Station Identification

About 12 hours after my previous post, I was ready to write.  In fact, I’d deliberated about the topic of Turkish Men long enough that I’d broken my somewhat-cooled feelings into three representational stories, each of which would cover a different facet of my frustration.

Right about then, as I started hopscotching around possible names for these three posts in much the fashion of a moth that’s been tippling in the Jameson’s attempting to find purchase on an Itty Bitty Book Light,

a new thing arose, and this thing is called The Tension Between Living Real Life and Chronicling That Real Life in Cyberspace. Indeed, quite when I was all jetted up and ready to divagate about Turkish men’s mustaches passing for eggplants and their body odor on crowded buses sending me reeling to my pomander (note to self:  replace cloves),

I found, day after day, I didn’t have time to devote to a proper litany of my annoyances.

The fullness of my recent days isn’t all that arresting, really, but it’s stuff nevertheless: 

–I’ve been teaching a couple of summer classes, online, and so any time I have an hour at the computer, priority dictates that I check in there and do some grading and replying;

–We’ve been trying to wring the last drops of Wow from our time in Turkey (we will be on the plane home in just under a month and feel, already, that there’s too much we haven’t seen or done), which means that a week ago we rented a car and spent two days visiting the ancient capital of the Hittite civilization (full post can be read here:  Then, yesterday, we flew to Turkey’s third largest city, Izmir, so that we could drop off our Girl at the international NASA space camp.  With her being at camp for six days, Paco, Groom and I are renting an apartment (to get a sense of how Turkey works, try this out:  our friend Christina, who lived in Cappadocia when we first came, was giving Thai massage lessons to a doctor named Deniz; Deniz has recently grabbed a boyfriend named Basar; we are staying here in Izmir at Basar’s aunt’s house; she is out of town, but her 18-year-old son met us at the airport and spent the entire afternoon then helping us get Girl to camp and teaching us the train and Metro systems in the city, not to mention showing us how to turn on the water heater for the shower in his mom’s apartment).  We have the week here in Izmir to explore–incidentally, Izmir used to be called Smyrna–and to greet our friend Kirsten when she arrives Friday for her Big Turkey Visit.  With Kirsten, we’ll pick up Girl on Saturday from camp, and then we’ll all bus it down to the city of Kusadasi (where cruise ships disgorge bloated passengers looking to buy leather goods) for three nights; the city will serve as a base for us to play at Europe’s largest waterpark and, another day, to trip down to the ruins at Ephesus.  After that, we’ll all fly to Istanbul to sightsee with Kirsten for two days before we jet back to Cappadocia and introduce Kirsten to the donkeys in the ‘hood.

In short, I’m nowhere near done with Turkish men (and the women who leave them placidly sipping their tea), but right now, I’m sufficiently wound up with mentally processing the Hittites, agogging at the sunsets over the Aegean, and trying to figure out the bus routes to the Izmir Starbucks.

At this rate, I’ll be completely free of lather about Turkish men when I finally sit down to rant.  Instead of focusing my attention on dissecting the deeply-socialized pathology of an entire gender, I’ll probably just announce that Groom and I are packing a lad named Mehmet in a duffel bag to Duluth, and once he’s successfully secreted through customs, we’ll plant him in our mint patch as Northern Minnesota’s hairiest garden gnome.

Until then, gander at these recent glimpses, woncha?

First, we have Girl and Jocelyn at the Lions’ Gate in Hattusas (the Hittite capital):

Then there’s the Aegean. And that amazing burning circle in the sky.








23 responses to “Station Identification”

  1. chlost Avatar

    Ah, well, I suppose busy is a good excuse not to rant. I was looking forward to reading it, though. I hope that you get a chance to do/see most of what is still to do with Turkey. But then, having a few items left on the list would give you reason to return.
    Enjoy the ending of your adventure.
    PS I want to know how to take one of your online writing classes.

    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      You can rest assured that I’m still roiling with annoyance and raised eyebrows at the testosterone here, so it’ll come in good time.

      Online writing class (probably disappointing in reality…I use some of my old blog posts as tie-ins to my weekly “announcements”)…if you know where I teach (do you?), I’m on the course schedule, so it’s just a matter of registering. If you wait ’til you’re a senior citizen, credits are startlingly cheap.

