One of my favorite readers, Joan Applepie, has dubbed me “Mr. Globetrotter.” That handle has absolutely nothing to do with my basketball skills. I attribute those to my height. She calls me “Mr. Globetrotter” because every time we communicate I’m either heading towards or coming back from somewhere special.
Right now her Mr. Globetrotter is yawning, stretching and suffering from that irritable fatigue that follows a long flight through several time zones. I am painfully afflicted with jet lag. My roommate and I just returned from an exciting two-week adventure in Turkey. Before you ask, the answer is ….YES! I DID eat turkey in Turkey. Why does everyone I speak to ask me the same question? Then before I have a chance to respond I am greeted with hysterical laughter. It’s cute when Samantha, my super-intelligent, beautiful eight-year-old granddaughter asks me, “Did you eat turkey in Turkey?”
Yes, sweetheart. I also ate Doner Kebab, Azerbaijani Pilaf, and the number one toxic item for diabetics who are interested in suicide, Baklava.
In Istanbul they brag that Turkish Cuisine is one of the top five in the world. Considering that Istanbul is the capitol city of Turkey I am shocked that they didn’t refer to their cuisine as the one singular best. The night before I left for home I ordered something with a very exotic name for dinner. I dined on Tavuk Tandir. Tasted like chicken. I just looked it up. It was chicken.
Am I imagining it or are people crazier now than ever before. They are angry and frustrated and will shout at you for wearing a political pin, chase you for having a bumper sticker that they don’t agree with, and actually try to pick a fight if they see you reading a book written by an author they hate. This is the second time that this has happened to me.
There was some bad weather heading our way so my roommate and I left for the airport very early. We checked in, had plenty of time for a cup of coffee and then spent the rest of our time relaxing near the gate waiting for our flight to be called. I passed the time by reading my brand new copy of the best selling book “Fleeced” by Dick Morris.
“How can you read that crap?” I looked up at the very tall, very large, very overweight, big-chested, big-mouthed yenta shouting at me. A gorilla this size you don’t start up with. I positioned by body in another direction hoping she’d disappear, but no.
She barked again. “Why are you reading that piece of ---?”
Calmly and very composed I softly asked “What didn’t you like about it?” “Oh, I never read it,” she responded. “I wouldn’t read anything by that……” again she used vulgar street language consisting of some inappropriate wording for portions of the anatomy.
I could have told her that this book has been on the bestseller list for many weeks. I could have told her how knowledgeable and intelligent Dick Morris is. I could have told her a lot, but I didn’t. I merely stood up and changed my seat to an empty one about five seats away. I then heard a one-line comment from the gal next to me. “She’s either drunk or a very angry Hillary fan. Possibly both.”
I nodded and went back to reading. By the way, there’s a lot of truth in “Fleeced.”
Whenever I travel abroad I prepare myself by doing two things. I learn how to say “Hello”, “Please”, “Thank you” and “Where is the toilet?” in the language of the country I’m heading to. I also bring along some currency of that particular country. I was prepared with American dollars, $100 dollars worth of Turkish Lira and $150 worth of Euros. Wherever we shopped we found it strange that merchants were more interested in and preferred my American dollars. One shopkeeper confided in me that according to his retail community the most valuable piece of paper is the U.S. one hundred dollar bill. They are very well aware of the fact that the value of the dollar is low but they have a lot more confidence in U.S. currency than we think.
I am StanGershb
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