Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Heat Culture

Kazasker Jamii on a Quiet Night

It seems that from Grants Pass, Oregon, to Istanbul, Turkey, things are hot. I talked to home yesterday and the temp in GP was 103.3 degrees. In fact the whole West Coast is hot and miserable.
It isn't quite that hot here (wait until August), but the lack of AC sure makes it seem warm. The coolest we have seen the inside temp is 82 degrees in the middle of the night. During the day it hits the high 90's. We are in the shower frequently and wet from the heat in between. "Damp" is our life right now.
We were taking care of government paperwork yesterday in one of the large civil buildings downtown. The line was long and we were crowded into a narrow hallway with one small window that was half open behind the counter. I was holding a form in my hand and by the time I handed it to the clerk it was soaked. The sweat was running down my arms and dripping off my fingers onto the floor. The locals were standing patiently while puddles collected on the floor from the perspiration that was dripping off of them.
A young guy at the front of the line wasn't pleased with the service so he started yelling and taking swings at the little girl behind the counter. Then pell mell hit and we found ourselves in the middle of a good old fist fight. Offices emptied as employees started to rush into the fray. Our small hallway became a sea of people and we found ourselves caught in the wave of movement as the intensity of the fight picked up.
Since we are here to learn the culture and understand the people, I shoved Ann in a corner and looked for the opportunity to leap in. Ahhh...the good days were back and I found the moment refreshing and invigorating. Sweat, body odor, testosterone and a fight you couldn't lose...You can't put a price on that one!
It all ended with a bunch of Turks dragging the ruffian down the marble steps and into a back lot. Just seconds after they had him behind the door....he quit making such a fuss. I think there was a "no paperwork" solution to the problem. It was a great lesson in reactive discipline. I am still smiling.
Waiting Out The Heat At Cemre Kebap

Sorry about the side story...Back to the agenda: It has been so warm that even in the middle of the night the cafes and coffee houses have been empty. The last few days parts of Istanbul have seemed deserted.
That kinda messes things up...I had just submitted our next travel column to the papers talking about the "enchanting evenings and great weather" when things suddenly turned warm. I am not the Master of Timing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've been trying to land your blog site for a few weeks. Finally landed the right method and Hey! what's this. Yes, I found what someone had told me about. The Nomad family of four. Looks great to me. todays temp. isn't too bad, that is if you sweat while you move like you and I sweat when we ran a couple miles. Maybe you don't remember me? But I know your best friend who happens to live close by. He told me that he knew you were ok but to keep on caring. OK!I care. But this old duffers (me) trips haven't been quite as interesting as yours. What's the boys name? Stanley? Tell him that your friend knows Stanley and Ely and Ann and he knows they will be okay too.
Just get out on the ledge and keep looking up. Keeping you in my deep thoughts. Hope I am now your friend and will tell your best friend all about my having rached you, I hope. Sincerely George

Living, Traveling, and Wandering on the Far Side of the World

Living, Traveling, and Wandering on the Far Side of the World