It seems for us getting places is never easy! Firstly we booked our tickets late so we could not take Cathay Pacific, our preferred airline. We were forced to fly Lufthansa. As a result we flew from Taipei, to Hong Kong, changed over in Frankfuhrt and went on to Istanbul.
Frankfuhrt was disgusting. We got into an argument with a security guard. The people working in the airport were fairly rude and unfriendly and the airport restaurant was dirty too. The food wasn't delicious and the promise of the end being in sight kept us going.
By the time we got onto the flight for Istanbul we were exhausted. We sat in our seats and fell asleep immediately. The next thing we knew we were in Istanbul. So much for the on-board meal!
When we landed in the Mustafa Kemal airport we were greeted with a passenger arguing with five or six policeman. We also had to stand in the visa line for a long time. By the time we got through customs and picked up our luggage it was close to 1:30am. We had been on the move for about 26 hours.
Long Awaited Reunion
When we finally walked into the airport waiting area there was my sister Judith with a big broad smile looking great as always. We hadn't seen her in six years and she hadn't changed a bit. It was an exciting and wonderful reunion and one that we had looked forward to for a long long time.
These reunions are never soon enough. Our family are a family of gypsies. My sister lives in Istanbul, I live in Taipei, Dad lives in South Africa and Mom lives in England. We dont see each other very often but when we do it is always wonderful.
My sister drove us home and we talked late into the morning finally getting to bed at around 5:00am. It wasn't too bad since we had that great three hour sleep on the flight to Istanbul.
Sometime during the night Judith's mother-in-law woke up to say hi as she was staying at the house and our nephew Tibet, who we had seen only when he was one, woke up for a short bit and came to meet us. It was great to meet him finally and to be able to speak to him. The time spent with him and the bonding that we did as a family over the two weeks was an incredible experience.
And then came Mom
On the first Friday in Istanbul my mother arrived. We all went down to the airport and met her. It was great. This was the first time Queenie, my Mom, Judith, Tibet and I had ever been together.
Of course with my Mom comes all the razzmataz of life. She had brought tons of Christmas crackers, hats and gifts (even though it was February) to ensure we celebrated something as a family.
A week after we arrived, Ahmet, Judith's husband, came up from the South of Turkey to spend the weekend with us. Now Queenie had never met Ahmet and I had not seen him for more than 10 years. He too has not aged a bit. He looked as young as ever.
When we had all finally gathered, we spent a fantastic few days together, eating in some wonderful restaurants and just spending quality time together.
So the family was all together for the first time ever. We had a wondeful time and hopefully we will be able to do it again sometime soon. The lesson of course is that we should appreciate every moment we spend with people, especially close and dear family. We never know when (or even if) we will ever see them again.
Hopefully they will be able to come to Taiwan next year. If not we will have to make a plan to hike back to Turkey within the next couple of years.
Take care all,
Until the next time, blessings.
Queenie and Paul
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