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hot end-of-summer days in antalya

there's a quiet still heat in the streets of antalya today, as horse-drawn carriages of fruit pause in the street, and clusters of men loiter outside their businesses in the street to half-heartedly call out to potential customers or unaccompanied western women. it's not enough heat to kill all activity, but it's enough to slow you down and encourage a casual loiter down the sun-drenched alleys of kaleici.

i just engaged in one of the strangest horse-trades in my life with the wild-haired manager of owl books, the only second-hand english-language bookstore in antalya. in exchange for my copy of "Wired: The Short Life and Fast Times of John Belushi", i received a copy of Armistead Maupin's "More Tales of the City" (for some san francisco nostalgia), a dog-eared copy of The Economist from january ("The best MAGAZINE!"), and a single pear ("The best pear you WILL EVER EAT!"). let me make it clear that the only thing that i actually asked for in return for the Belushi book was the Maupin book. i can see no way that owl books actually turned a profit on this transaction, and it was quite different from any of the painfully serious negotiations that i did with the "book exchanges" in vietnam. it all somehow was distinctly turkish, confusing, and wonderful. when in antalya, buy all your books from this guy.

besides exchanging books, i spent yesterday in a rental car with two americans i'd met at dinner the night before, speeding off to the ruins at termessos. it was here that i finally had a chance to experience my first turkish ruins, and termessos has some quite impressive ones. then we passed by the many aqueducts that cut across the turkish countryside as we headed to the rather odd karain cave, and finally returned home after some misadventures trying to find some local waterfalls.

the one problem in the day was that we accidentally filled up our gas tank when we first took the rental car out (since we received the car with an empty tank and had to get some gas for the day), which means in turkey that you just put US$70 worth of gas in your car! considering the car rental cost was about US$25 for the day, and that we only used about 1/6 of the tank during our day, this was pretty shocking. however, as i predicted, when we returned the car and negotiated with the car rental guy the conversation ensued where no, he can't use the gas, yes, maybe i have a friend who would buy the gas (break out the siphon!), and well, rather than pay you in cash for the gas do you perhaps need any textiles? somehow we managed to walk away from this with most of our money back for the gas, unburdened by any carpets.

tonight i'm booked on a US$67 flight to istanbul, where i'll stay for the next several days exploring the city and its environs, and i'm sure more turkish antics will ensue there.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 14, 2006 3:29 PM.

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