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On Thursday morning I woke up dark and early at 5am to get picked up for my hot air balloon ride. Really, it's the thing to do in Cappadocia. I waited with two others from my hostel until the bus driver came to whisk us to the company's headquarters for breakfast. It was dark and cold and the Nescafe and bread weren't quite doing it for me. Why can't they just skip the whole breakfast thing and let you sleep in a little longer?...

1. The bus ride from Istanbul to Cappadocia, Turkey, (more specifically, Göreme) took approximately 14 hours. But, surprisingly, I slept pretty decently the whole way. The bus had wifi which made me happy. Actually, way more happy than it should have.   2. I am sick. Yes, again. This time I am pretty sure it is food poisoning that may or may not have come from a bad plate of nachos. (Maybe I shouldn't eat Mexican food in Turkey?) I am throwing up everything I eat. And I can't even look at a photo of food without gagging. Which is hard,...

On my second full day in Istanbul I spent the morning wandering the Grand Bazaar, where I dodged carpet sellers and lamp sellers and scarf sellers and trinket sellers all spouting out "Where you from?" "You speak English?" "You want to be my friend?" and some other favorites like "good morning…(after I ignored them)…bad morning" and "you German?" and "hola" and "bonjour" and "want to see my carpets?" which just sounds like a dirty pick up line. And then there was the person who tried to convince me he was trustworthy by showing me text messages from Brits and Americans...

After arriving at my Istanbul hostel around midnight, a time when the rooftop bar was closed and the two other occupied beds in my room had sound sleepers, I had really nothing better to do than go to bed myself. I wasn't really tired though, and was an hour behind in time zones so I just laid there for a long time listening to the entire soundtrack to RENT on my iPod. It was my first night in a hostel in five weeks, so I had become unaccustomed to snorers and top bunks. So I didn't sleep well....