February 5, 2020 § 2 Comments
We had an earthquake last night. It probably wasn’t very big but I’m on the 29th Floor so it swayed a lot. I couldn’t make up my mind whether it was worse to fall 29 storeys or to be on the first floor and have 28 others collapse on top of you. Either way, judging from the age of this hotel, there was gonna be a lot of asbestos.
Then this morning a cold front blew in. The temperature dropped to the low forties and a rain squall battered the city, and is battering it now.
I suppose earthquakes and storms are as good omens as any that it’s time to move along.
If you are looking for somewhere to visit, I kind of recommend Izmir. Nobody here will GAF about you, at all. I like that in a destination, not to mention people.
The city doesn’t have anything to “see” or “do.” It’s a giant town of 3M that is here for people to to work, eat, sleep, live, die. The Aegean Sea, which is beautiful, is mostly irrelevant, devoid as it is of beaches. Instead there’s an endless seafront promenade, mostly deserted, or alternatively crowded with cigarette butts.
People walk along the promenade or sell pretzels or fish or sit on benches or sell baby bunnies. Selling baby bunnies is a thing. They are so cute I almost bought one, but like the carpet I almost bought, I was saved in the nick of time with this thought: “Where will I put it and why do I have to have a baby bunny NOW?”
Izmir is a place where you can truly vanish. No one cares that you are here, there are no, and I mean no American tourists. The one world heritage site here, the Agora, is ignored. That is very nice. Ruins should look ruined, and these do.
The other two things I liked about Izmir were the potatoes and the cats. I prefer dogs because I have a terrible cat allergy. When I touch a cat I swell up like a porcupine and sneeze for hours. Cats of course know this, and the stray ones in Izmir especially.
At the Sports Park there are hundreds of cats, all waiting for me to walk by. When I did, this one followed me relentlessly until I scratched it. In the entire time I’ve been here, I’ve seen no one pet a stray cat. It purred, and the more it purred, the more I scratched. The sneezing kicked in and the cat purred even louder, mission accomplished. When I continued on it followed me until I came to a catvention, where many other cats were. I hurried past, fearing they would chase and tackle and purr on me.
So even though cats make me violently ill, I loved these ones. I’m sure they were covered with all kinds of outdoor cat diseases but then again I’m covered with all kinds of indoor human diseases, so we probably canceled each other out. Bye, cats.
Then there are the Izmir potatoes. If you eat the whole thing with the skin you will not walk steadily afterwards. They are baked and come standard with butter and cheese. Then you choose from five ingredients to mix in, none of which you know what they are, except for the olives.
So you look through the glass and point. What you end up with is a pizza crammed into a potato, only instead of paying $15, it costs $1.70 and fills you up three times more because it’s bigger than your head. I’m gonna miss these tater dinners.
But I don’t think Izmir is going to miss me at all. How could it? It doesn’t even know I’m here.