  2. Jenn @ Juggling Life Avatar

    That sunset is enough to render one senseless.

    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      That’s pretty much where my head is at this week, Jenn. You got it.

  3. lime Avatar

    well…ok….ancient history and amazing scenery do have a way of rinsing down a good lather i suppose.

    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      Don’t sound so disappointed, chica! The emotion is still there…I just need the time to work it all out (like getting the toothpaste out of its tube).

  4. Jazz Avatar

    I’m sure you’ll be able to get yourself worked up enough to give us a good rant once the busy is over.

    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      Your faith in my ability to head off the rails is inspiring. Yea, the rant is still in there. It’ll come a’calling.

  5. kmkat Avatar

    Your rant may eventually become more of an anthropological treatise, which will be informative but not nearly as much fun.

    Ephesus — is that like the book of Ephesians (sp?) in the Bible? My Biblical knowledge is near zilch, having been raised a Methodist; they most concentrate on teaching things like “sharing” and “being nice”, rather than on Biblical texts.

    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      Yup, the Ephesians lived in Ephesus (a Greek city that later became Roman). I’ll know more once I go there!

  6. Friko Avatar

    Okay, that’s all fine and dandy, nice sightseeing stuff, nice family and friends stuff.
    But what I can’t, simply cannot get over, is that you are looking for a Starbucks in Smyrna, when you can have Turkish coffee.

    Or, come to remember it from Greek and Turkish caffs in London, perhaps I can.

    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      It’s a rarity to find a good Turkish coffee here, in fact! Most are half-heartedly made, not using the necessary process of boil and lower temp and do some magic and spin around three times that a good cup of Turkish coffee requires. Plus, even when it is made well, the size of the coffee (1-2 ounces) doesn’t satisfy my need to suck on a mug of coffee in leisurely fashion. This year has been a terrible challenge, coffeewise; the fact that I’d ever willingly seek out a Starbucks is huge indication of that.

  7. Monica Avatar

    I get a picture of y’all panting around , all worked up to see as much as possible the last month..
    Enjoy as many gorgeous sunsets you can!

    Mehmet the gnome – does that mean he got what he deserved, and some?

    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      If he got what he deserved, Mehmet the gnome would be buried head-down, pantsless.

  8. Pearl Avatar

    Joce, my friend, that lather is out there and waiting for you. No rush — but I do want to hear more about what’s gotten you all lathered up. 🙂 I think it will be informative and funny.


    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      Your words inspire me, Pearl! I’m off on material-seeking missions again tomorrow…the unfortunate thing is that I’m on the West Coast, which is all progressive and modern and liberal, so the men kind of seem, um, normalish. Once we get back to Cappadocia, I’ll pull out my reporter’s notebook and fill the pages in an afternoon.

  9. Deborah Avatar

    Writing after the heat of the moment has cooled just doesn’t have the same impact, or the same sense of urgency to just get it all down. Pity, really. It would have terrific to read a Turkish man-rant from you, but I can see that it might be one of those things you wished for longingly but just never got for Christmas.
    I’ll live. I know that there’ll be something else coming from you that more than makes up for the one we’re all missing.
    I laughed at your expression ‘the last few drops of Wow’ – you’re sure wrapping things up in grand style, and I’m impressed that you even had the time to let us in on it. .

    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      I do have at least three “Why Males in Turkey Make Me Nuts” posts brewing…and I can work up a good head of heat on the subject at any time, so never fear, sweetheart.

      But I’ll ease in to it. As a gesture of good faith about my ability to get riled, I can tell you–with the requisite swearing that they engender in me–that Turkish males’ behavior is bullsh**. See how easy it is to get me going?

  10. Julie Sucha Anderson Avatar

    I’m completely happy hearing about Turkish men at a later date. Found your itinerary satisfied me completely. Enjoy this last month.

    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      And how much do I like you, Julia? More than I do Turkish men, that’s for sure!

  11. secret agent woman Avatar

    I guess things got put in perspective. But you can always rant once you return home.

    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      I hope to rant as soon as next week!

  12. ds Avatar

    Incredible that your Turkish year is coming to a close. Incredible that you have held your rant in for so long (it’s gonna be a doozy, isn’t it). Incredible that you, of all people, are seriously considering seeking out a Starbucks in Izmir/Smyrna.
    Incredible, incredible photos.

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