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Trip Report From Denver to Virtuous

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There is a town on the coast of South Central Turkey called Erdemli, meaning "Virtuous" in English.

This trip report will be about the road trip from Istanbul to Erdemli, going partially on some less traveled routes to meet Joe, (my former professor of comparative politics at Denver who had written his PhD dissertation on Erdemli) and his family.

The difficult United States trip of October needed to be balanced with another simpler and mellower one, and this was our chance. Joe had written to mention his forthcoming visit to his old alma mater to visit not only the town but also the public authorities there, and it occurred to us to tag along.

This may be the opportunity for Eser to get some beach time if the weather treats her well and for me to brush up my debating skills on American and Turkish politics, the Arab Spring, Moderate Islam, Democracy & Terrorism, Syria as a new gladiatorial arena for the major powers.

Our route will involve an overnight at our home in Nicea to shorten the first day's driving and to feed Pasha the guard dog, the rabbits, turkeys, pidgeons and peacocks; a leisurely drive to Afyon on the second day and a possibility of seeing one Phrygian site missed at earlier trip; and a drive through hitherto undiscovered territory from Afyon to Side through Aksehir, Beysehir and Nevsehir.
We shall have a night or two at Side on the beach, depending on the weather and then drive to Anamur to meet Joe and family.

We shall carry on us various talismans, good luck charms and other paraphernalia to ward of the evil eye, envy and jealosy of friends and foes alike. I am hoping that thus will my metabolism improve and I will be able to eat like a human and still lose some weight, a feat i have not been able to master the last fifteen or so years, possibly due to the weakness of the charms and wards on my person and.or in my vicinity.

Tomorrow, I will look for a blue eye to hang from the exhaust pipe of the car as well as a nicer one for hanging down the rear view mirror. Eser is uselesly arguing against my firm decision to also hang some cloves of garlic from the jacket hanging hook on top of the rear door. Fatima's hand, a cross, a star of David will all be secreted in our luggage and my multi-pocketed wind-breaker. Eser now has a bunny tail key holder and my eau de cologne includes a few drops of water from the Zamzam well at Macca. The wooden boards brought from the Shinto temples in Japan and the jade Buddha are already sewn into the lining of my laptop case, making it a bit heavier and of a strange shape, but I do not really mind.

Anamur and Erdemli, here we come! (well, in a few days. because, I need to prepare mentally until we take off this coming Wednesday)

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