After a twelve hour journey from Denizli to Istanbul (two buses, a tram and a long, hot walk), I spent yesterday in various states of laziness.
Being the kind of person who always crams as much as possible into a day, laziness is something I still need to think of as constructive to enjoy it. (Logic = “taking it easy today – by not seeing four temples, buying three gifts, running all errands and walking a lap of the city – will mean I can do more tomorrow).
So I dedicated the day to:
- posting home my winter clothes and shopping (eight kilos, 75TL and one hour of monkey-like communication)
- exploring Topkapi Palace (sprawling lush gardens, grand colourful buildings and the most gorgeous library I’ve ever seen)
- finishing my book (Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert – the perfect companion for a solo traveller) while lounging on Turkish carpets and pillows and drinking tea.
By the end of my day dedicated to not over-doing it, I felt worse than in the morning. Of course, it was time for that inevitable ‘event’ in the traveller’s journey: the mysterious travel sickness.
Flushed skin, knotted bowels, head spins, the feeling like I had been flatten by a Turkish taxi and then inflated with hot liquid, feet swollen to the size of a baby elephant’s… the hostel receptionist took one look at me and said, ‘oh no’. Indeed. Thankfully, I had no plane or bus or train to catch and was in a reasonably quiet dorm room in which to lay and silently feel sorry for myself.
It did occur to me, as I sat curled in a ball on the dormitory floor, that people at home experience this strange, fleeting illness as well. But it is only when you are travelling that it becomes an ‘event’, a show-stopper, an illness that could only be caused by the fact that you are travelling and wanted to go eat doner kabap at that restaurant down the street with belly dancers.
This morning, after a twelve hour sleep, I am fine. No more mysterious illness threatening to ruin my last day in Istanbul. So I am off to enjoy it. And tonight, I think I will go to Syria.