Broken-down Poetry: Turkish Delight


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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Turkish Delight

I’m writing this in Sulaymaniyah, but I’m going to pretend I’m writing this from Istanbul. I’ll post my first-day-in-Iraq blog when I get to it. Perhaps when the Internet consistently works. (Come on, Lappy.)


The flight to Greece was, above all other adjectives (long, tiring, boring, etc.) uncomfortable. I tried to get comfortable, but I couldn't. Even though the seat next to me was free, the 30-something Greek man in seat F to my seat D felt the need to use seat E's tray and seat for storage. Thanks, Mr. Greek Man.

The girl diagonal to me, who was sitting next to a girl with cropped hair -- not her boyfriend (simple mistake, one I corrected only four hours into the trip) -- was reading Willa Cather's My Antonia. Part of me wanted to strike a conversation with her about American literature. The other part of me just wanted to get comfortable.

We watched three movies on this flight: Leap Year, Crazy Heart and Bride Wars. (Lydia asks me: were the movies on your flight good? I rattled off this list. Obvious answer: no.)

The best part of the flight was either the brownie or the plane's approach to Greece. I love the hills in Greece. I wish I had more than two hours there.

Like I said, I loved Greece, but I didn't like having to walk from the bag drop ("You don't have your ticket, go to the Aegean desk!") to the Aegean desk ("You need to talk to Delta. Turn left.") to the Delta desk ("They couldn't just print it out for you?") to the bag drop again. But I got through, got to the gate, talked to my dear sister on Skype, then boarded the plane.

Why I love Greece: on a one-hour flight in the middle of the afternoon, they fed us. They fed us well:

  • Beef
  • Rice
  • Lentils
  • Gelato
  • Roll
  • Cheese
  • Coke

In Istanbul, I got my luggage, went through passport check, got my luggage, and looked for a ride to the hotel. I looked specifically for the hotel shuttle, but it turns out I need my reservation print-out to get a shuttle. At least, that's what the Hertz guy told me. Right before he hit on me.

Hertz Guy: How old are you?
Me: 20
Hertz Guy: You have boyfriend?
Me: Uh, no.
Hertz Guy: Next time you come to Istanbul, I will be your boyfriend. And your body guard! And your guide.

It was all very charming, not at all as creepy as it sounds.

He walked me to the edge of the parking lot to meet my driver, a Turk with a soul patch. He reminded me of your typical LA business type. He drove a sleek silver car; wore all black. I'm surprised he didn't have a Bluetooth.

Getting my hotel room was frustrating. They made me pay cash (in USD, not Lira, thank goodness. I only had 47 on me).

I got into my room. Played with all the lights. Tried to get a universal adapter to no avail. Took a long, long, long shower. Then crashed for three hours. I woke up, ate Ritz crackers for dinner and watched How I Met Your Mother on my iPod. I was feeling very American.

I read Jayber Crow until Lydia arrived at 1 a.m. Finally someone I know. Or, know through Facebook.

We talked for a little bit. Commented on the mirrors all around the room. (Hmm.) Then went to sleep for three hours.


The next day we ate well. The hotel had a free breakfast buffet with eggs, cheeses, pastries, rolls, fruit and sausages. And Turkish coffee. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful Turkish coffee. I have found true love. Sorry, Starbucks. Sorry, Hawaii. Sorry, Old Crown. (Yeah, I said it.)

I love Turkish coffee.

Lydia and I drove to the airport with the same Turk with the soul patch. We wandered around the airport, got some more coffee - yum! - then sampled every piece of Turkish delight available. I don't get it, Edmund Pevensie, it's not that good.

Then we waited in our gate, discovered our seats were next to each other, road a bus to the plane, got on the plane, ate more food, drank more coffee, got off the plane, had no problems through customs, got picked up by Awara and Jessica, then got settled in Iraq.

More to come, I promise.


1 comment:

Mom said...

You're so funny!