Bursa: Preliminaries

Trip Start Feb 08, 2008
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Trip End Sep 11, 2009


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Flag of Turkey  , Bursa,
Friday, June 6, 2008

I got to thinking I had better provide a more recent entry. Recently I have devoted my writing to try and catch up, and to provide pictures from the weeks past. All to the neglect of more recent events. And, they do pile up.

For my first two nights in Bursa I stayed at a conventional, mid-range hotel, right in the center of the city. Boy, did I need the rest after a month of traveling. It was nice just to keep clean and rest. But, that comes at a price, too. A room in that hotel, with the standard Turkish breakfast included was 65 YTL, or about US$ 53.00, last I checked.

So, after two nights there I moved to what the Lonely Planet terms the reigning "budget" hotel in Bursa. Here, I pay 25 YTL (about US$ 20.00) a night, no breakfast, no room service in the form of bed make-up and daily towels. Here there is one a la franca toilet, and one a la turca toilet. These are just some of the "spartan" qualities, one might say.

But I have just had a shower, and that is what I wanted to write about.

There is a separate, shared, shower room. It's ok enough as it is. Gets the job done. But, you know, you have to make some accommodations to it. Like where you put your clothes. There are hooks for your clothes. But, they are close and almost directly opposite the showerhead. And the showerhead fixture is broken. So you have to hold the shower nozzle (on the end of a flexible pipe) in your hand. And thus, in your various movements, threaten to soak your clothing and drying towel, if hung on the hooks.

Fortunately, there is a little L-shape to this room. So I can hang my clothes around the corner on some projecting pipes, and my towel and toilet kit on a radiator that while exposed seems far enough out of range. I use the hooks to hang my slippers (provided) such that the inside is facing the wall.

Now in washing, of course water gets sprayed all about. But here is what gets me: to try and reduce the water on the floor after showering, a broom--a warn one at that--is provided. All over Turkey you see merchants outside their shops using what Americans  call a squeege to move water along. But in this case, no. How much would it cost to provide an eff-ing sqeege? Then there would be less water on the floor so that when you went to put your foot in your pants you wouldn't get your pants wet! The floor would dry faster, and you wouldn't traipse wet slippers along the hall carpets. (Well, I take the slippers down and dry my feet before stepping into them, then take my feet out and gingerly put them into my pants, holding them high above the wet floor. It helps, too, to have those kind of pants from which the lower leg can be zipped off).

But no, this guy sits around all day doing nothing, while his wife does what little maintenance necessary to get buy. (This means maybe updating the toilet paper supply. If you come to Turkey, you better be prepared with your own. This goes for guys, too, fellas). Also, if I was around here, I would get a ring and suspend it from the ceiling to hang an enclosing shower curtain, not to mention just a simple new fixture to hold the shower head. How hard or costly is that!? (And, in the downstairs room it is a very narrow shower/toilet combo. So there one can soak the toilet seat, and toilet paper if you don't remove it and put it up somewhere. And, people do. Soak things, I mean. It's not just the stupid, lazy hotel proprietor, it can also be your fellow inconsiderate, idiot travelers).

Now, yesterday I was supposed to meet the owner of a home for rent. Only he didn't show. I guess I at least demonstrated that I was more responsible than he.

Near the house/apartment in question is a cafe with wireless. The strongest, fastest wireless I have experienced. It is right across the street from the Yesil Camii, the Green Mosque, a main destination for tourists, Turkish and foreign alike. I also discovered that the cafe signal leaked to just inside the Mosque garden. There is a kid nearby that I've seen there on two occasions. Yunus. He seems to pick up a few coins if passersby are curious of their weight. I asked him to take a picture of me at the computer--reading the New York Times and listening to Persian music via iTunes. Yunus speaks a few words of English. He asked me how many Gigs my computer has. I couldn't answer that.
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