I’m not sure how I actually got on the plane back to Chicago. It’s a blur. I guess I was traumatized as I have to think really hard about the night before and the morning of my departure from Istanbul. I didn’t want to come back. Ever. Unfortunately, I had to be the responsible adult (this is the part I hate about being a grown up) and return home. Here is what happened…
Carla had to say goodbye to her friend, Gabriel, by meeting him at the restaurant/hotel that he manages. The three of us were going to have dinner but after about 15 minutes, Carla realized that she HAD to go to pack for her flight back to the Philippines, not realizing how little time she had left to prepare for an international flight. We both got extremely sad, and I handed her a gift, a book. It was Orhan Pamuk’s MY NAME IS RED, which we both wanted to read to keep our Turkey dreams alive when we returned home. She got very emotional (as did I), and because her time was running out, we hugged good bye and she quickly left the restaurant. There was no time to reflect at that moment. I was then left with Gabriel.
After having sea bass and a glass of wine, Gabriel, just like every man in Turkey, was hitting on me. Perhaps it was the fresh pomegranate and pistachio Turkish delight that I just offered him that I got at the Spice Bazaar earlier. Strange, I thought, that he has never had this flavor of Turkish delight, being a native there. Anyway, Gabriel, after indulging in a few more slices declared to me, “Now, I’m ready for the Harem!” Whoa. Dude. Stop it right there. I had no reply as that was my way of rejecting him. When I emailed Carla about this upon my return, she even said, “What’s with these Turkish men?” I don’t know. They come on way too strong for my taste (again, except for the Turkish doctor). As you can guess, saying good bye to him was very easy.
When I returned to my hotel, I heard several knocks on my door after a few minutes upon entering. It was past 11:00 pm, and I thought someone was knocking on my door by mistake. It turned out to be the bellboy (WTF!) who asked if he could take my bags down in the morning when I check out. I’m not certain if that is all he wanted, honestly. To all the Turkish men out there who read this, please enlighten me as to why the men in Turkey are so aggressive towards women. Is it only toward foreign women???
When I got up on May 16th, I had my last breakfast in Turkey. I’m sure it was nice but I don’t remember. Thank goodness a guy drove me to the airport for if it was up to me, I wouldn’t have gone. My time at the airport was a blur except for the memory of buying two CD’s of which I have yet to open. On the flight back I missed the Turkish doctor. This time I was seated next to a Ukranian woman who snored like a fat truck driver from hell. I was blessed, though, because at the end of the flight I was asked by her to help her fill out the customs forms…for her, her husband, her daughter, her friend, her friend’s husband, and their child. No lie. I love helping people, especially in need, so I stepped off that plane feeling fantastic, ready for my next big travel adventure.
I took this picture when I got lost.
Little did I know it had so much meaning
when I developed the film back home.
The picture contains rich symbols that are
dear to my heart: stars (9 total), a heart,
wine glass, musical clefs, globe, travel agency,
Noah’s Ark, and, the Blue Mosque.