Road nuggets

Somewhere between London and Philadelphia, the fever hit. i have spent the past week dealing with a mild case of the flu, while managing re-entry after being away from home for a month. Some random nuggets…

  • Thirty days. That is the longest i’ve ever been away from ‘home’ as an adult. This is mostly because of The Job, which i no longer have. Studley and i were very deliberate about pushing our comfort limits, and we’re still sorting out how we feel. Not seriously considering life as ex-pats, but some gentle experience should we ever choose that route.B1
  • i missed my pets. If i am going to do this on a fairly regular basis, i probably should not have pets. My live-in pet sitter had a pre-planned trip in the middle of that 30 days, so i scrambled to hire people, and find a friend, who could cover those 10 days. One of the most stressful aspects of being gone – and most expensive. i took to feeding treats to the street cats and dogs. cIMG_6363
  • Air travel is still pretty awesome – about 12,000 miles flown on this trip. How long would it have taken by ship? Who knows? Luggage lost on the way to Athens, but it found us a couple of days later. British Airways thought we hadn’t shown up for our flights TO Athens, so they canceled our return, but still managed to get us on a flight home. For all the barking about how shitty air travel is, it’s pretty amazing when you stand back a bit…izmir to istablnu
  • Turkey – Izmir is a lovely city – about the size of Chicago. The public transit cards include use of buses, ferries, trams and bike share. To the people who consider this a ‘third world country’? Rethink that shit… We were out and about alone, day and night, and i NEVER felt unsafe.10
  • Plumbing – in Turkey, there are bins in the toilet stalls for the collection of used paper. The plumbing systems and sanitary waste processing facilities do not handle toilet paper. Surprising how fast you get used to this. On the plus side? Most toilets in Izmir (public, private) have built in bidet functions. Surprising how fast you get used to this, too. Exploring options to upgrade my home toilet…IMG_6268
  • Language – We started using an app (Duolingo) to learn Turkish about two months before launch. The Girl emphasized the need to be fluent in numbers – enabling basic commerce. We thought we’d done ok. We were wrong. i DID have a really cool conversation with my son-in-laws 2 year old niece about colors and animals. i think this topic requires a separate post, as there are numerous examples of how things worked, and didn’t, and many lessons learned along the way!b13
  • Baggage – The Girl had a list of things she wanted us to bring, and we hauled another bag of Christmas gifts from The Girl’s Dad and his wife. We had to bring the big suitcases. Limited to 50 pounds each, we still had to deploy two roll aboard suitcases, along with our standard travel backpacks. Didn’t leave a lot of space for our personal belongings – so we packed REALLY light. Turns out, i can live for a month with just a few shirts, trousers/leggings, a dress, a fleece jacket, raincoat, two pairs of socks, one extra pair of shoes, and four pair of undercrackers. Excellent training for what lies ahead…55

13 thoughts on “Road nuggets

  1. We no longer have any pets for that very reason and I’m looking very carefully at the plants! My sister-in-law travels with only one carry on and for the life of me I still don’t know how the hell she does it! xox

    *I’m starting to think I’ve been in my comfort zone too long!*

    • It hurts to give up a permanent companion critter, but i’ve been working with a rescue organization, and can likely fill in some of the gap by being a foster mom, with a clearly limited term. when i know i’ll be in town for a few months, i can cover a critter! Plants? Had been planning to replace some dead houseplants – but you’re right! Investing in good artificial is going to be the new plan.

      i’m pretty adept at packing, and traveling light. The next trip, however, will test that further. A mid-sized backpack for 6+ weeks. Will have to really think about every ounce that goes in it.

      We are possibly pushing too hard on the edges of comfort, and probably should have put more time between the last venture and the next. But here we are, and away we go, and…. SHIT!

  2. It’s nice seeing a pic of your guys. You’re both so white! It becomes you.

    I’m old enough to be amazed by air travel. It wasn’t that long ago that such a thing wasn’t possible. It’s miraculous! Airports are still a drag, though. No great amazement there.

