Day 4: Ankara to Cappadocia

Last nights Uzo / Raki induced stupor shielded me from constant rocking, rolling stops and starts of the train ride. All I needed to fall asleep was about five minutes and some earplugs. Restful sleep lasted for about five hours and the rest was “sleep but yet to dream.??? Fuck this Blackberry, I need shut it off. I have realized that no news is good news and that my need for hyper-attachment is going to be my downfall. Even a little bit of news interpreted the wrong way can keep my mind reeling with “what if??? possibilities. I need to decompress.

The final stop for the train line is Ankara and at 7am sharp the conductor respectfully knocked on the door to let me know that it is almost time to get off, much in the same way that a bartender makes his last call. The journey is almost complete, you know it in your heart, you just need a little reminder that it is now time to return to reality. Or as my dad would say “Get the show on the road.???

I don’t know what it is but I have been finding myself getting teary eyed at the drop of a hat. Perhaps it is the release of emotions that I have been containing for the last few months or perhaps it is the culmination of a near thirty-three years without really understanding who I am. No I am not confronting my own mortality, but I am trying to find out what really makes me happy. Not the sugar coated happiness of fast cars or flashy trinkets but real happiness. Something in the core of who I am – I guess you could call it passion.

The past few months have been a crash course in emotion, unparalled highs punctuated with miserable lows. Thankfully the lows have been few in number and intensity. But the daemon is every present. Part of my low has been a divorce. I had hoped to have the paperwork filed and the check written before I left, but as we all know life does not always give you what you want. It has been over six months since the process started and I am not going to talk in terms of fair or unfair, just or unjust, right or wrong but from a sense of my word.

The most troubling aspect of getting divorced was breaking the biggest promise that I have ever made. A promise in front of G-d, family, friends and most importantly my wife. To be a man with integrity my word has to mean something, something more than the “my word is my bond??? bullshit. Something as powerful as my word is who I am. Breaking my word and not fulfilling my promise to be the best husband that I could be viciously tears my heart from my chest. I never expected to keep all the promises of marriage but still end up breaking the promise of being happy.

My wife used to ask me how I knew that I was unhappy if I could not really remember ever being happy? I know that it was her way of saying that she was doing everything that she knew, but yet we were unhappy. I don’t know where this is going, but I realize that I have not really given myself the chance to grieve. Divorce is like death, no matter how you felt during its lifetime, in death there are really describe what it meant.

Shit, did not mean to dwell… Time to get back to Turkey.

Ankara is the capital of Turkey, filled with Embassies, a strong military presence. Ankara is centrally located and as the seat of the fledgling government it make sense to cover all the fronts.

Ataturk is the made up surname of the “father of the Turks???. His real name is Mustafa Gurmal. I spent about an hour and a half at the Tomb of Ataturk, it is really an amazing structure. The entire complex is built on the highest point in Ankara, which unlike Istanbul has very few hills. It is an amazing way to get a historical perspective on the birth of the Turkish nation and the formation of the secular government. For a politically focused museum I think that they handled it quite well. The information was biased towards the Turkish view of history but at no time did I read anything that would have put Greece in a negative light.

Leaving Ankara for a five-hour bus ride to Cappadocia. This region is world famous for the Tuff Rock formations. I expect to be getting in at about eight so I will write more a little later.

I will be uploading pictures as soon as I can, right now I am blogging via the GPRS connection on my blackberry which disconnects every two or three minutes.