two phones in one, that is to say, I can make and receive phone calls easy, does not take up space, and I do not have to remember to charge two phones.
Sadly, it only lasted six months, so I reverted back to iPhones. How time flies, it is now 2016 and I wrote the above article in 2008, how things change. Oh Poo Poo, and I still buy gadgets..
I walked down to the ferry terminal after a long day of training and having to cross the Bosphorus from Kadikoy to Beşitaş (Asian to European side of Istanbul), and saw the ferry at the quayside. I raced to the gate only to see it closing majestically with me on the wrong side, and I watched as the ferry glide out of the port.
Once back in Taxim Tunel, I brought a wrap from a little corner café, La Cantine, (now closed), run by a French couple, plus a freshly squeezed orange juice. I was to have a relaxing time, watching British TV on the computer internet through Slingbox.
Slingbox is a great device that plugs into the back of say a satellite or cable TV box, that is then connected to the inter net router at home. Through the inter net connection in whatever country I am in, I can access the Slingbox back home and watch British TV, not only that, I can control the channels I want to watch.
The apartment I am staying in is on the forth floor, with a spiral staircase. Now I am used to running up stairs, but these seem so steep, everyone that climbs those stairs, has to rest half way up. They are a killer.
Spiral Stairs, Tunel Flat, Istanbul
I got to the door, gently holding my orange juice, my mouth watering at the prospect of eating my wrap. But the key would not turn.
Not three months earlier, I had returned back to the apartment to notice on the tough climb of the stairs, that there were pieces of metal laying by each flat door. I knew something was wrong.
On reaching my door, there was no point in trying to turn the key to open the door, there was no locking mechanism there, and the door was firmly shut and locked.
There was no-one in the whole building, I do not speak any Turkish. Oh Poo Poo. I called an ex employee who came to my aid, plus my translator Asu. We called a locksmith plus the police, only to find that yes we had been burgled. I had lost money, a camera.
Although I did not enjoy the experience, who would? I found the police here in Istanbul perhaps one of the most friendly I have encountered, even though we had to communicate via a translator.
The horror of that experience returned as I tried in vain to turn the key.
But I had Mustapha. I had the previous experience to draw upon. I called the same locksmith.
On his last visit he made sure that no-one would be able to break-in again. He was good, so good, that he took from 8:30 until 11:30pm to get in. That will teach him. Perfectionist. (Ho Ho). He had to used brute force.
Once in, it was realised that no-one had entered, it was the failure of the door locking gear. New door I think.
So by mid night I was in bed, knowing that 8am the next morning I would be picked up by car to get to the Eastern side to take the English language participants further along the process I do for easy learning.
8:10 am I get a phone call, asking if the car had arrived, as the person calling the General Manager of NLPGrup, Selva, could not reach the driver, his phone was off.
Only thing for it was to quickly catch the Tunel train and the ferry.
Walking down to the ferry terminal I passed under a bridge that crosses the water of the Golden Horn, and was amazed at the number of people standing on either side of the bridge fishing. There was not any spaces left. I would not like to sail a boat under that bridge. Looking around the Golden Horn, it seemed that the whole population of Istanbul had taken-up fishing.
Golden Horn Bridge
There must be some great memory skills in Turkey.
As we sailed across the Bosphorus I sat in the cold morning air on the outside deck, the sea was awash was quite a swell, and as we entered each trough, the ferry created a spray of salt sea water, refreshing my face, my mind.
As we moored the other side, I noticed how clam the water became, and realised that was the state I was in. Very calm, whilst all about me was in turmoil.
Today was my birthday, here in Istanbul, but nothing to do. Ho Ho.
I was asked to go to the training school (NLPGrup) to complete a certificate, and that is on the Eastern side of Istanbul, and I am staying on the Western near Taxim Tunel.
Istanbul is in two parts, the Eastern and Western sides, with the Bosphorus dividing the two, being the border between Asia and Europe, with about 13 million residents.
Crossing the Bosphorus
The journey across the Bosphorus takes about twenty minutes, and it is a time to relax, to take in the sights either side, the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia Mosque (The Pink Mosque), and many old palaces.
Today it was so grey, cold and with driving rain as the photographs show, but inside the ferry I was warm.
The Bosphorus links the Aegean, the Med to the Black Sea, and ships all shapes and sizes of all countries carrying different cargoes pass through this narrow passage. To sit and watch the passing of these ships on the bank of the Bosphorus eating a Kumpir (hot jacket potato, filled with various filings) and a Turkish coffee brings to you how small our world is.
The one Turkish characteristic which does get at me sometimes, is the wish to be first. OK, I’m British, and we British are a nation of queuers, if there are more than three people in a line, we will join the line, knowing nothing of why we are waiting. But, the Turkish people just push in front, that also happens with the driving, especially the taxis.
Yet the people are so nice. They will take time to talk to you. I had a great conversation with my taxi driver on the way home tonight, trouble was my fare went up from the usual 6 lira to 10. Oh Poo Poo. Perhaps the traffic was very bad, or as the taxi drivers say:- “Istanbul, traffic, problem.”
Yes traffic is the same the world over, London, Paris, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur.
So early to bed, I am told that Sky TV wants to interview me tomorrow.