I like what travel does. I am getting ready to fly home, and I am ready to go, but I have the buzzing of my own mispronounced Turkish words in my thoughts. I like that all of my clothes smell funny, like red pepper and car exhaust with a slight undertone of cat pee. I like to remember how many people there are in the world, and how each one of them has a favorite food and a route they take to work and a pair of boots they like and a preference for taking naps on the boat or the bus.
Sometimes I feel ill at ease with the newness of the US. I know that there is something older that I should recognize and know. But there are so many different countries mixed up in me that all the oldness might be faded away. So, as a result, I love to be somewhere old, a place with a memory of its own history. Today I saw Abraham’s saucepan, and by Abraham’s saucepan, I mean Sarah’s saucepan, of course. I saw Mohammed’s foot print. And I stood on floors worn down by millions of feet in centuries of ever changing footwear.
I have started to drink little cups of tea ever two hours, and to crave soft cheese and cucumbers for breakfast. I love that after only a week, Istanbul, a city which still confuses the hell out of me, has lent me some of its habits. I am happy to take them home, those habits. I have wrapped a little Turkish tea cup in my underwear, and I will be a bit Turkish at home, at least for as long as I can hang on to it.
I love not to be home. But today, all I keep thinking about the feeling of the girls’ cheeks. We have skyped every night, and they stick their faces into the camera and their skin is magnified. I miss the way they feel, and I’m excited for those days after traveling when I get to be between worlds, when the Turkish words are still in my head, but the cheeks are close enough for me to touch.