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  • Writer's pictureM. Virginia Southworth

Turkey Talk

Last week I was in Turkey and this week I am back at the Olive Garden in Central New York. I heard that my sister was in this part of Asia over a week ago. Her husband Ahmet is from Turkey.

My sister Mary's birthday was on September 25th. I thought that it would be great fun to surprise her for her birthday. Thus, a week ago on Saturday, just before midnight, yours truly booked a flight to Istanbul. I would be flying out less than 15 hours.

I was too excited to sleep. Jim and I went to our church for Adoration which was very nice. It was almost 2:30 a.m. when we got home.

I made a tasty breakfast of pancakes, eggs and bacon. Then, I packed. I put together a couple of long skirts and blouses in a backpack. I was thinking of my visit 33 years ago and "when in Rome..."

We stopped at Price Chopper in Cicero and got fish fries.

The hardest part was getting to JFK International Airport. First, I had to get to Syracuse and then get a flight to Washington Reagan National Airport. This was delayed nearly two hours. Then, I was to connect a flight from there to New York. After midnight, I would board Turkish Airlines on a direct flight to Istanbul.

I have always wanted to fly on Turkish Airlines. The reviews are very good. They permit you to check in two large pieces of luggage. One is given a blanket and a pillow. Some airlines charge $20 for the blanket. In addition, all the passengers receive a toiletry kit that includes an eye mask, toothbrush, toothpaste, lip balm, slippers and socks. We also get the nice headphones as opposed to the ear buds. It is a nice way to travel.

I always look forward to seeing what the flight attendants wear. They were wearing a grey shirt dress with a red vest and a red hat which was a cross between a pillbox and a beret style. Of course they have their signature scarves. They were wearing red patent leather shoes with a very low heel. I was glad to see this, as that seems like a much healthier choice considering they are on their feet a lot running back and forth.

I needed to get a visa but I was running late getting to the airport. I had heard that one can purchase them at the Visa Office in the Istanbul Airport.

The Air Train at JFK was under construction. So, after walking through the lengthy concourse, and up and down escalators, I made my way to the street level where I caught a shuttle. It was approximately 10 o'clock p.m. I still needed to pick up my ticket and go through TSA. I am conditionally approved for TSA Global Entry, but I must have an interview. Thus, I would have to wait over an hour and fifteen minutes in line to go through Security. Oddly enough, I was not asked to remove my hat.

I was hoping to take advantage of the Centurion Lounge which is a perk with my new credit card. However, time did not allow. I had all I could do to get in line and board the aircraft.

I was exhausted but my adrenalin kept me going.

The food was very good on the plane. I went for the Mediterranean fare with a sour cherry juice. The lady at the airline gave me an aisle seat with two empty seats beside me.

Thank you Lord for a safe and pleasant flight. I arrived around 5:30 in the evening local time. Went to the Visa Office and obtained a visa. Went through Passport Control and met a young couple from Delaware who assisted me in getting to the main lobby - where, I would meet my sister Mary and her husband!!

More to come...............

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