I spent the day exploring Izmir wth a friend of my mother. First, we started in the ancient city of Agora. It is incredible to see those old ruins. The beauty of that they make us humble because it shows that we really haven't come so far. Not only do Americans exhibit arrogance towards other countries today, but we also show arrogance towards other time periods.
We then squeezed through the bazaar and drank some more of the bitter Turkish version of tea. They have to dunk an entire cube of sugar to quell the bitterness. I saw a tv program where they blamed that sugar on a rising level of obesty in Turkey. The funny thing is when showing B roll of fat people on television, instead of showing them from the neck down, they showed these fat people's faces.
Then, e went to a museum with sculptures from thousands of years ago. They left me speechless.
My mom's friend lamented the AKP, the party in power. She decried the corruption and nepotism of the party. She condemned the prime minister's manipulation of his poor background to gain the votes of the poor despite his anti-poor policies. And she also had harsh words for the Kurds and the gypsies.
Izmir is a Meditarrean city. it has a laid back, seaside feel. There are also mountains in the near distance. The traffic is bad though. The city has a certain swagger to it.
One interesting fact is the that books are astromincally expensive here in Turkey. The result is that many people don't count reading as a hobby. You can draw your own conclusions as to its consequences.