Part 4
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.

Akça Hotel; there is a strong wind and we have good rooms - 2nd storey and not too close to the bar (music). Both rooms have a double bed, a single bed and TV, air conditioning, a closet with real hangers (an eclectic and funky collection) so I am able to rinse clothes and then hang them to dry (which they will do rather quickly from the 'balcony' a 12" space in front of a glass door and an iron railing. There is a clothes line with an odd collection of clothes pins strung before the railing). The Aegean Sea at Bodrum is not wine dark but a mix of blues as any sea would be.
Bodrum Hotel

Swim read rest try to avoid burn repeat

I rinse off my feet and rejoin Semih at the bar. We eat dinner and later take a walk along the "boardwalk" (stone & concrete) past restaurants affiliated or not with other hotels -a couple of dancing places and numerous knickknack stalls. We stop at a government owned cafe for Beer and tea then go back it is 10 PM I m exhausted but don't fall asleep until 11.

Day 21; 17th July 2013

I woke at 6AM, strong winds sky grey. I had resolved to swim 1st thing in the AM ~ it looks cold. It was but I swam out and back in, nothing too long, went in showered and by the time I came down Semih was up and seated at 7AM!
Burned anyway, Hair like Rastafarian

Breakfast wasn't until 8 so I struggled with dictionary in hand to read some of the newspaper Semih had purchased, a not quite impossible task.

After breakfast we laid out our towels on the Hotel's beach chaises (you lay 'claim' to an umbrella and chaise with your towel. If you are early that means you get your pick of all of them and that's as long as your towel is there, it is not dependent on you laying there -ever) and begin our day of swim sleep read repeat. The water wasn't warmer but the day got hot quickly so it felt good and I got in a couple of good long swims (but may have pulled a back muscle doing it- sigh)

So perhaps the scene isn't clear. Each hotel along this beach "owns" a section of the beach. which they set up with umbrellas, chaises, they groom the sand and provide "services". if you are not staying at the hotel you may not sit on the sand. The water is roped off sometimes per hotel but in our case the roped area is shared by 5 or more hotels so it is long and goes out quite a ways. Boats may not enter the roped area.

If you have a Club-Med image to recall, bright sun islands out in the sea and people in various bathing suits, this comes close . But it is Ramazan and many people have stayed home (there is alcohol and eating all the time) Many years this place is packed with foreigners, perhaps Syria and Gezi-park are keeping them away. This time no hotel is full (maybe the really expensive cocoon resorts but not these) the beach chaises are yours to choose. Lastly and I am not sure of why, I have heard only Turkish and no other languages. Various accents but no German, Russian, French, or Dutch {or English except when Semih and I or when I ask the staff a question and then only some of the staff}.

There are mostly women! There are a couple of totally adorable children (girls ~ babies nearly but active and mobile) who seem to have energy to burn. A number of families (father included) but not many, one or 2 groups of young (20's) men and then women 20's to 80's.

Go back to the club mend image erase 75% no 80% oh 90% of the 'beautiful' tanned slender buff people and replace them with mostly overweight sunburned men and women---that's the scene here. Wellll not everyone is burned nor brown or tan there are a number of shockingly bright white pale white skinned women here. I wonder how many gallons of SPF7000 that takes?

One other thing (there will be more I'm sure) the groups of young men? A number of them have long hair. So I am not getting the number of stares that I have had so much during this trip.
ücus yedi or üc cyfer yedi = my room number to charge çay or su at the bar.

Long hair is not just unusual/rare it is foreign in someways. But, as it was so long ago in the USA- rebellion and more 'dangerous' for homosexuals and especially transvestites. So every visit has been a bit fraught. Men my age stare or practically glare at me. Women glance & then away or if they don't look away they very rarely smile (which I would not expect anyway). Children boldly stare, call out, ask why (in Turkish) but mostly stare and stare long. My response is to walk through Turkey with a Gioconda Smile. And Just that makes me happy enough.

Here at Bodrum it is common enough that children don't stare but men my age still glare (those that do, not all).
After I wrote the part about overweight I am going to revise in the morning this is pretty much true. In the afternoon the 'younger' crowd wakes and changes the percentages. I'm still impressed by the body shapes of people over 30, it's clearly a genetic part of Turkish being and since the average lifespan is only a few years less than in the USA this additional weight is not too much the problem as alcohol (maybe) cigarettes (definitely oh BTW inhaling cigarette smoke is also not allowed during Ramazan) and diet (although I extol the salads there's really not alot of roughage, AND just as in the USA many older (over 40) people are coming down with cancers.
Bodrum City at night

After dinner we drove into the city of Bodrum ( the beach/Hotel where we are staying is on the Bodrum Peninsula outside of Ortakent; orta= center/middle, kent= city/town. It's in the middle of the end of the Peninsula) Bodrum was Halicarnassus until the 1300's and contained one of the 7 wonders of the world. This wonder stood until then and is said to be the last one to exist nearly complete, then an earthquake destroyed it (more later).

Halicarnassus was the capital of Karia (Caria) and later Crusader Knights of St. John built a castle around the palace of Mausoleus who built the Mausoleum (began it) that was the 7th wonder.

Traffic seemed a nightmare to me but Semih said was light and good (still wasn't easy). We parked in a lot (paid) and walked along the Harbor. There are some amazing boats/yachts/whatever here even in the dark... They are mostly for rent and day cruises but the wood is beautiful and the masts that rise above into the sky ah.....

