Part 2
Day 9; 5th July 2013
This is my daily journal of a trip of 5000km by car with my Turkish friend Semih Çağlar, sometimes accompanied with his wife Gülat.
A good friend [TD] gave me a small tablet thing to record bits of "stuff" that she titled Journies with Jay
and on the second page "ABSORB the beginning"
So the boxes are what I wrote in her 'book' and if necessary I will explain further in italics.
At university because housekeeper is cleaning

At university because housekeeper is cleaning

Reading more about Göbekli and how ideas about human activity, the interpretations, are intertwined with anthropological historical ideas. As though we have an insistence on a progression always a systematic process continual building up of humanity on what has com before.
I have no doubts about evolution but I think that humans are not evolving intellectually in the same way.
If survival is uppermost in evolutions dynamic (and it may be) then how to explain that wars (for example) do not actually advance anything- instead are examples of humanity's repetition and inability to learn and resolve our common interests into common good?
New sounds do not make new music if the new sounds are used in old ways. New sounds or tools that make them are instruments and production does not mean an advance. If advancement merely means losing needs for labor, it seems that obesity must be evolutions goal ~ and though that seems absurd ~ a legion of very fat Americans or fat first world citizens is evidence for this absurdity.
Dictators whether politicians, generals, or priests all declare freedom while making sure that our 'freedom' is circumscribed by powers given or taken by them, their privileges, their position and what they always declare as their responsibilities to us.

I hope it is clear that I am writing about Obama (Snowden also has happened while I'm here), Egypt, Israel, Assad, Iran and most of all Erdoğan.
Last night Gülat and I were talking about some of this and she shook her head and said she was worried that it will (it being all the the Middle East and maybe all the world) lead to war everywhere.
When I mention that Turkey is the same age as USA was when we had a Civil War she thinks and again just shakes her head.

With all the construction there is also construction of new little mosques (Camii). They are very small and the only time I see men going towards them to pray was for early evening prayer, inside the older part of Maraş. As we drove by I saw young men running to the mosque and older men already washed but not yet inside greeting each other. This is still a mostly Muslim country.

Everywhere and anywhere at anytime you can see 2-6 men sitting or squatting or laying in bits of shade, talking, mostly looking outwards. Behind a car in maybe a square meter of shade there were 3 men squatting in it or trying to be in it and drinking tea. In the meridian of a boulevard where there are a few trees 2 men lay talking. The women? with children at markets or in parks but mostly they commune inside or under way. It is only the visits where women really come to the fore.
But outside and shade that is man's world.
In this country which they think of as developing of second or even third world i think is mostly like USA but a bit more agrarian. There is a surplus of labor and so everywhere there are extra people employed ( as mentioned) but with Kurds, Syrians, and farmers all coming into urban areas and willing to work you don't need technical advances to get things done. It seems to me that we (USA) could build our highways, fix our bridges, construct all these new apartments just as well without as many machines and use the labor force that exists.
Yikes philosophical blather!

From; Göbekli tepe; a stone age sanctuary in South-Eastern Anatolia by Klaus Schmidt; page 179 {this book was computer translated from German I have copied it as it is on the page}
Observation, description, understanding – these are the intellectual steps we usually make each time when dealing with a pictorial representation. And if we are confronted with a painting or a sculpture coming from our own cultural sphere, usually this happens without major difficulties. For example, imagine a crucifixion group in a church: You look at the individual elements, look at the crucifixus showing a lamenting woman on one side and a disheartened man on the other, in your mind you make a description of what you are seeing, and you understand that you are watching Jesus, St. Mary and St. John on Mount Golgotha and the scene when the Redeemer is dying. This process of understanding is possible because – no matter how abstract and individually made the image may be – you are moving within a familiar iconographic sphere and know about the cultural context. You are familiar with it due to the tradition of an event which happened some millennia ago. …. Things become more difficult when dealing with Egyptian works of art and those from the Near Eastern civilizations. But as long as we are moving with a sphere we are accustomed to, ….we will find it relatively easy to deal with possible interpretations....
However, given the world of images we have to deal with at Göbekli Tepe and the chronologically and geographically neighbouring places, we are lacking these hermeneutic aids. First of all these images are alien to us, and our traditional ways of interpreting them do not work – at least by far not in the matter of course way we are used to. Thus, we must be ready to stay much longer at the level of observation and description – already the latter not being all too easy... before we may attempt to reach a level of understanding. When we are making this attempt, it comes with much insecurity. Many ways may be misleading, and always one must try to include as much material as step by step recognize repeating elements....but also to discover the situative context of the ..conditions .. and to include them into our understanding. We must accept, clear and simple answers can hardly be expected.

