Belly dancing in the middle of Turkey
Trip Start Jun 24, 2005
86Trip End Mar 24, 2008
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Where I stayed
Special Cave Hostel
The village that we stayed in for three days is called Goreme. The hostels are all cave hostels with rooms carved into the stone. The first night of accommodation was complimentary of our Fez Bus at the Special Cave Hostel. It was 'special' no doubt. Room 10 as it is now infamously known is the room they reserve for all Fez travellers. Room 10 had 10 beds crammed inside a little cave. It was wet and damp inside, even the beds were wet. It also reeked inside of 12-day old salty fish and half baked goose eggs mixed in an Osterizer blender. The stench was so horrible we all walked out holding our noses
A couple backpackers from the departing Fez bus advised us to sneak into room 9 instead. None of the doors were locked so we moved. While we were hanging out in room 9, there was suddenly a knock on the door. How did they know we had moved? Would we get in trouble? Monique, one of the backpackers whispered a classic 'Maybe if we stay quiet he would just go away'. The receptionist came in, handed Monique the phone and left unfazed.
Some highlights of my three days in Cappadocia:
* Paintings of Jesus and other saints are still visible on the walls of the Cave churches. In these paintings you will often see many blue eyes. These blue eyes are known as the evil eyes. The stories vary but people believed that Medusa cannot turn people who have blue eyes into stone. In Turkey, you will often see people with a middle Eastern complexion but with blue eyes. I suppose they are safe. As for the rest of us, we need to wear evil eyes on us for protection. I therefore went and bought myself an evil eyes necklace to protect myself. The first thing it saved me from was Room 10.
* Most of the stores in town sell generic souvenirs. Bec and myself stumbled upon a store on a side street called Arcos. The items in this store are all handmade by the owner. He made many unique leather items with various colorful stones. We loved the items but they were pricey. We tried to bargain but failed. Every time we tried, he would show us his palms with the many bruises and calluses and explain in broken English that he could only make three items a day. Somehow it worked on us and we all became big customers.
* The gastronomic specialty of the region are the Testi Kebab. It is an assortment of spices, soup, meats and vegetables cooked inside individual clay pots. Upon serving, the clay pot is slowing knocked open with a hammer, releasing the hot steam and aroma of the wonderful concoction to the lucky recipient (See picture). Restaurants competed with each other by laying all their broken pots outside as a sign of who sold the most Testi Kebabs.
* The local 'corba' (lentil soup) is a wonderful precursor to any meal.
* On the second day, I decided to rent a bicycle and adventure to the nearby villages
* On our last night, there was a complimentary Turkish Folklore night from Fez. A night of good food, unlimited alcohol and Turkish dance performances. What they did not tell us was some of us had to participate. During the belly dancing I was among four guys who got chosen by the belly dancer to dance with her. It was a setup and typical of an embarrass-the-guys-infront-of-everyone moment. For the next 20 minutes, she made us follow her dance moves with our shirts off. Shaking our bellies, moving our hips and waving our arms with the Turkish band playing hypnotic music in the background. It reached a climax when we each had to do a short solo performance to the hundred or so wildly laughing spectators. It was utterly embarrassing yet tremendously fun and memorable at the same time. A perfect finale to my soon ending trip in Turkey.