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My First Goddess Birthday Party

Last Monday, April 25 was the birthday of Tin Hau. She is also known as Mazu and she is the goddess of the sea. She protects fishermen and sailors. You are supposed to invoke her whenever going on a journey, especially by sea!

Tibet La Troisieme Partie: Yamdro Lake

Here it is! The final part of my Tibet series. These are photos from right behind the Potala Palace in the Lukhang Park followed by photos from Yamdrok Lake.

Tears and Halloween at Ocean Park

*Note: Most of the rides and attractions in Ocean Park during Halloween are Haunted Houses. People will also just wander up and randomly scare you. BE WARNED! I didn't know and I felt like I walked into a terrifying scare trap*

Picture Time: Streets of Hong Kong

Since my last post was a ton of writing, here are some photos to make up for it:

Hong Kong: Scams, Action Movies and Realtors

So I've been remiss in my entries and I feel guilty. So here's an update of my dealings of late:

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Director Interview: The Road Home

Like two peas in a TCK pod, my interview with director Rahul Gandotra felt more like a conversation between old friends. He began by insisting that I detail my laundry list of homes while he then attempted (mostly in vain) to memorize every city that I have ever lived in. It was a remarkable gesture and it set the tone for the rest of the inter/sation. I did not even get a chance to glance at my prepared questions as we flowed from topic to topic. Gandotra is a gregarious person, and our two hour discussion covered everything from cultural issues and societal constructions to romance, jet lag, and food.

Outgoing and inquisitive, like many Third Culture Kids, Gandotra focused as equally on my background as he did on his film "The Road Home". The film was shortlisted for the 2012 Academy Awards and was directed by Gandotra as his thesis presentation for a Master's Degree from the London Film School. Similar to Pico, Gandotra was born and partly raised in the UK before being sent to a boarding school in India. The same boarding school from this film. He continued to bounce around and is now (temporarily) settled(ish) in London.

This is a particularly poignant film for international students, military brats, diplobrats, and other TCKs. Gandotra channeled his own experiences into creating a film that explored the issues of identity, nationality, and racism. There are not many films that so accurately depict what many TCKs go through; namely the removal of our ability to identify ourselves. Whatever we may appear ethnically or whatever our passports might say, we grew up in a multitude of cultures that put together still do not fully encompass where we are from.

Pico, the protagonist: credit "The Road Home" website
The opening of the film is particularly striking as the protagonist, who is ethnically Indian, appears on screen in white face. It was a perfect way to express how the little boy feels internally and how this self-perception is challenged by his appearance. This was actually a continuation of a cut scene but it definitely had the strength to stand alone. The director also wrote some of his own quirks into the main character such as a discomfort with Indian food and a lack of understanding the local language. He added some wicked commentary on foreigners assimilating into the Indian identity despite having no ethnic, national, or cultural ties.

In "The Road Home" Gandotra addresses the issue of being an invisible immigrant. This is Pico's internal primary conflict and one he struggles with during the entire length of the film. This is a struggle that many TCKs experience when they return to their passport or heritage countries. When you look like you belong, locals tend to judge you more harshly when you fall short because you did not meet their expectations. This was an issue that Gandotra struggled with even when he returned to India as an adult to shoot this movie.

Making his escape: credit "The Road Home" website
"The Road Home" is a film about a little boy named Pico who has been shipped off to a boarding school in the Himalayas. Having grown up in England and being culturally British, he is teased and bullied by other students who do not understand why he does not accept his Indian heritage. They insist on labelling him while removing his ability to self-identify. Pico eventually decides to run away and return to his family in the U.K. Along the way, he encounters various groups of people from all backgrounds who continue to resist his perception of himself as British. Follow Pico to find out whether he makes it to New Delhi and if he learns to ignore all of the voices clamoring to label him. Find the trailer above and if you go to the official website, you can watch the whole short film for free

Gandotra plans on directing a full length feature that hazily centers around the same premise but with lots more chase scenes, action, and intrigue.



Some people who saw the end of the film thought that Pico's return to the school and his brushing off of the bullies was due to the fact that he accepted his Indian heritage. In the interests of full disclosure, Gandotra did express that this was not what he intended by the ending. His directorial intention was to show that Pico no longer cared how others perceived him because he had gained confidence in himself. Pico knows who he is and where he is actually from so it does not matter what other people think or believe.

The ending was supposed to be a commentary on how while we cannot stop someone from making snap judgements, we can stay true to who we know we are and the identity that we claim ourselves. That was for you Gandotra! 

