Turkey– The First Few Days

Posted on July 17, 2014


Well we arrived in Turkey on Monday night after a torrid fight surrounded by some of the most cretinous people I have had the misfortune to have come across during my 46 year stay on planet Earth.

I suppose (with all due respect to my friends from Colchester) flying from Essex is always going to constitute something of a gamble and I was blessed with a family who’s excitement towards getting on plane was bordering on manic.

The woman, a brassy 60 year-old Queen Vic landlady type, decided that, the rest of the plane would enjoy a running commentary of the flight.

It kicked off when her son said “I can see the sea” about 10 minutes into the journey, she said “No you can’t, we are in Essex”

She then went on to repeat the pilot and cabin staff at every given opportunity…”We are flying at 33,000 feet…We are experiencing turbulence….Cabin staff coming around with snacks…Fasten your seatbelts…It’s 28 degrees in Bodrum.”

Violence is not something I like as I get older, I prefer the pacifist route to peace on earth, but I have to say that after four hours with this fucking idiot, I had to concur that she needed a damn good shoe-ing.

When we landed she said, “It looks very primitive”

The words kettle, pot and black sprung immediately to mind.

So we got onto a bus, thankfully without her, and it was now dark, so I didn’t really know where we were heading…Sadly neither did the driver but after much confusion we eventually got there.

I am travelling with my friend Kate, so it wont take you long to work out we are the opposite sex but I soon realised that in Turkey, platonic male/female relationships aren’t particularly standard…Hence, despite our requests, we got a room with a double bed.

Kate spent most of her adult life in the middle east, so she likes a good fight and the problem was dealt with swiftly and potentially violently as I played the part of the whistling bystander.

The rooms were okay by me and the balcony overlooking the bay towards central Bodrum couldn’t have offered a better a view really; it is lovely looking out at a town which has restricted itself to low level buildings rather than the sink estate high rise architectural disasters built along places such as the Costa Brava.

On our first day, as was agreed when we booked, we contented ourselves with by doing our own thing; for Kate that means reading and burning from dawn to dusk, for me, it means sitting in the sun for a while, going into the sea for ten minutes, drying off, then wondering what on earth I am going to do for the next six hours.

Before I drove Kate into insanity with my constant fidgeting, I decided to wander off to the town via a lovely boat trip across the bay which cost a fee of six Turkish liras, which, as far as I know, works out something like six Turkish liras.

The town itself is all hustle and bustle but it well planned out with a plethora of shops, cafe’s and restaurants demanding your business with various levels of friendly aggression…I loved the vibe of the place, especially when you go just off the main drag and see the older locals sat around playing backgammon, dominoes or chess to pass the time of the day.

It must be nice, that form of Mediterranean retirement, just to meander into town without worrying about turning the heating off, meeting your mates for a game of backgammon and a raki or two before heading home for a snooze on the balcony of your modest home with its basic amenities.

Certainly better than getting your head kicked in at a bleak retirement home in East Grinstead for a grand a week.

As I wandered back towards the boat crossing, I was accosted and ushered into a bar by a guy who, somewhat unsurprisingly, was called Mehmet and I was introduced his friend who owned the bar and introduced himself as Marvellous. Whether this was his name or he was just extremely self-confident, I am not entirely sure.

Anyway, the conversation was excellent and we chatted about  the Turkish economy, mass migration to Germany after World War II and of course sport…All went really well until I started explaining the game of cricket, a conversation killer where the birds stopped singing and the tumbleweed drifted across the table.

I left with the promise to return with Kate (they liked the fact she was single) and a visit (today) to his friend, a barber, who is apparently going to give me the shave of my life (I really hope he didn’t say shag).

Once I was back it was dinner time, a time to witness the excessive gluttony that comes with an all inclusive hotel. Wherever you look there are morbidly obese people overloading their plates through fear of not getting value for money…It is an extraordinary sight.

The problem is, yesterday, I did it myself, going up for second portion of cakes in act that was entirely unnecessary and served no other purpose than making me feel sick for rest of the afternoon…All pigs are equal, some are just more equal than others.

So, this morning I got up on my moral high horse and simply had an omelette whilst others stuffed their bulging faces and waistlines…I can’t get enough of being self-righteous, in the words of Blur, it gives me an enormous sense of well being.

So today, I am off to meet Mehmet and Marvellous so I can have the cut throat shave of my life…However, if the next you hear about my whereabouts is courtesy of the BBC’s Jeremy Bowen stood by a shallow grave that features an Englishman with a traumatised anus and a slit throat…You will know that somewhere down the line, there was a hideous mix up in translation.

Here we go!

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