Burdur, Turkey is a small place and most everyone gets there via car or bus.

On the lonely, dusty highway in, as the signs tell you that only a few kilometers remain one gets the sense that the drive will never end. I have no doubt these feelings have something to do with anxiety, but as soon as I felt on the edge of the world a set of very familiar golden arches could be made on the horizon.

I’m not kidding…a McDonald’s, in the middle of nowhere.

As I was overcome with a small surprise (no, not a Starbucks in sight) I saw a haze from the car window which I made out to be the huge Lake Burdur. A few shops and small cafes began to line the street and while absorbing the town I was shocked to see a few thousand people in the streets, all with bags and chattering like little old ladies.

What It's Like To Get High On Khat

Some old, bald, and fat, they looked more like they were going on vacation more than anything else. At this point any feelings of anxiety were washed away (from me at least). Perhaps it was the crowd, seeing the surroundings, or excitement.

I hung around for a few minutes and got ready to go on to the base, surrounded by gray walls and the occasional solider with a machine gun directing traffic. Bags in hand people line up to go through metal detectors that beep every time someone passes through, but no one gives any notice.

At that moment something hits…that the reality you know is gone and you are entering a new order. Suddenly you are no longer under your own control.