The crowds (and there are crowds) are mixed =- many foreigners often the English is American and the under 30 crowd is often dressed to the nines ( the women- not the 'guys' who are still in jeans and cotton- nice cotton shirts.) The shops along the tourist lanes are : food, watches , sunglasses, hats , clothes, souvenirs, pharmacy, repeat, repeat....Many families on vacation walking around.

While sitting for çay we hear whistles.....
Walking to çay, we pass a square and there are 3 men in total Native American Plains regalia, shaking maracas to what seems to me to be a recording of Andean pan-pipe music. The men are in full costume (face paint) etc... lots of feathers long in head-dress. Later we pass them again and I hear that MAYBE it isn't a recording because they now have flutes out (not pan pipes) and there is the sound of one of them taking a breath- however there are recordings that have that in them so I still am not certain what they were doing ~ It doesn't matter but the scene makes my stomach hurt.
The whistles are in advance of a small demonstration parade protest there is a banner then 4 people hold 'tombstones' of the 4 who have died during the Gezi-Park protests. They have setup a gathering place before a statue of Atatürk. Most of the marchers are wearing hardhats. As they pass where we sit, some in the restaurant begin to clap, some rise to take a photo.

Later, Leaving the city, we are following a car with a decal of Atatürk's signature on the rear window. Semih says it is dangerous to do this because other people will break the window.
I don't understand (yet?) Semih tries to tell me what he thinks about the protests but I get confused. I know he doesn't like the current regime but he seems to not approve of the marchers or what they are saying so ~ yet they don't approve of the government either ~ the movement back to a secularism of Atatürk is fraught and yet I don't sense that is exactly what the protesters want either but when I expect him to think some action is good he doesn't...

Day 22; 18th July 2013

Bodrum exploration: Yesterday I finished a book about Karia which Bodrum/Halicarnassus was the capitol of. And I made a list of site/sights to see within the old city walls.

Bodrum at day

The Castle of the Knights of St. John; (who were defeated and moved to a castle at Aleppo [I think] )

Inside the castle walls is supposed to the "Palace of Mausoleus"

who built a Mausoleum (began it died, wife tried to finish it died, artists working on it finished it "out of love of Art" hummmmm)

Which Strabo claimed was one of the seven wonders of the world and in some form existed until the 1300"s and is kind of across the street ( not really - at least any longer) from an immense Theater. The castle was, as the Palace, supposed to have a "secret harbor" which is filled in now so unknowingly you walk on it to the entrance to the Castle. Notable people[from Wikipedia] Artemisia I (fl. 480 BC) tyrant of Halicarnassus, who participated in the Battle of Salamis
Herodotus (c. 484 – c. 425 BC) Greek historian
Dionysius (1st century BC) historian and teacher of rhetoric
Aelius Dionysius (2nd century) Greek rhetorician and musician

(from online old Encyclopedia)
From the ruins of the Mausoleum sufficient has been recovered by the excavations carried out in 1857 by C. T. Newton to enable a fairly complete restoration of its design to be made. The building consisted of five parts - a basement or podium, a pteron or enclosure of columns, a pyramid, a pedestal and a chariot group. The basement, covering an area of 114 ft. by 92, was built of blocks of greenstone and cased with marble. Round the base of it were probably disposed groups of statuary. The pteron consisted (according to Pliny) of thirty-six columns of the Ionic order, enclosing a square cella. Between the columns probably stood single statues. From the portions that have been recovered, it appears that the principal frieze of the pteron represented combats of Greeks and Amazons. In addition to these, there are also many life-size fragments of animals, horsemen, &c., belonging probably to pedimental sculptures, but formerly supposed to be parts of minor friezes. Above the pteron rose the pyramid, mounting by 24 steps to an apex or pedestal. On this apex stood the chariot with the figure of Mausolus himself and an attendant. The height of the statue of Mausolus in the British Museum is 9 ft. 91 in. without the plinth. The hair rising from the forehead falls in thick waves on each side of the face and descends nearly to the shoulder; the beard is short and close, the face square and massive, the eyes deep set under overhanging brows, the mouth well formed with settled calm about the lips. The drapery is grandly composed. All sorts of restorations of this famous monument have been proposed. The original one, made by Newton and Pullan, is obviously in error in many respects; and that of Oldfield, though to be preferred for its lightness (the Mausoleum was said anciently to be "suspended in mid-air"), does not satisfy the conditions postulated by the remains.

We tromped up and down and through the castle Semih had great interest in the things found underwater (He kept on saying he wanted to see the Underwater Museum- I was afraid that we were going to go out on a ship and scuba dive- happily the castle which holds the discoveries is what he meant) but the up and down definitely tired him out. This is my favorite picture of him, resting on a bench in the castle about to light a cigarette.

A gate can welcome or repel
and the dead leave us messages
we no longer read

Lastly Myndos Gate, the western Gate in the wall that Mausoleus built, that Alexander the Great either did or did not break through during the siege of Halikarnassus.

A hotel backed up to a necropolis restored
by a grant from a cellphone company
at Myndos gate there is an ancient burial ground that is now right next to a resort hotel.
So as we are exploring the wall and the graves a ping pong ball flies into the site.
There is a table and behind the table a swimming pool.
Between the ping pong table and the site is no gate/fence boundary
However there is a sign, it is from the hotel about how proud they are to be the only hotel to have a necropolis in its' backyard

And... we actually saw all of them.
Sandal Story; These sandals have traveled half way around the world by air, then 5000km by air and walked 100's of Kilometers. They have stood on ground that people worked and built 13,000 years ago, walked on walls built 9,000 years ago. Stood in the Baths of Hadrian and a Synagogue from 4A.D. Temples to Aphrodite and Artemis have shaded the feet that stood in these sandals. They have dipped into hot springs of ancient Sardis and the waves of the Black, the Marmara,and The Aegean seas. Upon my return they remain a testament to the comfort and durability the owner demanded. RIP.
The image of Venus emerging from the waves, repeated as those Italian and French actresses in my movie youth. I sit at a table beneath an umbrella looking out at the sea as women emerge in all their variety and the meaning becomes confused. Am I seeing what is there or a version of my youth imposed on what is there?

