Sunday, August 29, 2010


Since arriving in Turkey less than a week ago, we have gotten out and about quickly-maybe too quickly. In the span of the last 3 days, we have been to a lake in Adana, to a Turkish restaurant, the M1 mall, Sunday Market, and all over the Alley. I am exhausted from jetlag and all the activity-but I've identified something else that is making me tired-something I am calling cultural exhaustion.

When you spend so much time immersed in another culture, it can be very draining. Until recently, I had not been a worldwide traveler. The furthest I had been was England-and I wouldn't say that was a huge cultural shift. Those of you seasoned travelers out there understand the exhaustion I am referring too. There is not one thing outside these gates that is even vaguely like what I am used to. The customs, dress, architecture, goods, food-everything is new and different. And then there is the trying to be careful not to offend anyone here. I learned that the word "peach" is translated to a not-so-nice word here. I said it many times at the market accidently and felt badly. My friend Wendi, who is blonde and over 6 feet tall, gets looked at a lot. Your mind is in a constant state of processing and assimilating and trying to understand. All of it, in a word, is exhausting.

I think I'll stick around the base this week to recover a little before venturing out again.



  1. I would feel exactly the same way. I am so proud of you.

  2. I know exactly what your blond friend feels like. I remember the looks I got in Morroco and is uncomfortable. The whole accidentally offending...just know you're not the first and you won't be the last...just learn everything you can....and rest up my friend!