Thursday, April 1, 2010

From Mosquitoes to Mosques

Due to a daunting day of travel and a ridiculously early morning flight that awaited us, Mariana and I spent our last night in Sri Lanka at a Ramada hotel near the airport where travelers could seemingly get a good night’s sleep. My mosquito bite count was nearing a record high, so I was looking forward to some modern comforts like air conditioning and insulated windows. Sadly, I was once again reminded of the never ending war that mosquitoes have apparently mercilessly declared against me ever since I was a child. My time on Earth has seen more battles lost than won, but tonight I was determined to have an uninterrupted slumber, so I closely examined the room looking for any sign of my winged nemesis. I somehow knew in my heart of hearts that not even the great name of Ramada could stop such a relentless creature, so it was not surprising when I first laid eyes on the small black devil perched malevolently on my hotel wall. There are many ways to attack a mosquito, but tonight I opted for the pounce method which requires an authoritative pre-emptive strike that will surely deter any of his friends from joining in the fight. So I began to stalk my prey quietly, skillfully, hat in hand, ready to strike at a moment’s notice, and then all hell broke loose. I was discovered by a keen sense only available to insects and the battle ensued. I waved my hat violently like a wild man and shouted out a roar of victory as I saw the cold life-less body of my vanquished foe lying on the ground.

The next morning, I discovered three new bites that had swelled up on my body overnight and watched angrily as an apparently much stealthier adversary hovered quietly above my head while I showered…damn!!

One airport transfer and ten hours of flying later, Mariana and I found ourselves descending into the beautiful city of Istanbul, Turkey. The deep blue color that defined the cold water of the Bosphorus Sea was trumped only in beauty by the thousands of towering mosques that dotted the landscape. Magically it seemed, we were in yet another far away land full of new and different experiences.

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