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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