I had to make the joke. Karagöz the trickster puppet – and fan of bad jokes – has been bugging me for weeks to do so. “If you are really going to make the trek to Cyprus for Thanksgiving, you’d better damned well make the joke!” The back story is this: After over a year of being various states of unwell (and thanks, by the way, for all of your continuing good wishes), with two trips planned and cancelled, we faced losing a chunk of airplane ticket change, and decided to fit this trip into my sabbatical year fellowship’s vacation period. M. needs a vacation – and I know – though he will not admit – a hit of his original home country.
He’d be more likely to say that the U.S. is his home now – but I can see that there is an ache for “home stuff.” This will include, he tells me with great relish, a culinary visit for some tripe soup and kokoreç in Istanbul as well as some sahlep (here’s an old post about that wintry drink) although it might be a little bit early. It’s the season for those things.
Don’t google kokoreç if you are faint of heart – but I will explain that the Turks I know say that eating charcoal-grilled colon in the winter is safer than eating it in the summer, for reasons you can surmise…Kenne, the Puppet known as the Queen of Manners and Maintenance of Ladylike Behavior, has, by the way, just fainted at the notion that I will even CONSIDER eating kokoreç. She was heard to say “It is just not done by a lady – ah – all my efforts -” before she fainted. Her handmaiden, Zenne, the puppet who is as nervous and shakey as a bowl of quince jelly, is fanning her and bringing out the smelling salts.
And despite all the kafuffle (my Granny’s word for chaos) in the realm of the puppet ladies, it is true, we’re heading to Turkey for the Thanksgiving holiday. Well, the TRNC actually, a.k.a. Northern Cyprus. Specifically, we are headed as far off the beaten track as possible, which in this case is the Dipkarpaz peninsula – it points just towards Antakya/Northern Syria and lies close to Mersin on the Turkish mainland. M. has never been – nor have I.
“Why not,” I decided out of frustration at my health, “take a trip to a UN Peacekeeping Zone while dealing with ongoing illnesses? I don’t want to lose that money – and I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired!”
So for now it’s back to the packing drawing board – only taking one carry-on and must reduce current load by half to be able to carry it comfortably. I am focused on a few days with loved ones in Istanbul before relaxing in the Cypriots’ sun while watching my husband’s happiness at a real vacation with the food (and Ak Deniz) that he misses so much. Please stay tuned for stories to come, I am sure. Hopefully, the stories will involve information about Cypriot politics (oy vey!), the ocean trash problem in this part of the Mediterranean Sea (a.k.a. Ak Deniz) and of course – wild donkeys – in a good way!
- Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus – Kyrenia, Cyprus (travelpod.com)
- Atlantis of the 21st Century Found, Northern Cyprus (ilkanpasa.wordpress.com)
- Turkish Cypriots offer to share water with South (worldbulletin.net)
- ‘Spy’ imprisoned in the TRNC (worldbulletin.net)
- Turkey’s EU Minister: TRNC and EU indispensable for Turkey (worldbulletin.net)
- Football Reunites in Cyprus (footandball.net)
- North Cyprus – 30 years since the TRNC Declaration of Independence (tfrnorthcyprus.wordpress.com)
- Turkish EU Minister: Ban Ki-moon plan for Cyprus might be shaped (en.trend.az)
- Turkish Cypriots want peace talks to resume (dailystar.com.lb)
- Gas Pipeline Plan Could Bring Solution For Cyprus (eurasiareview.com)