No Turkey in Turkey, Police, Turkish Bath, Jobs
Trip Start Oct 03, 2002
20Trip End Jun 30, 2003
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New Year, well this was not as tame! Went with my Turkish friends and my friend from Syria to a very expensive district of Istanbul to an amazing apartment with balcony and a great view. The host was a new English teacher from America, in fact the whole party was international English teachers, people from Singapore, France, America etc. Music was pretty awful, these Americans listened to some weird country and western music, and we kept insisting that they should play some Turkish music. Also met a cool cockney on holiday visiting the grandparents of a girl from Singapore, interestingly the grandparents were from New Zealand, the British guy however was not having a great time as his host was not showing him any places in Istanbul, so for the next 2 days I assumed this role and we had a ball. But back to the party, it came to a sudden end when the police knocked on the door. It turns out that in the confusion, I found out from the horses mouth why we had to leave so early. The girl from Singapore said "it's my fault", but what was her fault? She had been caught were here trousers down, literally! The resident of the upstairs apartment had awoken around 2 am with his three children and wife still sleeping, to find this girl and an American called Max in full throttle on his wooden kitchen table. Of course this poor Turkish man was a little distressed to say the least and called the police immediately. When the police came to the party, so did the man from the apartment, he told the guests to go to Lyla, a name of a large nightclub and stood at the door repeating in Turkish "No party go to Lyla, go to Lyla"!!!
Of course the party did not end, as we carried on in another American's apartment till 6am, then caught a dolmus home (small minibus) and slept so much on New Year's Day.
Am in full swing now teaching Turkish children English, it can be quite challenging especially with the 15/16 year olds, hormones are high and they really find a young foreign girl coming to their lesson an invitation to have a lot of fun for an hour! But I am handling it. My job at the university is more challenging too, I think they and I have finally got use to each other and I am now assisting a lecturer in his teaching and preparation of a module called Multimedia Design and still planning for an exhibition.
Now I have been here four months, I realised I should see more of Turkey, so have been to Bursa - famous for good towels, Iskender kebab and a puppet theatre where the puppets are made from leather and they perform behind a screen of cloth and it is illuminated to show the colours of the leather puppets.
And went to Izmir, also on west coast but much further, took 10 hours on the bus!, this is interestingly famous for very beautiful women because it has close links with Greece (it is very close to Greek Islands) and women originate with a mix of Turkish and Greek beauty!
The Izmir weekend was eventful, so please if you have read this far, let me tell you about it. Arrived there at 7am after spending night listening to two men snoring in harmony all the way, so didn't sleep much. Also on bus there was old crazy guy who got on at a service station wanting to go to Izmit, not Izmir, and for free, very funny as people around were joking about him! And finally they managed to persuade this man that this was not the right bus and he should get off! Whilst in Izmir, it rained so much, hailstones everything, at a street bazaar we visited lots of sellers displayed "Irak'ta Savasa Hayir" and coincidentally a march of just men was in action protesting the war in Iraq, representatives were from local companies protesting the effect it could have on the economy for businesses in Turkey.
Then finally visited a hamam, turkish bath - this I must explain. Only women allowed and we decided to visit a traditional Turkish one, no-one spoke English of course and we were hurried along as it was closing at 5pm for the men to use it. You can be naked or cover yourself on the bottom, you then soak yourself with warm water and then the lady asked us to lie on a hot marble slab in the centre of the hamam, she first massages you and then washes and then she washed my hair!!! Wow she really scrubbed my hair so hard; it was a big fluffy afro afterwards! And I felt clean, half a stone lighter, relaxed and positively glowing all for the price of 8 million Turkish Lira (about 5 pounds sterling)
I am now on holiday for two weeks from both jobs, as next week there is another holiday special for Turkey, it involves them sacrificing a sheep and giving the meat to poor people and family members. Some rich families arrange someone else to kill the sheep or even just give money to poorer people. Turkey really love their holidays, I am spending this one with my parents and I will be there tour guide for 10 days and show them the real Turkey; eating kebab, dancing to Turkish music etc. It should be great. I also have room for them in my house, so is the first time I will welcome my parents to my own ho