Let sleeping cats lie

Caturday: Let sleeping cats lie

Location: Mykonos, Greece

I found this fluffy bundle in front of my hotel door. At first, I thought it was a dog because of the size but I realized much later that it was a really fluffy cat.

Its tummy was all open for tummy rubs but I think it would claw you instead if you ever tried that.

Let sleeping cats lie

Let sleeping cats lie

What’s your favorite sleeping position?

creepy note in Dubai

Scary situations I’ve encountered as a solo woman traveller

On my blog, I focus on the good things about travel because I love travelling and I wish that more people will travel.

One of the excuses people give for not travelling is that they do not have anyone to go with.

Rubbish. If you travel alone, you can travel anytime you want.

While I love solo travelling, there are times that I wish I was travelling with someone else. These occasions are times when I did not feel safe.

I always take care to be back in my room before sundown. I feel like Cinderella with her midnight curfew, only my curfew was well earlier.

But despite all the precautions, sometimes scary situations still happen. Today, I want to share two of such tales. Thank goodness the situations were not majorly disastrous situations so you don’t have to feel too uncomfortable reading them.

Failed stalker in Istanbul

Istanbul otogar

Istanbul otogar

After I dropped off my mom at the Istanbul airport, I was back to being a solo traveller. This meant that there is no one to ask me if we’re walking in the right direction and that I can go wherever I want without any reason.

So I got off at the Coach Station stop on the metro. I remember seeing IKEA not far away from it. I really like visiting IKEAs of the world so I thought it was a good chance to add to my Local Things in IKEA list.

The Coach Station metro stop was a mess. It seemed like there were 50 bus companies around and each had a shop facing the metro exit.

I walked around to see where IKEA was. It looked quite far away but I decided that I should go nearer and find a path.

While I was walking, I heard someone talking really loudly. Thankfully, I have mastered the art of ignoring anyone that wasn’t talking directly to my face. Often, I see people over-react to voices on the streets and I don’t think that is very street savvy.

As I was walking to IKEA, I saw a short slim man in a blue polo shirt walking about 5 steps away from me. I thought he was heading to the same direction as I was.

I slowed down to let him walk ahead. Then, I realized that he kept looking back, as if to see where I was going.

By then, I decided that IKEA was too far and I wanted to head back. So I turned around.

Then I saw that the man turned around too. I walked faster, hoping to reach the metro station ahead of him.

While I was walking, some other person walked to me and asked me where I wanted to go.

At times like these, “nowhere” is not a good answer even if it is honest. I said “nowhere” and mimed taking photos.

The direction-giver pointed to the metro entrance and said “Metro. Metro.” I thanked him for his kindness.

I did not check if the blue-shirt follower was still with me but I suspect that seeing me talk to the direction-giver probably scared him off.

Thank you, good man.

The creepy note and persistent delivery man in Dubai

Creepy note

Creepy note

I didn’t mention receiving a note under my door on my first night on in my blog posts because it felt too scary to write about it at that time.

My plane arrived in Dubai quite late at about 10:30pm so I checked into my AirBnb close to midnight. The area from the metro station to the house didn’t seem like the best place since there were many men loitering.

My studio apartment entrance was in a dark lane. I had to take a lift to the house as it was above some shops.

After checking me in, my AirBnb host (a guy) left my studio apartment at past midnight. I took a shower and when I got out, I saw the note under the door.

I thought it might be from the laundry person who came by to drop off my sheets and pillow cases. However, he did not leave a company name so it was unlikely.

I  sent the AirBnb host an e-mail to ask if he knows the person. The host didn’t know and said he would take care of it.

I didn’t know how he took care of it but the incident left a mark on me.

Some nights after… There was a knock on my door. I thought it might be the host but I still asked, “Who is it?”

A man whose voice I didn’t recognized said he was delivering groceries. I tensed up and went behind the door.

After the note incident, I had tied up my door knob to something sturdy with laundry string. No amount of pushing will open the door.

I stood behind the door as my heart raced. I shouted back at the “delivery man” that I DID NOT ORDER ANYTHING.

The man was persistent. He asked if my friend had ordered any. I thought it would be bad to tell him that I was alone so I said that my friend was not in.

The delivery person was silent. I was still behind the door. Then he banged the door again, saying that he was delivering cigarettes.

