The date approaches for the trip to Turkey. I will be in Istanbul on the 26th of March, 2007. I am packed to go, which is worrying, because I usually take a lot longer to pack. I keep wondering if I left anything out. Oh well, I'll have to buy what I need in Turkey, or just go without it.
But now for the Most Important Question: What book/s shall I bring to Turkey?
This is a life or death decision, because the wrong book - a dull book, will mean unnecessary suffering.
If you're stuck in an airport and your plane is 3 hours late, you want a book that will keep your mind off the fact you're in a large confined space, the seats are uncomfortable and you need a bath.
If you're on a plane for 8 hours, and the idiot behind you is kicking the back of your seat, you want a book that will absorb you 100% - because otherwise you're going to throttle the idiot.
But when you're in a nice coffee place in Istanbul, and the view is beautiful, you're watching the people stroll by - you want the book you're reading to reflect well on you. And in the event a beautiful Turkish young man/woman comes up to you to chit-chat, you do not want to be caught reading Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus.
But it should also be sufficiently light, so your daypack will not be too heavy. But it should be thick enough to last the length of your stay. Substantial but light in weight. Oh, the dilemma.
- In Patagonia, Bruce Chatwin
Because he's always walking, and he tells stories. And because Bruce Chatwin first made me realise I have to travel to walk off my own restlessness.
- Yoga For People Who Can't Be Bothered To Do It, Geoff Dyer
Because I'm reading him now, and I don't want to stop. But it's a library book, so there's a guilt-factor for me to take library books overseas.
- The Cornish Trilogy, Robertson Davies
It is sufficiently thick to last the long trip, and beyond. But it's THICK. However, I know I can rely on my travel companion for quickie Robertson Davies chit-chat anytime, since she's the one that introduced me to Davies.
- Sodom and Gomorrah, Marcel Proust
I really need to get back on track with the Proustian Epic, and reading Proust in a coffeeshop can only enhance one's public image. But do you think the title will be suggestive?
In light of the political situation, I'm not bringing Orhan Pamuk or Elif Shafak. I will however, be bringing the manual for the digital camera I borrowed from my dad: Canon PowerShot with 10 Megapixel. Now I just need to learn how to use it quick.