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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'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...