Does the way you secure our towel
say anything about how you think of yourself?

The same for Bodrum earlier ~ each conquering 'tribe' destroyed something that was valued by the previous conqueror, and in the process beauty and meaning is lost in successive layers.

Bodrum Kale warrior Christians
being right is so often wrong

So Islam and Christianity seem to have conspired to destroy history and inside both conspired to destroy the beauty that existed to each cult, or sect that survived.
It has been established beyond doubt that all the recent above was written on the 18th
Beneath the sea is a history
as rich as that beneath my feet

I realized that I did not write about the museum aspect of the castle at all.
So .... Inside the castle(Kale) is not just the images I have included so far but there is mostly a display of the underwater archaeological explorations that have been done in the nearby sea.
This was Semih's reason for coming to it -not the palace of Mausolus- and some of it was interesting, including the reconstruction of the remains of a 'princess' from the time of the 2nd Artemisia (there is a small chance that this is Queen Ada- small) There is a reconstruction of part of a boat and many artifacts.

There was a very cool (to me ) salvaged 'notebook'

The yellow is beeswax; so they (the owner) could jot a message or note to themself and keep it without concern for the seawaters and it was erasable! Unlike ink on paper or chisel on stone or chalk on slate.

Do we have 7 wonders in the world?
and will the evidence of our hubris
exist in 1000 years?

Day 23; 19th July 2013

Swim write read rest Çay Su

A day of rest read swim eat..Last night we ate , played a set of the game (I think we are even now 2 sets each [we play 5 games - when we play and no more]) at dinner drank raki and it dried me out, so no more of that. Also while playing I had some tea and that kept me awake so I have slept badly - really badly, a good thing that today (Friday I think) is a day of rest and relaxation.

Semih has been going around the beach & on our boardwalk wanders in the paper-like hotel slippers - he revealed he forgot his beach shoes/slippers/thongs in Istanbul(?) the effect is mildly silly looking and slows his walking down considerably.

I am finding that walking that slowly is harder, physically, to do than any other style. Perhaps because I change my gait and so my right foot aches and my left hip hurts/cramps.
I downloaded some ebooks from Gutenberg last night so I would have something to read. As usual one of them isn't exactly what I was hoping would be in it so I will try again today. But some Saki (funny) and Chesterton (jury's out) entertained me since I couldn't sleep. I will try again today.

Either at home (Seattle) or on arrival I numbered these sheets to keep order and am only up to 40. This is the 40th page and that's a pleasant recognition that I've been recording well. I left on the 27th Thursday, arrived the 28th so I've been here 20 days and at least mathematically have one more week but one and a half days are in airplanes so really on 4 more Turkish days.

Tomorrow there is a plan to go to a piano competition. Then early Sunday off to Izmir with a long break on the way to Milas which is ancient Mylasa the 1st capitol of Karia. It was said to be a city of Temples (LaBraunda is part of Mylasa though a bit further away).

I am thinking of buying a leather, largish briefcase and moving just the most important clothes books/journal/gifts into it so it will be my carry on and the pack I will stow. We'll see. As for money, here in Bodrum the exchange rate is 5% or more lower than what it has been everywhere else. That reads funny what I mean is that they are giving you %5less for your $ So I am concerned that the rate has gone down and I owe Semih more money but will need to do the math.

There is no wind, the water is smooth,there is a water skier and a few people swimming and it is time for breakfast.

5pmish ~ a day of lizarding. We swam read rested, for lunch I had requested balik (fish) so we walked down the boardwalk to the 3rd fish restaurant, got beers ,water, salad and seabream/bass Levrek- grilled It's a mackerel like fish pointy head and came filleted. Semih got the fillet side and I got the spine side. It was oily fishy in a good way the skin crisp add salt and eat: the salad was mostly broadleaf Arugula and a perfect accompaniment. Returned to our rooms I showered nap back (briefly) to the water another shower, now I wait for Tea to be ready.
music to listen to or to play yourself
Written while waiting for Tea
a pdf version

Sometimes during creative moments
one is lonely

A small boy is standing in the water surrounded by a sister and his mother and he gives out short unpleasant screams. It is unclear if he is in distress or that's his way or if he is in some way damaged ( it is that sort of repetitious cry.) This goes on for at least ½ an hour. I don't recall when it stopped or maybe he went away. 6 Hours later hatless and no sister or mother he is sitting at the edge of the water in the water arranging rocks and scooping the slurry of sand 1st onto the rocks, then pushing water to rinse them off. A father and daughter have restarted a game of water ping pong that they have been playing over the last 3 days. The ball falls onto the boy's rocks. He looks up and smiles, picks up the ball and tosses it to the father. All concerned continue to do what they had been doing.
Most newscasters are women. Not all are stunning but many are. When the show begins or after a break the cameras are inevitably showing the women from somewhere the woman is not looking, and once she has spoken a few word the correct camera comes on. It doesn't make sense visually and the two male newscasters who I have seen are always close on and always face on.
The bar here blares music~ at the moment its' a form of rap with a large amount of obscenity.
T-shirts worn by all and sundry are amazing. I admit that I'm sometimes surprised in Seattle by tasteless or offensive words on a t-shirt. But here the question is ,"do they know what those words mean?"
~ At the Koç Museum in the motorcycle section there were 2 or 3 Harleys. Next to one was a mannequin in camos with a German style helmet that said "Go fuck yourself" and under that in smaller print"I have enough friends". It's funny but do the curators really understand?
~ At least the young people here wearing "I need sex" look like they're being honest.

