So many people have asked me, since I got back, if I wasn’t concerned about being in Turkey, especially now with all the protests.

The protests really caught me by surprise.

It’s funny because last Friday, the day before we were leaving, we were at the only Chinese restaurant in the country, which is in Istanbul.

The Chinese people in the group were ecstatic. I remember one lady telling me she’d never eaten so much salad before in her life!

In Turkey, before every meal we had a little salad. And some soup. Funny how my rosacea cleared up so well while we were there!

Anyway, the lady informed me that all Chinese vegetables were served cooked, even lettuce.

I had never noticed!

But when we sat down at the Istanbul Chinese restaurant, sure enough, the lettuce arrived wilted, having been stir-fried.

We were just wrapping up lunch when the tour guide came by and said, “Don’t go outside. There’s a protest. Just sit down and relax.”

That was weird!

It was a very fast-paced tour! We basically rested on the long rides on the bus.

Fifteen minutes later we were informed that the coast was clear. The protest had marched up the street where the restaurant was at, and entered the square.

When the bus arrived, one of those big modern 46 seater jobbies, we were stuck in traffic for about five minutes, trying to go up hill.

Then the driver did an odd manoeuver. He did a three point turn in a narrow busy street!

A bus!

Turning right around in a narrow busy street!

There were drivers and pedestrians yelling at him and honking, but he did it!

Turned out the reason we’d been stuck there for so long was because the street ahead was blocked off by the protests. We wouldn’t have been able to move!

And thus we were able to bypass the protests.

That was it.

That was all I saw of any protests.

It’s funny about our perceptions of other countries.

I asked people who’ve been to Pakistan recently if it wasn’t scary and dangerous. From the news reports, there are suicide bombings on every corner.

Even when things were pretty dicey I heard that no, actually in most areas it’s calm. It’s just a few areas that are restless.

And I thought about what some people down in St. Catherines even said about Toronto. St. Catherines is a little city on the other side of Lake Ontario. They hear of a murder now and then in Toronto and think it’s just as dangeroud and lawless a place as Syria is right now.

Ah perceptions!

It is funny though. From the way the tour guide was speaking, Turkey was a modern day utopic society! Guess there’s turmoil under the surface.