Belly Dancing vs Wet T-Shirt Contest

Trip Start Apr 21, 2008
Trip End Apr 20, 2009

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I woke up at 930 am today which is late for me. After breakfast, I went to the harbour to see if I could book an island cruise. I was lucky as I got there at 11:10 and all the boats left at 1130. There were many boats to choose from but because I didnt have much time to make a decision, I picked the one that had the loudest music blaring from inside. It was a good decision as everyone on the boat was young. There were a few hundred people on the boat (it was 3 floors high) and I was the only non-Turkish person around. That was fine.

I found a spot on the top deck which housed most of the young people. Turkish music was blaring for most of the boat ride. All the young people sang and danced for most of the day. It was really nice. AT one point all the women on the boat started belly dancing which I thought was fantastic. It was really well done and very classy. It was a great atmosphere. There were even 2 DJs \ entertainers that were responsible for keeping the crowd involved. They had games and contests which normally focused on making fun of the participants.

Of course we stopped at a few islands. People were allowed to jump off the boat and go for a swim for about half an hour at each stop. It was fantastic. Disaster almost struck at our first stop. A very young boy jumpoed from the second deck and hit the water face first. I cringed when I saw it happen. I was surrprised when he resurfaced and looked fine. However, 5 seconds later, he was unconcious. People started screaming. Luckily, there was one other guy in the water at this point who was able to keep him from sinking. He signalled for help and other people jumped into the water immediately. Meanwhile, the DJ had no idea what was going on and he was still working up the crowd. I felt I should let him know what was going on so I motioned him to stop and pointed to the water. The DJ came over and I guess he thought I was telling him to help so all of a sudden he jumped in the water as well. I wasnt expecting that at all. I could have done that. It would have been better if he used his microphone to alert the captain or something. Anyhow, the boy was fine. I later laughed how I accidentally got the DJ to jump in the water with all his clothes.

At lunch time, I needed to find a table where I could eat (lunch was provided). All the tables were full. It was a bit intimidating as everyone seemed to know eah other. I spotted one table which had 1 empty spot so I just went over and asked if I could sit there. The people immediately motioned for me to sit down realizing that I was a foreigner and that I was alone. One Turkish guy spoke very good English and he played translator for the table. People were interested in my trip and asked a lot of questions. 3 guys at the table were absolutely stoned. I didnt really like them too much. I think they thought I was some rich guy showing off about my trip around the world but it obviously wasnt the case. You could tell that the translator was skipping some things when it came to translating these young guys comments. I wasnt too bothered. They were just jealous however I shouldnt have said I was travelling for a year. I normally dont tell locals this.

The afternoon was filled with a lot of dancing and singing on the boat. There was a belly dancing contest which was done in very good taste. If this was back home, we would have our women participating in wet T-shirt contests. Something tells me you will never find that kind of event in Turkey. I think belly dancing is a lot better. Yes I am gettıng old!

The boat trip ended at 630 pm. After the boat trip I went for a walk through the town. I ended up seeing everything there was to see so I decided to leave the next day. I will head off to Selchuk so I could see the famous ruins in nearby Ephesus.

In the evening I went to grab a bite to eat. One thing I hate about Turkey is that they dont put prices on anything. I went to a restaurant that had servings of food displayed in their window. I picked 3 small portions of Turkish food and just enjoyed my meal while I updated my paper journal. I looked over at the guy who served me and my asshole radar said that he was not to be trusted. I knew he would overcharge me for the food. I had a similar meal the previous night and expected to pay about the same - 10 Liras. When it was time to pay, he showed me a bill of 20 liras. I told the guy there was no way the meal cost 20 liras but he didnt back down. The other waiters came over and they also said it was the right price. I obviously had no choice but to pay the amount but I really need to start asking for prices of things before I order them. My current strategy (or lack of it) is killing my budget.
When I returned to my hostel, I met 4 people in my dorm - a young couple from Italy and 2 young women from France. We talked for about an hour about our trips and then called it a night.

Dino Vagabond
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