I am happy to report that we are back at home sweet home in Madison, Wisconsin. Right now I am enjoying being in my own bed for the first time in more than 6 weeks. Problem? It’s 4am and I think I may be awake for the day. Thanks jet lag.
We made it through our last two days of travel. However, leaving Cappadocia became an adventure in itself.We spent our last morning in Cappadocia checking out the shops and making a few last purchases for ourselves and family. The first day we were there (two days before for those keeping count at home), Z had spotted a really neat journal for sale in a small shop, and the owner said he would burn an inscription/name in the leather of the journal Z wanted. And in true Z form, we had to check every other shop in town to make sure there was not a better deal to be found elsewhere before he could buy it. There wasn’t. So that morning before we left, we returned to the shop to get the journal, which Z was quite excited about getting by this point. Alright- time to place your bets, was the shop:
a) open, but journal was gone
b) open and sunshine and rainbows were out
Well? If you said C, closed, you are correct! And of course, we had also decided to buy another gift there too. Unsure what to do, I tried asking a neighboring merchant when the shop opened, and he told me in the afternoon, around 3pm. It was 11am, and we had to take a minibus to get to the airport at 1pm. Sad. Z is not so easily deterred, however. He noticed a sign for a Turkish shopping app in the window, and had me download the app to see if there were store times or a phone number. The app did have a phone number, and I used Skype to call the number, and handed the phone over to Z. The owner of the shop answered (we’re pretty sure it was his cell phone number) and Z found out the guy would come in around noon. Z told him he wanted the journal and would be waiting. I was laughing because I was sure the guy was sufficiently weirded out that some huge American dude somehow found his cell phone number. Sure enough, after a successful purchase, he asked how we got his number and we told him about using the app. I think he felt better that we didn’t somehow cyberstalk him to get his number.
Feeling successful, we returned to our hotel to wait for our minibus. The minibus showed up about 15 minutes late, but not a huge deal, we had a little under 2 hours to get to the airport that was 30 minutes away. Should be fine. Was not fine.
We stopped to pick up other passengers and filled the minibus for another half an hour. (Side note details about this minibus: it was the party bus of minibuses, complete with bumping bass speakers under our back seat, listening to American pop music and FLASHING colorful lights in a rail on the ceiling. And again, it’s about 1:30pm.) Anyway, bus full and time passing quickly as we still need to drive for about 25 minutes to get to airport and it’s now an hour and 10 minutes prior to take off, everyone on the minibus is feeling some amount of pressure. We were all on the same flight since this airport has four flights a day, total. Fully loaded, we are sure we are on our way. But, that was incorrect. The driver pulled over in front of a market, turned off the minibus, got out, and proceeded to go into the store. He returned a minute later, only to start digging through the ice cream cooler in front of the store. By this point, mutiny was happening inside the minibus. When another passenger tried to get out to tell the driver we needed to go, we found we were locked in the minibus. A window was opened to yell at the driver, and he came back, saying “20 minutes, no problem.” For those of you keeping score at home, that gets us to the airport at about 2:20ish, for a 3pm flight. Yikes. After a tense 20-ish minutes, we arrived at the airport and we all ran inside. I talked to a gate agent and determined that all the people in line at the counter were getting on the same flight, and we were fine. Crisis averted, we made it back to Istanbul after a mostly uneventful flight.We ventured to a new part of Istanbul for a little bit, said goodbye to our host, and slept.
We flew home and for the most part, everything went well. D was pretty good on the flight, partly because he wore himself out at the airport running around with a tribe of toddlers who were also on our flight. The only excitement was the lady who sat next to Z, and did not have the best airplane etiquette.
We are happy to be home, but we won’t be here for long. In a few hours we head to the Wisconsin Dells for an extended family vacation with Z’s relatives. The fun doesn’t stop over here.