I think my favorite experience would be the CS parties that used to happen in Istanbul between 2010-2012. Oh man, such a fun and crazy crowd, always discovering the coolest new bar (most are now closed permanently), getting awesome discounts, great music, dancing, all-nighters. These events drew such large crowds we’d often have the entire bar to ourselves, multiple floors, the works. We even hosted people from CSHQ at these events and in those days there was a lot of hope for the future of CS and the community.
Not sure if there’s anyone else here from the old Istanbul crew or who may have come to one of the “so-called weekly meetups” (actually insane parties of 200+ people), but those were definitely the days.
The community in Istanbul is still going really strong but there’s been so much external drama in Turkey and also a very distinct change in the quality of people (and gender imbalance) showing up at events that it’s hard to compare. Still great, but definitely a different vibe.
A different, totally unrelated and maybe irrelevant story is when I found a hitchhike partner via CS so that I could feel safer about hitchhiking across Europe, and he was actually way more scary than anyone who picked us up along the way. Ah yeah, good times. It actually hurt my chances of getting good rides because the dude was so intimidating and always talked about his ninja stars. I’ll never forget him.