I was angry. I spat out, “I DO NOT SMOKE! NO ONE ORDERED ANYTHING.”

I could still hear the person behind the door. He made a call on speakerphone but no one picked up. I wondered if he was pretending to check if the phone who called for the delivery would ring in my room.

It wasn’t after a long while when he finally left. I was still in shock and e-mailed the host.

The host didn’t get back until days later since he was out of the country. He said that it was his friend who made the delivery call and said the wrong floor.

I felt really really pissed off that the person did not even bothered to give the right door number and caused me such anxiety. Still, there was nothing I could do.

I would still travel solo

Not everybody is pleased that I travel alone.

Someone once threatened me that “A girl travelling alone is not alone. She is with the Goddess of Death.” [I am sure that line was totally made up.]

Another person made a face and said, “What sort of parents let their daughter travel alone?”

Funnily, it is men who say such things to my face.

No woman has ever told me that we womanfolk should stay at home and knit. Usually, women tell me that they do not dare travel alone but they do not make threats. I give some encouragement in the form of, “Just try it.”

Despite everything, I would not give up travelling solo. It gives me peace and less anxiety when I am able to follow my own itinerary that is made up as every minute passes.

What was the scariest situation when you were travelling alone?

Cat fish

Caturday: Give a cat a rod

Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Give a man a fish and you feed him for for a day. Give a man a rod and the cat will feed on the catch.

Cat fish

Cat fish

This fat cat was spotted lounging at the pier of Eminou. Unlike the rest, it wasn’t hunting in the fish buckets but waiting for its prey to appear at the end of the fishing rod.

Omurice at Lamuko no Lokanta

Lamuko’s Lokanta: A delightful Japanese restaurant in Pamukkale

Is it still Friday at where you are living? Welcome to YQtravelling’s FoodFriday. The day I show off some of the lovely eats I had while travelling.
Today we’re going to Pamukkale in Turkey for some Japanese food.
Itadakimasu!

Coca Cola ad in Turkish

While in Pamukkale, I found out through Foursquare that there was Japanese restaurant–Lamuko no Lokanta–near the hotel which we were staying at.

My mom who was not used to Turkish food said we must visit the place so we had dinner one night. The food was so good that we went on the second day just for its desserts.

Lamuko no Lokanta

Lamuko's Lokanta in Pamukkale

Lamuko’s Lokanta in Pamukkale

Lamuko no Lokanta, or Lamuko’s Lokata, is run by a Japanese lady. From my eavesdropping, I found out that her name wasn’t Lamuko as the shop name suggests but was Noriko.

Outside of the shop, you will see a banner with photos of different Japanese food. The sign in Japanese advises people who are not customers not to take photo of the banner, but why it was in Japanese was a mystery.

The restaurant looks like the front yard of someone’s house but with a few tables out for guests. The eating space is cosy with about 6 tables that can sit about 4 to 6 people each.

There is also a small section of Turkish seats.

Turkish seats at Lamuko's Lokanta

Turkish seats at Lamuko’s Lokanta

What’s most amazing about the setting is the grape vine ceiling.

When we were there in end-May, the grapes were just growing. It would be amazing if the grapes were ripe and everyone could pick them off their vines.

Grape vines

Grape vines

Unripe grapes

Unripe grapes

Lamuko no Lokanta’s menu

Since this is not a post about the setting of Lamuko, I’ll get on talking about the food.

The restaurant’s menu is decorated in the Japanese-cute style with little speech bubbles above hand drawn animals.

Lamuko's Lokanta cute menu

Lamuko’s Lokanta cute menu

Apart from Japanese meals, the menu includes Turkish food and simple western dishes such as spaghetti.

The pasta section warned that spaghetti is a dish everyone must avoid in Turkey, but it’s ok to order it at Lamuko’s because they cook it nicely. (Mom did order a spaghetti Bolognese at another place. It was too squish and quite gross.)

On the menu, the ginger chicken rice bowl is the most popular dish. Mom got this for dinner.

The chicken was fragrant and did taste of ginger. Mom even felt that the rice serving was too much.

Ginger chicken rice bowl

Ginger chicken rice bowl

For me, I ordered an omurice. I absolutely adore omurice, going to the extend of travelling to an omurice speciality restaurant in Tokyo.

The omurice was alright at Lamuko. The egg omelette blanketed the tomato sauce rice, instead of the usual egg wrapping. It was tasty enough that I finished the whole thing.

