Friday, October 23, 2009

So I sit in a hotel lobby on Lake Van watching Trabzon play Kaysei along with all the other fans in this hotel who are all men. It's just exactly like home here--except that at the Davenport people don't jump up at dinner and spontaneously break into folk dances along the buffet table; the breakfast rooms in the hotels in Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene don't serve scrumptious white cheese and honey sprinkled with walnuts; and instead of the Canadian border, it's the Iraqi and the Irani border that are just down the road with the Armenian border flanking us at the moment.

One year ago when I was here, I was traveling with a Cuban couple from Florida. We would stumble around one set of ruins or another, or some utterly astounding feature of nature or another cave or mosque and get back on the bus and slap our jaws in utter astonishment. We gravitated to each other because while most on this tour developed a saturation for the art, the archeology, the architecture and the history and the occupation that is Turkey, we never did. We continued to be utterly gobsmacked at every turn and would reboard the bus, involuntarily slaw our jaw and whisper to each other "Did you ever?" I loved the Cubans and they loved me because I look like their daughter and because our passion was synced and simul-tuned. Our eyes would meet and widen two dozen times a day.

So they've become part of me as many people do and I think of them at least once an hour now. Because of course, at least once an hour, I have another Cuban moment.

Did you ever...?

On Assignment
Van, Turkey

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