Welcome to my Trip to The Balkans!

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The thing about the 10 hour flight between JFK and Istanbul on Turkish Airlines is that you're given a Turkish Delight, some macadamia nuts, and two feast-sized meals, which I wish I'd known so that I would've skipped the bland beef thingy at JFK.

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Terminal 1 Turkish kiosk: $16.50 for a beef gozlayim and a kadayif, both of which they warmed up for me. The beef thing was really not that flavorful or good, even with the squirts of yogurt sauce and Tabasco.

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The dessert was decent though, not overly sweet.

As it was I of course ate basically every bite given me - well it was pretty good! - plus a beer - wine, beer and cocktails are all free!- which left me rather full the entire time and quite uncomfortable, folded up with no room in an increasingly hot airplane that must have been 80 degrees fahrenheit by the time we landed.

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I began wondering if perhaps part of the heat, on top of general crowded body heat, might not have been from the burping and farting of which there was no way I was the only surreptitious culprit. 

I decided I should get coffee. On the one hand, maybe it would make matters worse for me (it did): on the other, maybe it'd make me poop (it didn't); but the clincher was my hope that it'd be good Turkish coffee worth trying (it wasn't).

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It was the kind of full that changed the flavor of my burps to a flavor I didn't actually recognize from my meals, something sulphuric and shameful. I desperately wanted to get to a restroom to see if anything could be done about the gaseous ball of fury my stomach had become, but the lines of people were both long and confusing, in that some people had been standing there for ten minutes and were perhaps just stretching after their meal, and I didn't have the social wherewithal to stomach the interactions with Turkish speakers that figuring this out would require. Right after the announcement to sit down and buckle up, the woman who'd gotten the aisle seat suggested I make a mad dash for the restroom since a few people were still up. But she clearly didn't understand the nature of my desired endeavor, and I didn't want to disappear for ten minutes until a flight attendant was sent to inquire after my well being, which one would surely do once the nearby passengers heard what I knew would most likely be long and wretched but vain air squirtings.

In fact those and a bit or urinating are clearly all I'll be accomplishing in the decent chunk of time I have in Istanbul before my flight to Albania, where I'm writing this on the toilet.

Next: Goat's head

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