Gold & COVID

Thanks to the rain, we’re stuck in the apartment for the next 2 days, which is a welcome change. A chance to rest and do nothing but to catch up on the news. If only California could get some of the rain Fethiye is getting right now, the wild fires would be put out in no time.

The Turkish Lira continues its downward trajectory, making it more affordable for us by the day. When we arrived in Turkey 6 weeks ago, the USD to lira was 1 to 7.6. It is now 1 to 8.3. An interesting fact we learned from Ramezan, the hotelier in Cappadocia, is that the Grand Bazaar annual rental payment is in the form of gold. Not lira, not dollar, not euro (he was quoted 2kg of gold as annual payment, which is $120k with today’s rates). Payment in gold protects the landlords against the problem of paper currency devaluation. While in Istanbul, we saw lines of people outside the banks as well as outside the gold stores in the Grand Bazaar. Back then we weren’t sure what was happening, but it’s now clear that people are taking out their liras and buying gold, hoping for wealth preservation.

On the COVID front, the news out of the US and Europe are grim. On one hand, I’m afraid to return to the US. On the other, I feel that we should get home ASAP to lower our exposure risk at the airport and on the flight if cases in Turkey become uncontrolled like the rest of Europe. Given that we’re starting to miss the comfort of our own home, we’ve decided to cut our trip short by a week. We’ve trimmed our Malta trip down from 11 days to 4, as I just can’t imagine why we would possibly need 11 days on an island that is 5 times smaller than the city of London.

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