* today's gas station pit stop had a regular toilet instead of a Turkish toilet, a real step into the 21st century. And, it matched American gas stations for cleanliness...not.
* Turkey built a relatively new dam on the Euphrates River to provide irrigation for the apricots. OK, so they buried a city and left partially submerged power lines. Water sports do not look like an option here.
* We build houses near the water so we can spend money on nice boats, docks, water front properties and expensive irrigation projects. Here the orchards and farms are near the water and the houses are on high on the hills.
*The sausages the bikers grill on the campfires taste a lot like Polish sausages. When it's cold like today, and the grease from the sausage drips out on your finger it hardens quickly and peels just like orange colored Elmer's glue. I could just feel the cholesterol hardening in my arteries.
*When the leader of my group says his career is" fitness instructor" and then lights a cigarette, it's a good think I don't speak fluent Turkish. I wonder what my smile said...
*All the Turkish bikers carry one small water bottle and fill it at the open water spigot at the village mosques. I'm still carrying bottled water....lots of it.
*The men's WCs at the mosques look fairly clean. The women's are not even fit for the mangy mother dog and her pups living outside. (ps the water spigots are often near the WCs)
*2/3 of our group asked a farmer in a truck to carry them and their bikes 10 km hill. He let them off in the middle of the best, downhill, wind free stretch of today's ride, blocking the entire one lane road so we had to stop. Then, they proceeded to smoke their cigarettes. Who does that?! Even when I got my mom and dad to drive me up Red Mountain, I never stopped on the fun ride down.
*I need to learn the words "single file" in Turkish because one biker kept at my side the entire ride practicing his English, which was really enjoyable until the big truckers came whizzing by honking. If I sped up to pass, he would speed up and the reverse was also true. It felt very dangerous.
I'm home now and really tuckered out, but it was a great day.