Shared Joy is Twice the Joy, Shared Pain is Half the Pain

Turkey

Český Čtvrtek – Káča

Můj tatinek jednou řikal, “všichni musí sbírat něco.” On sbíral známky v dětsví, a dnes sbírá knihy o fotbalových rozhodčích. S mojí rodinou, sbírame mince z celého světa, proto máme mince z Japonsko, z Kanad’y, České Republicky, a mnoho dalších. Ale, sbírám něco sama taky. Sbírám káči. Proč? Tady je podvika.

Když mi bylo 13 let, cestovali jsme do České Republiky s mými prarodiči. Potom jsme cestovali do Italie, ale to jenom já, můj bratr, a moji rodiče. V Praze, jsem založila moc krasnou káču v trh a moje babička ji koupila pro mě. Byla to moje vzpominka z České Republiky.

Potom, jsme cestovali do Italie vlakem a ve vlaku, můj tatinek pověděl mě o sbíraní. Když můžeme koupit něco káču v Italii, budeme. V celé Italii, jsme hledali. Hledali jsme v Římě, hledali jsme v Milaně, hledali jsme v Benátkách. Nakonec, jsme v Benátkách, viděli jeden káču v obchodě oken. Ale tento obchod byl zavřeny, a museli jsme jet vrzo ráno. Můj tatinek klepal a klepal a někdo otevřel dveře. Tato káča byla opravdu poslední káča skla v obchodě, možna v celých Benátkách. Ale koupili jsme. A měla jsem dvě káči ze dvou zemí.

Když jsem cestovala do Japonsko, koupila jsem káču tam. a Ted’, zkusím koupit káču v každé zemi. Je legrace, protože mám něco dělat všude. Musím hledat, proto mus=im zkoumat místa. Nemůžu jenot jet na proslulá místa když chci koupit káču z této země. Ale, nemůžu koupit všude, protože ěasto nemůžu hledat nebo nemůžu najít káči.

Myslím nejlepší důvod pro sbíraní je podviky. Když cestuju s někým, můžeme hledat dohromady. Je to legrace a trochu jiný než normalní cestování. V Listopadu, jsme cestovali s dvěma kamaradkamí do Turecka. Tam, jsem šly na trhy. Nemyslely jsme, že koupíme něco, protože všechno bylo velké nebo drahé. Ale, řikala jsem, když někdo bude vidět káči, prosim řekněte mi to. Asi za dvacet metrů, jsem viděla něco a křičela jsem “káěi!” Pravda, byl tučety káči. Koupila jsem jednu krásnou.

Mám dvě káči z Polska, protože jsem koupila jendu na trhu a naše výlet vůdce koupila jeden v Židovském muzeu. Je dreidel a nevím když opravdu káču, ale ona je opravdu hezká a děkovala jsem jí. Koupila jsem moji káča z Francie, z Švýcarska, a z Islandu v dětském obchodě, ale na Islandu jsem hledala jeden v kuchynském ochodu taky.

Moje kamarady někdy koupily káči pro mě v nové zemi, nebo pomohy mě s hledat někde. Nemám káči ze všech zemí kam jsem cestovala, ale mám jich mnoho. Mám káči z Japonska, ze Švýcarska, z Turecka, z Polska, z České Republiky, z Italie, z Francie, a možna ješte ale nemůžu vzponenout ted’protože jsem tady a jsou v Americe. Ale mám jednu otázku: když cestuju někam dvakrat nebo už, měla bych koupit jeden na každý výlet nebo ne?


My dad once told me, “everyone should collect something.” He collected stamps as a kid, and now he collects books about soccer referees. With my family, we collect coins from countries around the world, so we have coins from Japan, Canada, the Czech Republic, and many others. But, I also collect something myself. I collect tops. Why? Here is the story.

When I was 13 years old, we traveled to the Czech Republic with my grandparents. And then we traveled to Italy, but it was only me, my brother, and my parents. In Prague, I found a beautiful top in a market and my grandmother bought it for me. It was my souvenir from the Czech Republic.

After, we traveled to Italy by train and on the train, my dad told me about collecting. If we could find a top in Italy, we would buy it. Throughout Italy, we searched. We searched in Rome, we searched in Milan, we searched in Venice. At the end of our time in Venice, we saw one top in a shop window. But the shop was closed and we had to leave early in the morning. My dad knocked and knocked and someone opened the door. That top was truly the last glass top in the store, and maybe in all of Venice. But we bought it. And I had two tops from two countries.

When I travelled to Japan, I bought a top there. And now, I buy a top in every country I visit. It is fun, because I have something to do everywhere. I have to look, so I have to go to different places. I cannot only go to the tourist places if I want to buy a top in that country. but I can’t always buy one, because often I can’t search or I can’t find a top.

