Crashing a circumcision party!
Trip Start Jun 19, 2008
69Trip End Sep 04, 2008
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The ferry dock was located quite far from our first destination: Ulu Camii. We had to take a bus (3 ytl) and then take the metro down 12 stops to a station with a long, unpronouncible name containinglots of tailed letters (total travel time: 45 minutes). Bursa was a lot more commercialized than we had pictured, definitely more so than Edirne
We were done with all the major mosques and sites by noon! Taking a break at a very scenic and economic cafe, we looked in the guide book to see what else we could do in the remaining 3.5 hours. Bursa has a cable car that takes you up to the top of the green mountains surrounding the city. A must see, we thought, and took another cheap cab ride to Uludag, the cable car station. The sun beat down on the interminable line... we waited for an hour until we finally accepted that we were not going to make it. Half the town was out for a cable car ride! We took a trail to go for a little hike on our own when live music and laughters caught our attention. We invited ourselves over to this "festival".
The party was going on at a cafe in the middle of the woods. Many people of all ages filled the seats and tables on the elevated part of the yard while others were in the middle dancing to fun traditional Turkish music. They had scarves over their shoulders and did their gypsy dance with such enthusiasm and juvilence that we wanted to join them! But we didn't. Yet, anyhow. One middle-aged man in a suit came up to us and said something, which we obviously did not understand. Then he came back with chicken and rice and ayran, a traditional Turkish drink that tastes like salty yogurt
We watched the dance for a while and felt intense stares from all directions. They invited us to come dance. Natasha is like a professional belly dancer, so she basically started doing a solo performance. People were speechless! The cameraman videotaped us and our reactions. It was great. All the kids came up to me with their cell phones and cameras and took hundreds of pictures... Actually, several people requested a picture of us (and with us) at the mosques, so I am guessing that not many foreigners, much less Asians, visit this area. Bursa really is not included in the major tours because it is a low-key village. People seemed sweet and untainted, and the guys here were definitely a lot more attractive than the ones in Istanbul! I saw many more lighter-skinned, Eastern European-looking people, which I found surprising. I figured the more southern you go, the darker and middle eastern the people would be.
Anyway, after the dance, so many people were swarming us that we decided to take off