Between June 1968 and October 1971 I took 23 LSD trips. I kept a record of each one of them - in my pilots logbook. Sadly, I lost the book in the chaos of the time along with my grey felt hat, a superb long coat that belonged to my step-grandfather, and some great waistcoats that I have been pining for ever since.
Anyway this is the story of Trip no. 22.
I was in Istanbul with my girlfriend, Jan. We had made our way there overland and we had a vague plan to just keep going east and see what happened. I never felt that comfortable in Istanbul. It was the first time that we had come across a culture totally different to our own. As we went eastwards each country sort of prepared us a little more for what was coming next, but Istanbul was a big step up from Bulgaria (then a communist state with machine gun guards on the border posts - a rare thing in those days). We were staying on the roof of a hotel with a bunch of other hippies from here there and everywhere, and to be honest just going out on the street was quite an adventure. I remember Jan getting loads of hassle from blokes pinching her arse and stuff - basically hippy chics just drove some of those guys wild.
Anyway, we were up on the roof, it was dark and we still had to go out and get something to eat. All of sudden I started to feel really trippy. I was a bit scared because I had vowed never to touch acid again as it had been taking me a bit close to the edge. I kind of wondered whether maybe the dope I was smoking was a bit too strong but then I realised what had happened. As I'd made up my last smoke I'd literally licked out my dope tin and obviously in there were some crumbs from my last acid tab. Towards the end of 1971 some of the acid was lethally strong and that's what had got to me.
Before long I was flying. I was looking down across Istanbul and it was like a bloody firework display. And every now and then the chanting from the mosques would kick in which completely sent me off on one. I kind of acted tough in those days so when Jan said, 'let's go get something to eat', I just said 'OK', and off we went. I only got about 100 yards out of the hotel before I decided I couldn't handle it at all - it was like walking through one of those paintings where everybody is just weird. I went back upstairs and hid away in my sleeping bag for several hours until the acid subsided.
After the trip there is always (I'm sure it's not 'always',') a beautiful mellow period as your mind readjusts to normal mode and you kind of feel really clean inside. I remember watching the sunrise across the Bosphorous. Cool, I enjoyed most of being a hippy.
6 days ago