Turkey for Thanksgiving – or – Dinner with Donkeys in Dipkarpaz

A few wild donkeys from Northern Cyprus. Perfect spot for two human donkeys (stubborn lot that we are) to vacation despite it all. (Click photo for attribution)

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.

Kokoreç in the making. (Image thanks to the inimitable Carpetblog.typepad.com)

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.

English: Greek-orthodox Church in Rizokarpaso ...

English: Greek-orthodox Church in Rizokarpaso (Dipkarpaz) or Karpass, Northern Cyprus Photo taken 2002. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Map of Cyprus (click link for attribution)

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.

Golden beach at sunset, Karpass Peninsula

Golden beach at sunset, Karpaz Peninsula (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“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!

This entry was posted in Puppets on the move around the world, Turkish Controversies, Turkish Food!, Visits from the Karagöz puppets and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Turkey for Thanksgiving – or – Dinner with Donkeys in Dipkarpaz

  1. May it be a warm and welcome time that occupies your mind and heart with joys and conversations and sights and smells and tastes that will take your mind off all your troubles and bring much healing. Happy days!

  2. joycecolman says:

    Welcome back. I have missed you. I am so glad you are off to a different land than the land of sick and tired. I am looking so forward to words from Turkey and Cyprus.
    Ya know a favorite (not of mine) old jewish dish is stuffed derma, Kishka. That is stuffed intestines, of the cow I think. (of pig wouldn’t be kosher). My parents and grandparents loved it. I have eaten it out of it’s “skin”. Thestuffing is tasty, but not my idea of where I want to be eating from! Have a great trip. I hope M enjoys eating his way across the penninsula. j

  3. Jack Scott says:

    Have a fun and restful time. You really have chosen to be off the well-beaten track – North Kibris in all its unspoilt glory.

  4. hello E, at last we meet. I am a friend of jc, above. received a notice you’ve started following AaCL blog, but since I’m not presently writing there, perhaps you might want to follow my eatingartwork.wordpress blog. I always enjoy reading S-by-S. my brother lived in Istanbul for 15 years. altho I never visited, I feel a connection. he spent several weeks ‘vacationing’ in northern cyprus a few years ago, just before moving back to the states. I hope your trip is healing on every level possible. and may we meet face-to-face one day, over tea with jc. yrs, cj

  5. lizcameron says:

    CJ, thank you SO much for writing – I knew it was you as soon as I saw the grapfruit – have been an admirer from afar. Also how great that we have this connection! I will look forward to seeing you over tea SOON!

  6. lizcameron says:

    Now I’m going to have to troll Perking the Pansies for any Kibris data! Thanks, Jack.

  7. lizcameron says:

    I like being off to a land other than sick and tired too! Stuffed derma – kishka – never heard of them! Thank you for sharing the information. I am going to look out for anything similar – a large Jewish cuisine in Ladino-influenced parts of Turkey (and northern Syria). Miss you already.

  8. lizcameron says:

    Thank you so much for your good and warm wishes – we will report back on all of the above!

  9. Alan says:

    ‘ . . I am the resurrection and the life’ sayeth the puppet mistress ‘they who believeth in me shall be well and truly strung along!’ Wonderful to have you back, have a really good, revialising time and don’t have too many choc-ices 🙂

  10. lizcameron says:

    Thanks so much for the encouragement – hoping the puppet mistress muse is back to stay!

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