Wrong, Wrong, Wrong!
Could I be more wrong?
My wife often says my biggest flaw is admitting when I'm wrong. And, as is usually the case, she's correct.
But, and it's a biggy, last week I was proven totally, undeniably, conclusively, (with video evidence), wrong!
I have always had a love/hate relationship with travelling, (Won't bore you again, read the travelogues in my journal if your remotely interested in hodophobia) and point blank refused to consider anywhere where I knew for sure I'd hate on holiday.
Not that I won't try anywhere new, I love exploring, but there's certain places I know I'd hate.
Turkey, for example, knew I'd hate it.
All that way to stay somewhere too hot, a place where we don't know the language, weird food, silly hats etc, etc.
Then there's the political aspects, and the geography, too close to war zones etc for my liking….oh, and you can't eat bacon, and if I kiss the missus in public I might get arrested for breaking a local law and spent eternity in a Turkish jail…….just too risky….yup, that kind of wrong!
So, after enjoying one (if not the best) of vacations we've ever had, I will now admit I was totally wro….hang on….let me think….
Food great, service excellent, beautiful country, beautiful and friendly people, enjoyed learning a few words (which was greeted with great enthusiasm and kindness by the locals), ok, it was HOT, but with the pool, beach, and canal within a few steps and the lovely sea breeze…
I kissed the wife in public, held hands etc, without being arrested, I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that there were few Brits in our resort, and was thankful we'd not picked a hotel further up the coast which sadly looked like someone had dumped Blackpool in the sun (nowt wrong with Blackpool, just don't want fish and chips and Watneys Red Barrell on a foreign adventure). Weird food was actually delicious.
I even enjoyed the strangeness of the markets, love a good haggle, and became instantly addicted to Turkish apple tea which the vendors insisted on giving away. My long haired, goatee bearded and very tanned boy even got into the haggling contests. Even better, (he shocked us by admitting), than his school trip to Russia!
Bought himself a few bits of jewelry, one was a nice moon and star pendant, like on their flag. Great times were had by all.
We swam with dolphins on our honeymoon, a few decades ago now, and had always promised the kids, as soon as they were old enough we'd take them to Mexico….majikal experience..hard to find somewhere that perfect nowadays, most other places closing down over cruelty concerns etc...
Lo and behold, on offer, in the sea, not a concrete pen in sight, we took our two youngest teens to swim with the most amazing creatures on this planet or any other! (And the staff were all Mexican by some weird fluke!)
The manager of our hotel was a biker, proper club biker, instant friendship, gave me some very very special presents, I've just mailed him something back too. Didn't expect that in Turkey!
Day before we left, a lovely boat trip around the coast, snorkeling and jumping off the top deck into crystal clear water….then my lad sits in a pool of diesel at the harbour...oh well, no concern, great day out.
Time to leave, very early for a late flight, coach transfer was a good few hours, but that's the price I'm willing to make to get away from the overly touristy places.
Actually, the early start was due to new security measures at the airports. Having been on the sharp end, better safe than sorry, rather a delay for multiple x-rays and searches and be safe.
Even though I always get stopped and searched, I was in a great mood and didn't...wait a min, I got through with only a random cursory….brill..all done...where's the boy?....ahh..
There's been a lot of stuff in the news lately about young Brits going to join the bad guys, gateway to Syria etc etc…always seem to be tanned young lads with long hair and wispy beards, wearing Islamic pendants....oh dear...
My son's been stopped, being searched, being swabbed, now questioned...ok he does look a bit susp….swabbed again, machine showing red...what? Positive. Flammable liquid….whoa there, Neddy…questions about the Russian stamps in his passport now...this is getting scary…
Twenty minutes later, a nice chat with the head of 'something that needed lots of guns', explaining sitting in boat fuel and expensive school language course field trips, comparing British CAA procedures with Turkish, all sorted, but strange looks when I was wished a safe journey and replied in my latest newly learnt phrase "in Sha Allah!"
We even had the same zen and the art of baggage handling shuttle driver from a few years back upon our return to England (again, see horror travel tales from journals past), still surprisingly chirpy and helpful. (but this time I didn't want to throttle him!)
So…..this is it, in black and white (depending on which skin you're using)...to my lovely, beautiful, intelligent, long suffering wife….
Totally, utterly and completely. W.R.O.N.G.
Turkey next year….God willing!