I Am Not Smarter Than a Fifth Grader

I confess, I never had any interest in going to Turkey. Travel in general doesn’t interest me much- because of all the reasons previously listed, because being lost in strange cities makes me panicky, because I’m provincial by nature and Baltimore has always been enough for me. I’ve never held a job that had paid vacation time, and the few weeks of my adult life I’ve taken off to take a trip I’ve either gone to Boston or I’ve parked myself on a beach with a stack of books and a cooler of light beer.
And I always thought if I DID travel I’d go to Europe. England is appealing if only because I’ve read so much British Lit. I could do France again, or maybe Spain…
So Turkey isn’t really on my radar and my knowledge of it is limited to a few news blips, and what I remember from the week I was slightly obsessed with the end of the Ottoman Empire.

You know what drives me nuts about “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” is that they seem to conflate the issue: it isn’t that grown-ups are dumb but that what you learn in fifth grade, while useful for building knowledge, is essentially useless to adult life.

That said, I was surprised when I got an e-mail from Ellyn explaining that the apartment isn’t that far from the ferry to Europe.
“I thought Istanbul was land-locked,” I said to Lou, later.
Really?” he said. “Really?”
“Yeah. I don’t know why.”
“Have you looked at a map?”
“No,” I said, “It didn’t occur to me.”
“Maybe you should look at a map before you, you know, move there.”
“That seems like cheating,” I said.

Later when I did, in fact, look at a map, I realized I’d mixed up Istanbul and Ankara.

Oh, shut up.

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