Existing Member?

Around the World in 210 Days

Annie's Guest Blog

TURKEY | Wednesday, 9 January 2008 | Views [1616] | Comments [5]


Hello all! Guess where I am?? I’m HERE! I’m in the BLOG! Yes, I’ve made it to the other side, folks. I’m visiting Alex and Andrew in a small suburb of Oklahoma City, where we mostly watch “Nick at Nite,” sometimes read travel books, and once in a while write blog entries about our “world travels.”

So, lucky readers, guest appearance for you! I will be describing our week together in “Turkey.” To begin my journey, I packed up… Every. Single. One. Of Alex’s. Demands. Would you like a sample of what was in my many, many suitcases? The treats included: a box containing 30 full-size bars of assorted Hershey’s bars, two large bags of Hershey’s miniatures, a large book of ye olde English literature (“Of Human Bondage”), a book of crossword puzzles, two hooded sweatshirts, a bunch  of Starbucks bottled drinks, 12 cans of Dr. Pepper, one large box of Nerds, one bag Starburst, one bag Skittles, two boxes Reese’s Pieces cereal, one box Honey Bunches of Oats, two board games (“Debate This!” and “Scrabble Scramble”), three boxes Boca burgers, 10 Peanut Butter Cliff Bars, two bags chocolate-covered pretzel Flips, three boxes fakey bacon (soy), a pair of shoes, a large bottle of sodium naproxen, four sticks of deodorant (definitely needed by your two favorite travelers), two jars of crunchy peanut butter, and popcorn ball ingredients (two bags of marshmallows and two boxes of jello powder), and… all right, all right, I relieve you of the duty of continuing to read this list, but please picture me like this from D.C. to Frankfurt to Istanbul: one five-foot redhead with two bags each over their fifty-pound weight limit, one backpack stuffed full, and one carry-on suitcase. I was what the locals call “a smyall, stryange pock muyle.” Silver lining: Alex and Andrew said that, in return for my beast-of-burden duties, I get the only souvenir now! Too bad, Spankster! Mine!

So, once the bags were unloaded, we began our adventures with a real, live, medieval castle. It was way scary because there were these high stone steps leading up to these high towers and the high steps had no barriers on the side, so you could just fall right over, ten stories down. Scary! And one of the towers had a big hole in the middle that led all the way to the ground, which was so far and dark below that you couldn't even see the bottom. It had plants and vines growing in it, and it looked so oh-super threatening. Alex and I were too scared to stand next to it, because you get a sick feeling, like you may lose your balance and fall in and ker-splat! So I laid down, with my feet away from it, and peeked my eyes over the edge. Andrew meanwhile stood on his hands to get his eyes closer to the hole and then did cartwheels around it. Later, when we were back home, Alex and I just had to think about looking into it to get that sick feeling again. Fun! The castle overlooked a big body of water, for which I have no name, so we’ll refer to it as “Big Turkish Water.”

Next, we went to some outdoor markets, where they sell all kinds of fantastic crap. Alex and Andrew like to pretend they bargain. Like, I wanted to buy 8 of these shishes (shish kebab skewers), which the guy said cost $2 each. Alex whispers conspiratorially to Andrew, “I think we can talk them down to $15.” They managed to swindle the Turkish into this deal, the sale was made, and, as we walked out, one salesman whispered conspiratorially to another, “Isn’t it cute when Americans try to haggle?” Earlier, a rug salesman tried to sell me a tiny Turkish carpet for $75. (Alex said I should not have boasted that I am “a way rich American lawyer looking to buy up everything I see in Turkey for any outrageous price you have the audacity to charge me...”) He told me “blue is sexeee color” and “pink is sexeee color” and “green is nice.” I passed on green. Actually, I passed on the whole deal. He said, all offended, “How much you want to pay? You want meshinmed for $20?” I was excited and was like, “What’s meshinmed?” “You know – meshin mayed. With a ma-sheen.” “Oh! Machine made?” I realized then they were not really offering me a $20 carpet, and I left. Outside the store, Alex and Andrew were happily chatting away with a very bad salesman (as he seemed to not actually be selling anything) who happened to be very knowledgeable about American movies. He knew every Tom Hanks movie, and claimed that “Apocolypse Now” cost $400 billion to make.

