Here are excerpts from my humorous
travel memoir, Turkey:
Bright Sun, Strong Tea.
The champagne was at 31,000 feet
and by happy circumstance so was I.... More...
I discovered the magic
of the Blue Mosque after moving
to Istanbul in
1968, just about the time a mailman
tried to convert me to Islam.... More...
Circumcision is when the foreskin
on the penis is surgically removed. Olivia was
a Radcliffe girl, my Impossible
Dream, too beautiful, smart and
well-bred ever to fall for me. Would
the circumcision party give me another
"COME TO ANKARA. BRING A BLONDE," the telegram
read. What luck! I was going to be...a movie star! More...
Life on Location
They had come to the mosque to pray
and here were these blond foreigners,
one of them obviouslyfar too
obviouslya woman, being chased
around by klieg lights and a movie
The director instructed the waiter
to serve us the soup again, and this
time to be sure his thumb was in
Or how a convicted drug smuggler becomes
a romantic hero... More...
I could hardly believe it: the troll-like
guy who sold antique Ottoman lamps
was named Aladdin.... More...
Who would buy such a monstrosity? A
millionaire with more money than sense.
Like, uh, Nelson Rockefeller? More...
The 4th edition of my Lonely
Planet guide had a photo
of three cute village girls on
the cover. It almost caused a
diplomatic incident.... More...
I love that part of Indiana Jones
and the Last Crusade where
Indie appears in the "Republic
of Hatay" between World Wars I
and II. Approximately one one-thousandth
of one percent of the people who see
that movie might have any clue at all... More...
I look through the dismal collection
of dives squatting miserably on the
waterfront of old Alexandretta. Only
one of them has a vacant room. "I'm
afraid it's our worst room," the
desk clerk says. He shows it to me
and my heart sinks.... More...
We leaned against the heavy marble
balustrade by the Baghdad Kiosk in Topkapi
Palace, gazing out at the city
of the sultans. Jane's eyes filled
with tears. "I have something
to say...." More...
So we were going to separate. But first....
What? We were going to travel together
Turkey. We ended up in a remote
village shortly after a dozen sheep
had been sacrificed for Kurban
Bayrami. We ate mutton, and 50
people watched us as though we were
prime time TV.... More...
The local taxi drivers said the road
was bad, so what did we do? Duh, we
went down it anyway, and ended up stuck
in the middle of nowhere surrounded
by wolves and smugglers, with night
coming on.... More...
When I first arrived in Turkey it was
against the law for husband and wife
to hold hands in public. Now many Turkish
girls wear skimpy bikinis and there
are even topless beaches. How we
all have changed.... More...