By dunkyc

Rubber Stamp

Reflective mood today. This could be as a result of the one-too-many of the surprisingly strong Turkish Pilsners last night or possibly the chocolate I had just before bedtime.

As an aside, how unfair is it that a snack which tastes soooo good and acts as comfort food, can also act as a depressant? It is my kryptonite. I may write a paper on this and call it the Chocolate Paradox.

I am in Turkey. This is a big deal for me as 1. For the whole of my adult life, I have never been out of Europe and Sunday was the first time I had a stamp in my passport and 2. I came here because I am broken and I was desperate for some time, space and distance to properly start the healing process.

Since my second marriage collapsed in spectacular fashion, I have been lucky enough to be busy with a play (The Ladykillers – a genuinely wonderful experience surrounded by the nicest people), some quality time with my three children and work has also been full on. Going from double-busy to sitting on a sun lounger and wondering where you’re next daiquiri is coming from has felt a little like pulling the handbrake on when you’re in fifth gear, foot down and as a result the first two days here, I was thinking that I had made a terrible mistake….what on earth was I supposed to do with myself?!

But it passed. I woke up, embraced the stillness, the fact that I literally had NOTHING to do and chose to let the light flood in and eviscerate some of those piercing dark thoughts (which frustratingly are only as far away as we allow them to be, so why let them close?!!)

There is also humour a plenty to be found here, a cover of Enrique Iglesias’ “Hero” had the long haired guitar play earnestly singing “…you can take my bread away” whilst a singer at the hotel bar was performing Timbaland’s “Apologize” in a voice that could be best described as Kermit-esque.

Oh, and if you were ever wondering where Russia goes on holiday: it’s Turkey. More Russians than Chelsea, Turkey. There is a large guy staying here who is definitely ex-mafia and to watch him down drink after drink, whilst smoking endless cigarettes is truly a sight to behold. All the while his wife administers to the needs of their four children.

My favourite moment so far was from an ice cream vendor who on hearing I was from the UK, slapped his be-fezed head and said “Oh my god! Why are you leaving the EU?!” To which I shrugged my shoulders in a “I dunno” response. He handed me my cookies ice cream, took my lira and looked at me with such pity as he shook his head and said “Good luck, my friend”.

I fist bumped him and smiled at the irony of an ice cream vendor, wearing a fez, a sparkly waistcoat and big trousers (essentially a camp Aladdin) feeling bad for my fellow countrymen and women and me.

Mind you, he seemed really happy and I have been thinking that maybe it was time for MC Hammer pants to make a comeback, so maybe he’s onto something?

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