This reminded me today how I feel I should approach everything, experienced here in Turkey. As at the moment in Semih's university office, he, Gülat and Semih's favorite student are discussing something and voices are raised but it is probable that this is just excitement and not an argument. But I do not know, I am not able to follow the discussion and in fact in a world where I catch 2 to 5 words of a thousand word conversation I must admit I know nothing~ not to abandon responsibility but to be responsible to some kind of observable truth.
[for once I am skipping an entire section about Parallel stories; the short of it is that I managed to read over 200 pages then skipped ahead to see if anything changed and it didn't so I stopped reading it and the day I left the country tossed it in the garbage- you can thank me later]
I spent time making a clean copy of the 4th of July piece dedicated to Semih. I was thinking how yesterday Semih told me he had learned something from me ~ about being simple ~ living simply ~ which I don't completely recognize. Later Gülat and I are sitting with çay after dinner and I tell her how I will just dump the linen shirts in the sink on our travels and she laughed and said "you live so simple you are 'calendar' (bohemian) which she called me the very first time we met so many years ago. They have been here and stayed in my little cottage for 2 weeks 3 years ago so I guess they know what they are talking about.
While trying to make a clean copy and thinking about how detailed and complex just making it was I thought perhaps this is where I use up my non-simple. I don't have extra so most everything else must be simple.

Dozing think/dream after traveling all through Turkey should seek companion to travel all through Washington

We are all mothers of ourselves

These are koans of a Journey

Day 10; Saturday 6 July 2013

Saturday The big trip begins. Last night everyone (?) packed or got most of it done. Much of the day before was spent at their university ~ final exams* ~ posting results, clearing official emails. Then home (we swam in the AM) Nap then dinner of stuffed green peppers and other bits of leftovers. Tried to watch some movie about Theseus (probably Spanish or Greek production) dubbed as usual so I'm not sure where it came from. It didn't matter what was said because downstairs or up someone was drilling in the concrete walls and it drowned out the TV and all thoughts ~ this was from 8:30PM on!!! Semih and Gülat both tried to quell the action but after drilling ...hammering.
At 10 we went out for sweets. Sweets in Maraş (actually in other cities too) there are large restaurants devoted to 'dessert" dondurma the Maraş ice cream that doesn't melt in heat (well not fast) due to some kind of orchid root, is famous throughout Turkey (and other places in Europe too) though most people claim that if you don't eat it in Maraş it's not really the same/real thing. Since I cannot eat this .... the pastry case is filled with delicacies. Semih is trying to avoid Diabetes (fear of needles so he will do anything to avoid having to inject insulin) so he had water and Gülat and I went to the display counter. A round cake looking cookie with a sliver of almond on the top, a square of shredded wheat with a pistachio on the top, a barrel shaped thing ~ dark green, a stick of pastry layers, a square that looked like a finger was punched in the middle sprinkled with ground pistachio. Most of these were soaked in honey. The little cookie thing was a coarse flour, the eating of which was nearly marzipan. The barrel was almost completely ground pistachio (fıstık) and honey dense, thick and though only 3cm long and 2cm in diameter I cut it into 6 pieces to eat. The pastry stick appeared to have ground walnuts in the middle Gülat said it was very fresh, for me it was all by itself even in this context like a boulder-sized sugar rush. The shredded wheat square was 2nd least sweet after the barrel but even so the whole square was drenched in honey.

Turkey has adulterated honey but their definition (Semih's) of adulterated is that in late autumn some beekeepers put out sugar water to feed the bees ~ ~ (ours do this to help a hive survive). The honey in this place is probably 'real' honey.

I expected to have such a headache or need to run very fast or have a major crash. Nope, none of the above.

I think I am forgetting a couple of the pastries or maybe not as even if we had fewer I still would have been overwhelmed.