I think the best reason for collecting is the stories. If I travel with someone, we can search together. It is fun, and a bit different than normal travel. In November, I went to Turkey with two friends. There, we went to the outdoor market. We didn’t think we would buy anything, because everything was big or expensive. But I said if anyone sees tops, please let me know. From about twenty meters, I saw something and yelled “Tops!” It was true – they were dozens of tops. I bought a pretty one.

I have two tops from Poland, because I bought one at a market and our trip leaders bought one at the Jewish museum. It is a dreidel, and I don’t know if it is truly a top, but the woman is so nice and I thank her. I bought my tops in France, in Switzerland, and in Iceland from children’s stores, although I also found one in Iceland in a kitchenware store.

My friends sometimes buy me tops from new countries, or help me look for them somewhere. I don’t have tops from every country I’ve been to, but I have tops from many of them. I have tops from Japan, Switzerland, Turkey, Poland, the Czech Republic, Italy, France, and maybe more but I can’t remember because I am here and they are in America. But I have a question: If I travel somewhere twice or more, should I buy one for each trip, or not?

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42. Cops with Guns

Melody asked for an explanation, so here we go:

In the States, we’re used to seeing cops pretty much wherever we may be. If not cops, then security guards. But they keep their guns holstered, if they even have them. (Some of them don’t deserve even the tazers they get, but that is a story for another blog, I think…) Apparently, this tendency to keep guns hidden, even in a country with the “God-given” right to carry arms, is the outlier. In both Gatwick Airport and all over Turkey, there were cops just casually walking around semi-automatic weapons. That’s pretty much all there is to this story. When we were in Gatwick, there were two cops walking around with semi-automatic weapons across their chests. Honestly, it didn’t really bother me; I barely even noticed expect that Alyssa pointed out that one of them was particularly attractive. The second, and slightly more frightening, story happened in Fethiye. We walked past the police station on our way from the bus stop to the hostel, and there were two cops with AK-47s standing outside the entrance. The thing is, these guys didn’t have the guns across their chest. Nope. They were both holding them straight forward, and it literally felt like they were aimed directly at our heads. Who knows why they were like that, but they were.

So there you are, the story of the cops with guns aimed at our heads.


Istanbul Hostel

We only spent two days in Istanbul, which I was okay with mostly because I fully intend on going back to Istanbul, probably in the Spring semester. We had a great time in Istanbul, visiting places like the Blue Mosque and a traditional Hamam. But we stayed in an absolutely wonderful hostel aptly named “The Istanbul Hostel.” It was right smack dab in the middle of everything, literally a block away from the Blue Mosque and two blocks from the Hagia Sofia. We stayed in a 20-person room which was carved into a rock and had beautiful cast iron beds. Actually though, I was a bit blown away by how pretty the room we were staying in was, especially for $12 per person per night. Definitely worth it. The bathrooms were functional and clean, the showers had good water pressure at reasonable temperatures (you could actually find the temperature you wanted – unlike many hostels which have just the freezing cold and scalding options). The breakfast was in their roof-top restaurant with drop-dead gorgeous views of the Mediterranean. Since we were so close to the sea, we could see cruise ships heading out and fishing boats coming back and birds flying all over the place. I wanted to take a picture, but the sun glare made it basically impossible.

If I go back to Istanbul on my own (as opposed to on a tour with the program), I will definitely be staying in the Istanbul Hostel again.


Up, Up, and Away

One of the best parts of my trip to Turkey was the hot air balloon ride. It was, simply, amazing. Being up in the air at sunrise was gorgeous, and the balloon itself was SOOOO much bigger than I could ever imagine. The whooshing sound scared me each time the flame was turned on, and the flame kept not only the gas in the balloon hot, but also those of us in the basket warm. Our guide was fantastic; he was funny and knowledgable and always seemed completely in control of the balloon (thank goodness!!). From the air, we saw for miles in every direction, and saw everything “worth seeing” in the region of Cappadocia.

We took off around 6 in the morning, as the sky was lightening, but well before the sun actually rose. There were about 50 balloons that went up that day, nothing close to the rumored 150+ balloons of peak season, but still absolutely amazing to watch. We spent about an hour in the air, rising and falling in altitude and floating around the valleys of Cappadocia. At no time did I feel like the balloon was anything except safe. Even though they started the trip with instructions on how to brace yourself at landing, we ended up landing the basket directly on the trailer, with no impact whatsoever. The trip was definitely worth the money (even though it was the most expensive part of my trip to Turkey by a lot!).