Welcome to Istanbul (not Constantinople), the legendary city where East meets West, where Europe and Asia collide. It’s been the epicenter of clashes between civilizations for centuries. There’s simply no better place to visit with your ex-wife, with whom you’re hoping to reignite the old romantic spark, and teenage daughter, who’s recovering from having been kidnapped by a sex-trafficking ring the last time she went abroad.
Before you jet off, a few suggestions to ensure your vacation in Turkey is all that you dreamed it could be.
— Smart travelers know that using a money belt is a wise precaution to take so you needn’t worry about pickpockets. Smarter travelers know that concealing a tiny, one-button pre-programmed mobile phone in your sock is the thing to do whenever you head out for lunch in a local bazaar. You just never know when a gang of revenge-seeking Albanians will start tailing you.
— Memorize the layout of every street and building throughout Istanbul. That way, if you have to tersely and quickly give your ex-wife instructions on how to navigate a maze of shops, back alleys, and side streets to find the nearest cab stand so that she can return to the hotel and evade the bad guys out to kidnap and torture you and your family, you’ll instantly have that information at top of mind. Really, with the abundance of data freely available on Google Maps these days, there’s no excuse not to be prepared.
— It pays to mix business with pleasure. Consider working a private security detail in Istanbul for a few days before your family arrives. You’ll earn yourself an envelope full of cash, plus it’ll provide an excuse for traveling with your suitcase full of the weaponry. Just don’t skimp on the grenades. They’re great tools enabling one person to use sound to determine the location of another who has been kidnapped. For example, just have your daughter hurl one under a (preferably unoccupied) car or a water tower, and the noise will help you lead her to where you’re being held. The police in Istanbul are entirely unconcerned about blonde American girls who cast explosives all about the city.
— Istanbul taxis are built like armored assault vehicles. Don’t even hesitate, if the situation demands it, to drive one straight through the gate at the U.S. Embassy. The barrage of weapons fire from the soldiers stationed there can’t stop you, so long as you duck down in your seat a little. And, believe me, there will be plenty of time for that quiet father-daughter heart-to-heart before members of the military swarm the car. Our fighting men and women are professionals. They will give you all the time that you need.
— Don’t try any of this without Liam Neeson. Even with his gravitas lending the tiniest semblance of reality to the proceedings, you’re bound to involuntarily expel all memory of this adventure from your mind before it’s even finished.