Monday, June 20, 2005

Shoes and airports

I was way ahead of the curve on this one.

random observations after returning from turkey

tomatoes just taste better in turkey. there is plenty of vegetarian food in turkey, but a lot of it is along the lines of cheese and bread, e.g. cheese on bread, cheese between two layers of bread, cheese in a deep-fried pastry with dill or parsley. menemem (tomatoes meet scrambled eggs) and just stir-friend veggies were a bit more exciting. there is also gelatinous ice cream. i kept stealing catherine's.

turkey is very pretty. there are lots of mountains and different kinds of trees and cute little farming towns.

the economy in turkey is just bizarre. the effects of the low cost of labor are very obvious. people lurk around bus stations trying to get a commission on a pension or bus. nobody can make change. bus attendants serve drinks and spray hand cleanser on people. sometimes people will tell you a bus doesn't go to your hotel or that your hotel is full or that a bus goes straight to a town that it doesn't go to, just to make you choose them. there are many, many bus lines and the bus stations feel like airports. the longest bus we took was overnight, and the heat was stuck on for 2 hours and a baby next to us was crying. the busses don't have bathrooms but stop every few hours at elaborate rest stops. shops are open very late in turkey. everybody wears suits.

in some ways, it's nice that turkey is less letigious that than the US. the standard tour of capaddocia is pretty physically involved.

in the spice market, there was a dessert called turkish viagra. the sign said, "you make love 5 times in the night."

the jfk airport has terrible food options in terminal 1. istanbul and milan airports don't seem to understand that some fliers are interested in shopping for non-luxury goods. flying out at 5:30 and waiting for a connection for 5 hours later in the trip sucks.

coke is moderately pricey in turkey. why is coke cheaper than water only in the US?

it turns out i do get sunburned. and have inopportune fevers.

touristy mosques are a pleasant departure from touristy churches.

european tourists wear skimpy bathing suits.

it's hard to find women in Turkey. the streets of towns were filled with men hawking wares or playing some sort of tile game in parlors with no women in sight. creepy.

"harem" really just means private. it's the name of the town, and of a part of a home. the way to say thank you is te-shi-kut ed-er-em. that's a lot of syllables. compare with danke, gracias, thanks, merci. odd. the g with the funny symbol on it is silent but makes the preceding vowel longer.

the turkish tea cups are very cute.

oh, and, lots of people thought i was turkish apparently since i have dark skin. confused, i guess, by my speaking english, they asked "where are you from?" if i said america, they were confused (they assume all americans are white?) and asked where i was really from. one guy wondered if i just had a bad sunburn.

pictures TK.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

In Turkey!

I,m at an Internet cafe ın Pammukaleö Turkeyö where the keyboard ıs a bıt screwyç Rather than tryıng to fıght ıtö I,ll just let you decıpher thıs cryptıc blog postç Thıs country ıs gorgeous * Iill have more to say about ıt later when Iim not payıng by the mınuteç Great mountaıns and beachesç And yummy foodç Lots of tomatoes and cucumbersç And cheeseç Also a lot of people tryıng to rıp us offö thoughç Makes you hope the dıe*hard lıbertarıans never have theır way ın Amerıcaç