Coffee water is in a pot that works by induction, this is the only time that we drink tap water ~ very minerally I think because the pot is lined with calcium looking debris, it heats up in seconds for our morning nescafe.
Stove and oven in Maraş is bottled gas and most liquid dishes are made on the stovetop burners. The köfte, the piliç, the suçuk etc are all cooked on the panini-like thing (electric). But the efficiency of these tools keep the heat in the kitchen to a minimum.

One of the most delightful things about Semih and Gülat's relationship (and RnA's) is the laughter; many, many times a day there is some joke or shared moment, a lightness to their relationship. I envy it not because I have an idea of what is being said (mostly I don't) but to comfortable and have a shared pleasure in living with each other s lovely to observe. They have been married 30 years and I know that there were hard times in the past but it seems they have reached a point of equilibrium.

This morning, my last in Maraş, the temperature is friendly,on the balcony there is some wind. When I began to write there wasn't much traffic and the air was filled with birds chirping. I have heard mourning doves and in Urfa there was a dovecote at the restaurant with a pigeon looking pigeon and a dirty white looking dove and on the ground below the cote were two rose feathered birds (still doves I think) with crowns of feathers and huge ruffs of feathers at their feet. The 'male' walked around a bit mostly keeping an eye on me, I had the thought that it could be an animated duster for hardwood floors.

Mostly here now it's very small birds and not songs just chirps. At different times of the day you see swallows swooping down on the pool, either catching dragonflies (called helicopters) or for a sip of water. The dragonflies are catching a black fly that bites (me) it's like watching a cartoon where a small thing is caught by a larger thing only to be caught by a larger thing etc...
Just drive, North

We left on Semih time, he claims it was only ½ hour later, maybe so, perhaps I misunderstood, what time were going to leave. It's clearer everyday how easy and much I misunderstand.
We are going to Çankırı to stay in a University Housing, it is probably 8 hours away but that's Jay time not Semih's he says 6 hours~

We cross the lower (altı) Taurus mountains, leave a type of Mediterranean climate and into the Anadolu Plains. At the pass we stop at Sarız for a break, where Semih reminds me we came on the first trip. It is the place where after 2½ weeks I finally learned the correct word for the men's room. Though this was supposed to be a çay stop, there appeared salata, and some pide (which I think did not agree with me) as Semih and Gülat had been advising the owner about growing his own food. {Çengiz (Genghis like Khan) own with his brother this rest stop and they have sheep and fruit trees and a garden even though this is a fairly high pass} ~ with some pride he has his son go and pick a small bag of decidedly unripe apricots (perhaps the second or 3rd thing that did not agree with me).

We drive on and it is my turn to drive. It is clear that Semih does not really like being the passenger and is very cautioning to me about my driving. Generally I am to go 10-20Kph slower than he does. It's probably not so much a case of 'do what I say not what I do' as it is his car and I do not need to be pulled over by the Polis or Jandarma.

The landscape is deeply rolling hills, Erciyes an extinct volcano has snow! Unlike the first trip and rises like Rainier above the countryside more like a black demon than a god or goddess.

In places you can see the layers of rock pushed in different directions and the soil overall is tan. Unlike where we were Maraş/Urfa/Antep where the soil was red or brown or silt black, rich soil and the farmers could plant 2 or more plantings. Here one is all, partly due to the weather ~ snow wet and cold winters much like our mid-west, which this landscape resembles.
Japanese garden~the draw not museum/ video game

After my 2½ hours of driving we are looking at maps and are coming to Kaman. I remembered that Semih showed me something about a höyük dug by a Japanese team. The website was very impressive and I was interested because the team had cut into the höyük Hill usually man made; an archaeological site from the side like a cake so they would have an idea of how many levels and what might be a more complete history of the site.

The museum

The actual höyük

We turned off and sought out the museum. Coming upon the höyük you can see the slice but the site is off-limits and the museum which is covered in dirt is in a Japanese Garden setting, ponds with carp, wooden bridges, a dry stream bed, specially set stone pathways. During our visit it is clear that Turkish people visit here (it is free) more for the green and lovely garden than for the museum. Which was less impressive primarily because there aren't many artifacts and the older levels Hittite and Paleo/Neolithic haven't been excavated very much yet. It is well laid out well translated, a little confusing in that the photos are often right to left and top to bottom. At first I thought it was interesting because where we entered was the most recent eras and the display cases and info go older as we went along which would be as it is when you begin to dig but I think it's likely we started at the wrong end. This is also clearly an educational museum and there are boxes of shards to touch and a track ball video that you can play with that takes you through a representation of what is believed to be the site. Most of the people here looked briefly at the displays, touched the shards but played with the video the longest....there are many photos of the grounds of this places' garden you can contact me if you want to see more and I will upload them, However if you've visited our arboretum Japanese Garden the major difference is size the Kaman garden is more open more 'lawn' but the elements are basically the same down to the kinds of carp

