Regarding "Poetry in Motion," by Peter Mandel [Nov. 30]: I had to smile at the line from the reader who wrote about, "the tension … between the experience of traveling and the longing for home."
Toward the end of a wonderful 4,500-mile West Coast/southern Canada road trip, I experienced for the first time the redundancy built into the word "sightseeing." It had become something of an "eyesore."
I didn't want to "see" another thing that kept me from a straight line home: pedal to the metal!
Years ago, when one of my daughters made a trip to Europe, I sent her, before she left, the poem below. From "The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam," using only the last line of a verse dealing with death, I fashioned a thought in poetry that I have always held about the difficulty in explaining one's experience on any given trip.
Of those who have traveled the world through / Not one returns and is able to tell us true / Of the sights, sounds, people and view / For which to discover we must travel too.
That's mean, not green
If you ever wanted to showcase why so-called "green" consumers are viewed as entitled, the letter in the Nov. 30 Letters column about denying hard-working housekeepers a tip because they dare to change a hung-up towel is a good example.
Changing towels keeps germs to a minimum and shows me the room has been cleaned — something I pay for in reserving a room.
Instead of making sure the person who has worked hard at giving me a sanitary room has been compensated properly, writing a note bawling them out for noncompliance with a policy is insulting.
Julie T. Byers
A don't-miss in Frisco
Writer Mike Morris ["A Yes on NoPa," Weekend Escape, Nov. 23] did an excellent job highlighting a little-known enclave of San Francisco.
I wish he and his family had walked a little farther into Golden Gate Park, just beyond the playground, to the National AIDS Memorial Grove, one of the park's loveliest areas.
The garden is a tribute not only to the victims of AIDS but also to the humanity of a city that honored them by creating a public place of great beauty, peace and hope. No visitor to San Francisco should miss it.
First-hand report on Turkey
My husband and I have recently returned from a 13-day tour of Turkey with FloTours (www.flotours.com). Our journey started in Istanbul, took us to Ankara, Cappadocia, Konya, Pamukkale, Hierapolis, Kusadasi, Ephesus, Pergamon, Canakkale, Troy and back to Istanbul. The original tour group was limited to 24 people. When we arrived in Istanbul we were joined by a solo woman, and that turned out to be our tour group: just the three of us. The rest of the group had canceled.
Turkey is a very large, ancient and geographically diverse county. The Turks we encountered were warm, friendly and hospitable. A smile and sign language would overcome the language barrier easily. Our "private tour," so to speak, was fabulous for us but not so good for the Turkish economy, which lists tourism as its second-largest industry.
To those who are considering a trip to Turkey, I say, "Go!" We never felt unsafe or threatened.
We saw no signs of military presence anywhere, except for honorary guards at the Ataturk mausoleum. When we had free time at the beaches and in Istanbul, we felt safe.
We had such a great time with the Turks and saw many marvels of ancient history. The hot-air balloon ride in Cappadocia was awesome. My husband and I both recommend traveling in Turkey.