Thinking of Gazientep?.....Don't
Trip Start Nov 13, 2010
91Trip End Jul 20, 2011
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Again.......this blog is being delivered by my ghost writer........so easy to have staff!!!!
I have to take some time to reflect on our month in Turkey and what I learned...ok, maybe not learned - what I saw......a culture of incredible contrasts; I want to make some notes to remember - it really was that interesting. Now that my buddy has moved on, I will have to do my own writing again........ahhh.
And for any travellers thinking of Gazientep - don't believe them when they say the mosaic museum is open - there are press releases reporting it open in 2009, 2010 and for sure, for sure, open as of the first week of June 2011.....just another lie. It is not open and has no opening date set....ahhhhh......Turkey!!!!!
Jan's take on Gazientep: the pictures are mine.
Deb & I were at a bit of a loss for what to see and do after Cappadocia. I had my flight booked to Indonesia so we had a deadline, it was too little time to try to visit another country and it just felt like too much time to stay in Turkey.
Yeah, it wasn’t. A modern city with a GREAT old market that we wandered through where you could see them hand making lots of tin and copper pots, jewelry, and other bits and bobs, cobblers cutting out really interesting leather shoes, and lots and lots of local spices, foods, and souvenir trinkets but c’est tout.
Our second round in Istanbul, back to where it all began. The two guys running our hostel were two of the most socially inept, living in mom’s basement playing Dungeons & Dragons WEIRDOS ever. Each person that we met who checked into the hostel would eventually ask, “What’s up with the hostel guys?” Just rude. If you tried to talk to them, they kept their eyes on their computer screen and would mumble a few incomprehensible words until you gave up and walked away. They refused to acknowledge new arrivals and when people finally got frustrated by just standing around and insisted that they look up from the computer to check them in, they did so with a gigantic sigh, eyes rolling, and enormous effort. This is your JOB dude! What the hell is wrong with you people?!?
Oh we were done, done, done with this country. A few more explorations around Istanbul and as was the case our first time around, there were more happier people to be found so we soaked up the street and market hospitality like a dead man in the desert. Anyone who smiled or talked to us drew us in like moths to a flame. We were putty in their hands. You smiled! Wow! We should have stayed in Istanbul. Not Asian or African hospitality mind you, but we took what we could get after a month of miserable. It’s almost flight time.
After lots of packing and repacking, Deb analyzing and prioritizing my possessions for me, and some slight anxiety, I was packed and ready to hit the road for Indo. Deb changed her flight back to Spain to leave the same day as me as high season had arrived and travel was now insanely expensive plus, we needed to leave Turkey before someone was going to get a karate chop to the nose. It was really that bad.
Airport scene, lots more rude, dismissive people so yep, let’s get on our planes. Tears of desperation as I said goodbye to Deb who left shortly before I did and then it was my turn. Sitting at my gate surrounded by Asians, I felt the tension ease and the casual and smiley interactions between people lift any lingering doubts of my new ventures to Indonesia. My decision to teach in Asia over the Middle East was confirmed. I knew I was heading in the right direction.