Up 7:45am. My camera still didn't work, but at least I could view photos, albeit on a messed-up display, so maybe it was recovering. Left the hotel 9am.
At 11:50am we stopped for photos at a Roman aqueduct. Ooh, there are 3 of the 110 photos I didn't mind losing, because I took the same photo in France in 2001.
At 12:22pm we stopped in Şirince, an old Greek village, and did some wine-tasting at a place that sold fruity wines. The consensus favorite was black mulberry, which people kept calling blackberry. Pay the fuck attention! Goddammit, there are some retarded people in this group. I bought a bottle of blueberry for TL 20. It was only 8.5%, so the equivalent of 3 beers, but sweeter. Had lunch at Cici. I had köfte (TL 10) and 2 beers (TL 6 each) but was charged only TL 17. We saw the Comfort group from Hierapolis again. I called them suckers. Adrian liked this and repeated and gave me a high 5, so it must have been funny. I can't tell what's funny anymore.
My notes say I had 4 drinks so far. Oh, the 2 big beers and the wine-tasting.
Observation: Talking with Aussies always requires 2 tries. The first attempt results in a "hmm?" or "pardon?" from either me or them. Our rhythms are different.
Went to the Church of St. John the Baptist, which Lonely Planet says is "of limited interest", and it was. The LP writer was probably at the same point in the tour as us when he wrote that. Not that this is a boring tour...it's actually one of the best I've been on, and possibly better than Greece, except the Greece group was better. As doctors go, I'd do Sarah over Dave any day.
At 2:50pm we arrived at the Canberra Hotel. Nice room on the corner...just inside the door there was a balcony, then a long hallway with a bathroom, then a bedroom with 2 beds that was tight but airy with lots of windows and a 2nd balcony. I took a photo, but...oh well.
There was a drop of water inside my camera's LCD display, and I noticed today that it was gone, so it must be drying out. There's still condensation, though.
I got a beer from reception and drank in my room while I shopped for a new camera (assuming the existing one wouldn't recover). The latest in the same line of PowerShot cameras is 16 MP but only $99, so its quality is suspect. Evidently there's a move from NiMH to lithium batteries. I'm gonna miss using my AA battery charger.
Eric Garcetti won the LA mayoral election. I applied for an absentee ballot on the first possible day (a week before I left) but I never received it. So disenfranchised. I would have voted for Wendy Greuel (as I did in the primary in March) because she already improved LA by reducing the number of nasty short-haired broads in the city by one. She never would have made it to the runoff with that pixie cut. Men will not vote for that. Chicks who cut their hair really short should have to live with that mistake for the rest of their life. Just like other crimes against nature, such as getting a tattoo or having a mixed-race baby. HEY-YO! A classic 2009 joke. Thank you Matt Lewis. It's not racist because I don't mention any specific race. Ha!
My heels were all white shredded flaky dead skin from the travertines. I love going barefoot for days at a time. I miss muggy summers in Philly when I went for days without shoes or a shirt. But I had to put on socks and shoes today for the trip to Ephesus.
We left for Ephesus at 4pm. Took some good photos, which I lost, including a nice shot of the Library of Celsus.
Ancient toilets. Very, very random that this was one of the few surviving photos.
Library of Celsus. No one cared about the history or architecture here. We all just gathered around these mixed-race babies for 10 minutes.
There was a 25,000-seat theatre here, similar to the one at Hierapolis. Built between AD 41 and AD 117. Sting and Elton John performed there. I stood on the stage and imagined having a crowd that size under my control. A crowd 1/1000 that size is a good night for me. 250 people is an impossible dream. I've performed for 250 empty seats at Jon Lovitz.
The girls were singing "Cecilia" here, inspired by Ofelia. I didn't know it was a Simon & Garfunkel song. Maloney's used to play it early in the evening when I used to go there. I shall download it.
Back at the hotel 7pm.
On the sub-roof outside my room. I kept freaking him out by appearing on my several balconies! Had another beer.
My stock portfolio was over $40k for the first time! I put $30k into it in 2005, it dipped to $15k during the recession, and now it's up. Makes up for my gold loss...I think I'm down $20k from its peak.
At 8pm we left for dinner at Tat. I totally guessed the Wi-Fi password (tat12345)! I sat at the corner of an L-shaped table, which was a bad move conversationwise, because I wasn't facing anyone. Had lentil soup, lamb shish and 2 beers (now at 10 for the day).
Ibo suggested we go out for a hookah/sheesha, but no one was interested. So he stayed in town with another G leader, and the rest of us went back to the hotel. On the way there, the topic of pets came up, and I mentioned my vicarious pet Odessa. Just then a puppy ran up to me and licked my face and bit my nose!
Got back to the hotel at 10:30pm. Went to the rooftop terrace bar with Kent, Lee, Michelle and Adrian. Played Uno. Had 2 more beers. A solid drinking day. Adrian and I closed it out. He was surprised I'm 44, and thought I was 34. And he cited the half-your-age-plus-7 rule, so I should date 29-year-olds. Novak said nothing older than 34 and Stella said 36, so the average recommendation is 33. Reasonable.
Ofelia's birthday is Saturday. Adrian wanted me to do a standup set in her honor. The idea intrigued me, and I thought about doing a roast (and there were plenty of things I could roast people in the group about!) but I'd need some prep time.
Left the bar 11:45pm. Bed 1:08am.