Obviously there’s going to be things I don’t like (I’m that kind of person). Sometimes they’re the same as things I do like. For example, how friendly people are, which you’d think would be a good thing until they persist in trying to have a conversation with you despite not knowing more than 10 words in English. But it’s hard to fault people for trying.. unless they’re trying to get you to buy a carpet, in which case a kick in the fork is tempting.
Mosques. That’s also in the ‘don’t like’ basket – but Turkey’s not alone here, if that makes any difference. And they’re fine buildings (if you like your women in a tiny box at the back of the room where they can’t … god, don’t even get me started) but the noise. ALL THE TIME. Well, ok not all the time. But just once at 4am is enough. And you’d think Allah would deserve some decent speakers but mosques seem to have made a bulk order sometime in the 70s, so they’re more tinny than a B&S Ball in Dubbo. If you don’t get that reference then you haven’t been to a B&S ball in Dubbo and are free to congratulate yourself on a life well lived.
Tonight we’re in Pamukkale and there’s one right outside our bathroom window (a mosque, that is, not a B&S ball.. thank god. I’d chose calls to prayer over Cold Chisel any day). As we left to walk up to the travertines (more on those later) the call to prayer started with an ear-splitting shriek and we seriously contemplated some kind of criminal action after sundown. Honestly, I’d love an opportunity to find out exactly how many muslim people are hitting the mosque at 4am compared to, say, midday. Although I have this image of Muslim people as far more reliable in that regard than all the Christmas-Christians I know.
Aaaaannnyway, I hear you – this is a post about what I like about Turkey, not religious intolerance (which, by the way, I feel equally towards all faiths. Churches can keep it down too, particularly on Sunday mornings).
The delicious iced tea. I may never be the same again. I found peach iced tea in a large bottle today (rather than a can) and rejoiced. That’s right, Jess, Amanda rejoiced about finding more tea. You possibly won’t recognise me when I get home.
The tiny little cups of hot apple tea. If I have to drink a hot beverage it may as well be super sweet and in tiny quantities. Turkey *gets* me.
Lanterns. Like I haven’t raved enough. I have a certain electrician friend who might want to avoid my calls when I get home.
The food, obviously. I mean, who doesn’t like Turkish food?
The landscape. It’s so god-damned dramatic. Steep mountains, azure seas, fairy chimneys. Sometimes I read my kindle just to give my eyes a break.
The price of stuff. Things are so cheap here. The boys got kebabs (like the ones at home) for $2 each tonight. Most meals are around $5. Getting back to $30 restaurant meals at home is going to be a sad shock.
The way everyone comes out at night, even on a Monday night. Every night is time to socialise and sit out and have a few drinks in Turkey. I’m still not on ‘siesta then stay up late’ time… but I wish I was.
Plus I can’t help noticing that Turkey has taken on about half a million refugees from Syria. These people have big hearts and with all the ‘stop the boats’ rubbish going on at home, I can’t help feeling more than a little impressed by the way people here open their country to others in need.
Don’t go changing, Turkey.