Beauty is so individual

This is an aspect that can make your head spin...the strapless bikini's in a land where some women swim clothed head to foot. Where in the sitcoms and soap operas on TV pole rarely touch, yet the fashion sense of some is high glamor. And ads of luxury goods have people touching. Music videos alternate from over the top suggestiveness to a single person per shot even if they are the love interests.

Semih says that all the young men who work here at the hotel are from the East. Most are students (one a grad student) and that those from the East work for less money. The regimen is that mornings and afternoons they wear shirts with Akça Hotel on them. But at some signal before dinner (7pm) they take turns disappearing and returning in more 'casual' t-shirts, except for the head bar-tender (owner's husband?) who always wears a blue oxfordcloth longsleeve (rolled up) shirt and pressed pants and leather shoes.
Day 24; 20th July 2013

Last day in Bodrum (Tahsi Beach actually) and Akça Hotel. We got up late-ish Breakfasted and off to Gümüşluk "International" piano competition. The morning trials are free and supposed to last from 10-2Pm. It is only Turks this morning though the jury seems to be international.

Piano Competition
5th player smiled

The warm-up rooms are temporary chipboard shacks and the competition piano is an old Bechstein that as the morning progresses goes out of tune. It stands on a meter high wooden platform which is surrounded by sheets of dieing grass. The sides and roof of this "building" are reed mats. Openings between each reed provide the light. To either side behind the piano are openings-a view of waves, water, sail boarders, the occasional sailboat.

It took us a while to locate the place. We ended up parking in the lot of "Club Zemde Hotel" a white bright stucco set of buildings you go between 2 of them and in the distance is blue sky, water, a rather impressive view, over a set of swimming pools. We have to walk through the complex to their beach over a plank laid down over a small stream and in an empty lot is the competition.

This morning there are 7 pianists, ranging in age from 18 to 29. The youngest tries to play a Beethoven Sonata that he wasn't ready to present in fact I think he just stopped in the middle of the 3rd movement and went on to a different piece. It was interesting to me 1] His teacher 'let' him go ahead with this as his program 2] how much he was probably learning by doing this ~ the nerves (he was very good about keeping going despite all the mistakes and .....) and now he has an idea of the work ahead etc...
The First Player ~ Haydn as if it were Wagner
Second Player ~ (who we found horrible and he won) Liszt as Liberace with a Marshall Amp
Third Player ~ A woman, Also young, light touch clear lines but she brought nothing extra to the Mozart.
Fourth Player ~ was the youngest one
Fifth Player ~ was the oldest, began with Bach Prelude and Fugue -easy to hear all the voices, Beethoven Sonata (single movement) without excessive emotion, then a contemporary piece dedicated to Milton Babbit that was interesting in this competition context- block chords spikey as you would expect. She ended with a Rachmaninoff which I do not favor but she made it acceptable.
The Third player was a relief from the previous bombast, and this one was a relief because she had something to say, not just notes but a performance.
The Sixth Player ~ also a woman who did not announce her program in advance or during her performance (so I don't really know what she played except it sounded like Bach,Mozart and Mussorgsky- except I know [or think] that last is wrong). Her playing was thoughtful but too many obvious mistakes.
The Seventh Player ~ by now the 2nd octave below middle C has gone all twangy and the upper two octaves have gone chaotically out of Tune. He begins with a Bach Partita and just plays the hell out of it. Gentle and brutal, clear all technique, some brilliant suspensions, lots of uno chorda. The Liszt- Mephisto where he just pounded the hell out of the piano, the volume changes, the simple then insane passages, amazing and not particularly showy. There was never any doubt that what he was doing was difficult but he did it with the skill required.
Nevertheless I ranked him second after #5 and put #6 after him.
Later in Istanbul we hear/find out that Mr. Pompous won that morning's round Gülat then adds that his last name is the same as a big politicians and that this is probably why he won. What I knew is that #5 had no chance as the 'lead' judge who was also the organizer was keeping notes and she wrote many many about #5 and practically none about any of the other players so I was pretty sure that she had overwhelmingly voted against #5.
As many know I have a love/hate relationship with today's technology. As often as not succumb to the seduction of 'boytoys' usually to my regret ( they either get broken, stop working, or I lose them all of these happen within 6 months of ownership). It has taken several years and versions of computers before I got one that didn't die within a year (and this one seems to be at the end of it's life after only 2½) However between Semih's Iphone and Ipad this trip has been a bit, A BIT, easier. It made it easier to know when we were lost. Semih's style of driving completely changes when he's lost and I grew to recognize that quite quickly.

But the real difference is that we can find things out before committing to them. Just now I was searching for a museum in Milas, and coming up with gobbledygook, Apparently there is one but it doesn't exist. ?

Then I search for a nearby site and the photos show something worth seeing and led me to somewhere else too. The trick may end up being can we actually get to these places without getting lost, as we only have a day to get to Izmir, therefore time lost is not going to get us what we/I want. So let's see if we can actually find Labranda and Iassos?

