Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Turkey, here I come.

Last week I watched The Beach on my computer just to get holiday-charged. Halfway through the movie, I took a nap just to wake up to Leonardo DiCaprio. What a brilliant idea!

I’m off to Turkey this week and I couldn’t be more excited.

My travel buddies on this trip are: 
My Scratch Map
Aku – the one who can’t be trusted with passports, money, the camera or directions but still is the best person to travel with. She taught me her mantra of reciting affirmations over popping pills and it isn’t all rubbish.

My mom – the one who changes her accent depending on which country she’s in. Currently in a state of total excitement about experiencing Turkey’s culinary delights.

And my grandmom – who starts every sentence these days with ‘Call Turkey and ask them’ (when she says Turkey, she probably means the Embassy) and generally ends her sentence with ‘What’s their famous drink?’ She also spends an hour every evening at home in her walking shoes readying herself for all the walking she’s about to do on the trip.

I guess with family along my lifelong fantasy of meeting Ethan Hawke on a train and falling in love while spending a day with him somewhere in Europe isn’t coming true.

But, I just can’t wait to leave this phallicesque city that we lovingly call Bombay with my medium sized valise and a sense of adventure. All the way to Istanbul. It takes me back to the days when I played Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? I think that’s the reason why I have always been good at geography.

I have been going crazy for the past few weeks on Yes, that’s how I start planning my holidays. I either buy the book or go online day after day reading up about fun things to experience while on holiday.

On this holiday I plan on doing a couple of things. During the process of booking our hotels I came across a hotel called Cartoon hotel. Yes, seriously that’s what it’s called. The hotel looked average-normal but the website sort of freaked me out with it’s Mickey Mouse look.

I first had us booked at Romance Hotel which after a point started sounding a bit shady to me, even after reading the great reviews on So I switched to another hotel from where we are to be eating breakfast on the rooftop while taking in the breathtaking view of Istanbul.

I wish Istanbul was still called Constantinople. I would’ve loved just saying it over and over again. 
I’m going to Constantinople. I’m going to Constantinople. 

From Istanbul we’re going to Cappadocia which is full of caves. Yabba-dabba-doo!

Wine & Cheese
Basically I plan on bumming around in what I call my bum shorts which I described to a friend as being smaller than my face. I am not sure if I was even exaggerating. I love being half naked Neha on holiday. Though I don’t know if that’s advisable in Turkey that too during Ramadan.

But I plan on dressing up everyday and looking as swellegant as ever.

Warming myself in the sunlight while holding a drink with a parasol in it.

Eating olives even though I’m not a fan but just cause I’m in Turkey. 

Or maybe I’ll eat a turkey, just to be ironic.

Timeout Magazine, Mumbai.
I’m not so sure about eating anything else (especially after reading a restaurant review in Timeout Mumbai). 

Sleeping like a shrimp.

Maybe going for a Turkish bath, if it isn’t too weird.

Seeing the Blue Mosque.

And the dancing dervishes which my friend, Shivani described as being a fancier version of khwaja mere khwaja (from Jodha Akbar).

And maybe even a hot air balloon ride.

Shopping? Umm. Let’s see. Don’t really have the space for even a handkerchief in my cupboard at the moment. What does one buy in Turkey? An ottoman?

There’s still a lot I seem to be missing out on like a Trojan horse, an ancient city and hot springs. But, unfortunately no time for that. Wish my travels were as unending as a mobius strip (I recently saw a wedding ring shaped like one – how brilliant).

Anyway still a lot to figure out. Like do I need an adaptor for Turkey?
I should get started with the packing. Not quite sure about how I’m going to make it for such an early morning flight. I guess I’ll have to treat it like the Football World Cup. I actually went to sleep and put an alarm and woke up in the middle of the night to catch the end but it kept going into overtime and I just couldn’t do it. But, I think the in-flight entertainment is quite an incentive to be up that early in the a.m. I just hope Turkish Airlines gives you your own screen.

But, I can’t wait to go. Only when I come back my car won’t be there anymore. Sold it today. I went driving all around Bandra all morning just so I don't feel so bad. That took care of about half of my sorrows. The spinach and scamorza pizza took care of the rest of it. 
I said my goodbye pretty much the way I have ended a conversation with a boyfriend or with God - Bye, Love you
We’ve been through so much together. 

I will miss you.

This trip couldn’t have happened at a better time. 
Holiday = antidepressant. 
Can’t wait to get going. Hoping to have one of those A ha moments on life plans.

Goodbye Bombay. Goodbye Car.

Before I go I would like to end this post with a quote by the Sufi poet, Rumi 
(who coincidentally happens to be from Turkey).
Quote by Rumi. Postcard by me.
It doesn’t exactly make sense here but it sounded so sweet.
Just so you know where to meet me once I’m back. 

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