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Posted by on Nov 13, 2013

Ramblings by Dave: The Call to Prayer, Beards and a Little Too Much Information


We were Skyping with a friend the other day and he asked: “Are you two sick to death of each other?” When Jill hesitated, I jumped in: “Sick to death seems a little strong,” I said. Yet, it’s one of a number of common themes that have followed us around the world for the past year — living on a strict budget (most times), being with each other all day, every day (even a trip to the bathroom we’re usually only separated by a door) and where should we live and what should we do when we get back home. We’ve done OK with the budget, but we continue to struggle with the other two items. While I’m not at all sick of being with Jill, it is challenging for us to come up with things to talk about and even a waiter’s life story (which we heard the other night) can be interesting. If we had to do everything over again, one thing we would do was to make sure more of our friends and family met us somewhere during our trip. They are the people we miss the most and would have provided a break from the constant togetherness. That said, Love you Jill.

Yes, we're together in even the smallest of places.

Yes, we’re together in even the smallest of places.

The Call to Prayer is a Muslim ritual. Each day, practicing Muslims pray at certain times during the day. The times change each day and are based on where the sun is in the sky based on a crazy mathematical formula. Here it is.

The inside of one of Istanbul's mosques.

The inside of one of Istanbul’s mosques.

Each mosque has loudspeakers erected and at the five designated times the chosen person chants the prayers (this position is one of honor and given to the person with exceptional ability to recite the prayers). I absolutely love it. The prayers are beautiful and force you to pause what you’re doing to listen. Oh, the first prayer always takes place right before sunrise, so around 5:30 a.m. while we’ve been here. Jill actually slept through it today even though it appeared as though someone was in our room with a megaphone chanting the prayers.

Jill was settled in for bed the other day, then decided she needed to go to the bathroom one last time. Emerging after a somewhat lengthy time she said, “I can’t believe I was going to try and hold that all night.” I told you we’ve been spending too much time together.

Speaking of bathrooms. I’ve come across a couple of toilets in Turkey that have a spigot coming out of the back of the toilet. When finished, you turn a faucet-like nob and water shoots out in the right spot. While the hose had more power and nothing compares to the heated toilets of Japan I like this one as well.

Hey Seattle hipsters, you got nothing on Turkish men. That beard that took you two weeks to grow can be done by a Turkish man in two days. Five o’clock shadow? Try 10 a.m. shadow. This is all coming from a man who in three months or so was only able to grow this much hair on his face and has used four razor blades on a year-long trip. Check it out. You’ll have to look closely.

My beard in all its glory. Yes, this is a passport photo I have been carrying with me around the world.

My “beard” in all its glory. Yes, this is a passport photo I have been carrying with me around the world.

Speaking of Seattle, we’re giving serious consideration to moving there (or other parts of the Pacific Northwest) when we return in case anyone wants to weigh in on pros (for us outdoor activities and beer) and cons (weather).


1 Comment

  1. I know you’ll talk to Annette Larson, but my daughter lives in Portland and man, that seems like your kind of town. Weather is dicier than you’re used to here, but for cryin’ out loud, you’re from the midwest. Annette lived in both places. I was in both recently with here and Martin, Zach and Dan and Portland was very appealing.