This Post Represents One of the Greatest Achievements in Human History

 

Over the past 48 hours, I have moved my entire household–including seven cats and two turtles–from one neighborhood of Istanbul to another. These two neighborhoods are not far apart as the crow flies, but very far apart if you propose to drive from Point A to Point B, seeing as the only way to do this is via Points C, D, Z and π, using the roundabout at F and avoiding the one-way turnoff to Syria.

All the cats are alive. They were all transported in a two-seater convertible and no, we didn’t put them in the trunk. By we, I mean a manly local Turkish hero and an unmanly but very sweet Iranian refugee who was in an even greater state of hysteria than the cats. (Don’t ask.)

The water in the new apartment is running. The electricity is on. And with six minutes left before the beginning of a week-long holiday, an employee of Türk Telekom came over and switched on the phone and the Internet. (There is no way that last sentence could convey the drama and improbability of this event. Think Apollo 13 meets Lawrence of Arabia meets your local DMV. Get it?)

The cellphone charger is, I think, at the bottom of one of the moving boxes, so that’s down for now. We’re out a few pieces of glassware, and one of the cats spent an unpleasant hour trapped behind the new refrigerator before I figured out where the anguished howling was coming from. But that’s nothing. It’s ten minutes to two p.m here in Istanbul, and I’m posting on Ricochet at my accustomed time. No one’s dead. All systems are go. Radio Free Istanbul is broadcasting live.

I realize this achievement will not get the coverage of the rescue of the Chilean miners or Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon, but if the world truly understood how unlikely it was that you’d see a post from me right now–and what a miraculous combination of teamwork, innovation, good luck, and human will to achieve the impossible this post represents–the media would be lined up three blocks deep outside my new door and the coverage of the Miracle in Istanbul would be live, 24/7, for the next month at least.

E.J. Hill, as usual, gets the photo credit and Ricochet’s eternal gratitude.

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  1. Profile Photo Contributor
    @PaulARahe

    What neighborhood are you in now? I am trying to visualize the whole thing.

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Editor
    @Claire

    I’m in a secret location, Paul.

    This story just got even better: I just found the cellphone charger.

    I’m going to stop marveling at my luck lest Istanbul be reduced to rubble by an earthquake tonight. It’s all just a little too good to be true.

    • #2
  3. Profile Photo Coolidge
    @PJS

    Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah! The last (and only) time I was in Turkey was summer of 1976. From your posts it sometimes sounds like not much has changed. Congratulations on your miracle! Wishing you happiness in your new home.

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Member
    @DelMarDave
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: I’m in a secret location, Paul.

    …Nov 15 at 4:31am

    Say “Hi” to Dick Cheney for us! :)))

    • #4
  5. Profile Photo Editor
    @Claire
    PJS: Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah! The last (and only) time I was in Turkey was summer of 1976. From your posts it sometimes sounds like not much has changed. Congratulations on your miracle! Wishing you happiness in your new home. · Nov 15 at 4:56am

    Thank you! Actually, though I wasn’t here then, I’m sure it’s changed–not beyond recognition, though, obviously. But the population of the city has I think quintupled since then.

    • #5
  6. Profile Photo Editor
    @Claire
    Del Mar Dave

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: I’m in a secret location, Paul.

    …Nov 15 at 4:31am

    Say “Hi” to Dick Cheney for us! :))) · Nov 15 at 5:08am

    If I can figure out which box I packed him in, sure.

    • #6
  7. Profile Photo Member
    @DuaneOyen

    Clearly, based on performance, you should be appointed head of FEMA.

    • #7
  8. Profile Photo Editor
    @Claire
    Duane Oyen: Clearly, based on performance, you should be appointed head of FEMA. · Nov 15 at 5:49am

    Well, kind of. But I can’t help but ruefully think that if my mom had organized this, all the papers would already be in their filing cabinets, and all the files would already be labeled–probably with one of those cool label-making machines. And she would never have put the cell phone charger at the bottom of an unlabeled packing box in the first place.

    • #8
  9. Profile Photo Inactive
    @outstripp

    Thinking about Istanbul and Constantinople (No, you can’t go back), I got to wondering, can the BUL of Instanbul be related to the PLE of Constantinople and the PORE of Singapore and the PUR of Kuala Lumpur and the BURI of Thonburi (Thailand) and the BARA of Edinburgh and the BURGH of Pittsburgh and the BOROUGHs of NYC and the BURY of Sudbury (Mass), etc. Actually, I already know the answer about all of them except Istanbul, which I had never noticed before. What say ye? Looks good to me.

    • #9
  10. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Pseudodionysius

    Claire, seeing the photoshopped photo of the kitties in the front seat reminds me of that scene from Groundhog Day where Bill Murray has Punksatawney Phil driving the truck and he keeps telling him:

    “Don’t drive angry. Don’t drive angry.”

    • #10
  11. Profile Photo Member
    @Eiros

    Clarie:

    Seriously, I think you’ve got the crux of a plot for a wonderful children’s book here. You ought to try your hand at that!

    • #11
  12. Profile Photo Contributor
    @TommyDeSeno

    Isn’t that funny Claire I moved this weekend too! Family of 6 and 15 years worth of stuff from the old house. Tiring.

    And just to confirm America’s status as a Third World country (in addition to our massive debt and new affinity for soccer) my cable, despite two visits from Cablevision, is still not working, while your folks in Turkey got the job done.

    I’m betting your guys don’t have a union ;-)

    • #12
  13. Profile Photo Editor
    @Claire
    Tommy De Seno: Isn’t that funny Claire I moved this weekend too! Family of 6 and 15 years worth of stuff from the old house. Tiring.

    And just to confirm America’s status as a Third World country (in addition to our massive debt and new affinity for soccer) my cable, despite two visits from Cablevision, is still not working, while your folks in Turkey got the job done.

    I’m betting your guys don’t have a union ;-) · Nov 15 at 8:03am

    Edited on Nov 15 at 08:04 am

    Yep, you’ll understand how tired I am. As for unions in Turkey and local work conditions and the effects of privatizing Türk Telekom and what it takes to get the job done–I could write a long essay about each of these subjects and have in fact been thinking about all of them. I’ve been taking a lot of notes in my head. Tomorrow. Tonight I need to get stuff unpacked.

    • #13
  14. Profile Photo Editor
    @Claire
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    I’m going to stop marveling at my luck lest Istanbul be reduced to rubble by an earthquake tonight. It’s all just a little too good to be true. · Nov 15 at 4:31am

    Huh.

    • #14
  15. Profile Photo Member
    @Misthiocracy

    It looks like Toonces is driving that car.

    • #15
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