Happy Birthday to Rumi...

Trip Start Oct 15, 2007
Trip End Dec 20, 2007

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Flag of Turkey  ,
Monday, December 10, 2007

Another delightful morning in Ayvalik...apparently this town of 30,000 swells to 150,000 in season and I can see why. Makes me glad it's a little cooler and all those other folks stayed home.   I thought I'd include a few more picturesque shots of the area before moving on...hard to leave....
Right now its about 800 PM...today is a rainy day in the paradise of Ayvalik so we get on a bus to Konya....that's about an 11 hour trip...but we get the best seats for both legs....right in front, so you get the best view....of course there are some drawbacks...like the battery powered air freshener that sends out a mist of some nasty scent every 7 min and 12 seconds.  This goes on for about an hour or so until I can't take it anymore...I feel like I'm getting poisoned....got a headache....and then when I'm about to try to communicate a seat change, the bus guy turns it off...YAYYYYY!!!   The only other drawback to this seat is the bus driver gets to smoke and you get to breathe it in....but other than that, it's a perfectly delightful long bus ride across Turkish landscapes that we wouldn't have seen otherwise. 
After we move off the coast and inland, the elevation increases and it looks like we're driving through some old coastal sand dunes...then thru a bunch of towns so we can pick up people - and we get a short tour of each place - and now we're in the uplands.  We even get to watch a movie with English subtitles.  It is quite relevant really...although completely inane/a spoof that makes every group of people look truly stupid...starring a John Belushi type as an Iraqi who is trying to regain control of his oil so he can make some illegal money.  Then the oil pipeline in Iraq gets invaded by these five Turkish guys who are trying to turn on the right valve to direct oil to Turkey.  They say they believe they really have more right to the Iraqi oil fields than the Americans.  And of course, the Americans in the video are the military presence in Iraq and are taken hostage.  That's the basic plot....I could go on about it but it was stupid as I said...the thing that makes it interesting was the way each country is depicted...the Americans trying to implement democracy...the Iraqis pretending to be appreciative but manipulating everybody and the Turks just trying to stake their claim. 
So now another movie is on, and it's an improvement except that it's only in Turkish.  It's a full length cartoon about Rumi.  And that's the reason we're on our way to Konya.  Rumi lived most of his life there and right now the 800th anniversary of his birth is being celebrated....apparently two million people descend on the place...should be a very interesting scene...although crazily crowded.  We're hoping to get into some of the celebrations and the dancing.   I think we will....we have this guy meeting us at the bus station and kind of paving the way a bit for us...although we don't have a place to stay yet.   We wrote the Turkish Cultural Center in NYC and they sent us his way and hopefully that connection will make a crazy scene a little more navigable.  We'll see...in one more hour we'll be there...meantime everybody in this cartoon looks alike...I can't even tell which is Rumi at this point....
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