2 Hours from our destination and Semih is driving, but the traffic and roads are not cooperating not to mention his GPS, which I can never see clearly enough to know what's on it, confuses and my map, though the most recent I could get is out of date in detail. So we are tense, tired now my sciatica hip and leg are agonizing. I couldn't take mid-day meds and I'm struggling to find a way to sit that doesn't hurt.

Çankırı ~ Chankuhruh- dug up like Konya

Çankırı, mines salt and for whatever reason the air is harder to breathe. It is also being dug up so wherever we want to go is often blocked, which makes finding the university housing throughout Turkey the government/university system has housing for visiting and traveling professors, they are often rudimentary but sufficient places at a subsidized cost a bit difficult. Everyone was helpful with directions but not all seem to actually know how to get there from here.
We do find the place, the rooms are ok. The oddest thing to me {continually on this trip} is there is no desk! A place at a university where there is no desk, a TV, an empty fridge, a complete bathroom but no.....
ok food chicken tasty, competing calls to prayer
this was dinner after we arrived and the calls to prayer will be important~ soon

Day 11 Sunday 6th July

Sunday room facing west?
first morning blanket

Semih knocks is it time for çay, pigeons cooing on adjacent roof, a crow-like bird (wrong colors but basically it's a crow) is making a clicking complaint unlike our crow clicks more ratchet-like, the pigeons are ignoring it.
Semih says dinner did not agree with him either,
Was it the chicken, salata, apricots unripe or pide?
I think pide
empty stomach Semih's too all calm, relief

I say evet (yes) to çay and we go for simit, a sesame coated circle of bread that I think of as a Turkish Bagel but is neither sweet (the sesame seeds are sweetish) and is baked not boiled. Simit Sarayi is a chain "like MacDonald's" Semih says and therefore the quality is uniform but my simit is burned on the the bottom. We drove here from the university house and getting out of the care an older woman dressed in more traditional clothes, and many layers, stand nearby mumbling with her hand out. I shake my head Semih ignores her and she keeps mumbling. Later she come to the restaurant and after a bit the 'waiter' brings her a simit and çay I am hoping this is an act of charity or perhaps just like with Metro we have our "regulars' they are incapable of earning money and are deserving of easy acts of charity [i.e. we let them ride the bus for free].
Semih and I look over what little info I found about Kastamonu, our next stop, not too far away maybe 150 Km where the info I have says textile arts, 812 different foodstuffs (made or grown and in the province not only in the city) and 2 famous parts.
Given how out of shape they both are, it may (also after 5 months of not smoking Semih has started smoking again)[Gülat quit 2 days ago] seem odd and at times appears odd that they would be so interested in mountainous Parks. However the parks are beautiful, unlike the Aegean parks near Maraş, S & G are not climbers...but they are interested in plants. Gülat in particular looks for indigenous plants that may have commercial value. She takes photos (many many many photos) of plants as we go. This is why I have other photos of Kaman ~ she was the camerawoman.

When she wakes we go back for more çay/coffee/breakfast then off to a salt mine that may have sculptures or something and Semih thinks it has been in use perhaps back to Hittite era.
"Because it is old like you" then we have a discussion of 'childish or child-like (i.e. me)
Concrete cutters all sound the same
in any country

no safety for workers

music to listen to or to play yourself
Written while waiting for Tea
a pdf version

It may be Sunday but men are working, there is hammering in the distance and roosters crowing between the chirping of the little birds, a motorcade rushes by but at the moment the city still seems asleep.

On our way here there were a few larger predator birds in the sky, one in particular ~ the slight feathers black with yellow nearer the wing bones, tail black with yellow then whiter near the anus and the body was yellow bellied, head black, looked ancient, artistically native American or Aztec.

