Turkish Bath

19:35 Monday 16th July 2018

If I'm ever mad enough to do this again, a few things to bring next time:

<b>A small towel</b>

As opposed to the large face flannel stuffed into my luggage. You never know when you'll need to wash - face or body - and you also never know when you </i>can</i> wash. When you can, even when you don't stictly need, do. And when you do, have something on hand to dry yourself.

The reason you can't always wash is: water isn't always trivially available from taps. For the last two days, we've been without water. Today, a man from Turkmenistan came, towing two megaton (he said) water tank with a tractor. As I write, his water tank on the ground is filling our water tank on the roof, by a hydrolic process I don't quite understand.

And yes, the Turkish for "Hydrolic" is, more or less, "Hydrolic". But probably spelled "Hidrolik".

When the man from Turkmenistan isn't available, the mosque down the road manages a constant supply of water, which an hour ago I used to give myself an improvised cold shower - by taking a deep breath and pouring a jug of water over my head - and then washed two shirts in the sink.

They're hanging on the line now, so hopefully tomorrow I can change out of this stickily sweat-infused shirt I've been wearing for three days. Why have I been wearing it for three days? Because all my other shirts are in the wash. But they haven't been washed. Because we've been out of water.

You can also get it damp, and use it to cool yourself off.

And you can clean the whiteboard with it.

Douglas Adams was right.

<b>A Long HDMI Cable</i>

For connecting the laptop to the TV, when the electricity is working, for showing videos to children, sneaking in a bit of English tuition.

But if you use your own cable, disconnect it when not in use. Because, as we found out yesterday, children have the magical ability to destroy anything. Including furniture, toys, and computer peripherals.

<b>A Spare Mains Power Converter</b>

...in addition to the non-spare one. Because not only do children destroy things, but non-children lose things.

<b>Knife, Fork, Spoon</b>

One of each, because they won't always be provided. To be cleaned with the towel.

<b>Laptop Recharging Battery</b>

One of those batteries you recharge from the mains, so you can recharge your laptop, phone etc. from <i>them</i> when the mains electricity isn't working.

Also, when you're not using your phone for calling or internetting, keep it in airplane mode. It's a small hassle to switch it out of and back into airplane mode once or twice a day, but you use less data, and it <i>really</i> saves the battery.

Switch on data, download emails, switch off data, write replies to be sent next time you switch data on.


For preference lightweight, possibly slip-ons, but durable. I brought tough trainers for walking the mountains, and carpet slippers for everything else that I can't do barefoot. They both work well, but a single good pair of sandals would cover all bases.


  1. I'm with you on the clean towel and slippers. They are always packed in my travel gear. I used to include flatware til airport security declared such items as forbidden...