Friday, June 15, 2007

The Second...

...post on our trip to the land of the Ottomans is on the ever-entertaining fellow travellers we shared the country with. Here are some gems:

The Dutch Four: Eric & Henrietta, Gert & Jenny. These four were on us on our gulet cruise. They were much older, and loved to snorkel, swim and sunbathe. Experienced travelers, the four always travelled together. Strange and hilarious quirk: Rick's habit of kicking off a song with a random word from a conversation, and the other three joining in, like some sort of warped word-antakshari. For instance...

Me: The bread is dry this morning, pass me the honey please
Rick: Honey Honey...
All Four: ...how you thrill me, aha.....

The Long One: sugar?
Rick: Oh Sugar!
The Other Three: par-ap-prah-parp
All Four: You are my candy girl...

Anyhow, entertainment all around. Here's all of them from one of the evening meals.


The Intrepid Boatman: Among the more delightful people we met, Jean-Baptiste was one of a whole sudden gang of travellers we'd become by chance in Cappadocia. Boat-repairer when he feels like it, and Mediterranean sailor otherwise, he was looking for someone to accompany him on his (renovated from scrap with his own two hands) sailing boat back to Athens or further on his journey back home, "before the summer inconvenient-for-sailing weather sets in". Here he is, in a cave-home that we discovered on an impromptu trek in Goreme.


The Good-looking French Couple: Perrine and Jean-Philippe were also part of the Goreme gang that we became by chance. Among the friendliest French I've ever met, no doubt. Philippe got us out of a few bad spots during a rainy trek (to be described later) with nothing less than cat-like agility. That's the two of them along with Marie...


Marie Tremblay (above) had come all the way from Quebec, and was doing Turkey alone because it wasn't on the list of places which she and her boyfriend wanted to do together.

The Intrepid Dutch Couple: These guys are the most seasoned travellers we will probably ever meet. Eric and Veronica had done India (for 3 months and no Delhi/Agra etc) and had enjoyed it!! They had sold all their stuff and had done South America from tip to tip for a whole year. We met them while transferring buses to Goreme. We were being hustled by some tour-agent types who were trying to peddle us guided tours while playing us with Turkish tea in the morning and promises of mini-vans to Goreme. So were they. Neither of us succumbed, and ended up being unceremoniously dumped on the next available bus in the direction (no tour, no mini-van, no more chay). On the bus, we immediately connected with fellow guided-tour-haters. These two are fearless and will do anything to not take a guided tour or follow any beaten path. There are, in the back of 'our usual table'.


French History Buff: Jean-Marie was the third of the Jeans - strong, hunky silent type. He spoke little. The long one votes him to be best looking, though. He was on a history-trip of the country, something that to me seems endless, given the truckloads that Turkey has.


The Goreme Gang: We'd met by chance, one by one, and ended up having supper/dinner/chay at the same place every evening that we were at Goreme. We exchanged tips, and some of us visited places and went on treks together. Easily one of the reasons why we enjoyed Goreme so much. And the Long One got to practice her pathetic French as well. There we all are, before we all left for further adventures in other places.


Illegal Immigrant Dude: We met this can't-stop-smiling guy who was escaping his country of origin in hope of a better life. Istanbul was a stopover in a long-ish journey. I won't tell you his name and where he's going. But he had a plan which included midnight boat crossings, passport destructions and various other 'sensitive' shit. I don't think he was lying at all, and he was smiling with the strength that only futility gives - this was the only way out now, get another passport or die trying. All the best, brother - I hope you're where you want to be, by now. That's me and him outside the Blue Mosque, where he just came up and started a conversation.


Rick Price: We just met him for a brief moment while downing a mid-day beer at the Antalya marina, and he's such a GROOOVY sight! He runs experience bicycle tours - when he heard we're from India, he asked us if we could send him a vintage leather bicycle seat with springs! I should get back to him.


The Drama of Modern Tourism: Endless guided tours, super-technophile Japanese tourists with some serious gadgetry, noisy Americans, middle-aged gujju groups with yellow caps shouting 'Bombay Travels', all played a constant background music to our trip. The next picture is a homage to all such, named 'The Drama of Modern Tourism' - a bunch of guided tourists at the Grand Amphitheatre in Ephesus (ancient city in ruins). The next one is in front of the Library of Celsus, one of the representative buildings of the Ephesus ruins.



The Other Side: So these guys, with rasta-kind of hair are juggling balls and ninepins in Taksim (cool hangout road of Istanbul), with like a collection bowl up front. They are obviously backpackers trying to make their hostel-fare (note luggage in background). They're the worst jugglers I've donated money to. But I have to admit, they had made quite a packet by the time I saw them, around 50 Lira probably. Roll on people...


More posts as soon as I make the time, there are many tales to tell. Also, if anyone on this page wants their photograph removed, holler.



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5 comments:

tamara said...

good post, pig. where was the illegal dude from?

Mr. D said...

I don't think I should say here, I'll mail you.

tamara said...

but you've already put his torso on the net, so what's the big deal?

Mr. D said...

His torso isn't going to get him in trouble, you know. I mailed you.

raja said...

slick job on the pixelling..creepy ringu type effects