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Shock of Being Grounded

I miss Turkey. Happier times in Cappadocia. Photo credit: SC
This is the third time I have tried to complete this post. I have color coordinated the entries for easier convenience. It is now 2014 and, thankfully, I am not in the same state of mind I was when I last touched this piece. I am in a better place and I do not feel quite so despondent. I will not write about the shattering event that took place at the end of September and through mid-October, nor some of the other more personal blows that continued to rain through until early December. I am reentering the world, and it seems the internet world is no less daunting than the real. More so in some ways. But, that is why I am finally publishing this weight off my chest. A post that has mocked me for months will finally see the light of the interwebs. So be kind. Please. 

(Try #2) October has been one of the most difficult months of my life. A combination of reverse culture shock, loss, disappointment, exhaustion, computer troubles, sickness, feeling trapped and overwhelmed has led me to just want to run away from life. Have you ever gotten that tightness in your chest, your stomach in knots, and tears about to course down your face at the slightest provocation? That is how I feel daily. I just cannot quite seem to catch a break. If something can go wrong, it has and I am just waiting for the wheel to turn so that I can come up on the other side. I do not usually write posts that are so personal but if I do not get all of this off my chest, I feel like I will burst. I started this post a month ago and nothing has resolved, everything has only gotten worse. Here's hoping November does not frighten me quite so much as October has.

(Try #1) It starts with the little things. The air ceases to smell of sea and sand and mountain. People walk farther apart and with more care to personal space. Language suddenly becomes familiar and it is unnerving to be able to understand the surrounding conversations. Roads and shops are cleaner, more sterile. Plugging back into the Matrix with television, media, high(er)-speed internet, advertisements everywhere all forming a cacophony cocoon of white noise. Most of all, actively having to check the time because the daily Call to Prayer no longer acts as a universal  grandfather clock. 

(Reverse) Culture Shock crept up slowly, stealthily. It camouflaged itself in the excitement of returning to what I thought was familiar. I gorged myself on all the food previously unavailable to me (I'm looking at you, Pork Products), franchises that stoked my nostalgia (Chipotle with an ice-cold Corona), and the markedly cheaper alcohol variety. What a novelty not to have to translate every ingredient in the store and convert pesky measurements. Such a relief to no longer need a VPN to use Netflix or Hulu. I shopped, I visited, but mostly I lost myself in the stress of moving. Apartment hunting, flights, moving vans, packing: all of the millions of little tasks that add up to fill up two months. You forget to think about what you left behind when you are so concentrated on where you are going.

Then came the beginnings of unease. For the first time in my life, I actually had to furnish an entire apartment with furniture. Really think about that. I have never had to buy or own furniture in my entire life. Either my parents picked up odds and ends from wherever we happened to be for that year or four or the State Department provided the basics. Barring an odd table here or there, I just used what was already there or given to me. I had to think about matching furniture and making sure that what I bought was both with budgetary bounds (read: cheap) and of a good enough quality that it could last years. YEARS, maybe even a decade. I have boxes full of useless ticket stubs, stuffed animals, books, and clothes that I may not (definitely won't) wear again. Somehow all of those boxes hidden away in storage/symbolic-room-in-the-parental-nest seemed to weigh less than the heavy, grounding elements of a couch, two mattresses, two bed frames, five bookcases, three side tables, one coffee table, one dining table and four chairs, lamps, fancy paintings, two dressers, and one cocktail cabinet. 

After that it became harder and harder to ignore feeling displaced. The portions are so big here. I forget which language to say thank you in. And most of all, the religion. In spite of having been surrounded by mosques, headscarves, and before that prayer flags, incense, temples, nothing quite matches the judgmental fervor of certain religious sects around this area. I see people standing around with signs calmly stating that I will burn in Hell. 

In most other areas of the world, I am considered an outsider and therefore exempt from local religious practices. As long as I am respectful and considerate, people are pretty much content to worship or celebrate in their own way and I am welcome to participate or not as I choose. Here I find the choice removed from me. By virtue of my lifestyle and (lack of) belief I am thrust into the position of opposition rather than just an outsider minding my own morals. It is exhausting treading in this world that is so different from the exclusive-but-welcome-to-awkwardly-participate world of most other religions and cultures. 

