Tales from Turkey – Day 2

My new friend Emel convinced me to drink a traditional Turkish refreshment known as Ayran last night at dinner.

This nice, tall, old-timey decanter of frothy milk actually turned out to be yogurt mixed with water and about a pound of salt.  As she motioned for me to drink up, the dinner conversation at the table transitioned to how everyone at the table absolutely LOVED this “refreshing beverage.”

I know you know my aversion to certain foods, but when in Turkey, do as the Turks do.  So I took a drink from the glass, puckered profusely from the salt, plastered on an engaging smile and swallowed…three times in a row.

As I took the first bite of  dinner (to cleanse my salty palate), I started listening to the others wax on an off about the wonder that is Ayran.  There was a playful mixture of:  “You’ll get used to it,” and “It’s like drinking plain yogurt,” and “Francisco drinks it once a week to flush out impurities” and “I think it tastes like goat’s milk.”

Fast forward to later that night.  We pull up at the camp in Tekirdag when it hits me.  That’s right. Montezuma’s revenge.  Not just once, but SIX TIMES from about 10 to 3:00 in the morning.

Just as I’m rocking back and forth in the fetal position contemplating typing “can you die from traveler’s diarrhea” on Google, I remember something from dinner:  “Francisco drinks it once a week to flush out impurities.”

Naturally, I would accidentally choose a work trip to Turkey to detox my system.

Welcome to my life.  And please pass the stale toast and Turkish Sprite.

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July 19, 2012 10:02 am

LOL Such a great story! As someone who is lactose intolerant, I can only imagine the anguish. Glad you survived!

Rachel G.
Rachel G.
July 19, 2012 10:49 am

Lincee, you have to check out the Basilica Cistern while you are in Istanbul. It is super awesome AND where Ali went during her season with Frank (who’s Frank? I had to look that one up!) for a romantic underground dinner that was surrounded by water. But having been there just a little over a year ago, it is really, really neat. Check it out if you can!

July 19, 2012 11:10 am

Ahhh, Lincee, I hear you all too well! I’m in Kenya right now and I have similar sentiments when it comes to their “chai tea,” which isn’t really tea or chai, but basically scalding hot milk with some dose of something or other that I can’t quite identify. I want to burst into tears every time they serve it. But like you said, you’re in their culture, do as they do! (Until you can no longer stand it!)

July 19, 2012 11:16 am

Lincee, just keep reminding yourself that you only have three more days until the season finale! Something has to be positive in this situation.

oh and I would suggest you NOT drink that again while in Turkey!!

July 19, 2012 1:16 pm

Just as you said the word SALT, I knew how it ended. Hang in there. LASS

July 19, 2012 1:54 pm

As I was reading your description of that drink all I could think of were the three-digit temps we’ve been having this summer. That alone made my stomach curdle. YUCK. So sorry you experienced that. I sure hope you don’t have any more unfortunate stories to tell from Turkey.

July 19, 2012 2:47 pm

Here is what works for me when traveling: Chew on two Pepto B. tablets before each meal to coat the stomach. Be prepared for some rather blackish deposits. Be well and live long, dear blogstress.

July 19, 2012 4:39 pm

LOL! There are far better ways to purify your colon than that…sorry for the agony!

Courtney, I’m from Kenya, and I’m slightly offended that you would refer to chai with such disdain. However, seeing as we’re bound by this invisible IHGB thread, I will let it pass. Chai, done right, is a wonderful thing! Do not (DO NOT) buy it in small mom-n-pop shops. Have someone you trust make it for you, ask for more ‘majani’ than milk, and demand Ketepa. You will thank me later 🙂

July 19, 2012 5:34 pm

Good thing no one entered your room unexpectedly last night!!!

July 19, 2012 7:00 pm

Ouch 🙂

July 19, 2012 7:40 pm

Ohhhhh, poor Lincee!

July 20, 2012 12:03 am

Oh no you poor thing!!! Hope it passes soon (sorry no pun intended!)! Feel better..enjoy Turkey!

Lyn in Denver
Lyn in Denver
July 20, 2012 2:05 am

My friend, another blogger (world food) with a massive following, swears by local hooch as the starter for all visits. She doesn’t get sick and she’s traveled more than 200,000 miles eating food everywhere.

Natty from Oz
Natty from Oz
July 20, 2012 4:29 am

Still recovering from a severe bout of food poisoning last weekend so you have my sympathy!!!

Still lost 9lbs so YAY lol

July 20, 2012 3:00 pm

Oh, the horror!! I cringed when I saw the picture of the stuff, and my intestines cramped in sympathy when I read your story. I hope your body has finished “flushing out” 🙂 and you can enjoy the rest of your trip!


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