Omurice <3 <3

Omurice <3 <3

Cherries

Cherries

While we were eating, the owner brought over a plate of dark cherries. This turns out to be a complimentary dessert. Yums.

After our meal, we ordered Today’s Desserts. It was a banana cake. Mom’s favorite cake is banana cake so she happily ate it.

When we went back the next day, Today’s Desserts was still banana cake but we ordered it anyway because we loved it so much.

Banana cake

Banana cake

We sipped apple tea at the restaurant. It was 1.50 lira each, a reasonable price compared with other restaurants.

Apple tea

Apple tea

Modelling Clay, the dog

When we were dining at night, a large golden lab came in. It picked up a squished mineral water bottle and brought it to me and my mom.

Even though it showed big puppy dog eyes, mom and I were not dog people so we only gave it sad glances and ignored the bottle.

The owner called the dog “Nendou”, which means “modelling clay” in Japanese. That is just the most adorable name for a dog.

Nendou

Nendou

Where was the strangest place you have eaten Japanese food?

Istanbul's Blue Mosque

Turkish riots and afterthoughts as a tourist

Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Mom and I were in Cappadocia when the riots in Istanbul erupted. We were in our blissful bubble which popped when Mom received a Whatsapp text from her friend with a short sentence in Chinese, “There are riots in Turkey.”

We both tried to guess what it might be related. Mom thought it might be because of arguments over land ownership while I couldn’t think of anything.

So mom sent a question back to her friend and to test her theory while I checked the Internet. (Mom’s friend replied, ‘I don’t think it’s about land ownership.”

I scanned a few headlines about the riots. Reports said the riots broke out because of Gezi Park, and how the government wanted to turn the greenland into a shopping mall.

I remember being selfish and thinking, “I hope this doesn’t affect our trip. Maybe it would all die down when we get back to Istanbul.”

It wasn’t until days later on our Pamukkale tour that I realized how serious the situation was.

I was having lunch and scanned through my Twitter stream for random reads. Our tour guide saw me and said, “Are you reading the news?”

“Just Twitter,” I said.

“Ah, you should know about what is happening in Istanbul,” she said in a serious tone. Our guide, Rayu, was only 25 years old, with a ponytail and kohled eyes.

The other tourists were curious about what was happening. The guide said, “There are riots and some people died.”

Back in the mini van, Rayu elaborated. She said the protest was not just about Gezi Park but about the government. The president wasn’t listening to the people so they have had enough and found the reason to fight.

She showed us a grainy photo on her phone of people occupying the bridge that connects the Asian and European sides of Istanbul.

She shared that a few of her friends are participating in protests and that she was worried about them so she did not get much sleep.

Rayu was passionate. She wanted to join the others in the protest. She said that Turkey needs a new hero like Ataturk and joked that maybe she could be the next hero.

Same thoughts, different person

Our other tour guide for the Troy tour had similar thoughts. I forgot what her name was but she had very curly hair that was tied into a bun. Since it was a Troy tour, let’s call her Helen.

She said we tourists should know what was going on in the country. I don’t think she meant that we should know about the news so we can stay safe. The undertone was that since we are in this country, we should not be in a bubble.

Helen said the protests were not limited to Istanbul anymore. Other cities, including her hometown in Antalya, had similar protests.

She was also angry about the president. She called him a dictator and said he wanted to turn Turkey into an Islamic nation. Although most of the citizens are Muslims, they do not see why their country should become Islamic, she said.

Tourist sights not impacted by Taksim protests

I remember thinking, selfishly, that I was glad that we didn’t choose to live in Taksim Square. (I was very close to booking a hotel there.)

When we were back in Istanbul, the Sultanahmet area where most historical sites are at was business as usual.

Mom and I took the tram to the end of the west side. It was one funicular ride away from Taksim Square. Of course we were sensible enough not to get involve or gawk.

When I checked Foursquare, I saw that Gezi Park was trending. Looking at the photos of the location, I saw people in selfies with handkerchief as facemasks.

Would the same happen in Malaysia, Singapore?

I was surprised by passionate both young tour guides were about the protests. They wanted to join their fellow country people, to show support.

I tried to imagine something like this happening in Malaysia. Sure, the young people were very vocal in showing support to whom they believe should lead.

