iPads and Turkish Delight

Sorry to disappoint you; the two are unrelated. Except that they are both related to my recent trip to Istanbul. I’m still considerably jetlagged but I hope to post some new entries based on some thoughts and observations from this most recent trip.

I did, however, want to mention a couple of things for now.

Apple iPad

Wow. I wrote a travel-focused review for this gadget earlier this summer (“iPad: A light traveler’s dream, or just another gadget?“) but apparently every third traveler has decided to trade in their laptop for an iPad. Walking through the airport was like walking through an Apple Store (you know, where everyone’s got their hands all over the demo models). Granted it was San Francisco, a city with a high gadget saturation level, but still. I took my second-generation iPod Touch with me, loaded up with rented movies, Kindle e-books, and games to play, and was mostly disappointed at its continued decline in battery life. I am this close to getting an iPad but I really want to hold off until Apple announces a newer model, crossing my fingers that it would be a slightly smaller version. As small as the iPad is, especially compared to a laptop, it’s still a little too big for me to fully support as a completely mobile piece of hardware. That is, it’s not quite yet Travelite-certifiable. For that, it should fit into cargo pants pockets or a purse.

Turkish delight

If you’ve aren’t familiar with these cubes of ooey-gooey goodness, you’ve had Turkish delight if you’ve ever eaten Aplets and Cotlets from Liberty Orchard. Turkish delight is a little confectionary made with sugar and starch, and they are usually cut into cubes the size of giant dice and covered with a loose and dry coating like powdered sugar to keep them from sticking to each other. Turkish delight is considered a popular souvenir, and visitors can pick up gift boxes to take home.

The only problem? Turkish delight is primarily a thick jelly candy, and we weren’t sure the TSA would let us keep it in our carry-ons. Since we were in Istanbul for a whole week, we kept putting off buying them, and finally spent some time searching the Internet for any references to Turkish delight being on the prohibited list. We figured if it were, we’d find all sorts of posts from upset tourists and indignant Turks. Since we found nothing, we thought we’d take the chance. We bought some boxes of pistachio Turkish delight—and much to our delight, ran into no issues when we went through repeated screenings during our various return legs.

Continental Airlines

One final note. In deciding what airline to fly with, I did a lot of research and finally chose Continental since it was still considered a full-service airline noted for offering free food on its flights. Even with over 100,000 miles in my United Mileage Plus account, I’m feeling very little loyalty these days, and I wanted to shop around for another airline. Alas, a short while after I purchased our tickets, Continental announced its planned merger with United… and just this week, Continental announced that it was doing away with free food on most of its domestic flights. The meals we did get on our flights were surprisingly good, and we felt like royalty in coach as we enjoyed being served real food. Guess that isn’t going to last. Continental, I hardly knew ye.

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