We passed a car an Idal-samara which reminded me that returning from day 3's trip we passed a red pickup/stationwagon~like car the back labeled Desoto.I tried to find out something about this car and I probably misread the label, there is a Russian made car Lada that had a version called samara long not produced that is probably what I saw, on the other hand the Desoto was a Desoto

Semih knows of a famous salt mine he saw in Poland and thinks that the salt mine here in Çankırı will be the same. So after Gülat's breakfast we load the car and drive off to the the 'tuz'(salt) mine nearby. As usual everyone we ask has ideas to help and as usual we need at least 4 different askings before we actually know how to get to the place.
Miles of rough gravel 1 lane road
Why is anything of interest always so far off beaten track and
How did ancient people find this place?

It was discovered or at least used, by the Hittites and is way the heck outside of Çankırı on a 1 lane road up in the mountains.

As we get closer there are ravines with white residue in them so it is clear how the Hittites knew salt was in the area.

But what drives or drove humans to this site?!

1]Forests; covered the area, imagine a kind of Lewis & Clark environment- nothing but trails made by animals, no rivers or even streams to use as pathways, even in those ravines that I saw could not be seen with their salt deposits, perhaps animal trails would lead to them but it's way up high and way below treeline. The major real rivers from the Ilgaz Mountains are far below, so they would only provide a manner of transport with 20-30K and far below here.

2]Salt was an important product of anytime but with such a low population in the countryside means discovery was mostly by accident and then transport would have been prohibitively expensive, in terms of labor.

Imagine a human in ancient times (very ancient) s/he is a wanderer and just nomads around, follows game where-ever it goes, discovers rocks of salt in a remote area.

First; they need to pack or create something that makes it possible to carry some of it to a village, find a village, and if they know of this village carry a quantity to it and trade it for ~ what? Someone like this would have few needs so I try again.....

The (this nomad) only takes a few salt stones for themself. When they meet someone else they share the information, but again without clear landmarks does the next person actually find the place? So it goes until someone or ones do follow a more used path and know of a village and begins a trade, a salt business. Then the Hittites come and industrialize this trade. Even so, the remoteness, the forest, the labor and chances of all this coming together are mind boggling.

Airplane (a wreck) in the middle of no airport, no explain

We get to the entrance and a caretaker opens the gate and gets in our car to take us to the mine. He does not tells us (I think) that the mine is closed so we stand looking into a tunnel dark damp wind coming from it. Barred & locked gate so much effort to get here and we don't get to see it. We are told that tour buses drive in and turn around in it. That in the depths there is a lake and that daily 20,000 tons of salt are removed from it. He gives us some raw salt with clay and minerals in it. Before we leave he gives us 3 great bit white pure chunks telling us to write our names on a piece and put it on the TV and it will adsorb the radiation (why the name?- unexplained). I didn't know if I could manage to bring it home but......

in my kitchen

So once again another thing another interest slightly thwarted.
And off to Kastamonu via Ilgaz(no dot so uhlgaz, low in the throat) mountains/pass.

In frustration (?) or just confusion or our collective madness Gülat asks me "What do you want to do in Ilgaz?" I had thought that this was more Semih's idea than mine, in fact wasn't it all Semih's? I say I was hoping to walk around and be in a forest on a mountain. This is enough of an answer.

On the way we may have found some seeds for TD, but they are not quite mature so we are uncertain that they will produce flowers. It was while I was driving focused on the road and Gülat calls out 'stop' and I back up about 100m and there they are...

seeds found Ilgaz Mountains

When we get to the park ... it is a ski resort, downhill,snowboard, and looks like it may have a number of crosscountry trails.

After a very long wait in strong mountain sun, we take the lift to the top which is a first for Semih and man was he a nervous nelly. At the top we walk around and there are vistas and dark areas just like our forests where no light reaches the ground. The wind is mild but can feel cool, we had been told it would be cold but it wasn't. The air is scented with thyme and Gülat is in Photo heaven. She took mostly small plants and flowers, she crouches down to get close ups and creeps around to take different views.

Gülat took almost 100 photos of plants and scenery here
write me for more if you want to see more

The mountainside is covered with juniper, different than ours but recognizable.
I climb a chunk of rock to an electric tower there are purple blue campanula and some odd little long flowers (like a miniature pointed ice cream cone with a tuft of petals at the end less than an inch long total) that Gülat is not interested in (so I don't have a photo of it). She pulls "weeds" and pushes stems out of the way so her photos are arranged and not totally 'natural'.