It is easy, really easy, to feel overwhelmed in a place that is both familiar and unexpectedly alien. Finding a routine that works around the frustrating closing of shops at 5PM and on Sundays. Trying to explain that my small town in Turkey had a larger population during their off-season than the entire year-round population of this "city". Finding that the wildlife population has a vendetta against humans and have concocted nightmarish creatures that sting, bite, infest, and devour unwitting victims. The South, I have found, is a daunting place.

Isolation is an issue for me. I am an extrovert to the point that I find constant proximity to people comforting. I don't necessarily need to be engaging in conversation the whole time but I do like being in an environment where I can ease in and out of interaction at will. The lack of a comprehensive and reliable public transportation system puts a damper on being able to move around in complete autonomy. You need a car to get anywhere and I resent feeling dependent on/chained to a machine. Plus, everything is so spread out, in spite of the tiny population, that walking is out of the question and the humidity removes the option of a bicycle unless you want to look like you took a shower en route.  

I miss feeling weightless. From two suitcases to one to usually a backpack, for the last three years it has been so easy to drop everything and go.

Flight comes easy, it is being grounded that is so difficult for TCKs. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Top Ten TCK Quirks Part 2

Due to the popularity of the Top Ten TCK Quirks, I decided to make a part 2! Enjoy:

  1. Our tolerance threshold is higher than most people

Remember that time your parents took you to see Komodo dragons on a tiny island in Indonesia and you had to sleep on the floor of a concrete building with rats running over your face? Yeah, I was seven years old. 

TCK childhoods: Dodging gigantic flesh eating insects since we were in diapers (gif credit Eric Linn)
Most adult travelers have crazy ridiculous stories of uncomfortable living conditions, but we started those when we were toddlers. As a result you can throw us anywhere and we will make do, even if we are in cockroach/rat/lice infested territory.

  2. Our willingness to experiment with peculiar foods 

We have grown up in a variety of places with a variety of very distinct culinary tastes. If you were picky, then you were rude. The last thing your parents would allow was rudeness in a foreign culture. Therefore, you learned to eat anything and everything. 

Ignore the outrageous stereotype of this gif
Most people's reactions
  3. Our ability to pack on a moment's notice

We never knew when our parents' would decide to drag us off to go hiking or snorkeling or exploring some sort of Temple of Doom. Once you are overseas, it is easier to travel around for short weekend trips and so we learned how to pack quickly and with maximum flexibility.

  4. Being unfazed by a ridiculously convoluted flight schedule

Flights can be pretty hectic and international flights doubly so. From the time we were in diapers we could navigate the most insane flight schedule including gate changes, delays, and cancellations. We know all the tricks to sweet talk our way onto another flight ahead of the rest of the pack. 

The rest of the pack

  5. Our rooms and apartments look like a flea market exploded

When you move around a ton, you tend to pick up a lot of stuff. It doesn't matter that your parents made you put most of your belongings in storage during each pack-up phase; you can't help having accumulated a curio shop's worth of souvenirs from every place you ever lived. We then take those once forgotten dusty objects and sprinkle them around our dorm room or apartment leaving us with no need to trouble IKEA or Pottery Barn for generic decorations.

  6. Our film and music tastes are very diverse

If you are exposed to a variety of sights, smells, and sounds from an early age, then your tastes are bound to be influenced by your upbringing. TCKs tend to have a wider knowledge of foreign language films and music, so do not be alarmed when you check out our playlists/netflix queues.

You're welcome world: YATTA youtube
  7. Comfort food

You have five or more types of comfort food, all from different countries. Depending on where you are and what you are going through, you will be craving one or more impossible dishes that only exist in one place in the world. Good luck. 

Sadly, the food never magically appears in your fridge to your great disappointment

  8. You have a pet that is more traveled than most people

At one point your parents decided that you needed some point of stability in your otherwise unstable life, so they got you a pet. This dog/cat/parrot/reptile would go on to follow you to every subsequent assignment. These animals never understood how they could go from frolicking in wine country in France to exploring cow dung in North India to creating sand angels on the beaches in the Philippines. Ignorance is bliss to the happy animal and you could not have asked for a better companion.

They approached each new assignment with the enthusiasm of this duck

 9. You have been in the care of an ayah at some point in your life

Early on your parents no doubt discovered the joys of inexpensive household help that is usually available overseas. Off you went into the loving arms of an ayah (nursemaid) who most likely taught you her/his native tongue. They were like another parent and you are still grateful for how well they cared for you.


