Hey Aussie, You Want Carpet ?

Trip Start May 02, 2006
Trip End Mar 02, 2007

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Flag of Turkey  ,
Saturday, July 15, 2006

The march through Turkey continues.

Well we're in Selcuk at the moment for no other purpose than to see Ephesus which has been described as the finest example of Greek ruins (with Roman renovations apparently) anywhere in the world. The fact that they've been restored meticulously by the Austrians over the past 100 or so years probably has something to do with that. I certainly know if I needed restoring I'd ask an Austrian or German to do it.

Before I begin my rant, let me hark back 10 years and the last time I was in Selcuk. It was May 1996 and I was there with Karl Glaesel, Ian Mackinnon and one Luke Goldsworthy. We had just spent a couple of weeks on the Med and were readying ourselves for the great greek island poison your liver onslaught. However, it seemed there was a traitor in our midst, this unmentionable decided to go to the market looking for a flannelette shirt and bandana for the islands (we still ask why as well) and met a nice girl from Miami Beach on the Gold Coast searching for the same thing. A tussle entailed over a bogan red checked flanno and just as obcenities were exchanged, cupid struck thus robbing us of the 4th Amigo. Yes, Luke Goldsworthy met his wife Dellanie Burke at the Selcuk markets back in '96 and fortunately I was there to adjudicate the happy moment. Love truly is a battlefield (with thanks to Pat Benetar for those words of wisdom). So you see I have fond memories of Selcuk and was looking forward to getting back there with Kat. Oh how it has changed.

Selcuk these days is a real shithole (pardoning my terrible french accent). For some reason everywhere you go in Selcuk they seem keen to scream, 'G'day aussie, you wanna buy a carpet'. Jesus H Christ, it got on my tits after the first 5 minutes and we had to spend 2 days there. Their favourite tactic was what I called the 'shake and hold'. This is where they would come out of their shop spewing forth Australianisms, shake your hand and hold on until they got past the initial hard sell. I wisened up pretty quickly and perfected my counterstrike called the 'scratch, sniff, wince, shake and hold'. I'm sure you get the drift, they did fairly quickly as well. Nathan 1, Carpet Baggers 0.

It also seems all the pensiones are named after something remotely Australian, my favourite of which had to be the Wallabies Pensione. To top that off they have young Australians randomly planted around the place befriending you in an effort to get you into said pensiones or into the shitful carpet shops. To my disgust we ended up staying at some wankers place called Jimmy's Guesthouse who said he used to live in Paddington. I'm sure, above a kebab shop on Oxford Street. He had a mullet and man boobs to die for and kept going on about how he's the best carpet seller in Turkey. Good for you sunshine, maybe they'll make an Olympic sport out of it and you'll win a gold medal. Turkey 1, Australia 0.

God I can whinge, let's get back to Ephesus shall we. In fact, let's not. If you would like any historical information on the ancient city itself search 'Ephesus History' on the web as I'm sure there's loads out there. Today it truly is somthing to behold despite the same cruiseliner tourists from Dubrovnik invading it on a daily basis. The Austrians have done an amazing job on it as I stated before and are still hard at it in sections. It's certainly worth your time if you're in the vicinity and also worth putting up with the dodgy carpetshop and pensione owners in Selcuk if you fancy staying close by.

We really enjoyed our time amongst the ruins as they give you a true sense of what life would've been like a thousand or so years ago. I'm sure anyone will feel similarly.

So that's Selcuk and Ephesus covered (or not). If you go, say hi to Jimmy The Mullet for me and remember to use the 'scratch, sniff, wince, shake and hold' on the carpet baggers. You won't regret it.

Bye for now, we have to get out of the vicinity before the Selcuk Carpet Mafia come looking for us.


Nath and Kat.
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