Thursday afternoon, Ayhan's friend Yesim took us to the highest point in Ankara, where the ruins of Ankara Kalesi (Castle) co-exist with narrow, steep, winding streets, poverty-ridden homes, many older residents—and stunning views of Turkey's capital city on all sides.Say hello to my new laptop screensaver, below.
School's out! Notice that it is perfectly normal in Turkey for boys—and men—to show physical affection for one another, from locking arms to putting an arm over one's shoulder, as opposed to the U.S., where any such notion is judged as gay. The States have so far to go... in so many ways (don't even get me started about America's obsession with "green initiatives." The way that power is conserved here [i.e. public lighting is motion-controlled, everywhere], without a hint of blustering, blows the U.S. away).Note dumb tourist in mirror taking picture of handsome Turk.And back down, to the main part of the city...A fond farewell to Yesim!Next comes a late lunch of Turkish delights with Ayhan's mamer.Then it was off to the new and fabulous 365 Mall, close to Ayhan's mom and family's apartment complex. We met up with pal Sermin there. She spent New Year's 2003 with us in NYC.Ayhan and his mamer at the grocery...And finally, dinner with Ayhan's sis-in-law Figen, his niece Ecem and nephew Ozgur.A final stop, and we're off to Istanbul on the 1:30 a.m. Varan bus.