Despite the phantom voters and blackout incident, Malaysians didn’t break out into riots. The police did not have to subdue crowds with tear gas. I’m very glad that everything was peaceful.

How about in Singapore? I know that Singaporeans are a peaceful bunch and probably something as violent as riots would not happen now.

Still, we have to remember that riots had happened in the past in Malaysia and Singapore so there’s no guarantee that they wouldn’t happen again. What is the tipping point for riots to happen?

For me, as someone who has a stake in both countries, I hope no riots happen because it causes devastation to all involved.

To the people in Turkey, stay safe.

PS I have very little knowledge about politics and only know bits and pieces from reading. If anything of what I wrote was wrong, please give feedback in the comments.

Greek gyro

Glutton in Greece

Welcome to YQtravelling’s FoodFriday. The day of the week when I show off some of the lovely eats I had while travelling.

Today we’re going to heading to Greece for some happy glutton time.

 

Before I went to Greece, I had no idea what the people ate. I know from the myths that the gods eat ambrosia and nectar but I was pretty much clueless about what the mortals ate.

I imagine they ate a lot of olives since Athena gave the Athenians the olive tree. Is Greek yogurt really greek or is it just a marketing label?

I do like yogurt but I’ve never a fan of olives. It’s just too salty and tiny to be satisfying.

Fortunately when I reached Athens, I found out that Greek food wasn’t all about olives. I even had meals that were so good that I was willing to stay and eat that for the rest of my life.

Pita gyro

Pita gyro

Pita gyro

After I took a bite of my first pita gyro (pork), I knew I could stay in Athens forever and not get bored with the food.

A gyros is a bit like shawarma in Dubai but there is a choice of pork. For the people living in Malaysia and Singapore, a pork pita gyro is  a bit like eating Chinese roasted pork wrapped in a roti canai/prata.

The first place I had a gyro was at one of the shops opposite the central market. The dish came hot. Pita wrapped the roasted meat, french fries and salad so snuggly that I didn’t mind I was eating raw vegetable.

Frappé

Greek Frappé

Greek Frappé

I love drinking coffee. When I found out that it was a Greek who invented frappé, I knew what my default drink in Greek would be.

The Greek frappé is unlike anything I’ve ever drank. The coffee powder, milk powder and syrup are all whisked by a machine with water added in later.

A thick firm foam appears at the top and would not dissolve even after a very long while. If you taste the foam, it is sour but the drink itself is sweet.

What usually happens is that I finish all the liquid and have remaining foam and ice cubes. I wait for these to dissolve or melt before I sip on the sour remains.

[A side note, if I have to drink either only coffee or only tea for the rest of my life, I would choose tea because it is comforting and makes me less jittery than coffee.]

Traditional breakfast

Greek breakfast

Greek breakfast

Can you believe it? I only had one traditional Greek breakfast. I didn’t pay 5 euro extra for breakfast in Athens and I could only have one meal at my hotel on Mykonos because my ferry was leaving way earlier than breakfast time. :(

Greek yogurt with honey

Greek yogurt with honey

Greek salad and feta cheese

Greek salad and feta cheese

Greek salad and feta cheese

I hate eating raw vegetable. When I saw the salad that came to me, I almost pushed it away. Then I spotted a white chunk of something that looked curiously like tofu.

I nibbled on it and found out that it was salty and tasty. Using that unknown white block, I covered the taste of raw vegetable and finished all my bowl. Thank goodness a Greek salad didn’t have a lot of raw greens.

Later I read that the tofu-like food was feta cheese. Clever old me went to Carrefour and bought a pack of feta cheese.

Unfortunately, I found out the hard way that feta cheese on its own is too salty to be consumed as a main meal.

Souvlaki

Greek souvlaki

Greek souvlaki

The Greek version of satay has a lot more meat on a thicker stick but is also more expensive than a regular stick of satay.

Compared with gyro, I didn’t eat that many souvlaki when in Greece. I like it but it’s not as satisfying as roasted pork. Yum yum.

Moussaka

Greek Moussaka

Greek Moussaka

When I had the moussaka, I thought it was like lasagna but parts of the pasta replaced by eggplant.

The large rectangle contained layers of eggplant, minced meat, cheese and pasta. it was as rich as a lasagna that by the time there was only 3 bites left, I had to stuff the rest into my mouth reluctantly.

