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Trip Report Istanbul -NYC-MA-VT-ONT-MI-IL, A Sinner and an Angel on Pilgrimage

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The planning started months ago. Even in April low milage frequent flier tickets were nor available, nor were low milage upgrades. Had to pay for full economy and high milage points for upgrades on Turkish Airlines. Drew routes and redrew them according to possibility of gaining HHonors points and visiting some areas. All lines for routes were crooked. I am terrible at drawing straight lines. Eser, DW, is worse, although she claims that she used to help her older brother draw pictures and maps at elementary school.

Can we meet photographer college friend who used to live in Hudson, NY who told me five years ago that he had some originals of photographs he had taken of me on the stage when I performed in Genet's Blacks, Uncle Vanya, Mad Woman of Chaillot, Pinter's Birthday Party, etc. so mamy many years ago?

We wrote to Aduchamp01 and the "Dinner Thread" friends already and will meet Adu in NYC and DhFrost, Jubilada and VtTraveler at Brattleboro for a min GTG. Will also visit the Sister City Jazz Ambassadors in Pittsfield, for whom we had arranged a gig in Nicea and spent a weekend together. Andy Kelly says they will throw a party for us at a small bistro.

Will eat at restaurant which my recently deceased concert pianist cousin loved with two of his close friends, meet wife and possibly son of Cypriot colleague consultant from our days in Saudi Arabia (1980-85) in New York. Just build up some additional stress from being in New York, wander aimlessly, visit MOMA, and a good deli.

Have spices, Turkish cook books and olive oil soap for friends, a small carpet for Andy's daughter as wedding present (keep them in our debt????) and another one for our in-laws in Detroit. DD in Chicago expects bath cloth (not towels) to give as presents. Thus 23 kilograms each in four suitcases plus carry-ons.

Had to rent a large car from Hertz to fit all luggage. Fortunately there was a 33% savings special on it although the Chicago return costs $300. I do not know if AARP membership or Gold Card made a difference on the total cost.

Had to reserve hotel outside Manhattan in NJ because of very high costs. New England prices are not much better and MA or Vt do not have their own NJs.
Auburn and Niagara (Canadian side) were not bad at all, probably because end of October is not really a popular time to visit the area. Have both falls view room at the Hilton.

Then it is off to Detroit for Dinner with in Laws at Troy and breakfast the next day with the angel's cousin and family.
DD the young will be waiting in Chicago where we will be a nuisance for them for 9-10 days.

In the meantime, the kitchen will have been re-done in Istanbul, and the living, dining room, corridor, entrance and balcony will have been repainted.

The nerves already frayed. Three suitcases packed, small cases of medicine, toiletries, some bath cloth and books and things sitting on the suicases, the house full of packed boxes (32 so far) from the kitchen and living room, Eser going crazy picking everything I leave somewhere and leaving it somewhere else so that no one can find it again. The two American shorthairs Fistik and Zipzip, feeling something nasty going on and not happy at all. Two rooms already carry 500 of my books that I managed to salvage after I discovered my publisher left them in a damp basement someplace because he went bankrupt.

DD older (who is an architect for other people) who deserted us since the renovations started to go live with boy friend, has not been seen except when she appears at strange times to get a fresh change of clothing, but is willing to use the credit card I gave her for emergencies to buy stuff from her boyfriend's e-commerce site to help him out.

Tomorrow, an important day before most trips which require walking. I will go have my toe nails done by a specialist. Strange person that I am, I actually enjoy that.

Thursday Oct. 4 I have to act as moderator at the second panel of the day, after lunch (the grave yard shift?) with people I have never heard about as speakers and I have no idea what they will talk away. I know that some of my colleagues in the insurance business expect to see me smiling and being funny. It will all be in English. All speakers are Turkish. Am I going to have to translate their English into English? The president of the Turkish Catastrophe Administration attached to the Primeminister's office. President of the Turkish Arbitration Bureau, a professor from Istanbul Technical University (a professor of what?) and the Director for consumer rights from the Istanbul Bar Association. This is appearing as more and more like a recurring nightmare I used to have at college when I was studying theatre, of finding myself on stage with no idea of what the play was about let alone any of my lines.

Sometime in between, I should draw the cabinets (crooked lines, remember) in the kitchen and the walls so that I can show the location of all the electricity outlets for the carpenter and tiler, as well as what color knob I want on each cabinet door and drawer. Again, just to show our absurd side, we bought the handles in three colors and will have to assign them to the almost 60 doors and drawers.

What does all that have to do with the trip report? Well, a great deal. I am setting the stage for the great pilgrimage, introducing the characters, painting the backdrop of misery and the partnership between the angel and the sinner. Notice, the angel has not protested yet about anything I wrote. Will she read all this? Yes, she will. Will i also have to write, "Methinks, the lady doth protesteth over much!" ? Possibly

Off to listen to the horrible world news, then to start paying off credit cards on-line and then try to prepare for other credit card payments while away, and of'course the knobs and what about reservations at restaurants en-route?

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