The day dawns clear and crisp. Unfortunate trouble has befallen my stomach. Between Lunch or dinner the day before, my intestines were poisoned somewhere along the way. I am thankful that it is only a minor case, but enough to take me off my game. An army marches on its stomach after all. We are on the bus for most of the day. Stopping for rice and restrooms. Thankfully the latter is not needed in any major capacity while on the road. We reach Ankara and the Turkish capital and stop at the mausoleum of Ataturk. A giant grand stone building on a bluff in the city center. His tomb sits 45ft below a large pink marble sarcophagus. Guarded by stoic members of the military. They stand for 2 hours at a time before the guard is changed. They don't move and hardly blink. One hand on their rifle and the other on their bayonet. It is a mix of Lincoln memorial and Jefferson/GW grave site. A blitz through the Ataturk museum and back on the bus.
Next stop the very tiny museum of Anatolian civilization. Tiny only because of renovations. A great shame because what is on display is amazingly cool. The oldest recorded bronze tablet written in Hittite. A lterr from one queen to another on a stone tablet. Gold and figures from at least 3 thousand years ago. We are particularly taken with the Hittite pictographic writing (at least we think it is Hittite). Levent is obviously excited about the collection and wants to share all he knows about each piece, but with 40 people sight lines to display cases are extremely limited and hearing is difficult. We have time, but not enough to explore all the museum has to offer. A common theme, yet we are not 100% ready to return. The issue lies in that we tire of touring with the group, of 20 minute time limits, and of seeing sits in general. Quiet irony that our trip ends tomorrow. Our hotel bathroom is equipped with a window that looks into the bedroom...to what devious purpose we dare not imagine.
Our trip to the mall and supermarket this eve sets in my mind that it will be good to be in the USA again. We made dinner out of pretzel sticks, cheese, an orange and bread. It hit the spot given my stomach trouble. The trip to the market made me sympathize with spanish and other non-english speakers in the US. It must be horribly bewildering to shop and to conduct business in a foreign land with a difficult and foreign language. Hello is such a simple word and yet I can't say it in Turkish. Only one day to go.