the Long's Strange Trip

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Questing into the unknown...
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Carmen Miranda Goes to Bali
Cartwheeling Kids
I'm puttin' on my tophat
The Fallacy of Prohibition
Sleeping at the Job
Gummy Squares
Toy Boats
One Photo, Please!
The National Sound
Same same, but different

Lasting Impressions of...


  • Turks like their sweets, and one of their favorites is something called Turkish Delight.  In taste and texture it resembles a gummy bear, but it's in cube format, leading Wiley to re-christen them "gummy squares".

  • One of the best cheap meals you can find in Turkey is something called "doner kebap".  It's chicken or lamb pieces skewered onto a long metal spike, which is then mounted vertically and cooked from a heating element while it turns.  When you order a sandwich, the doner man carefully slices off the "done" pieces from the outside.  We've seen this called "shawarma" in Egypt and "gyro" in Greece.  One can only speculate that this dish was created by some guy off in the wilderness, with no cooking implements other than his sword.

  • The produce is beautiful in Turkey.  Every piece of fruit and every vegetable looks like it could be used for a ad layout.

  • Cherries came from Turkey, and you've never have them any sweeter, juicier, or cheaper.

  • Vendors on the streets use the intangible phrase "Yes, please", to get you to look at their wares.  Do you think that somebody figured out that it was the opposite to "No, thank you"?

  • The national drink in Turkey is "raki", a liquor made of anise seeds.  It reminds us of ouzo and sambucca, and it's drunk before, during, and after dinner with water and/or ice.

  • At every meal, it's considered good form by the host to fill the table with so many plates of food that there's no room.  The result: you eat too much!

  • Favorite street vendor food: a pretzel/bagel cross called a "simet", complete with toasted sesame seeds on top.  At $0.25, it's a carbohydrate addict's dream.



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