  10. You have been called different terms of endearment in different countries 

Beta/Beti (Hindi), Jei Jei/Ge Ge, Mei Mei/Di Di (Mandarin), Mui Mui/Dai Dai, Jeh Jeh/Gau Gau (Cantonese), etc. At some point, either visiting a friend's house or at a social function with your parents, people have called you a term of endearment that you just learned to roll with. Just like you learned how everyone (EVERYONE) is an Auntie or an Uncle; it never mattered that they were not actually related to you or that you just met them.

Saying an awkward hi to someone you just met at an official function but your parents insist you've known for ages

I hope you enjoyed part 2. Let me know if you have any suggestions in the comments and check out my Tumblr page for some TCK and expat gifs: Unsettled TCK Tumblr

Friday, September 20, 2013

Guest Post: Erin the TCK

Erin and I reuniting for the second time ever in Hong Kong!

She fully embraced life in India, stray puppy and celebrating Holi included ;)
This is a guest post by the wonderful Erin Vignali. I missed her by a year when I moved to the Philippines my senior year. We ended up meeting because she knew a family that I knew when I lived in New Delhi and, after sitting across from one another at a reunion dinner, we hit it off immediately. Enjoy!  

And, if you are not already familiar with TCKs, here is a list of my Top Ten TCK Quirks

Before the age of 14, I had little to no awareness of how white I really was and how that lack of melanin would determine people's impressions of me for the rest of my life. I was born in my parent's childhood home of Queens, New York, but by the age of six, before I could form any lasting attachment to the culture there, my family had already moved to our first overseas home, The Netherlands. My school was extremely international and despite our diversity in culture, language, and appearance, our age coupled with our international setting made us blind to our differences. Our next two moves, Singapore and Japan, put me in American schools which led to a difficult adjustment period culturally but did allow me to physically blend in. However, for my sophomore year of high school, we moved to the Philippines and I ended up in a school which was comprised of a predominantly Filipino demographic.

My whiteness was constantly pointed out; how I didn't tan very well and how red my face got when I was hot, sunburned, embarrassed, or any number of other actions that my sensitive skin decided to display. They had fun pointing out my differences, poking fun at the white girl, telling me I blended into the white walls of our lunch room. One friend eloquently defended me by explaining that I was far too red and splotchy to blend in. Yes, thank you teenage acne. If I did something dumb or goofy, it was because I was white. Often times I felt like some animal on display, a side show freak at the circus for entertainment. I remember going to the mall one time with one of the three white girls in my year and how we sat in the food court for over an hour complaining about how hard it was being white in our school. We knew we couldn't talk to anyone else about it. Try telling a non-white person how difficult it is to be white... Think Chris Rock in "The Longest Yard", "Hey! You're white! Smile!"

Eventually, I figured out how to blend (not into the walls). I joked with them, "Haha I know. I glow!!" A line I still use here in India with my local boyfriend and friends. Thumbs up for self deprecation as a survival technique.

But regardless of how much I dealt with because of my skin colour I still had a lot of friends outside of my race, something that changed dramatically when I moved to Massachusetts for university.

Having grown up overseas since the age of 6, with most of my life spent in Asia, I was most comfortable around what I considered my "fellow" Asians. I was uncomfortable with how white my school was, I was confused by racism and the separation of students by skin colour. And to make matters worst, I was ostracised even by my white peers whom found me difficult to relate to on account of my upbringing. During orientation, an African American guest speaker encouraged students not to judge their minority peers in thinking that their race was the deciding factor in their acceptance. I look around the room, deeply confused, "That's a real thing?!"

Different student clubs were introduced to us during orientation and none caught my eye quite like the Filipino student club. I wanted nothing more than to join and I even spoke to one of the members who encouraged me to join but even his kind words couldn't get me over the fear of being judged. Throughout my time there, I tried desperately, to no avail, to befriend other Asians students. I had lived in their ancestors homes longer than they had but I still wasn't right. My Chinese American roommate took me out with her Asian friends one night for ice cream, somewhere over the course of the conversation, I found an opportunity to bring up my Asian upbringing. I imagined that my words would melt their hearts, that I too would be seen as Asian American and that they would take me into their arms with a big hug, "Come here, you honorary Asian you!!" Instead, I got an odd glare and awkward silence. Oops.

While there, one of my closest friends was a devout Christian, African American girl from the South, that had lived her entire life in the US. As a lapsed catholic, whiter-than-snow girl from Asia, you may not think we had much to talk about but the one thing that brought us close was that we were both uncomfortable around large populations of white people. Now, I wouldn't say I'm a self-hating white person but I am definitely uncomfortable around my own kind. I came from a graduating class with four white people out of a 150 something. Where I came from, I was the minority and that's how I was comfortable.

