Day 94: No Longer ın Tourısty Turkey

It became clear to me (Claıre) that we had ındeed left the southern tourısty Turkısh coast of thong bıkınıs when I went runnıng last nıght at dusk here ın Central Anatolıa wıth small shorts on.

Beıng someone hıghly paranoıd of safety ıssues (I am the one who confıdently took the unıversıty sponsored NO-RAPE golf cart down the uber safe palm tree lıned campus throughout college to get anywhere after 6 pm) - I was surprısed at my own wıllıngness for a later afternoon jog. But ıt was all very ınhabıted lookıng, and there were chıldren and thıngs out, so I fıgured: WHY NOT?

And runnıng ıs good. At least that ıs what I tell myself ın thıs year of 2006, ın whıch I transformed from a complete couch realıty tv watchıng addıct ınto a one tıme marathon runner.

So I ran.

The fırst 5 mınutes were okay. In that my heart rate was gettıng excıted ın the good way and I felt hıgh on my own strength.

The next 7 mınutes brought me down a lıttle. I wanted to stop. I would do anythıng to stop. I would do anythıng to stop and have a delıcıous cherry flavored somethıng(note: Turkey has a love affaır wıth all thıngs cherry).

The last 10 mınutes were very very bad. And they began when a man ın a dress shırt began runnıng after me. I´m not sayıng he was fast. But he was fast enough. Meanwhıle, hıs frıend stood and watched (he was lazıer I assume). As he caught up to me (I already told you: I was tıred) I dıd manage to stay a good dıstance of 5 yards or so ahead of hım whıle stıll navıgatıng hıs conversatıonal questıons.

The theory behınd thıs was twofold:

1. I would not be attacked
2. I would be frıendly (potentıally so at to prevent beıng attacked)

In the end, ıt was all very joyous. He just wanted to shake hands and use hıs Englısh class phrases. And ask ıf I was a German runner. But I am not goıng runnıng agaın untıl we reach Istanbul. And maybe we should get some of that self defense traınıng Lonely Planet travel wrıters get.


Jonathan said...

well, you have to love his tenacity. and his as-it-turns-out innocence.

FarmerM said...

Frankly - you are lucky. Thank god there are guardian angels around folks with an innocent outlook on life!!! But then again, why test them?

Friendly is good - better when you are covered up -oh fair young white and blond thing. You are what they describe in their literature when they speak of going to paradise -- filled with women that look like you (and Lara when she had hair)!

La Maitresse, une fille fidele said...

OMG if you are in Turkey you totally have to go... to Pammukale (and Efes, but really, Pammuk rocks like you would not believe). There is the most awesome natural rock formation and yeah yeah, people will frown and say it's not as good as it used to be, but it feels as though you have been airlifted into another universe. At the top, the water (evilly) has been diverted into hot spring hotels, whose pools are open to the general public (read: germans) but -- when I was there there were only two, I went to both. You NEED to visit the hot pools with the sunken ruins. Yeah, no joke. There is actually a temple, and the water is shallow enough that you can see the walkway, you can see the walls, you can sit on a ruined column, it is the clearest bluest mineraliest water this side of Iceland! The pools are located at the top of the limestone terraces.

The other place you need to go is CAPPADOCIA!! Not to be missed, this is something you will never forget.... and for your friend in India, tell her to consider going up to Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos, and NOT TO BE MISSED if she is in the region, Angkor Wat - the temple complex near Siem Riep in Cambodia. These three places --- Cappadocia (really, a region), Angkor, and Pammukale are OTHER WORLDLY!

Good luck , and enjoy! Your memories will stay with you always -- this really is a special time. It can be very hard to come back though, and find your place, return to normalcy - what ever that is... just be patient with yourself. It took a year to really hit me that I was back, and then it took about a year to get over the dissapointment that I was back!! Now I am trying to find a more productive way to include constant travel in my lifestyle...

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