The Turk Who Loved Apples

BOOK: The Turk Who Loved Apples
6.58Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

The Turk
Who Loved Apples

And Other Tales of
Losing My Way Around the World

Matt Gross


A Member of the Perseus Books Group

Copyright © 2013 by Matt Gross

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. For information, address Da Capo Press, 44 Farnsworth Street, Third Floor, Boston, MA 02210.

Designed by Cynthia Young

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Gross, Matt.

The Turk who loved apples : and other tales of losing my way around the world / Matt Gross.

p. cm.

Includes index.

ISBN 978-0-306-82202-5 (e-book)

1. Travel writing.    2. Voyages and travels.    I. Title.

G151.G77 2013



Published by Da Capo Press

A Member of the Perseus Books Group

Da Capo Press books are available at special discounts for bulk purchases in the U.S. by corporations, institutions, and other organizations. For more information, please contact the Special Markets Department at the Perseus Books Group, 2300 Chestnut Street, Suite 200, Philadelphia, PA 19103, or call (800) 810-4145, ext. 5000, or e-mail
[email protected]

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

For Jean,
who has been patient




Schrödinger's Boarding Pass:
Perpetually Unprepared—and Totally Comfortable with That—I Set Off for Vietnam, Tunisia, and Beyond

A Model Organism:
In Which, Craving Culinary Adventure, I Eat My Way Across the World and Figure Out How to Handle the Consequences

Wandering Stars:
In Which I Deal with the Inevitability of Loneliness and the Complicated Joys of Making Friends

Poor Me:
How I Learned to Travel Frugally and Got the Best Job in the World—and Why I Gave It Up

The Best Policy:
In Which I Try to Come Up with an Ethical Response to Developing-World Tragedies and My Own Role in Perpetuating Them

The Orient:
On Learning, and Unlearning, How to Navigate a Messy World

Happy Families:
How I Faced the Ultimate Horror—Traveling with My Family—and Survived to Tell the Tale

The Touron's Lament:
On the Differences Between Tourists and Travelers, and Never Quite Knowing Whether You're One or the Other

On Leaving Home, Coming Home, and Seeking My Proper Place in the World



This book took a while to come together, and it wouldn't have happened without the efforts of a number of people whose support and enthusiasm continue to surprise me. My editors at the
New York Times
—Stuart, Mary, Denny, Danielle, Suzanne, Laura, and Dan, among many others—gave me unimaginable freedom to travel the world and write about what I discovered. Other editors—Jim and Dana at
, Jen and Julia at
—likewise listened to my ideas and, astoundingly, allowed me to pursue my obsessions wherever they took me. Together, the assignments they gave me produced most of the raw material of this narrative.

Shaping that material into an actual book was a process that began with my agent, Nat Jacks at Inkwell Management, and evolved over many discussions (and drinks) with my friends and fellow travelers Mary Ellen Hitt, Justin Barrera, and Peter Jon Lindberg. When the proposal reached Da Capo Press, Jonathan Crowe and John Radziewicz were not only excited about its prospects but, after they'd acquired it, both encouraging and demanding throughout the editing process. Insightful notes from my friends Mai Hoang and Jeff Booth also helped the manuscript evolve into its final form.

Throughout the years, I've also been able to rely on many friends, both at home and abroad: Duj, Andrew, Nader, Jaipal, Ian, Park,
Wah-Ming, Christine, Seth, Other Seth, Farley, Ted, Nathan, Bonanos, Vincent, Andy, Todd, Tessa, Justin, Yotam, Horia, Lauren, Ben, Greg, Bradley, Julia, Egil, Erik, Hanh, Tuyen, Chris and Kenny, Kirk, Robert, Vince, Bonnie, Niki, Regis, Patricia, Miss Thanh, Dylan, Howard, and X-Quang, to name just a few. Thanks for putting up with me when I was around and not resenting me when I vanished into overseas silence for months (or years) at a stretch.

My family, obviously, gets a lot of credit for molding me as a traveler and for giving me a reason—several reasons, in fact—to keep coming home. And I must also paraphrase my father: my daughters, Sasha and Sandy, did nothing to aid the writing of this book; in fact, they delayed its completion. But it was for them that I wrote it in the first place.

Finally, I need to thank all of the strangers who, despite not knowing me from Adam, offered help and the hand of friendship when I needed them most. You give me, and everyone, a reason to keep exploring.

BOOK: The Turk Who Loved Apples
6.58Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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