From bangers and mash to praying in the sea

Monday, Sept. 13

Matt and I spent the past two days in Maidstone, Kent. It was beautiful. On Saturday we went to Leeds Castle. It had a moat and everything! (Of course I sang the wonderful song, “I’m on a boat,” changing the lyrics. Very clever.)

On Sunday we spent some time shopping. Matt got a really cool tweed flat cap and I bought a scarf.

While we were shopping I was thinking about how much my back was hurting the other day. But then I also thought about how nice the clothes were in Topshop. So I began the justification process of buying some new threads. I figured that in the next three months I will have to carry my bag about 25 times – give or take, depending on how many times we move around. So, would a new outfit be worth 24 trips of pain? According to Matt, no. But I guess he is the one who has to listen to me complain. I’m still not sure, but I will probably be thanking him in a week.

That night we went to Gatwick Airport (the bag didn’t feel as heavy – it could have easily fit that salmon coloured Topshop sweater) and took our overnight flight to Antalya. We didn’t sleep a wink.

Thomas Cook seems to have the world’s smallest seats, and some very mouthy flight attendants, to boot. We listened to two of them in the back talking about how the Royal Family should be done away with because all they do is shag and steal. And then they continued to talk about how immigrants shouldn’t be allowed into the country (a great conversation to hold on a plane full of tourists) and how they were going to steal money back from the government.

Anyway, we get through the airport, which was beautiful, only to find out we had to pay 45 Euros each (about $90 Canadian each) for a visa. So now we’ve started thinking we should stay in Turkey a little longer to get our money’s worth.

A driver dropped us off at an apartment in Side (pronounced See – day) where we met with Rachel’s family (this is the last of our friends providing us with free accommodation until we return to England). We slept for a few hours and then met with her family on the beach, which was packed.

I swam for a bit in the Mediterranean while Matt explored the local ruins with Pat (Rachel’s dad) and Billy (her brother-in-law).

One of the interesting things about being here is the praying. The mosques have their prayers five times a day. But they play their prayers over these massive speakers so you can hear it from anywhere. Today, I heard it while I was swimming. At first it is a bit spooky, but once you get used to it, it’s actually really neat. (It’s also quite handy as we can now tell the time of day without looking at our watches.)

Tonight we went for a dinner at a really beautiful restaurant. It was bizarre to see the movie Grease playing on a big screen – they really idolize everything American here.

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