On our way down, she cries out "orchid" Semih stops backs up and there are flowers that resemble grape hyacinths, I say 'really orchids?' and she is out of the car...there is a concrete bank that makes it impossible for her to get as close as she would like (and she has a rather large telephoto lens) but she does her best and we are on our way, at last, to Kastamonu.

We will be staying at University housing again. There is a make-up table that functions as my desk, I doze while on the way dreaming of a rather vulgar Buddha.

Kastamonu is a large city with a river running through it. Some of the buildings are Ottoman era. But most of the foods offered look pretty much like everywhere else. By kızmet Semih finds a restaurant that came in 2nd last year in an all Anatolian food competition. We eat there, çorba was tasty - a lentil and handmade pasta (macaroni) tomato soup for me, lamb's stomach soup for Semih and Semih decides that he and I should have Bandurma (a specialty of the house?) while Gülat orders mantı which I had in Safranbolu and a version made by Gülat's mother (which was the best of the bunch) on my last visit in '08. Mantı is a noodle stuffed and triangular in shape, however the 'pillow' is less that ½" per side and is generally served with yogurt. Semih said this mantı was ok but Gülat's mother's was better.

Bandurma looked like a volcano covered in shredded chicken. The sauce was broth & walnuts and the 'mountain' was many layers of thin flour tortilla-like pide, which in the liquid and heat had turned into paste. The top tasted ok, but this seemed more presentational that edible. When the chicken was gone I scraped up the walnuts and left the lump of paste.

A short nap, after I soak my feet in a cold tap. Then I rose to write this.. Semih and I went to the cafe for soda (mineral water) and çay, and planned a bit of the next few days ~ Boyabat, Sinop, Abana, Inebolu, Mengen!, then to Istanbul for 3 or 4 days at most. He made some reservations in Bodrum, we will be there for 5 nights ~ he wants to see the 'underwater museum', I want to see Afrodisias, Artemisias etc......

We go for a walk to find dinner, perhaps but mostly to see Kastamonu, as it will soon be dark.

There is a traditionally dressed woman in a city park chopping wood ~ sizable logs/ trunks lay about and she is chopping them into smaller bits which go into bags nearby, some full with long pieces and some slender but full length. Perhaps to heat or cook with?

The river, an old bridge over it that has been shortened on one side which we know because the peak is no longer in the middle of the crossing (Gülat is the one who notices this). There are many many statues mostly of Atatürk and some parks seem private, all have a cafe of some sort.

There is a triangular frame structure like a wedge of cheese 3m on all sides, water streams down from the upper struts and a set of colored lights shine against the curtain of water. On the grass along the river below the bridge they have put green lights, in fact I am not sure if there is grass there but the ground was green.

We decide to climb up to the Saat Kalesi hour castle= watch/clock tower built as a birthday gift to himself by a Sultan who had matchmaking as a hobby. from a website with decent photos of the tower
Behind the Governorship building high above the Sarayüstü Hill rests an important focal point of the city, the Clock Tower. It was built in 1885 while Abdurrahman Pasha was the governor of Kastamonu. There is a legend surround this tower that this clock once was in Istanbul. In the late 1800s its bell made such a loud noise that the sultan princes who was living near it at the time got scared and resulted a miscarriage of her baby. Therefore as punishment to the clock it was sent to Kastamonu far away from Istanbul. However, never minding the legend, the tea you will sip in its gardens will provide you the best view of Kastamonu.

We go past a large sculpture - many figures, men, women, carrying arms and munitions ~ Kastamonu was a central distribution point for arms during the War of Independence, and Atatürk is there looking down on them. This is in front of a grand government building and all of this is dramatically lit.

We climbed slowly~ up the stairs to the tower, it is 9PM and dark, and the city below is lit. Revealed is a large castle with walls and turrets on the other side of the valley.
The clock has Arabic numbers, the government building had an Arabic title. Just below the tower are a set of çay and nargile (hookah), sunflower seed cafes; To sit and chat and lookout over the city.
Semih tries a nargile and I think gets slightly nicotine stoned. The çay is a samovar strong black tea. Semih had already bought seeds before we walked up and asked if they would allow him to eat them here ~ they brought 2 bowls one for the seeds and one for the shells.
So we talk and remember and look out over the city. I learn to eat these sunflower seeds that are different than ours in shape and size. There is a beautiful woman at the table next to ours, and she is eating the seeds non-stop... imagine eating a bowl of popcorn rapidly, but one kernel at a time. I couldn't help but look often at her.