Lamacan and coke

When we got back from the trials we walked to a restaurant with a wood fired oven and got lamacan- a very thin crust, and a thin layer of meat and lots of hot red pepper. They were a hand span in diameter and Semih said they were good. Because the 'filling' (topping) was properly thin. They provided us with a gratis Arugula lemon tomato wedges salata. I had my second coke ~ man I don't like coke. Afterwards we went in for a nap, Semih locked himself into his room and calls me so I could unlock it (he'd left the key in the lock outside) and we went to the beach for the last time ~ we leave early.

Writing and instead of my afternoon tea
a gin and tonic

Last evening, laid in sun
watched people,
listened to languages

Beauty may be skin deep but sometimes
there's just too much skin

Old woman swims clothed
leads blind husband to and from the water
During the entire stay there was an older woman who would,
dressed in black overshirt and leggings go swimming every day.
Every once in a while she would lead her nearly blind husband to the water
and he would go in up to his knees and wait
while she swam out and back and forth ~ until she was done
and then they would both with small shuffling steps
go back to their room

Piano Competition
Sinan a competitor had a Hittite Nose

Going to the competition between Tahsi (here) and Gümüşluk there was a section a panorama of peaks ~ still on the peninsula, rugged tall rock tipped and the air had a different feel as we were also kind of high up and the green and villages just had the right atmosphere and I felt good a sort of "How nice I like it here" then we crossed over and suddenly the feeling disappeared.
Interrupted descriptions page order fouled up
As we climbed another rise there appeared the round towers of a set of windmills, the tops were missing and instead of stucco white like in typical photos of Greek windmills these were bare stone. The village below the ridge where they stood had models of windmills, the vanes furiously turning in the wind (or by battery not sure) along with gourd ornaments ~ at least I think that's what they were. They weren't drums and maybe acted like lanterns? I later found one hanging from a tree with a light bulb inside as many had holes drilled in them.
Simple things. I've worn the same flip flops nearly everyday everywhere on this trip. My feet look like it. If I were a shepherd that's the feet. Today after the swim I took a rough rock and filed my toenails and some of the callus and peeling skin off - they are still (my feet) the darkest part of my body.~ While here at the beach I've been pretty successful avoiding serious burn, but all the traipsing around hatted (don't like the hat I brought- baseball style- should have brought my brimmed one) or not my nose and cheekbones have gotten assaulted all- all in all I've done well. There are some people here who appear to glow in the dark, so burned it looks like it must hurt just to breathe. Then there is a group of 3 women who have been here as long (longer?) than we and they are not particularly tan and are laying in full sun the whole day-- sun screen? Whatever it is it's working for them.

Semih seems- without sunscreen- to be able to sleep in direct sun for the evening hours without harm, I can't do that.
Day 23; 21st July 2013

We are about to leave the Bodrum Peninsula. On to Milas Labranda Temples then Izmir for figs(? a bit scared when he brought that up- though even in Seattle Smyrna Figs [Izmir=Smyrna same place sad history] are famous for size and color) and sleep. woke early and packed (the accumulation of debris makes this a Herculean task moments of feeling confronted with Stygian stables) Read the news (sad and sadder) made some notes in TD's book.

Early morning language of birds
Walkers on cellphones look mad in any country
The conference of birds by Farid ud-din Attar

Girl friends talk
in same tones all over the world

Herodotus v1 line 105
Aphrodite Urania in Ascalon/
Syria -now Israel

Last night, the wind was not
But was warm and felt gentle- Ah....

This morning a cooler breeze
I would lose my hat

So many men - agéd
with rounded backs

Woke Semih he fell into a second sleep and so was late. Over breakfast he tells me that the staff has asked him about me as a 'writer' Semih says no and explains composer 'but does he write the words?' Evet. No one writes on the beach: everyone Beltir, Gülat etc remarks that I am always writing. Perhaps it is true. I am in a country whose language is supremely difficult and IF I know the subject being discussed I know just enough words to glean the meaning of an article or conversation however not I lost this page and began something else and never returned to the topic which would have been boring in repetition
Milas Muze -Delicate
We drive to Milas a medium small crossroads/city and see a sign for the museum ~ it's free small (basically one room maybe 16m square). No or little English so bone up on ancient archaeological terms before you visit.

A nice small collection of things mostly little objects, pottery statuettes, gold beads and a map showing where in the Karian Kingdom they were found.
The saddest thing was in the courtyard lay 3 marble statues, headless in full dress on wooden slats to keep them off the dirt and weeds growing up around them with no information ~ to me it was like seeing 3 headless women laying in state but they really could have been men or a mix of both (no feet either).

Then off to LaBraunda (there seems to be no agreement what spelling is most correct). Labranda is a 5th- 6th century BC sanctuary high above Milas in fact pretty much above everything. A taksi driver directs us and says the road is rough ~however the closer we get there is a question in my mind about whether there is a road at all. We are blocked by a small herd of cows, then blocked by a 'steamroller' and dump truck who are improving a section of the road (but long after the road becoming nothing more than a set of massive and very deep holes- these weren't 'potholes' these were chasms where I was never sure if the car would even escape them once we cantilevered into them- so what is the road crew doing fixing the middle before the beginning?). Then we come upon a farmer who in the process of telling us the site is just around the corner, also tells us how someone sued Milas District because the road ruined his car, so now the district is fixing the road and he doesn't want more people coming up here and disturbing his farming. (we had passed a small car, parked right after some of the worst thinking that probably they had just destroyed it by scraping the undercarriage off.)

