Is Turkey really in Europe because it sounds like one of those countries that should be in Europe but actually isn’t, like how Egypt’s apparently in Africa

At 21, going on holiday with family takes courage. You might be convinced by the multiple perks of a family holiday, including

  • Its free
  • It doesn’t cost you any money

We went away to Turkey, which is a land that lives in perpetual fear that cheese might one day become a finite resource, and thus feels obligated to garnish every conceivable dish with it.

Here are some highlights of the trip:

  • The invention of a game called Spaghetti Polo where you get those long float pieces and have to use them to hit a ball from one side of the water to the other. This was mainly just an excuse for us all to hit each other. Hit each other really hard in our stupid faces and savour the mutual sensation of the chlorine water burning each other’s retinas until we felt better.
  • I went white water rafting. In which you pay what you could have spent on travel insurance wedging yourself into a little donut and lumbering down a fast flowing canyon. The rocks were I can assume, enthusiastically matched by our stony faces as our bodies bombarded their way through assortment obstacles, whilst a Turkish man who belonged in Battleship Potemkin shouts useful advice at you such as “stay away from the rocks”.

When a pregnant cow is having a difficult labour, a farmer must forcibly drag the calf out of the womb using his bare hands, methodically negotiating its limp, gangly legs out of the cow, heaving, until eventually the calf is out, and writhing on the ground, soaking and exhausted. This is how it feels to be hoisted out of the Dalaman River by your lifejacket.

We got out of the boats and the attendant told us to take off all of our clothes and get on the ground. He broke up some of the mud from the ground with his foot and told us to rub the mud on our bodies, as apparently mud is meant to rehydrate the skin. Kindly, he spent most of his time helping me get every crevice of my body covered. I had no idea my tits were so dry.

Here are some snippets of conversation that really sum up the trip for me:

“You could do it in less than a day probably. What, weeks? No. Definitely not. Well, maybe. I guess there are a lot of hills. And there were some windy roads.”

– Lizzie, on the logistics of driving to Turkey

“You know, you look down and see all of this land, like all those fields and shit and it’s just like, where the fuck is that? You know what I mean?”

– Lizzie, The Plane, location unchartered.

“Alex, do you think people have a difficult time understand you’re my son because I’m white and you’re black?”

– My aunt, in the swimming pool, with a glass of wine.

“Ah you’re the older sister, are you the boss then?”

“No.”

– A salesman, exploiting my insecurities.

“Say hi to James Brown for me!”

The rafting instructor, to Alex, before laughing hysterically.

“Is that the same guy?”

-My mother, attempting to subtly whisper into her hat, as a previous taxi driver we had approaches us.

“Yes, I am the same guy.”

– An offended Turkish taxi driver, solemnly confirming the above.

“Look Alex, there’s you!”

– My aunt, excitedly pointing at another black person.

“So do you guys get a lot of trouble over here with ISIS then or what?”

– My aunt, before nonchalantly ordering drinks off a Turkish waiter.

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