Tuesday, March 20, 2007

TURKEY | Onwards the Day Approaches

The Blue Mosque/Sultanahmet Camii

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.

The Shortlist:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.


Imani said...

I love your criteria for finding the perfect travel book. Good on your for considering the Davies--he's an author I've always meant to read and have somehow never gotten around to. I'll have to stop by a used book store soon.

Yay for Turkey trip! But I will miss your blogging.

Anonymous said...

Packed already? Not looking forward to the trip are you ;) I've never read Davies, but from your list that one seems the best fit.

Anonymous said...

Wow--just a few more days--how exciting. I think I would be more worried about the books to take than what clothes to pack. Well, almost anyway.

darkorpheus said...

Imani: Thanks for the sweet, kind words. You're such a dear.:)

Yes, I do believe the perfect travel book will keep me from killing the other passengers on the plane. Very important. *grin*

Do try Robertson Davies. I started with The Deptford Trilogy. It was a slow start but it grew on me. It was a really great birthday present.

Stefanie: Like I said to Imani above, if you ever decide you might like to try Robertson Davies, you might like to start with Deptford. But of course I'm not an expert, having only read Deptford. But it made me want to read more of his books. He was a theatre man so he knew how to "stage" the action, and how to build up to the dramatic climax when ALL IS REVEALED! *dramatic music*

I'm paranoid that I might have left out something really important while packing my bag. Yes, all excited. My heart's not at work this week. Mind's on the plane right now.

Danielle: Since it's still winter, I think it doesn't matter what clothes you bring - as long as it's warm and comfy. Is my priority straight? Somehow the travel books seem to take more time than the luggage.

I just hope I remember to bring the passport and travel cash to the airport.

Unknown said...

Please remember to bring along the charger for the camera battery (unless it runs on AA). A camera with no batt is as good as no use.

darkorpheus said...

Ah Leng: Thanks - daddy's camera runs on AA batteries. It's so wonderful to have a dad with photography as his hobby - all the camera stuff are taken care of.

Auntie, you take care when I'm gone. (don't take sweets from strangers, hor.) Will meet up with you when I come back - we have to meet up for my birthday. ;p

Anonymous said...

You might like to try The Fabric of Night by Christoph Peters. It is a sort of mystery set in Istanbul. I haven't read it myself. It's on the list, though. The only drawback for you is that it is fairly new and only available as a hardcover.

darkorpheus said...

Iguana200: Hi, thanks for the recommendation. You're right about the hardcover drawback - so I'll probably check out the local libraries first - or wait till the paperback comes out.

My TBR list just gets longer each day.

Unknown said...

Oh, night shots are best taken without using the flash. The flash gives too much "noise" and you'll see spots in your photo. So try firing a couple of shots with and without flash and see which you prefer. Without flash needs a steady hand, or use a railing as support so that the camera doesn't shake.

Meet up when you get back. Have a good trip!