Labraunda was once connected to Milas by a 14K 8m wide road and each spring pilgrims(?) still journey on foot up to this Sanctuary along that route such as it is, as the farmers along the way have torn up the stones of the road to use as walls for their houses and corrals and property fences.

tiny Jay and the Austrian

The site is just a few feet from the farmer, there is a 5TL fee but no one is in the service building just 2 motorcycles and a Volvo stationwagon which we park near. So we climb, there are walls and stones and columns grey with lichen
Poetic stones, water, large
high above us is a huge boulder cracked as though with a thunderbolt sent by Zeus
Temple Zeus
church, baths
8m wide road
who the temple is dedicated to. The stone/boulder the crack is a spring actually not but it looks like the spring should be coming out from the crack in the boulder. As it is the spring is near the crack. and Labranda water is sold (many 'waters' are sold ~ most of the tap water in the country can be and is used for cooking, washing etc but you buy your water (in carboys for your home) to drink ~ we are constantly buying water in ½ liter plastic bottles or liters and throwing them away: I just asked Semih if Turkey recycled the bottles and we had "one of those" conversation where he answered a question he knew the answer to but not the one asked. The answer ended up yes some municipalities separate their garbage to recycle.(But my impression is not many). When we climb to the pool for the still working spring there is even a cup by the side indicating to me that one could drink the water. Semih says "no, there's bugs swimming in it" which were visible and even if in the USA I would probably not think twice to drink a handful ,I thought better of it since I was only 3 days from home travel and been sick- well you get the idea.
burned down but how?

There is another early church up here built long after the fall of the Karian forces to the Persians, and then Romans/Greeks etc...But the oddest piece of info was that the worst destruction was from fire!

There are marble and granite and basalt blocks and columns laying all over, there was little evidence that these did not for the most part make up the whole of the structures ~ so what burned?

I climbed up trying to reach the final sanctuary, but was stymied by the donkey dung filled trails and the sanctuary looked to be just a square hole cut into a large rock. Later an Austrian couple asked me what the square was and we talked a bit and I found myself inserting Turkish yeses and oks--yikes.

Yes there is a donkey that "lives" here on the site. Since close on the boundaries of the site there are people trying to farm, I'm not sure where the donkey "belongs" but today it was wandering in the courtyard before the temple of Zeus.

There is a mausoleum sort of hidden away but very fresh and for a family it seems

As in Islam; there are baths and you washed before entering the Temple.

The site is dug by a Swedish Institute however while wandering in Izmir at the French Cultural Institute there is a Labranda Exhibitions (which we were too late to get into) a sign implies that France has been running the site. It is being actively dug but being Sunday no one was around except.... as we were leaving a man comes up to us with entry tickets- so I pay my 5TL and we leave.
We trade off driving to Izmir, a sprawling huge city/port- the largest port in Turkey (perhaps on the Mediterranean, as Istanbul is obviously larger but Semih said "Izmir is a city, Istanbul is a country") there is a large military/passport facility. The walk along the port is Kilometers long and bordered by a park- here is where the 2nd or 3rd largest pro-Gezi-Park protests occurred. There is a heavy Calderesque mobile here with no artist sign. IT is very windy Semih say the wind is coming from an unusual direction, it reminds me of the Santa Ana's, it's dry and hot it exhausts me, in fact I dozed in the car after Labraunda even though I hadn't thought it was so strenuous. So we sat had a cold beer and he played with his phone while I wrote up the above about Labranda.
We drove around in circles looking for the hotel that had not answered their phone BUT Semih had stayed at before (in Izmir). When finally found it was under destruction. So we drove in circles some more and are staying in Hotel İsmira. Semih says it's 4 star and near the Hilton. I pay for my own room as i think Semih's math in dividing our costs is too much in my favor. The cost is 110TL very reasonable. The concierge(?) doesn't speak much any(?) English - shows me how to use the keycard turned on the TV and the air conditioner. TV off and after checking with Semih, a shower. A quick lay down - TV has BBC new but I can't really pay attention. Then we go for a walk to see Izmir. After the beer and ONLY one the optical illusion painted on the walkway along the sea/port becomes 3 dimensional. We go to eat and then back to the hotel. I can't really figure out the air-conditioner and end up making it a heater and wake up soaked sheets and pillow. Turn the machine to cool and still can't get it right as the breeze(oscillation) keeps me awake, so after a moment I build a wall of pillows and hide behind them under a quilted sheet.

Fall asleep again at 4AM and dream that Semih & I are traveling through Izmir and we pass a recording studio of my friend's in Spain. I ask Semih to stop and find ourselves back at this hotel, I have invited Graham and Suzanna and they bring some other people, who for some reason I know, including my dead Grandmother. The hotel room just fills up with people I've not seen in a long time and all of Semih & Gülat's relatives are coming too and I wake up.

We have breakfast and are on our way, the long way, but we must be in Yalova Ferry terminal for a 3:15 ride and Semih implied that it could take 5 or more hours and now we are slowed in traffic so I am wondering and later we stop for fruit and vegetables. So I am still wondering though by then I am driving and don't need to think about anything else. And we stop for soğan (red onions), and stop for köfte and we are EARLY.

We had passed through Gemlik a sort of olive capital of Turkey and at the entrance of the city is a sculpture of a fork with an olive in it's tines. And we pass through Iznik which was Nicea where Christians had their 'meeting'. But in general we drove straight on...