Greek pies and pastries

At the little cafes, there was always loads of pastries on display. I usually randomly choose any one of them and nod as if I knew what they were.

Greek pastries on display

Greek pastries on display

Spinach pie

Spinach pie

I’ve never really been a savory pastry person so all the pies just tasted normal to me.

Sugared orange

Sugared orange

Sugared orange

At one of the cafes, they served a sugared orange slice. It was delicious! The tangy and bitter orange peel mixes well with the sugar coating.

Coca Cola in Greek

Coca Cola in Greek

Coca Cola in Greek

Even though I want to drink something local with my meal, I always ended up with a Coca Cola because it was the easiest thing to choose.

Cagaloglu Hamami ceiling

End of the Orient Express [YQrtw Day 58 Jun 4]

Location: Istanbul, Turkey

West end of Istanbul tram line

West end of Istanbul tram line

I was listening to one of the podcasts from Rick Steves. One of the callers to the radio program asked if they could take the Orient Express while in Istanbul.

The answer was that any train that went to the east was considered the Orient Express.

For me, my oriental journey is at its end and I’m heading to South America. I actually do not know what to expect, except the cold winters.

This morning, I had the breakfast provided by my hotel. It’s the usual Turkish fare: bread, olives, cheese, fruits, tomato, hard boiled eggs and drinks such as tea, coffee and artificial lime juice.

Turkish breakfast

Turkish breakfast

There is something about hard boiled eggs in Turkey. They are too tasty for their and my own good. I limit myself to only 2 eggs each day but feel like eating another 2 after I finish them.

After breakfast, I still had to pack my backpack. Since it will be winter in South America, I had to make sure that things such as swimsuit are at the bottom of the pack.

Packing seemed a lot easier these days. I managed to tidy up everything before check out time.

Getting scrubbed at a Turkish bath

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I still had Turkish bath on my list of To-do. On Foursquare, I found a hamam near my hotel so I walked to the place after checking out.

I saw the ladies’ entrance to the hammam. The real entrance inside was hidden behind a screen. After I stepped in, I was too embarrassed to step out even though the pricing was higher than what I wanted.

1,000 Places to see before you die

1,000 Places to see before you die

In the end, I reasoned that I was going to take a bath in one of the 1,000 Places to Visit Before You Die. So I paid my 108 lira and steeled myself for an exfoliation session with an attendant who looked very much like Rebel Wilson.

I’ll talk more about the bath in a future post so stay tuned!

Aimless walking, training around

Istanbul post office

Istanbul post office

I didn’t actually cross “Eat Turkish delight” off my list since I didn’t have much cash left in my wallet after the bath. Instead, I took the tram from the west to the east and back to the stop nearest to my hotel.

The train took about 1 hour to reach the west to the east. I didn’t really look out the window all the times since I fell asleep.

Passing the neighborhoods, I felt sad that I was leaving the city where I’ve spent 4 days. Yes, just 4 days but the store signs were already familiar to me.

Of course, my time in Istanbul had to end. I boarded the airport shuttle (6 euro) off to the airport for the third time.

Viagra boxes on the street

Viagra boxes on the street

This day last week…

I was on a hot air balloon in Cappadocia and it was pure awesome.

Fake Trojan Horse at Troy

Too late for the Trojan war [YQrtw Day 56 Jun 2]

Location: Cannukale & Troy, Turkey

The only “bad” weather we had throughout our trip was limited to this day.

When we got off our overnight bus, it was drizzling. We hopped on a shuttle bus to nowhere although someone from the hotel was supposed to come and fetch us. I reasoned that people usually pick up guests after the shuttle bus drops them off.

Using Foursquare, I found out that our hotel was on the other side of the bank. At first I thought we were at one of the banks of a really large lake. I later found out that we were actually separated by the sea.

It was drizzling heavier when we reached the ferry terminal. The shuttle bus driver told us to take Ferry 1 to the opposite bank for the hotel.

The ferry seemed to take forever to reach. We sat indoors where the food counter was. I looked out of our windows and felt that the scenery outside crept too slowly.

While we floated across the sea, one of the little girls awkwardly took secret photos of my and my mom. Her smartphone angle was too strange.

We finally reached the opposite shore. Being the know-it-all, I directed mom to the left side of the road. I was embarrassed to find that I brought us to the wrong direction.

Eventually we reached the hotel. The ponytailed receptionist told us that our day-use room was still occupied so we cannot check in.

