So about these bombings in Istanbul. . .
As some of you know, the honeymoon location went back and forth, back and forth. There was seemingly no end in sight, till one of us said, "I've always wanted to go to Turkey!"
Turkey would be perfect. Spendy flights, but affordable lodging and in-country travel. So much history! Great weather! Turkey! So last month, we bought ourselves two tickets to Istanbul.
And though the news lately isn't great, we are not freaking out. But it's not precisely news you want pre-honeymoon either. Realizing, of course, that our honeymoon is not the part that's most tragic about this news.
The story that this triggers is a kind of odd childhood one. It's one that's mine, although really only because I've heard it so many times.
So I don't know how much you know about the history of Bangladesh, but odds are, not a whole lot. We were in Delhi during the war for independence, and as India sided with the rebels in East Pakistan, which then became Bangladesh, India and (then West) Pakistan were at war.
I turned two that summer, and I feel like I remember the blackouts, but these probably aren't memories but visuals created from hearing the stories. Plus then we moved to Bangladesh, where our car had the top of the headlights painted black during the war. Imagined memory makes the most sense to me, since I was so young at the time.
Anyway. In these memories my parents turned the blackouts into play time. Everyone had paper over the windows so no light would shine through. All the lights in the neighborhood would have to go out when there were planes overhead. And my parents made a game of turning all the lights out so we could play in the dark.
My memories, the ones I think I can pull, they aren't scary.
But my parents have this story of a boat trip we took a year or two later. We would come back to the US to visit grandparents every summer, and once, instead of flying, we took a boat from England to the States.
Apparently one night there was a big celebration. An anniversary of the boat or the queen's birthday or something. There was a huge cake with candles. And just before they brought in the cake, they turned off all the lights at once.
And I yelled, "Air raid! Under the table!"
The lights were flung on, as you might imagine, and there were two of us crouching under tables. Me. And a woman who'd been a child in Britain during WWII. She said that muscle memory just took over.
Well, first she said, "Where on earth has this child been?"