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In Turkey - Türkiye'de
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Jim and Peri's
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True Personal Experiences of Travellers to Turkey
From Singapore with love...
giving thanks before digging in
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After our tour-guide Ali Baba convinced us to scrap plans to visit Fetiye and Antalya further south in favor of little-known Sarımsaklı (a beach town 8 km from Ayvalık, in the west of Turkey) we said good-bye to him in Pamukkale and headed on to Ephesus.
From there we made travel arrangements for Sarımsaklı -- and we set off in that direction with high hopes of high adventure! But, when we arrived and had a look round, we were dumbfounded.
The beach was empty, all the motels were unoccupied, there were no beachgoers at all... To be completely fair, it was mid-day, when the sun is at its hottest. But this was hardly the stuff of high adventure. So we sent curses toward Ali Baba in Pamukkale and chided ourselves for listening to him. I was especially disappointed that we had given up Ölüdeniz (near Fetiye) for this nondescript local beach.
Nevertheless, since we were already there, we decided to check into a motel for a day, stay one night, and leave the next day. After checking in, we decided to have a late lunch and go to the beach afterwards.
Thinking back, it is shameful how unimaginative we were! We just sat on the beach, bored, not wanting to swim yet we did not know where else to go and what to do. We spent a good deal of the day running sand through our fingers and cursing Ali Baba.
Unlike those who live in temperate countries like Europe where sunshine is most welcome, we aren't avid sun-seekers, as we have plenty of it in our home country which has a tropical climate. So, we didn't even sunbathe... we just sat and sulked. But... with our morale at its lowest point, we got a nice surprise...
Though we hadn't realized it, a group of youths had been eyeing us curiously from afar. I guess the fact that we looked different from them fascinated them. We only noticed them when all five of them (3 guys and 2 girls) sat cross-legged, in a row, facing us, with one hand supporting an elbow and the other hand supporting the chin, smiling. It looked as if they were watching a show, or a movie, when in fact they were watching us.
My girlfriend and I felt uncomfortable being watched that way, so we got up and took a stroll along the beach, leaving our guy friend behind. When we returned, we found that the group had chatted up our guy friend!
The amazing thing was, they could speak only a smattering of English, and none of us from the group knew a word of Turkish other than 'Merhaba'. (Yes, it's a disgrace, but we didn't have time to prepare before coming.) Even so, the 'conversation' flowed quite smoothly... using hand actions, silly faces, sign language, monkey sounds and smiles and laughter. Even now, my group is still amazed... we liken that incident to a duck talking to a chicken...both look somewhat the same, yet one does not know what the other is saying.
Language Related Pages:
A Practical Philosophy for beginners
(Found in the 'Introduction to The Whole Earth Catalog of Turkish Movies'.)
With sincere thanks for this personal experience to Noor Ahmad --
a Singaporean with a taste for Turkish Delights...
31 October 2006
© Learn Turkish of the People! -- Personal Experiences in Turkey