Monday, October 23, 2006

Day 10: The 8th Wonder of the World

As we wandered through the amazingly well-preserved ruins of Ephesus on our only Turkish stop this afternoon, our guide Osmet (“call me Ozzie”) rhapsodized on the “8th wonder of the world.”

The leaning tower of Pisa, perhaps? Or maybe the Colosseum in Rome? Nah, had to be that clinging-to-the-cliff, donkey-decorated stairway in Santorini, right?

Um. No. He was talking about the mysterious bottle in his left-hand pants pocket.

The elixir inside? Coca-Cola.

Turkey actually turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Ephesus lived up to its billing as a top-tier dig, run out of business shortly after Saint Paul’s time by a silted-up sea channel and a killer outbreak of malaria. See, Paul was the rock star of the day, writing widely read letters and playing to huge Ephesian crowds at the 24,000-seat marble-decked amphitheater we sat in. Feeling the spirit, we pulled out our lighters and hollered, “Freebird!”

The port city where we landed, Kusadasi, luckily hasn’t been silted in yet. It is, in fact, the sunbelt boomtown of the eastern Mediterranean. English is everywhere – way more prominent in signage than in other cruise stops – thanks to the infusion of Irish second-home buyers attracted by the sun and the rock-bottom house prices. A 4-bedroom, two-bath penthouse condo goes for less than 100,000 Euros ($120k U.S.). Who’s in?

And in Turkey, apparently, every day is Last Call at Nieman’s. I ended up haggling like crazy and came away with a gen-u-ine Turkish rug for the soon-to-be-new digs. No idea if it was a bargain, but I did knock about 30% off the guy’s opening offer offer.

Plus, a visit to the seaside fish market proves that the octopi of Turkey kick the butts of those puny critters we saw in Naples.

And remember: Only 50 cent is enough to feel the Magic Atmosphere. (And where are this kid’s pants anyway?)


At 5:09 AM PDT, Anonymous Melinda said...

It's obvious that the toilet kid is somehow related to Winnie the Pooh....a more famous, pantsless, wonder.

So, did you try the toilets? Did you feel the magic atmosphere? Do tell.

At 9:41 AM PDT, Blogger Rick Holter said...

The Better Half, who visited the WC in question, reports: "No comment! I have no time for paparazzi!"


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