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January 29, 2012 Istanbul, Turkey

Written by GingerBlossom Published in

It's colder today in Istanbul than it is in Chicago, but thanks to Accuweather, I've got the gear - sort of.  Since this is the only really cold stop that I'll be making, I've got the Thrift Store leave -behind wardrobe.  When we were traversing Chile with a Lan Chile air pass, we kept running into the same group of gypsies.  These were full-on Roma, living in caravans, washing up in streams, and the ladies had long flowing skirts, tons of jewelry, and headscarves.  We first ran into them way up north in Arica, then again outside of Santiago, and once again further south in Temuco.  The reason why I recognized them is that the same group of women kept trying to get me to join them.  Anyway, I'd popped into a Travel Agency to check on a ticket and seated there was one of the gypsy women, but in a parallel universe sort of way.  She had her hair done up in a french twist, and wore a chic fitted yellow suit.  At first glance she looked like she'd stepped out of the pages of Vogue, but then you noticed the little details.  The suit didn't quite fit right, the shoes were 2 sizes too big, etc.  That's me now.  At first glance I look OK, but if you picked me apart, I'd be leaning towards the bag lady end of the spectrum.  The hotel guy made a big deal about finding the Russian channel on T.V. for me and the street touts are greeting me in German, so that sort of sums up my look. In Nepal I'll be back to polar fleece, blue jeans and Keen sneakers.  Good bye tall black Natasha boots, good bye long dark wool coat.