As much as I dislike all forms of nationalism there is something amazing to see very large sculptures in so many places. At mountain passes or above Izmir was this silvery structure and in the center bronze(?) statues of people. Often the sculptures are boring Atatürk on a horse or on foot or surrounded by workers or or... but lately I've seen more of them to be bust of other people (still kind of boring) and many of farmers, men, women, children, and of course soldiers. Nearby in Maltepe 'borough' of Istanbul a park has a set of marble contemporary sculptures.

It is eye catching just how much marble is in this country. They use it now to tile surfaces, walls, walkways etc... But before being slabbed - we drove by cutting places and in their yards sit 100's of blocks of different colors and qualities and the blocks are 2m by 1.5m by 1.5meters i.e. enormous. As sculptors in the USA we'd die and be in heaven with access to this material. In fact one of the reasons Aphrodisias was so monumental and why "artists finished" the Mausoleum of Mausolus was because the ready access and high quality of the marble in the mountains nearby.

We arrived at RUSH HOUR at Pendik district of Istanbul by ferry and drove, had lucky parking near the door to Gülan's home. Carried all the bags up 4 flights and soon dinner by Gülat and? It's always a surprise.
Day 24; 22st July 2013

Gülat had pulled out all the stops for dinner, there were rolls of flatbread *A with a meat filling, a cool B* vegetable dish, a hot C* lamb and vegetable dish, a leafy D* salata, pilav (rice and vermicelli), a fried E* köfte of mashed potatoes and spices, there was a special F* bread with sesame and nigella seeds that was flatish and lumpy so you could tear it into pieces.

Instead of using your fingers or a knife to push food around or onto your fork my friends use the bread. Plus a piece of bread on the fork is used to sop up juices from various dishes - empty or not ~ including the lemon salt olive oil and vegetable juices at the bottom of the salata.

Çay and some fruit, which I didn't eat- but Gülat tried the figs and told me laughing that she would report tomorrow if the are ok for our stomachs.
Searched in the dictionary for gooey - not found:

80F = 26C (supposed to be that hot when I get Seattle.
Boarding code is the same ED41CP; BTW if you need a travel agent please please think of using Rick Long
Rick Long, CTC DS
Journeys To Paradise/Leisure Travel Division of Continental Travel
2737 77th Ave. SE, Suite 202
Mercer Island, WA 98040
Phone: 206.230.5177
Toll Free: 1.877.464.6486
Cell Phone: 206.979.2042
Email: or

He got me what I needed within my budget and I wasn't going anywhere 'usual' and was patient with my questions/requests. Great service, great value total recommendation.

Used 10+ ink cartridges, didn't need socks, used one of 2 sweaters twice, ran out of some meds so achieved (sort of) a reduction in usage as requested by Allergist,

Soft-boiled/half-cooked egg = rahfadan, cıvık-watery (most hotels served a half-cooked egg which is NOT soft boiled though sometimes it was -'surprise'.
A sıgarbörek
B şakşuka
C Turlı patlıcan etli
D mevsım salatsa
E patatas köftesi
E still just called pide this one was special because it had egg in it.
When Gülat finally understood that I wanted to learn more Turkish and that she should correct me in pronunciation, she began to do that. However when I explained that I have been only learning words and that this is not the way I usually learn a language she began mostly talking to me in a mix of 60% Turkish and we work through my understanding or not. It is more work for both of us but happily (and we laugh a lot [with Semih too he and I laugh but usually in English]) it comes out good in the end. And feels more authentic as an experience because even at Hotel Akça the staff would help me flounder around until I and they figured out what i needed. Sometimes teaching me a few words of the moment. So with Gülat this is teaching me more and I may never use it again but who knows? I like this kind of learning, sometimes stressful but the occasional success feels so good!

Day 25; 23rd July 2013

Morning, a flash drive with 8gb of photos now in my hands. I have unpacked and repacked, many times and now know how little extra room I have and how big a thing I need to pack the rest.

Today we will do only a few things- a shave (again) I've washed my shirt it's drying on a chair. Find a bag/case for my 'carry ons' maybe an extra walk or two. A quiet day in a big noisy city. I think it's already 28C/84F so hotter than Seattle will be and of course this is early morning cool.
Things you don't need to know re; Health so I am leaving them out.
On Semih's Ipad I downloaded Herodotus v.I and II Chapter 1 is all about the Aegean regions of Turkey- He was born/from Halicarnassus- and having seen many of the places he wrote about made it possible to read him. i had tried before (younger days) and just couldn't find entrance but now- fascinating- gripping even.
This is the end, not just the last day. There will be more thoughts and even now I realize that I will need to go back occasionally and fill in details that I didn't write about ~ sometimes because I was living them and just didn't need to write them down at the time. S & I went out I got a shave and we found an expensive leather -made in Turkey, a 'real' Turkish brand, and company and real leather- shoulder bag, so salt lump and everything I wish to bring back now fits in the 2 bags (pack and new bag.) Now when laying down a crew came in to install a burglar alarm, so no nap and just before that Gülat and I watched some cooking show(home cooking not restaurant style) more pre- Julia Child than anything I know of on TV now (and admit to knowing very little about that at all).

I asked Semih if he thought the trip was a success and with a bit of prodding he said yes "No accidents, only a little sicknesses- so yes" , then I asked if we saw some new things and if he was glad to have seen them again he said 'yes'. So even though much of this was a trip "for Jay" I hoped & tried to make it more a trip for both of us. Neither S or G had seen the Black Sea area that we traveled, I don't remember but think that some of Ilgaz mountain was new too. And even if they had been to Kastamonu (which I think they hadn't) the sound of the many calls to prayer experience was something special.

