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Last year, I went on date to see the movie Kedi at The Music Box here in Chicago. Kedi, in Turkish, simply means "cat," and the film documents the cats in Istanbul who rule the streets and seem, all at once, to belong to everyone and no one. (You can watch the movie here.) The documentary hit a sweet spot for me because, well, CATS, but also because I had spent a month of my travels in Istanbul and around Turkey and remembered fondly all of the cats I saw everywhere while there. There were cats in the streets, cats in...

In Europe I always felt like I had trouble finding a place a to eat, that no one took a single diner like me seriously. In Turkey, I had the opposite problem. I couldn't walk by a restaurant without someone handing me a menu and trying to get me to come inside. I ate in Turkey. I ate a lot. I ate an amazing meal at at Haci Abdullah restaurant, doner kebap on the street (surrounded by cats), stuffed eggplants, traditional Turkish breakfasts, and even some Turkish delight on a moonlit night...

I had plans to meet up again with Gulender and Murat, who I met a few weeks ago, the last time I was staying in Istanbul. I had no idea what they had in store for me for the day. We started with breakfast at a place along the Bosphorus. We had tomatoes and cucumbers, honey and cream, olives and cheese, bread and cherry jam, and eggs with peppers and tomatoes. And, of course, a little Turkish coffee....

I ended up back in Istanbul a little earlier than planned. And a little earlier in the day than I ever really should get anywhere. My bus pulled up to the station around 6am and I was immediately bombarded by a guy asking me where I was going. I said "Taksim" but I'm pretty sure he thought I said "taxi." In any case, I didn't want to follow him and really just needed a bathroom....

I've grown accustomed to slow travel. I like spending a week everywhere, soaking up the atmosphere of whatever city I'm in, getting used to being in a place. At least for a small bit of time. But it quickly became evident that that lifestyle wasn't going to work when traveling in Turkey. Most of the places on my list of things to see weren't places I could hang my hat, spend a chunk of time. They had maybe one big thing to see, were good for a day of exploring, but after that I just couldn't find much else to occupy...

Pamukkale was cold. And rainy. I guess that's what you can expect when exploring a country on its off season. There's a reason tourists flock to places in summer, the weather is more cut out for exploring. I spent my first day with a woman on her 45th birthday. She was from LA and worked in television and movies. We went off to explore Hierapolis and the Pamukkale travertines which were, really, the only reason to visit the town. We explored some ancient ruins, observed the infestation of snails, then settled into the hot springs for a relaxing soak. Unfortunately of that...

I want a Turkey sandwich. Turkey, mayo, swiss, on white bread. (I don't like vegetables on my sandwiches.) It's a weird craving to have, especially since I'm a hot lunch kind of girl, but it was the only thing my food-poisoned brain could think of that sounded appetizing. Unfortunately turkey clubs aren't standard fare here in Turkey. Ironic, eh? I was homesick on my last day in Cappadocia. Mostly because I was still nauseous and just wanted that turkey sandwich and had to settle for crackers. Partly because it was the day of the annual Music Box Massacre 24 hour horror film fest back...