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Wanted: More feet.

Must be in good condition. Coming to a good home.

sunny 10 °C

I need more feet: two to carry me between life-highlights, two to kick my heels with joy at the fantasy life I am living, and another two to dig my heels in, feet firmly planted, so that I cannot be moved. Let's reflect on the past few weeks so you can appreciate my pedi-predicament.

Two weeks ago I handed in the final essay of my masters degree (BOOOYA!). Having two legs was just fine at that time because I was moving in one direction: completion. Once I had crossed the academic finish line I was full of boundless energy, more than these stems knew what to do with. They treated me to a personal best run of 21k because I had the time (why not?) then trotted me up a tarmac staircase and onto an airplane headed east for a victory lap with Emilie.

Joined by Seb, the three of us made excellent use of all our limbs as we explored the area around Trabzon and Kars. Initially, however, the 5 am departure caused our extremities' energy to be subdued as we wandered through the faded and scratched out frescoes inside the Sumela Monastery.

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We broke bread in the spirit of Christ (and olive tapenade) but it took a meandering bus ride through the countryside toward Kars to revive our tired limbs.

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Not wanting any residual Soviet stiffness to creep into our bones, we made haste to escape into the ruined fields of Ani. Mottled sunlight on lazily-rolling hills illuminated centuries-old stone buildings, formerly the Armenian capital.

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The peace and striking beauty of Ani was so great that amazement manifested into movement and we became Mexican jumping beans, bouncing and leaping through the fields. If legs could sing ours would have put a southern gospel choir to shame. It was incredible.

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Ours were not the only feet hard at work, though. Soon our flailing sexped was joined by a multi-hoofed herd consisting of cows, goats, two shepherds and one ass.

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It is not every day you can befriend dashing young Turkish shepherds and ride their donkey through such a landscape. We celebrated our new bond by sneaking into the fenced off area and taking silly pictures, as you do.

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Of course no trip would be complete without a freak storm, so we were lucky that unexpected hail, wind, torrential rains and cracking lightning directly overhead marked our frantic scamper back to the bus.

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The energy in our limbs was similar to that in a rising crescendo: every sight was a note higher; it made our hair stand on end a little more and our smiles a little wider.

Of course our legs could hardly contain themselves, so the following day when we rounded the final bend of the grassy trail high on the inside of the gorge leading to Seyan Kale it is a wonder they didn't high-kick us directly into the river below.

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When our crescendo reached its climax beauty was everywhere. Wandering the dusty, forgotten streets of Kars we stumbled upon precious old men who tugged at our hearts by simply walking down the street or sitting on a bench.

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It was around this time I began to wonder if I could use a few more limbs to make use of all this happy energy. I bet octopi have no problem expressing themselves when they are super duper happy. Lucky spineless jerks. And it's not only that. On top of having a lot of happiness to get out I also feel like running in many different directions: back to Istanbul to get a job, to the nearest travel agent to cancel my flight home, to the magnificent Mediterranean seaside to cannonball into its salty embrace. It's not easy having such a wonderful life. I expect you are full of pity, and I thank you for that.

Posted by LeiCran 13:08 Archived in Turkey

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Dear little sweetheart,

Your joyfully spontaneous enthusiasm is totally a pleasure to read. I am however "warning" you after the fact, mind you; of getting too close to the near edge of deep, rocky, hard and very steep and hard to get out of places.

I really enjoy your writing; and I am biased, and very proud; obviously.

-dad

by Brian (big bad daddy-o) Engler

Dear little sweetheart,

One last very sincere compliment regarding your blog. The pictures you use to help (me, if not anyone else) understand meaning and significance and context are also excellent.

A photo-journalist in the making, for sure. With her Masters in International political Partying . .

Ooops, her rather modest, humble, almost insignificant Masters Degree in International Relations.

And once again, I am so proud. Huh, I only did this to tell you about the pictures; I guess I got carried away.

luvya, prouduvya,

-dad

by Brian (big bad daddy-o) Engler

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