He also told us that our tour to Troy which was supposed to be in the morning was scheduled for noon.

So mom and I sat in the lounge, playing with our smartphones until breakfast time came.

The breakfast had typical Turkish food such as bread, olives, 2 cheese, butter, tomato, cucumber. There was a tank that had two faucets: one gave hot Turkish tea while the other gave hot water for us to balance the strength of our teas.

At breakfast, a horde of young people came to eat. I’m a bit uncomfortable with loud human crowds so we quickly finished our meal.

It took another hour or so before our room was finally ready. It was a small twin-bed room on the third floor. I heave our suitcase up the multiple flights of stairs.

Mom took the opportunity to nap while I tapped out more words. We didn’t feel like leaving when 11:30am came.

Start of Troy tour

Well, the Troy tour actually begins with a lunch at the backyard of the hotel. The lunch felt like something from a school cafeteria since the hotel doled out sides onto plates.

If you were staying in Istanbul and opt for seeing Troy, you will be travelling starting from about 7am to Canakkale where lunch is served. Then you will be driven back at 18:00 and reach around midnight.

Moral of the story. Do not take the Troy tour if you are staying in Istanbul.

Our tour finally departed after it was well past 1:00pm. Our guide brought us on the ferry to the Asian side where a bus awaited. The drive to Troy’s site was short. The landscape in the window had hills with multicolored patches.

The hills were much better than the Troy site.

Fake wooden horse

Fake Trojan Horse at Troy

Fake Trojan Horse at Troy

I think I chose to visit Troy for the wrong reason. Mom’s friend’s future son-in-law had visited Turkey on a tour group. They had visited Troy as part of their visit so I added it in as well.

At the beginning of the site, there is fake wooden horse. On the day we went, the horse was closed and we could not climb in.

The wooden horse is a replica but even so, it wasn’t impressive. From our cordoned off area, it looked quite tiny.

Most of the remains of the various Troy cities were the stone wall. I didn’t have enough imagination to think about how it might have looked.

The walk and tour took less than an hour. We looked at stone walls, crumbled mud walls, trees and what used to be the sea.

In short, it was rather boring.

We were shuttled back to our hotel for our ride back to Istanbul. Along the way, there was a souvenir shop stop but the shopowners were not as enthusiastic as the other shopping stops we were on previously.

The long way back

At 18:00, it was time for the private shuttle back to Istanbul. Mom and I were the last ones to board so we got terrible seats at the back.

The journey to Istanbul would take 5 hours. That sounded like forever.

For two hours, we zoomed on the highway next to the sea. We had the view of the Asian side of the shores for a long long stretch. I

Next up was our dinner and restroom stop. Mom and I had an overpriced dinner of roast chicken and gozleme (Turkish roti canai).

Asian celebrities

When we got out from the restroom (1 lira entrance each), we went to look for our bus.

I was looking for our bus when we were suddenly stopped by two local school children. One had long curly hair in a pony tail while the other had blonde hair.

The two kids were super excited seeing us. They asked, “Korean? Japanese?” I said, “Malaysia.” but it didn’t register.

They started talking in long Turkish sentences and mimed taking photos. I wasn’t sure if they meant for me to take photos of them or not but I said, “OK.”

They shouted to their friends, making photo-taking gestures. One of the boys looked bashful and walked away, saying something rather reprimanding.

No one with a camera appeared so mom and I were allowed to go. We walked around a bit more. Our bus door was not open so we stood in a corner, hoping the wind would not catch us.

There, the two students found us again. This time, another boy with a Nikon DSLR was there. As about 6 students gathered around us for the photo, cameraman tinkered with his camera for a long while but didn’t manage to take any photos.

I asked them to take a photo with my camera instead. And they did. By that time, the Nikon camera worked and we were stunned by a bring flash.

Turkish kids and Asian fake celebrities

Turkish kids and Asian fake celebrities

After the photos, everyone was too excited to leave and kept speaking in loud Turkish. Suddenly, a woman appeared and told the kids to calm down. She turned to us and said, “I’m their teacher. Sorry.”

Laughing, I said it was no problem at all. Mom and I returned to our bus, thinking what a funny incident it was.

Our bus to Istanbul finally arrived at past 11:00pm. Our hotel still kept our room and we retired.

Have you ever been photo’d by strangers?