This is not the baklava I brought home– the baklava from Güllüoğlu I’d wished to buy on that final day in Istanbul. Instead, my colleagues would have to settle for second best: a box of walnut and pistachio baklava from the baker up the street. They’d never know the difference. I would cautiously secure a kilo’s worth of sweetness in my bag to weather the long journey home with me.
My departure that day was met with rain and June gloom, a partial reflection of my mood upon leaving. Today marks my arrival at another destination: day 30 and the end of my post-trip journey of creating a travel journal to solidify the memories. The postcards of images gave me creative boundaries within which to think and reconstruct my trip, where the stories embedded themselves within my being. This little project was more for me than for you, but without your eyes reading on the other end, I probably wouldn’t have completed it. So thank you for traveling with me. It’s day 30 and like my departure, feels a bit bittersweet.
After 23 hours of travel I walked through my front door and anxiously unpacked the baklava to see if it had made it home intact. I peeled back a wet canvas flap on the suitcase. Everything in my bag was soaked; the airline must have left my luggage out in the rain before loading. The bag of baklava and everything around it was covered in sticky syrup. The rain had melted the sugar and it had oozed out onto everything in the suitcase. Lucky for my colleagues, the baklava was still in tact. (There is so much sugar in that stuff that losing some was no set back.) My initial disappointment over the mess was then met with the realization that the trip had literally penetrated all of me, down to the objects I’d carried home. The sweetness would stick, long after the journey was complete.
A new moon has risen and marks the end of the month of Ramadan. May the fasters find their sweets!
Day 30 of 30; Postcards from Turkey