The Beginning of the End, Fez-wise

Perhaps you’ve heard of Kastamonu as the city where Atatürk lauched his Great Hat Reform of ’25. No? Well, shows what you know. There’s a statue in the town center of the man holding a fedora, the Hat Of The Future. Fezzes out!

This was just the town I was looking for at this stage in the trip. Travelling around a country like this you find yourself jonesing for the ideal of the Real Turkey. Frankly, I don’t even know what this even means: the Real Turkey–I certainly haven’t seen any Fake Turkeys recently–but the quıxotic concept still nags at the traveller.

Kastamonu, a mid-sized town with no tourist sights to speak of, seems to fit the role as well as possible, and while at a different time of the trip I may have wanted to breeze right through (there’s nothing to see, after all) I now find it strangely satisfying, and we are lingering here for another night.

Still, the gumption waxes and wanes, sometimes hourly. Three weeks is a long trip, and sometimes I feel ready to come home. But sometimes not: this afternoon we took a taxi to a village outside of town to see this astounding fourteenth century wooden mosque housed inside of an unassuming exterior. Luckily, the imam was outside laying down a sidewalk with his gardener buddy so he was able to let us in. This all served to recharge the gumption, and now I’m back in fine spirits.

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