I eventually left Massachusetts, despite the few close friends I had made. I couldn't fit into a place where the non-white people wanted nothing to do with me and the white people constantly told me that I looked normal but I wasn't.

I wound up moving back to Japan, my childhood home, for a one year study abroad. I soon learned that my TCK upbringing and my international friends as a child were a far cry from real life in Japan. The first year there, I stayed with a host family and befriended some more study abroads from the main campus in Philadelphia, three of whom were African American. Thinking I had blurred the lines of separation that kept our races apart in the US, I was truly enjoying my new life in my old home. Then one afternoon, as we were hanging out in the cafeteria, the three girls spotted some African American guys they wanted to chat with. One girl turned to the others and said, "Should we take snow bunny with us?" Gestured at me and laughed. Ironically, this girl's mother was white. I remained friends with one of the girls but separated from the rest and searched for new friends. I finally found a good group, almost all of whom came from mixed ethnicity backgrounds and had gone to international schools their whole life. A semester later, I decided to matriculate as a full time student and began apartment hunting.

When I finally found an apartment that would accept a foreign tenant, my agent scheduled a meeting with my landlord. Before going, I put on a conservative outfit, took the cross off my neck and bought thick foundation to cover the tattoo on my foot. I desperately tried to eliminate anything that he could possibly judge me by. While in the lift, my agent turned to me and said, with no more hesitation than you would say your own name, "Please say this to your landlord [Japanese phrase]. It means, "I am a good foreigner."" When we arrived at my landlord's apartment, his wife answered the door. Before letting us in some chatter went back and forth between her and my agent. They were discussing, of all things, whether or not a foreigner like me would be able to understand the extremely complicated garbage system in Japan (despite the highly detailed, colour coded, English translation they give you prior to moving in). To make matters worse, when we were finally allowed into the apartment, my landlord gave me a long lecture concerning his complex views of foreigners. By the time his speech was over, I learned that he was a proud racist who really liked Americans but hated Australians, New Zealanders, and a few others I can't remember. He never said why.

In the four years I lived there, I dealt with the many nuances of Japanese life that kept foreigners from being viewed as equal. There were protests and rallies for limiting our rights. More than once a complete stranger cursed me out for being a foreigner. My Japanese textbook featured a skit of a foreigner getting refused service by a real estate agent solely because of their nationality. Japan was such a big part of my childhood but as an adult, I felt more and more that I was unwanted. It was as if a part of my identity was being torn from me.

Showing multinational pride!
After graduating university and spending some time in Hong Kong with my parents, I moved to India to return to a children's home I had volunteered with in the summer of 2008 and 2009. India is where I'm writing you from today. The racism is slightly better here. I'm thankful that I'm not Irani, a population the Indians trust even less than the average foreigner. But the judgement is still there - I'm white and white women are lose. We live apart from our families so naturally, we are not at all close to them. My pleas for them to understand that I speak to my parents everyday and that my cousins are like my brothers and sisters are either met with shock or a polite nod, partnered with a half smile.

It's a bizarre twist of the TCK life that the racism experienced overseas will never make you feel quite as lonely as not fitting in in your supposed home country. For me, growing up as a white TCK, no matter how long I dealt with the discrimination, I always held out hope for people to see me like I see myself - no race, no accent, no nationality. In September, I'll be moving to London for my Master's. I'm not sure how I will handle being around that many white people, especially English speaking ones. But I still hold out hope; hope that one day, I'll meet someone who sees me for who I truly am: Not simply an American, or white, or foreign, but Dutch, Singaporean, Japanese, Hong Kong Chinese and Indian. A TCK.

Quite possibly the cutest picture of a person on a yak ever.
If you enjoyed this guest post, please show Erin some love by leaving comments! And if you want to read about another TCK, here is a link to a guest post by my lovely friend Tara who I know from Chennai: Tara in Thailand

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Farewell to Alanya and Turkey

See how hard it is to leave beautiful Alanya?
Moving never gets any easier. Losing yet another home is hard and no amount of excitement for the next stage quite masks the hollowness you feel as you pack up the house. The feeling is always the same. The oppressive heat (I always seem to move during summers and in tropical climates), and the intermingling smell of chemicals (cleaning and paint) and slight dustiness as I disturb the softly sleeping piles of stuff that I have not touched in a year.

