Have arrived safely and soundly in Antakya (aka Antioch – or if you follow the NT closely Syrian Antioch as opposed to Pisidian in Antioch, which was in … er… Pisidia, roughly between Antalya and Konya on this map).
Only been here for a few hours, but have already experienced:
- Wonderful Turkish hospitality despite an infuriatingly feeble lack of Turkish vocab on my part. 3 inter-related families gathering together for the conference elsewhere tomorrow and hosting me tonight
- having my finger being bitten by a Turkish dog – fortunately, no damage done.
- wandering around the older parts of the town with new friends. Though there is not much left that is genuinely ancient or even older than a couple of hundred years – which seems a shame. The town seems like so many others around the world – a web of concrete, construction and half-finished buildings.
- A throwback to Ugandan life – seeing a bloke riding on the back of a moped (otherwise known as boda-bodas in Kampala) carrying a huge, white plastic-framed shop door. The thing that tickled me was that it still had its shop sign dangling in the top half window – which helpfully declared to the world ‘Closed’ … in English bizarrely enough.
- The goal of our night-time wanderings was to go to a künefe restaurant. This stuff is basically a heart-attack on wheels – a delicious but lethal concoction of shredded wheat, honey, cheese and ice cream. hmmm
More news as we go and as access allows…