As i sit in the oppressive heat that is summer in Turkey, I learn of the death of Dr Oliver Sacks from disseminated melanoma aged 82. A brilliant communicator who also happened to be an unconventional neurologist.He was a very handsome man, a bikie and champion weightlifter. He described himself as celibate but in his last book, “On the Move” he is open about his homosexuality and the joy of meeting a partner in his mid 70’s. Although I never had the privilege of meeting him, readers will surely undertand it when I say that as a neurologist and openly gay man, I have lost a fellow traveller along the yellow brick road.
Less than 12 months ago, the world also lost Robin Williams, the actor and comedian who portrayed Oliver Sacks in the film “Awakenings”. This was based on the book of the same name by Oliver Sacks in which he described the miraculous response to Levodopa of patients who had survived the great influenza pandemic of 1918 (The Spanish Flu) and subsequently developed severe features of Parkinsons Disease.
There are several remarkable coincidences between these two gifted men. Sacks experimented with LSD and other recreational drugs in the 1950s, describing the consequences in one of his first books “Hallucinations”. Robin Williams took his own life and at autopsy had features of Lewy Body dementia, a progressive neurological degenerative disease presenting in a Parkinsons like manner and with unsettlimg hallucinations.
The start of this trip has been the most protracted of all my adventures. The totals are as follows:
in the air 18 hours
in transit 8 hours
car from Izmir to Kusadasi 1 hour
So this, my room in Kusadasi, was a welcome relief.
However my dozing off at 6 pm after a shower, was rudely disrupted by the Muslim Muzak, from the minaret 100 metres away and Allah be praised because it happened again at 5:30am… Dr Kiley can complain all she likes about my iPod being heard through the brick walls of a tourist shack on the coast… Catholics have acute hearing
At the Izmir airport the baggage carousel has an Emirates poster showing a sexy 30s something man in smart casual business gear collecting his Gucci luggage with the slogan
“Emirates – Hello tomorrow”…prescient should ones luggage go missing in transit!
The Turkish Border Protection unit need lessons from Prime Minister Abbott. My man at the counter managed to take my passport, scan it, stamp it and pass it back with out taking his eyes off his iPhone!