"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."   - Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Notes on a Turkish Train Pass #3

     It's Sunday evening here in Turkey. About 4:20, so the sun is starting to fade. And it's turned cold. When we first arrived here in August, with temperatures and humidity both in the 90's, I couldn't have imagined it would ever get this chilly. Daytime temps have started in the upper 30's then peaked in the high 40's. Still not much in the way of rain yet, but the locals tell me it will come. Fast and hard. School is going fine, and I continue to be amazed how much like American kids my students are. The two big recent events for me are both negative. The first is that Christine has gone home for six weeks to be with family for the holidays, and especially to be there when Jacqueline and Brandon welcome their new little bundle. Any day now. It gets pretty lonely around here without her. The second is that I recently tumbled down some stairs, in the dark while coming out of my school building, and tore a ligament in my right ankle. I was completely sober. I'm in a cast now and hopping around like a kangaroo rat. It's funny how we suddenly realize sometimes how much our lives turn out to be so similar to our parents. Not exactly of course, but in little things you end up doing that your parents did. For those of you who knew my dad, here's what I mean. Like him, I make my living sitting at a desk much of the time, and shuffling papers in my hands. He was a cartoonist for many years and was always flipping back and forth the pages of whatever story he was working on. I sit and grade papers. And back to the point I started to make. He suffered from arthritis, badly, and for the last fifteen years of his life, he walked with a cane because he had so much pain throughout his body, especially his legs. And now here I am, cane in hand, walking a lot like he did for so long. Everytime I see my shadow limping along, I can't help think how much I feel like old Hank.
     Before I get to the latest notes on a Turkish Train Pass, there's one really great experience I'd like to share.