But, beyond silly salesmen, people are really nice here. When we go running, they all look at us curiously, but nicely. And guess what? They have free, outdoor gyms along the running trails! It's things like ellipticals, assisted weight machines, dip bars, inclined sit-up benches, etc., made of metal, like really sturdy, so people can just use them along the way. No wonder we’re fatsos in America! Nobody gives us free gyms!

I've learned a freaking ton of Turkish. I’m practically fluent, thanks to Alex and Andrew. I can say "excuse me" (pardon), "thank you" (tayshekular), "how much?" (ne kedar?), and count 1-10. I’ve also learned to say “very hot” (chok sijac), in order that I may properly describe the young Turkish men who serve the cute little glasses of tea on the ferries. All other words sound like "molekular" (like English molecular, but with a Turkish accent), so I can't remember any of them. Whenever a Turk says something you don’t understand, you just smile broadly, raise your pointer finger in the classic “a-ha” gesture, and exclaim, “Mo-LEK-ular!” as you rise to tippie toes in excitement. Then you hustle away. Job complete.

You know what’s amazing? I thought that, although people are the same everywhere (which is why you shouldn’t bother to travel), they don’t live the same. Like, it seemed only logical to assume that people are miserable and sad and poor everywhere but the U.S., Canada, Western Europe, and perhaps Japan. But, judging by Turkey, I’ve been lied to! (By “lied to,” I mean didn’t care to know anything.) It’s just like America (if we said “Mo-LEK-ular!” a whole bunch, or, more exactly, if the mentally slowish foreign visitors did, I guess). They’re all, you know, like, riding around in their cars, honking at everyone, on their way to the video rental store, after which they’ll pick up their kids from their private schools, and throughout the drive they’re thinking thoughts like how glad they are that their kids aren’t old enough to dress like the teenagers on the street that they’re passing by who are wearing striped stockings and Doc Marten lace-up boots and carrying satchels with patches screaming logos from Turkish rock bands and getting “REBELLION” stamped on their foreheads to indicate that they have rebelled in the manner appropriate for all teenagers worldwide (by wearing the items described supra).

Well, it’s 2:30 a.m. and my sad flight home from Okla – er, “Istanbul” leaves tomorrow morning. So… “Mo-LEK-ular!”

Tags: Friends



Greatest post ever!!!!!!!!!!!!
Finally some hard core reporting on Doc Marten boots in Istanbul! It is something I have always wondered about but I figured the CIA suppresses that kind of inside info.

I think you should march right in to that high powered lawyer office and tell them that you are quitting to do travel reporting. Tell them that you will need to keep getting the checks but you will no longer show up for lawyer duties.
If they give you any trouble go all Molekular on them.

I hear the stinky feet are going to India tonight so if you need another trip... go see them and post another great post.
In fact.
You should just post stuff everyday.

  Richard Jan 10, 2008 4:01 AM


Why thank you, King of Richards!! Alex and Andrew have requested that I post here to let you all know that they arrived safely in India. It's 3:00 a.m., or something like that, there so they could only make one quick call before beddie-bye. I said, "Yay! You love me best!" Alex said, "Yeah, that... or... you were the only one dumb enough to take a collect call from India." I chose to believe the former. Mo-LEK-ular!

  Annie Jan 11, 2008 9:15 AM


Arrival at 3 am in India?
What could go wrong with that kind of planning?

I bet they are sitting around drinking fermented beverages, eating Naan and laughing about how much the call co$t you.

At any rate, thanks Annie for being the post-ess with the mostest.
At least you have remained on the interwebs even though Evil Twin Daniel, Dallas, Spanky, Lefty and Smart Richard have given up on Andrewalex and gone on with their young lives.

  Richard Jan 11, 2008 11:10 AM


We just got an email from Andrew/Alex that said...
"we are alive in Jaipur"
That was the entire total message.

I don't know why they go on and on like that with all that tedious detail but whatayagonna do? Andrew always was the talkative one.

Jaipur is known as the Pink City.
(insert joke here)

  Rrrricardo Jan 12, 2008 7:51 AM


I am fine with loosing my souvenir but can I atleast have a box of cereal. I like fruty pebbels and cap n crunch, with the crunch berries.

  spanky Jan 15, 2008 5:44 PM

Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.



Travel Answers about Turkey

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.