Pay to Play

You have to pay to use some bathrooms in Ankara, Turkey.

This entry poses two barriers:

  1. You have to own 1 Turkish Lira.
  2. You really have to go to the bathroom.

Unfortunately, I had neither. I just wanted to go before the 4-hour bus ride to the Black Sea.

But even if I had 1 Lira, I still had to decide whether it was worth the pay to play.

Money constrains your decision-making. We should only buy the things we actually need; everything else is just a “nice to have,” yet we still desire more spending money while demanding more free stuff.

Nothing beats free. But free often leads to overuse. Nothing beats the value we extract from paid entertainment. But excess boredom begets materialism. Nothing beats paying for necessity. The essentials may not keep us happy but they keep us alive.


Day 3: More Food and Travel (Ankara to Eregli)

Stuffed. As a visiting relative, the Turks make you eat more than you can handle. Each host serves the same dishes, bread filled with tiny pieces of meat, rice wrapped in what looks like a green tea leaf, and desserts that range from overly gooey cookies to ice cream. The food comes in waves.

You’re never done eating, especially if its a homemade dish. The less you eat, the more they pick on you. The more you eat, the more food they give you. It’s either ridicule or a belly. I once read that in Ancient Rome they overrate as a sign of being a great guest. Wherever the Turkish of overconsumption custom roots from, I’m still full from the prior day’s meals as I write this morning.

We did have one epic meal on the way from Ankara to Eregli in a small town called Elmalik where my sister in law’s mom had a summer house. She made an exquisite meal with meats and vegetables so natural you got so full it cleansed the body. Afterward, we walked around town, literally a track field with surrounding farm homes where we waved at the neighbors and watched kids play football near the local Mosque. The town even had a local coffee shop and its own spiritual dance. The air was fresh, so fresh it was told that one lap made you hungry for more food.

We finally arrived in my wife’s town of Eregli, a beautiful steel town on the Black Sea. While it was dark, the town was alive and in free spirits with people out and about enjoying the Summer air. I’m due for my own walk on the seaside this morning, maybe even a run later to get rid the Turkish 15.

Today is all about exploring Eregli. As a sit here, window open, the seagulls talk to each other and the roosters are alive. The town is up and I’m all about it.

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