It is difficult, I know I am imposing my desires on them by coming here and those who know me, most would not want to be around me 24/7 for a whole month. Without trying I am a trying person. So the fact the Semih hasn't killed me nor have we really had an argument is nothing short of a miracle.

What he has done is decided that I am crazy. Not insane but a special kind of crazy ~ I think he means unique. I know too much and so little. I can recite myths and history and have too many stories to tell connected to whatever is going on. My various lives have given me that range of experience. He in turn has been an amateur musician in a band and for most of his life a practitioner of agricultural theory. He, as many of my friends, has sequential obsessions - he is not monochromatic but culturally (not in music but....) he has had limited exposure and in most things is a middle of the road man- leaning to conservative in his tastes. So when I open my mouth most of what comes out is a surprise to him.

Consider how generous with his time and family he has been to me and even I suspect with his money. He and Gülat are the kind of people who have a bit of saint a bit of earthy and it is often all there to see all the time.
We had dinner and then took a walk along the sea side, since it was 10PM so Ramazan fast was broken for the days. In many places and on the lawn in the park were gatherings of people feasting away. There was a full moon and on the water side were lines with balloons tied to them wiggling in the wind, for one lira you get 15 pellet shots and a pistol or kind of rifle to shoot at the balloons. Maybe there was a prize? Anyway the shot/pellets go into the water whether a balloon is popped or not.

Earlier I pointed out a swimming beach, Semih said the city says to swim was safe, but he didn't believe them. Now I see possibly lead shot being pumped into the water and on Sundays people are fishing from piers all over Turkey!
He will take me to the airport at midnight (5 hours early but more convenient for him and when traveling it's all inconvenient for me so this is ok.) Thankfully I will not freeze when I get to Seattle because it will be warmish at noon (so says NOAA)
When we returned to the house Semih discovers that the right front side turn signal has a short. We go up, I shower, and we have one last çay and I say goodbye to Gülat and Gülan. Gülat tells me to "remember that you have a family here who loves you" and we are off. Even though traffic is 'light' at midnight it's still a kind of wild ride as Semih is tired.
He drops me off we shake, hug I promise to email when I arrive home he drives off and.....
Flying is flying I will leave out for now the trip home it is enough that I did, a friend picked me up and though it was warm I still spent a number of days very cold.
bits and pieces

The musical education that Semih provided was mostly on the radio. There were only 2 times that we could have seen "folk' musicians and the first I was just too sick and the second was some "gypsies" playing in a restaurant on the Yahşi Boardwalk and we continued walking as the music sounded a little coy and touristic, which is what it should have been.

Historical Sights/sites
ah- that was golden. Since neither Semih or Gülat are as physically able or active as I can be (am?) the sites provided me with moments of movement freedom. Clambering up the steep side of Labranda in flip flops avoiding donkey dung- who would trade that for Croesus' gold in Sardes? Even those Christian praying after I learned that the little tiny church tucked in the back corner of the huge Temple to Artemisia was important has lent texture to the memory of the place but the Synagogue was more of a wow in Sardes and since I don't really know anything about the layout of a Jewish Temple, standing before the places where the scrolls were kept and later at the table (altar?) where I thought they would be unrolled and read aloud - a moment of silence - stunning.

The hardest part for me is to be always open to whatever comes next. I may not like it,and I miss out too often held back by my embarrassment of being human and having desires. I suspect that I was hard on Semih as I was judging our experiences, food, tea, kahve, the art, the scenery. Judging not always in fact often not at all to find fault but to find some essence in the thing we were doing. The essence of much of the food I ate in Turkey is fresh vegetables and fried or grilled ground lamb. For my own diet at home this would have been extremely protein heavy, and too much fried food....Other than the salads most vegetables are very cooked, often in a sauce made from their own juices. Most of the time it very much tasted like what it was. The time it didn't were dolmates where the rice had currents or a spice mixed into it.

I think that Çiya Sofrasi was not a great success because I had already eaten all over the country and many excellent times from Gülat's table, so I had a taste/subtle understanding of what Turkish food could be and this was neither extraordinary or perfect enough on the day we were there to be outstanding. The green falafels of the day before were exceptional both because I'd never eaten them before and it was close to the first food I'd been able to queasily keep down after being so violently ill.

Still I smile at the memory and williingness of all to allow me to get the autograph. I was honored by the waiter pushing through the crowd to get me to her, at the long autograph given while chaos of business could easily have taken precedence and lastly that even with the little Turkish that I had they understood how touched and heartfelt/moved I was by their actions.

I'm sure this could happen anywhere to anyone but it happened to me, in Turkey.

Scene in Frankfurt boarding the plane for home....a little (Turkish) girl comes up and stands in front of me and asks her parents and me tangentially what I was ~ I say 'Adam' (a man) and touch her nose- she was not convinced and continued to turn around and stare until she and her family boarded.
music to listen to or to play yourself
I wrote this based on a Turkish model
of how verses in a Turkish song always seem to be the same word
a pdf version

My Seatmate is Russian with very very little English and seemingly no other languages, so the stewardess is having trouble understanding his needs/requests. I am translating it for her (he's trying to say the English words they are just distorted) - at one point I caught my thoughts 'What country am I from?" Sometimes the stewardess would speak German or Turkish or even English to me she was unsure and I answered in whatever language she spoke.(and I have practically no German either). The Russian was visiting family in Seattle - had never been there and other family members were on the plane but not seated near him (which I thought was odd, but was certainly inconvenient for him).