Daniel Adler and the Turkish Lute

Anthony had read about guys like that in the guide book, the “Friendly Stranger.” They ask you where you’re from, real friendly, and lead you into a cafe, which is really a smoke den, with old men drinking tea and playing cards. He tells you about some gypsies he knows who could show you aContinue reading “Daniel Adler and the Turkish Lute”

A Long Day At Epehsus

It wasn’t a short day, I thought, as I ran bread in hand to catch the 720 train, unworried, but hurried. My belly was full from the meatballs with yogurt and rice and salad, and the Coke, which was bubbly and sweet, full of caffeine, and which caused the expression on my face I makeContinue reading “A Long Day At Epehsus”

Daniel Adler Dances Through Istanbul

The sun shone golden through my beer as I watched the bubbles spin. It was kind of Anthony to buy me this beer; I usually don’t drink so early in the afternoon. We were in a cafe across the Bosphorus, in Asia, technically, and I felt good and drunk. The tall pretty bartender with curlyContinue reading “Daniel Adler Dances Through Istanbul”

Why I Love Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

Istanbul was the center of the world during the Byzantine and the Ottoman empire. They changed the name because Istanbul means “To the City,” and everyone knew which city. People move with direction; they don’t wait for you to cross the street. It’s like the New York of the Middle East. Cairo is an ArabContinue reading “Why I Love Istanbul (Not Constantinople)”

Daniel Adler’s Letter to The Thessalonians

When we arrived in Thessaloniki, I felt a pull to stay, and not just leave immediately to Istanbul. There are no international trains to or from Thessaloniki ever since last March, when the “troubles” began. We took the bus and with the help of an androgynous young Greek with halitosis, got off on a mainContinue reading “Daniel Adler’s Letter to The Thessalonians”

Daniel Adler and the Oracle at Delphi

On the subway, Anthony nodded at me and directed his gaze behind me at a girl, who then came and sat across from me, her almond shaped eyes and fine Greek nose turned in three quarter profile. I admired her, then before I got too creepy (which I’m working on) I admired her in theContinue reading “Daniel Adler and the Oracle at Delphi”

How to Start A Riot In Athens

It’s winter and in the words of our hostel concierge, island hopping to Turkey is “pretty grim.” So we decided on a day trip, which is really what makes Athens special. Use it as a base to island hop, go to Delphi, see the other ruins. Aegina was supposed to be beautiful–ancient temples, cheap scooters,Continue reading “How to Start A Riot In Athens”

Daniel Adler Stereotypes Greeks

My expectations about Athens were misguided. Athens isn’t a poor city with public works fallen into disrepair and broken glass from riots. I was surprised to see a clean new subway system, big beautiful hotels and a brand-new glass-domed airport. I guess it was all done for the Olympics, back in ’04. Athens is aContinue reading “Daniel Adler Stereotypes Greeks”

Why I Went to Egypt Pt. 3 (The Stately Pyramids)

He woke me at 7:16. I dressed, went downstairs to take out money. The buildings were all about eight stories high and covered in a layer of grime. This was Africa. I felt nervous, not really wanting to be seen. The few people on the street looked at me with wonder. There was tension everywhere,Continue reading “Why I Went to Egypt Pt. 3 (The Stately Pyramids)”

Why I Went To Egypt Pt. 2 (The Bus Ride To Cairo)

It was a three hour drive to Sharm El Sheikh and a seven hour ride from there to Cairo. I would get to Cairo tonight, I thought, as I stared out the window at the rocky brown mountains rising high, perhaps two thousand feet. Against the backdrop of the high blue sky, the mountains remindedContinue reading “Why I Went To Egypt Pt. 2 (The Bus Ride To Cairo)”