Neil's wheelless 17‏

17. May 15, 2012

Dear Vicarious Travelers;

Neil called first thing this morning.

The first item of business is a retraction of a previously made statement: the Turks do speak English as well as, if not better than, the Iranians. Neil’s hasty judgment was caused by a sampling error. He had not talked to enough people. However, now with a larger sample, the truth is out.

On a related matter, I asked around town how many people spoke Turkish. I have not found one, yet. I must have too small a sample.

Neil has developed a persistent cough and has lost his cough drops. While he was reporting this, a cuckoo-cuckoo clock started cuckoo-cuckooing in the background.

He has had difficulty finding a telephone that will work with his prepaid AT&T calling card. He enters an 11 digit free access code for the AT&T network, a 6 digit password, and then the 11 digit phone number for me. At that point, the phone goes dead. When the system works, it is really good. His voice sounded like he was next door.

Some people have asked me about these Fatima/Fadime people. I arranged this to save Neil from having to remember two different names. The lady with the A is a tour guide from Iran and the one with an E is Neil’s friend in Turkey. Neil met her, however improbably, in Eugene at a conference where he teaches Mediation Techniques for the University of Oregon law school. One day she told Neil that she would be his guide if he ever came to her country. She assumed that it was a safe offer. Poor woman, little did she know!

Tonight he is in Antalya. When he left the previous city, he was told to be out in front of his pension at 7:30 for the first bus. Neil decided to be a little early. That bus arrived and left 15 minutes early. The connecting bus did the same thing: left 10 minutes before the scheduled departure time. The bus to Antalya was 5 hours long with 2 stops.

Tip: save yourself thousands of dollars and do a You-Tube search for Pamukkale. You can see the same thing that Neil is seeing. Then, when he gets back, you can pretend that you were there before him. Drop a comment such as, “Didn’t you just love the travertine mountain?”

Also, check out his pension: “Our first aim is to satisfy all our guests at the most degree.” Neil got satisfied while eating his dinner on the pension roof-top. A large crane few by about 20 feet away.

Neil’s camera is still kaput. Every day that goes by, he is missing more good photos. And, when he gets back, he will have that many fewer for me to see. L

Neil missed a chance to buy ancient coins from the many sellers roaming the ruins of Ephesus. He had been warned that they were not genuine. Think about that. The coins were made by the same Turkish people, using the same methods as 2000 years ago, but they are not genuine?

He bought a banana and some dried figs at a local farmer’s market. I don’t know what he did with the banana peel. Probably, he is going to bring it home for me as a Christmas gift.


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