14 May 2008

Pictures, Alas and Alack!

No pictures, at least not yet. My camera doesn't like Rachel's computer (I will try later with Hannah's or Craig's). Oh well!

Last night Scripter had an exciting adventure with a pot dealer. Down by the Golden Horn, a fellow decided to latch onto him and try to lure him into a nightclub for "the magic puff puff." lol. Incidentally, Scripter and Jody have decided to adopt Joy and me (hurray, I always wanted older brothers), and I'm assured that they will not try any pot dealer escapades when we are around. They are both very chivalrous and protective, so I trust them on that.

A couple other people had a fun adventure with a hookah. They decided to go barhopping in downtown Istanbul and found a place with throw pillows and a hookah pipe, upon which Jordan blew impressive smoke rings. Bravo.

So! We got up for another gigantic yogurt and olives and bread and figs breakfast. Then we got on the bus for a long, long drive to Ankara. I sat next to Elise, one of the older ladies on the trip, and she was fun to talk to. I never knew that a city could have so many mosques; on the way out, there was one every other block at least. The minarets pierce the skyline like so many fangs, and the call to prayer resounds for a good five minutes each time; the imams take turns calling so that they don't conflict with one another, so it takes longer than normal!

The drive was long, yes, but fun. I managed to get some syllabus-writing done and also read a bit in my Flannery O'Connor book ("Wise Blood"), along with "A Year in Provence" by Peter Mayle. And we were alternately sleepy and rowdy, all up and down the bus. :o) Among the most amusing conversations was when Hannah and Jeremy made David explain what his ideal wife would be/look/act like. The list included "not too crazy about fashion," "not obese," "won't try to change me," "average emotions," and other impossible things. At that rate, David will never get married. Walter's opinion was "ha, watch when he falls in love and the list flies out the window!"

We stopped for lunch at a pretty cheap little place, where I got lentil soup and bread for 3 lira, or 2.50 American dollars. Not bad, eh? And even better were the free Turkish delight samples. Chocolate coconut. Good stuff. Next to the bathrooms were special prayer rooms, deceptively labeled with bathroom-esque men and women...Craig cheerfully walked into the men's prayer room rather than the bathroom. That made a good story.

After we got to Ankara, we toured the mausoleum of Ataturk. He's pretty much the god of Turkey; after WWI, he led them through their War for Independence from Greece, and he also modernized the country. Did you know that they didn't even have last names before his reforms?? Anyway, they have a HUGE monument and museum. They refer to anyone killed in the war as a "martyr." Turkey is a fairly secular nation, and it seems that a cult of patriotism has replaced Islam.

Ankara's pretty dirty: apart from the monument, we disovered a run-down park, an archaelogical dig, and lots and lots of seedy shops. Jody, Chris, Betsy, and I found a decent enough grocery store, however, where I bought a really cheap fizzy peach sort of drink. It's got a cute bottle; I'll be sure to bring it back.

Oh! One more thing. I saw the changing of the guard at the mausoleum and took pictures, and also the Turkish Air Force base. That's for you, Mark. :)




  1. Just finished reading your blog from beginning to end. Wow, all that good food makes me hungry just reading about it! Can't wait to see your pictures.

  2. hey you. :)

    i'm enjoying reading your blog. sounds like you're having a wonderful time already. please give betsy a hug from me.