I hate to see my imprint leave a place. That mark I accidentally left on the wall has been painted over, as if it was never there in the first place. My clutter retreats as the forces of impersonality invade once again, immaculate and alien. My comfort is turning into a stranger before my eyes and I am powerless to stop it.  

With most relationships, both parties are hurting and reminiscing and putting on their nostalgia goggles. There is a sense of validation with the mourning process. Yes, this actually happened. Yes, you meant something to me even if we are going our separate ways. Moving is not like that. While I stare fondly at my butt indentation on the couch, the couch remains indifferent to my presence.

This is the nineteenth home that I have had (I'm counting moving dorm rooms and shifting as a vagabond). This is also the longest that I have lived in one place since I graduated from college three years ago. Alanya/Turkey and I have had our minor differences (usually over the exorbitant price of alcohol), but on the whole I have loved living here. This is a magnificent country that is filled with pretty much anything you could ever want. 

History? In spades. This is the nexus of so many empires that pretty much every stone is a historical artifact.

Thirteenth century ruins here in Alanya, Turkey.
Beaches? There is the gorgeous Mediterranean, Aegean, Bosporus, Black Sea, etc.

Optimal beaches for levitating in Alanya, Turkey. This is Cleopatra Beach.
Mountains? I watch the sunrise over the Taurus mountain ranges from my balcony whenever I stay up ridiculously late.

Gorgeous city surrounded by mountains!
Friendly folk? Yup, Turkish people are amazing.

Who doesn't love a good sense of humor in Turkish men?
Food? Kahvalti is to die for. 

Kahvalti (Turkish breakfast) is my favorite meal here.
An Occupy Movement? Just check the news.

Barriers set up around the Ataturk Statue in Taksim Square in Istanbul for the May Day protests.
In honor of my latest home, I have compiled a photo post of my year here. Twenty-one visitors, numerous trips to Istanbul, Antalya, Cappadocia, Side, and Perge (and yet still so much left to see!), plenty of sun burns, a lot of skin scraped off during Hamam (Turkish bath, and seriously, my dead skin all gathered up could make a mini-mountain), a dead hard drive, my fourth anniversary with the Boy, my twenty-fourth birthday, SOOOOO many statues of Ataturk, entertaining pirate ships, enough cay (tea) to bathe in, enough baklava to get a million cavities, daily calls to prayer to let me know the time, the gigantic sun that almost seems too big to be real, and a ton of kofte consumed: Thank you for being a wonderful home.

While I have written a guide for Istanbul as well as Cappadocia, I have yet to do one for Alanya. This is just my farewell, so stay tuned for an Alanya guide!

The castle walls and old shipyard in Alanya, Turkey by night.

Where else would I get to celebrate Christmas with Ataturk?

We have Turkish flags, cruise ships, diving ships, and pirate ships here in Alanya, what more could you want?

The Turkish men love to pose on the pirate ships here in Alanya

One of the many caves in Alanya. This is Damlatas Cave on Cleopatra side.

Why would I want to leave the land of enormous vegetables? This was taken at one of the daily markets.

Love the random leaping fauna here in Alanya.

I will miss the dramatic views of Alanya.

Daredevils on the castle walls in Alanya.

There are ridiculously gorgeous sunsets here in Alanya.

Yes, that is an actual rainbow around the sun as a halo here in Alanya.
Here is a double rainbow in Alanya.
Now onto the other areas that I have visited and loved in Turkey.

Antalya is the largest city near Alanya (about two hours away) and it is a fun place to visit.

I couldn't resist getting a photo of Ataturk holding the moon.

Glass guy making a nazar (an amulet which wards off evil) in Antalya, Turkey.

The moon with a mosque in Antalya, Turkey.

It's my pansiyon!

Holding the sun with some hot air balloons in Goreme, Cappadocia

Posing in front of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.

The Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia from the water.

Light beams and mosques make a good combo in Istanbul.

Ruins all to ourselves in Perge, which is just fifteen kilometers outside of Antalya.

No crowds waiting for photo ops!

Greece doesn't have all claim to columns since these are in Perge, Turkey!

More columns in Side, Turkey.

Apollo's Temple in Side, Turkey.

My last pose in Side, Turkey.

I hope you enjoyed my tribute. If you haven't been to Turkey, I highly suggest you hop on the next plane over. If you have been, then I hope that you share my fond memories of this fantastic country.

Goodbye Alanya, I will see you again someday. 

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