I’ve written a lot about objects and how they can have the power to transport you to different worlds. I read most of the Harry Potter books, and the thing that sticks with me with those books is the “portkey.” They are things that you find in various places (an old boot on a hill, for instance) that you find, grab hold of, and it transports you to another one of these objects, places, where it’s a portal. We all have these things, whatever transports us to various places in our minds. Memories, places you’ve been, things you’ve done. Objects, sounds, smells can send you all over the place. I know I’ve written about this with Pamuk’s Museum of Innocence (which has recently opened) and with coffee and used books and the like. The other weekend I had a few other moments of being transported back.

Some of them are simple. Music is always something that can send you back. Whenever I hear the song “Mr. Saxobeat” (You make me move, bring me up, bring me down, play it sweet. make me move like a freak) I immediately am back in Georgia, because they played that song all the time, everywhere. Likewise with “We are the world, we are the children” with Bono and Sting and Christina Aguilera and all those other celebrities who sang on that really bad cheesy song about saving the world and people coming together and ending sadness and misery and everyone living happily together if we just think of the children. That one was a constant.

The other one that always reminds me of Georgia is dill. Before going to Georgia, I couldn’t tell you what dill smelled or tasted like. Didn’t know what it looked like, had no clue. But after a few months of having it coating basically everything I ate, I became very familiar with it. I can’t say that I like it. And I can’t say that I’d be sad if I never ate anything with dill in it ever again, and never smelled it again. I’ve been over-dill-ized. No more dill!

Then another was on a walk. I’ve been to the old city walls (and it always amazes me that for more than a thousand years, nobody made it through Theodosius’s walls, but today millions of cars drive through them every day) but I hadn’t been to the Yedikule fortress. I knew it was on the sea, so I figured I’d just walk over there and check it out. After walking from my place along the sea for a few hours, I realized that I was in for a serious haul. It was quite a long walk. It was a nice day though, so I didn’t mind.

When I eventually got to the old fort, I realized that it cost 20TL to get in. I thought this was stupid, so I didn’t pay, and just milled around and sat on a park bench to rest my legs before the walk back to Taksim. I walked around the streets before heading back, and when I was near the fortress I smelled something that sent me back a bit.

In Georgia at Supras you usually have your glass of wine at the table. Considering the ridiculous quantities of wine drunk at Georgian events, it seems odd that it’s not proper to sip your wine throughout the meal. Wine is a festive and communal drink. When you drink wine you must drink it with friends and make toasts to your country, friends, family, then more specific things related to country, friends, family, then to food or animals, then maybe more things about your friends or family or country… and it’s all very nice and friendly and you will demonstrate how well you love your country, family and friends by drinking all of your wine with every toast. But don’t drink your wine between toasts! Why would you drink it, what are you drinking it for?

So, if you have an exceptionally dry piece of cheesy bread or beany bread or potato-ey something, well, you need something to wash it down with. So on the Georgian Supra table there will be various “lemonades.” One of these is usually some form of lemon soda, there’s a pear soda, and there’s the green soda, but I forget what flavor that was. God it was awful. And I really can’t describe the taste or the smell, other than slightly carbonated sugar water with some form of artificial flavoring.

So there I was, walking around Yedikule, and I smelled Georgian pear soda. Then I walked home.

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