At 10:15 or 10:30 the last call to prayer began there must have been at least 20 of them all starting at different times different 'tunes' same style and the sound first made me laugh. It was so loud and polyphonic some hetereophony and lasted maybe 10 minutes with some calls ending just as others began, rising falling ~ glorious ~ but also kind of over the top. Another moment when I wished I had a recorder. Think I will try to find online a musician from here to make a recording for me. I wonder if it possible.?

Semih buys a börek but I am not hungry too much çay, and the seeds have taken my hunger. In the 'hotel' I am very tired, I open the window but there is a lone kangol (köpek=dog I'm probably misspelling this kind of dog, basically a wild/unowned but living in a city dog) is barking and barking like iblis the dog of darkness at the gates of hell. I close the window and there is silence ~ good soundproofing of the window (still some traffic noise but not much) however the pillow is perfumed and too fat. I finally fall asleep without it, until it is cold and I pull a very heavy blanket over me and sleep until it is hot and stuffy this morning ~

Day 12 Monday 8 July

It is morning; there is somewhere nearby a real songbird.

I didn't hear morning prayer call so I don't know how early or late it is ~ so I will wait for Semih's knock and we will to go breakfast, then the castle and on to Boyabat then Sinop.

As I wrote that he knocked. We ate breakfast, packed and off to the castle. Mostly ruined in a somewhat recent earthquake but the views of the city and surroundings were worth the trip.

One view overlooked most of the oldest and newer parts; looking towards the clock tower. The sounds of traffic and smallcitybusy-ness rise up to us. Then next view is the industrial and less populated view- sounds of a small engine and birds and the occasional car, so just a few -100 feet- move and a totally different sound scape. Triangulate and now neighborhood sounds, children (few) a dog, a rooster, and family voices.

Off to Pompeiopolis then Boyabat for lamb (I think). I am driving and the signs in Taşköprü are only one sided so we go 7k past the town and don't see the sign, turn around and find it. Not much to see, it is an actively worked roman era site, but digging starts tomorrow so we see filled in and cloth covered walls (to protect everything). The dig is led by a German Professor from Munich and we find all this out because 2nd in command is here and a Turk and speaks pretty good English and informs us of all this.

Now off to Boyabat for lunch... I had read that Boyabat was famous for whole lamb kebap (there are examples on YouTube) AND that this was one of 3 reasons to go there (the other two we were not there at the right time for 1- a singing style from ancient epic singing times now used during weddings, the other was another roman castle but one a day is enough for me). Semih think what I mean is a sort of Tandır (cooked in an oven in the ground) and until we arrive in Boyabat he is not certain what it might be. We park and of course are told that other cities (like Taşköprü where we just were) have better but if we want just down the street is a good place.

OH YEAH! Cholesterol BOMB heaven. In the window 2 wooden spits mechanically turned, have whole lambs roasting in front of wood fire. We go in order, salata, Semih has foamy yogurt (yogurt and water) in a stein, bread, the juice of the lamb as it drips off the carcass while roasting and a kilo of lamb. We dip the bread in the juice (fat and flavor) before the meat arrives on a 12" plate piled 4" high with a few bones, some fat, some skin, and LAMB!. We eat and eat and order another 100grams which mostly rib bones but tasty tasty and YES! glad to have said "let's do this". Semih and Gülat ate lamb like this in Kyrgyzstan recently but it had more smoke and they had to eat with their fingers ~ Gülat thought that tasted even better but no complaints.

We arrived at the outskirts of Sinop. The Karadeniz (kara-black deniz-sea) is a most beautiful blue (mavi) and the sky is clear but more slate-blue and not a very pretty shade, in fact kind of unattractive. It is hot but feels hotter because it is so humid. The sea is salt water but fed mostly by rivers and is very nearly an inland sea but huge like the Great lakes except salt. The university has a hotel services/management department (turism?) and 10k outside Sinop on a 5k beach they have this hotel -a combo learning/work place and a quasi 5 starish hotel, fancy looking and nicely appointed with odd little things missing (like real clothes hangers). Again it is a rural resort, quiet I can hear the waves from my room high above and children's voices and the splashing games they are playing on the beach below. Soon Semih and I will swim and I will know the temp. etc... but the water is not deep for maybe 50m out into the water, very shallow and possibly warm?. The noise from the beach is just loud enough to keep me awake and it's too warm/humid to close the window.

