The Two Mehmets

It is a noteworthy thing when, having gone your entire life never meeting anyone named “Mehmet,” you meet two at the same time. Of course, it is less remarkable if you are in Turkey — as we were — were every third guy is named “Mehmet.” (The Turkish version of “Mohammed.”)

Cats in the Grand Bazaar

Cats in the Grand Bazaar

It was more than a decade ago, in the seaside town of Kusadasi, to be precise. Our honeymoon — a friend with a cruise line that I did a lot of work with had arranged the gift of a voyage through Italy, Croatia, the Greek Isles and Turkey. On a day in port, we had gone to see the ruins of the ancient Greek city of Ephesus, and were en route back to our ship when we stopped in a bar for a beer and a bite to eat. More

Indian Chewing Gum

Every spring, our hillsides in California are covered with a misting of glorious, delicate yellow flowers — wild mustard. Perhaps this is where we got our name, The Golden State.

When I was a child, someone introduced me to “Indian chewing gum.” Once summer had baked the leafless mustard plants into chalky white skeletons, you could break open the main stalk and inside was a kind of foamy, chewy dried pith. It had no flavor, but did have a pleasant chewiness, at least for the first few seconds before it became mushy and/or got jammed up in between your teeth where you couldn’t get it out. More