Just Wondering




Why didn’t we see any dead cats on the roadways? The cats of Turkey are wily. Everywhere you go you see cats. They all look emaciated, bones sticking up around their collars. We watched them dodge the cars everywhere we walked. So, why don’t they get hit once in a while? Just wondering?

Why do they spell Turkey…Turkey? The official Turkish spelling is Turkiye and to my eye, that looks much better than the englishized version. It looks more exotic. And Turkiye is exotic.

Turkey is not a cheap date. We did not live high on the hog in this pork adverse country so why did it cost so much? To this question I have an answer. They do a lot of business in euros. The euro is strong against the dollar and much stronger against the Turkish lira so we found ourselves getting charged euros when we thought we were being quoted Turkish lira.

Does TV work here? Don’t know. Never turned a TV on the entire time in Turkey.

Will escrow close? I think it will. The buyers are in most days measuring for new carpets, getting estimates for interior painting. Sounds serious to us. Just wondering just the same.

OMG. Where will we live? Who knows? And where will we stay until we buy another house? Who knows? Rent? Who knows but probably.

And why do we charge and imprison Sandusky while all these priests run around scot free? The priests should be in jail too. I know about Sandusky because of computer, not the TV. Apparently it made headlines back home. What made headlines here was Syria downing a Turkish plane. Glad we’re flying west today.

And why do they have Turkish squat toilets in modern buildings? It seems archaic, dirty and unsanitary. Came across one yesterday in the Izmir airport. Let a woman in a head scarf go ahead of me while I waited for a modern toilet. And the modern toilets here are wonderful. They have a squirt feature in the back just below the rim that is plumbed for water. You can clean up with it…use the imagination if you have never encountered such a device. They are marvelous. May need one in the new house.

Turkey is a long way away. Almost 10 hours from NYC. We flew over Belgrade, top end of Germany, Copenhagen, Scotland, the Atlantic, Greenland, Canada and into the U.S. Asia Minor is not next door. Asia Minor has a certain ring to it, doesn’t it. But perhaps in this age of global smallness we shouldn’t have been shocked. We had hiked about 2 hours in Cappadocia to a high spot where we came across a Turkish rest stop. Yes, a man peddling fresh squeezed orange juice (you can get free squeezed orange juice everywhere and it is good, fresh, healthy, and cheap). He also had an assortment of Lay’s potato chips, post cards…really anything the hiker could possibly need. But we were not the only people there. A young couple and their guide arrived while we were enjoying OJ. She was in news. He was in banking. Now there’s a pair to draw to…they were both beautiful. He was from Austin and she from Colorado (in the news world apparently Colorado is a city). Oh, I kid her. They live in NYC. And he trades, are you ready for this….derivatives. “Well, there are two professions to draw to,”, I exclaimed. After each pronunciation following that, I gave out a hardy hoop. Really. This happened. He was a currency derivatives trader for a hedge fund…or in other words, a hocus pocus trader. OMG. We had a lively discussion and we took advantage of our age to tease them unmercifully. It as great fun. But what are the odds?

The Marina Hotel warned us not to bring food from other places into our room. If we did, they would charge us? What’s that all about? Didn’t ask. Didn’t care. Funny notion.

The Turkish people were warm and friendly. Most are secular. The women in black are mostly older so that may be a tradition that is dying. The head scarf women can be any age. Will that custom ever vanish?

One senses that the Turks really want to do the right thing in the tourism department…they just don’t know western ways in some regards…so they take a stab at it and hope for the best. They are completely approachable. The young people wear t-shirts that are written in english, they listen to western music, they eat McDonald (horrors of horrors). They have iPhones, blackberries. Never saw an ipad. Saw computers in the airports and in our internet cafe. Deodorant at times seemed missing in action. Quite a bit of body odor in confined places such as trams.

Riding to the Ataturk airport for our flight out, our driver of the van from the Holiday Inn ran a red light. Apparently that’s just a suggestion? The Rayman yelled at a man and his young son because he thought they were going to be run over. They crossed half way and paused in the middle of the street and laughed at him. The Rayman clearly didn’t know how to cross the street Turkish style. We joined in the laughter and waved at each other. Rayman’s kindness and concern was appreciated and acknowledged.

It’s raining with thunder and lightening in Brooklyn. We are exhausted. No one has made a move this a.m. to sight see. Yesterday was brutal. Watched the Black Swan (dark…people with no sense of humor are dangerous to others and themselves) and some movie about a birding watching competition with Steve Martin and Owen Wilson (sweet and silly). Rayman watched war movies. Didn’t sleep much on the flight. Took a 1/4 of an ambien and it didn’t work very good so awake I remained most of the smooth flight west.

Anyway, I have bored the dear reader long enough. Here’s some pictures.


This photo above is the mocha stop…Ray is converting currency on his iPhone before he drinks his drink. Having never ordered a mocha before, we were stunned and delighted with the drink. Notice we were the only people inside in the air conditioning. Everyone else sat outside. Their music was great…lots of Beatles, Radiohead. Fun.

At Ataturk airport after yet another flight.


Notice our driver straddling the line. He was not, I repeat, not changing lanes.

Snapped a picture of these living flower murals at the entrance of the airport. Very ingenious.

So, this picture shows you how they drive. Notice it’s willy nilly. And see that van turned sideway? He just decided to turn left, back up and heaven knows what? Each driver has his own set of rules. Really, folks, a passenger was in the front seat and he said, “I’ve spent the last couple of days riding with my eyes shuts.” He was happy to arrive unscathed.

And finally, there are two interpretations here. Man robbing bank or the bank robbing man. Nice of the bank to provide shade. What they need is to add a fan to their ATM. There’s another money making idea for some entrepreneur.

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