    I just read that some parts of the world think the west is barbaric because we only clean-up after using the bathroom with paper. It’s unthinkable (to them) that we don’t use water. We don’t!

    What’s that last pic? What is that? Sculpture?

    • i’m even whiter now, and shorter! the last remnants of the hair dye has been shaved off, and i’m liking it! i still have a closet full of decent wigs should i feel the need for hair. it’s been fun! Studley has already shaved off the beard. it was an experiment. He’s keeping the long hair (for now), but the beard got too white!

      i can honestly say that a water spritz is brilliant, and sanitary, and very civilized! when my son in law has visited, he’s put off by the lack of such amenities!

      Last shot? One of many large art installations along the sea side in Izmir. Most of our daily walks were on the far side of it, closer to the sea. We weren’t really sure what it was supposed to be from that angle. On a rainy day, we diverted closer inland to avail ourselves of a pub, and i finally saw the light! Pretty brilliant!

    • Very true in the bazaars – touts would first address us in English, then German. i was happy (once) to first be mistaken for being German, followed up with “Are you from Canada?” Seems not that many Americans visiting Turkey of late…

      We had more trouble with the small shops, and the weekly local market. Simple things – i couldn’t remember the word for “Half”, so instead of buying a “Half Kilo” of cheese, i figured out how to ask for “500 grams”. Frustrating, but we got pretty resourceful!

      • When Jim and I were in Barcelona, I essayed to buy our tickets at the art musem using my baby Spanish. The young woman addressed us first in French, then in German! When she found out we were Americans, she was sort of apologetic about not recognizing us as such, but it made me happy that we were not immediately identified as such. What I learned from this is that my Spanish accent is NOT english, but european!

    • Well we know where we’re going
      But we don’t know where we’ve been
      And we know what we’re knowing
      But we can’t say what we’ve seen
      And we’re not little children
      And we know what we want
      And the future is certain
      Give us time to work it out

  3. That first picture is a case study in f*cking awesome. Tell Studly white beards, the bottom half of mine’s gone white, looks like i’ve been drinking milk like a cat out of a saucer.

    • We were mostly fucking around – pretending to be scared toddlers walking into the big, scary market! But it was fun!

      The beard is already gone – for now… He just wanted to see what would happen if he quit shaving, and there it was. He’ll quit shaving again someday…

  4. I love Studley’s beard. It is very Jerry Garcia… Over the years I have learned that I can get along with a very bare minimum of stuff when I am travelling. I find it essential that I have one very nice dress; I have a silk number that I made from brocade Jim brought me from Bahrain. It folds down extremely small and is appropriate for any occasion. It turns out that one of the things that I find to be essential is the pair of purple Italian boots… They take up a little space but the cool factor is huge. Other than than, the Sperry topsiders work for almost everything, are great walking shoes but elegant too. They are loafer style with subtle sequin inserts on the sides. I am envious of your retired state. I am not sure I will ever retire…

    And we have sworn a mighty oath that when Ruby dies we are not getting another dog. It is way too limiting to travel to have pets that are that dependent. The cats seem to be fine with just getting fed every day and having their litter box scooped, but the dog pines when we are gone. At least my non-retirement is not limiting. My clients are so happy that I have not retired that they are happy to wait until I get home when I leave. The hands are starting to get tired, though.

    • We’re going to test that even further on the next trip! Going to be living out of a small backpack for 6 weeks – started out at 15 pounds, and i’m now down under 10! i won’t smell very good at the end of this trip, but i’m going to deeply embrace simple living!

      The little pup i’m fostering is going to her forever home in a couple of weeks – and spending time with a puppy has cured me of ever getting a puppy! There may come a day when i adopt another dog, but you are absolutely right – there’s no responsible way to have a dog and travel aggressively.

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