The past three weeks. Mostly spent in Turkey. A few days in Beijing, a few hours in Russia, a few minutes in heaven, a few seconds in hell. But mostly, just Turkey. There was bed-sharing with strange dudes I didn’t really know, and feet tickling. There was Valentine’s Day, when another man’s wife cooked dinner for me. There was so much tea consumption it wasn’t even funny. And Nutella. And salep. There were threats issued by one of my best friends in front of his class of college students of impaling me on a big spike. There were naked full body scrubdowns and clothed cheek pinching. There were ninety-three different vehicle rides, whether they were compliments of planes, trains, trams, subways, buses, taxis, vans, boats, or the BWYA human resources employee’s Suburban. There were inadvertent obscene gestures in restaurants, there were covert escapes in and out of a woman’s apartment, there were cow intestine sandwiches. There were no clean toilets after defecation because of the insanely low water level in every Turkish toilet bowl. Absolutely no exceptions. There were murdered American tourists and consulate guards in the cities I visited and during the times I visited. And, of course, there was a Beijing taxi driver who was visually and audibly pissed off when I told him where I wanted to go from the airport. The perfect conclusion to every story that ends in China.
All this…and more. “More” meaning boring stuff, like museums and climbs and
mosques and eating delicious cuisine and hanging out with incredible people.
Consequently, a flurry of Turkey trip posts are in order. Consider yourself