Travel Time

Night flights are great – they go by super fast because its not a matter of “ohh I should probably try and sleep” rather your body just decides to shut down on you proclaiming that you have no choice in the matter. Not to mention I got to see Chicago from the sky at night – really it is a city of squares and the downtown looked so little – kind of like a model that belonged in the Museum of Science and Industry – but nonetheless impressive. Especially once I saw the haphazard lay out (with more crooked roads and a lacking skyline) of Ankara since I flew in at midnight.

After a bit of chit-chatting with my flight neighbor (a 21 year -old gal who was going home to Bosnia for her best friend’s wedding – instant bonding since I was returning from a wedding) that was everything from what we do (she works at the O’Hare airport) to our mutual phobia of spiders and bugs over our free glasses of wine, I zonked out and I zonked out hard.

Window seats are prime real estate for getting your zzzz’s on. Slept right on through the breakfast and when I did finally come to the flight attendant was there to serve juice with a super friendly and yet mischievous “good morning” all rolled into one. It was kinda like “oh yeah I saw you drooling last night when you were sleeping – I won’t judge though because I would’ve been doing the same if I didn’t have to work”.

The downfall to it all – sleeping on a plane makes you stiff no matter what, add a 7 mile run to the mix and well I was all kinds of stiff when I got up. I was definitely doing some odd stretches in the Munich airport while a woman looked on and just chuckled. Not to mention I gave myself quite the colorful bruise on my upper arm with my backpacking bag at the very start of my journey – super tender, but at the very least it makes me look tough. Over the 25 hour journey it has gone from pink to purple to more blue – maybe in two days it will be green/yellow…who needs a tattoo when bruises give you the whole spectrum?

Being cooped up in an airport for 7 hours with only a half hour of free wi-fi = actually doing thesis reading and teaching myself all sorts of new Turkish grammar. English speaker, learning Turkish in a German airport – love my life. It’s the equivalent feeling to watching the Olympics in 3 different languages in the span of 2 days: EnglishàGermanàTurkish. Grand. Super grand. And I must say that watching women’s dead weight lifting (is that what it is even called) is a first for me – not sure the US even gives it airtime… Such a strange sport and yet I’ve come to appreciate that these women are able to lift more than 2X their weight. (the winner 53kg with a max lift of 131kg – wicked insane)

What is not so grand – blazing heat – it’s even hotter than imaginable with no escaping it – the city of Ankara is melting – I’m sure of it (and the sun is not even up). My taxi ride was super breezy flying down the deserted interstate with the window rolled down, but upon walking into my homestay/bedroom I felt like I was in Dante’s Inferno. Not to mention on my bed was a super thin sheet – major warning sign…

Did end the travels on a high note – my taxi driver thought I was awesome – he wanted me to sit up front with him, but I learned my lesson with that. He was super cool though – we chit chatted the whole time – from asking about my reasons for learning Turkish to Obama to what cars my parents drive. If I didnt know a word he would keep repeating it – didnt really help but it was super funny. Not speaking Turkish for a week and it being a long day made for some iffy Turkish but I’ve come to welcome and downright enjoy the

Off to try and battle the jet lag since I start up my third course of Turkish tomorrow – oye vey…or is inshallah more appropriate??

Cheers from Turkey