Monday, May 9, 2011

looking back

Well, we're home. There were so many things that could've gone wrong our last day, but almost nothing went awry. We got up early, drove from Cirali to Antalya (check, no problems), bought gas (check, no problems), found the airport (check), returned the rental car (check), confirmed that our seats were reserved for both flights and that our bags checked all the way through to JFK (check), flew to Istanbul (check), left the airport for 3 hours or so and found a restaurant and then found a cab back to the airport (check), and flew home.

Marc had looked at Google Maps, to see the area around the airport. He picked out a little spot along the water that had a bunch of restaurants, but that's really all we knew about it. It was a residential area, turns out, and since it was Mother's Day there was a lot of family hubbub (although maybe it's always like that on Sundays, who knows). There was a van with a loudspeaker, and people handing out two red carnations to the women (who looked like mothers? I have no idea, but I took the flowers). We wandered around for an hour or so, then picked a gorgeous little restaurant called Figaro's with wisteria hanging from the arbor. I can't remember the name of what we had, but it was GREAT -- a kind of Turkish spanakopita, I think.

me with my Mother's day carnations, which matched my red shirt
and our YUMMY lunch, with the ever-present Turkish tea
Leaving Istanbul, though, was very upsetting for me. When we got to the gate, we first had to be grilled by a gate agent, who demanded to see our full travel itinerary for the day, and who asked more than the standard questions about who packed our bags, etc. One question was if we had anything on us that could resemble a weapon, and I volunteered that I had knitting needles. After a debate with the supervisor, I was allowed to take them (note, it hadn't been a problem anywhere else on this trip). Then a stop at one desk for a lengthy something with our passports, then a stop at another desk for something with our passports, then the body and bag check. While I was being seriously physically examined by a female agent, two others were going through my bags. They came to the knitting needles and told me they were forbidden. I told them that the supervisor said I could keep them and they just said no, they're not allowed. I tried to argue but they were insistent. I pointed to the supervisor and told them that he said they were OK, and they said no. So I pulled the needles out of what I was knitting, and I was so upset. I was handing the needles to the idiot woman and the supervisor came over and said oh, sorry, that's my fault. You can keep them.

I don't know why this was so very upsetting to me. We sat down to wait, and I was crying and my hands were shaking, and then my nose started bleeding. I put the stitches back on the needles, to deal with it later, and it took me a long time to calm down. Something about the total randomness of their complete authority, I think. Just someone's whim. The flight took off late, but the rest was uneventful....though it took us an hour to get through the passport check at JFK.

So now it's a memory, our Turkish vacation. It's a bit confusing, because this was more like a fall vacation; usually our 1-week spring vacation is to a beach somewhere, where we stay in one spot the whole week, and our 2-week fall vacations are to somewhere far away, and we travel around the whole time. So coming home, my head was kind of expecting to return to cold late-autumn weather. I'll adjust. :)  It was a great trip. One thing I'll always remember is how the fathers tended to hold the small kids, the babies, and their utter delight with them. They'd squeeze them and kiss their little cheeks like they were the sweetest sugar. And the old men would watch, and smile.

Below is the entire slideshow of pictures we took; I'll be expanding the posts below, with more information and photos, so even if you've seen them before, take a quick peek down the blog because there might be something new.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry about your experience with the knitting needles. That would be so frustrating! I'm glad you eventually got them back though. I loved reading about your entire trip and I am glad to see that you got home safely! :)


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