The water is mid-August Lake Washington warm i.e. cool but not cold enough for a headache. It's shallower than I thought. I had to walk a football field out before the water was up to my chest. we swam a bit in and out, there is a wind the water is very clear, not much seaweed, the water is salty but much less than the Aegean or Puget Sound.

Later we go into up and around the Sinop Peninsula. The road is 1 lane and curvy, high cliffs and my fear of heights is in full force, I am thinking "Yavas,Yavas,Yavas" (slow slow slow) and I keep on finding that I am strangling the armrest. At least no vertigo but I am freaked. I think about how on foot I can control where I look or keep in view the wall nearby, sadly until we got to the top and began to descend I was uncomfortable. Then as we got lower, even though still high up, we watch the sun disappear at the edge of the horizon of the sea and I loosened up.

Back into the city proper. There is an older citadel-walled structure that was a prison 'that no one ever escaped from'. Many many fishing boats and the walk along the harbor is lines with restaurants. In a few people are playing some sort of majong-like game, and backgammon, and a card game where you are dealt 3 cards at a time from the top of the deck.

We walk to the end(?) then on the way back choose (I don't know how) one of the restaurants and have deep fried pieces of something they say is mackerel but was scorpion fish and then a very small sardine fish with red coloring near the head (red mullet?) that was also deep fried. Tooooo much food again. Then home to hotel where toilet roll holder falls off the wall and the toilet seat is broken off it's porcelain base.

11pm Sweaty and Tired sleep until 7:30AM?
Day 13; 9 July 2013 {page 54 of 100}

Next day very very tired eat breakfast then to beach.

View of beach from hotel room

swim, lay in sun, swim, lay in sun, read a page (maybe) drink tea, swim lay in sun a little burn, go back to my room, nap 1-3PM then go to Sinop. Eat Lamb's head soup (watery) and Adana pide (ground meat in a long lozenge on thin bread - like a Turkish tostada but not fried- tomato, onion with sumac and some mushy fries) Adana was tasty. I got a coke for the first time and the odd thing was that the can was cold- outside- but the drink was lukewarm so not not so refreshing.

From the beach there is a small island nearby and seagulls and a large darker bird gimbaled and gyred calling swooping for a couple of hours over the island and adjacent sea.

During our walk around in Sinop we discover that Turkish people don't have old curly hair like mine so there is no conditioner available for it either. AND the prescription inhaler that I forgot was available OverTheCounter and about $7 instead of $40!!!! Can't wait for Health insurance.....

On our return instead of stopping we try to find Hamsilos (Hamsi are tiny sardine like fish that have a run like our smelt and during the season is one of the delicacies and specialties of the region). First we find a lighthouse buoy at the end of a pier on what seems to be a lava outcrop. There we meet the Agricultural Director of Sinop (kızmet) who tells us that we are not at Hamsilos and that it was a hidden bay used by smugglers because you can't see it from the sea (like Deception Pass). It is a rugged narrow long inlet and perhaps deep on only one side (the side we walked was not too deep). Very nice very pretty. Then to the hotel, a short shower and not to nap then I don't know.....

At Hamsilos on the other side of the inlet, opening to the sea there is a roar of cicadas. They call them Agostos (August) because that is when you usually hear them. But we have heard them everyday everywhere since I arrived. Here at Hamsilos just for a few minutes the chorus was loud and drown out every other sound, birds, cars, wind, other people, only my ears ~ looking at the green trees, underbrush & stones above the water, seeing this sound of those small grasshopper-like creatures, their song which they say is tuned to the temperature of the air but not synchronized so it's phasing a fugal insect song, one tree or area rises in volume passes another only to be joined then surpassed as it fades a bit, not waves, something more disorderly but powerful..

another bit about Parallel Stories this is when I finally decide I can't bear to read it anymore, yes the techniques and language and some sentences are amazing but blechkkkk I'm going to run out of journal paper ~ my original plan was a sheet a day but that's not working out.I didn't run out at all.