ephesus and the end of ramazzan


yesterday, as usual, we took another long bus ride. we’ve been taking long bus rides practically every other day now, and this one was about 6 hours from cannakale to selcuk. i havent mentioned this before, but in many places in turkey, they pour a few drops of this special lemony cleanser stuff into your hands. you then rub your hands together and they get disenfected and smell nice. they’ll do this on buses sometimes or in public restrooms. well, the bus guy was walking up the aisle to pour a few drops of the stuff into my hands, and somehow the little filter thing came off and he ended up dumping like a whole cupful of this lemony stuff all over my hands. doh!! my hands were completely drenched!!!

after the lemon incident, we got the rest of the way unharmed. the hostel that we’re staying at is pretty crazy. on one hand it’s hella cool: they have a chef to cook food, drinks for sale, tons of dvds to watch, guidebooks to use, and a travel agent on hand to help book trips… but they’re all crazy anal here. there’s tiny little signs all over the walls about not doing laundry in your room, or not taking your key w/ you when you go out, and not to take boardgames upstairs, etc etc etc!! they even gave us a tour when we got there and went over all these rules w/ us personally!


it’s halloween!! well, maybe not exactly halloween, but sorta! ramadan ended yesterday and everyone here is psyched!! after ramadan they have this 4 day holiday, and hella shops and restaurants are closed. we walked up to a standto buy a coke today, and the guy had a plate full of all sorts of different candies and cigarettes that he was just giving out to people for free! it turns out, that this is a common thing during this holiday, and kids actually go door to door and get candy from all the different people, just like halloween.. but they dont even have to dress up!

would you like some candy and lemon antiseptic?

the main reason why people come to selcuk is because of the ruins of ephesus nearby. we spent a few hours wandering amidst the ruins and it was really cool. the two biggest things were a *huge* theater with rows and rows and rows of seats, and the (rebuilt) remains of a library. it was unfortunate that the most interesting here was actually a rebuit reconstruction, but it still looked very impressive.

when we got back from the ruins we were starving, but on the way to dinner, we got intercepted by a carpet salesman. he invited us into his shop as a lot of the carpetsellers do. usually we say no, but i figured what the heck, may as well try it once and we made sure to let him know that we were not in the slightest bit interested in buying a carpet. the converstaion we had w/ this guy was actually really interesting and we learned a bunch of stuff. for instance, girls are often told by guidebooks to buy a fake wedsding ring to wear, or to tell people that their “husband” ias waiting in the hotel. well, apparently, the shop owners etc are not dumb. they’ve seen this trick a million times, and if you’re wearing a cheap cheezy ring, they’ll know instantly if you’re lying. these guys deal w/ customers day in and day out fopr years…. they know everyones little tricks. this guy also talked about what he thought about toursists of different nationalities, difficulties of dating in turkey, that people in this coun try were brainwashed into thinking that Ataturk was a great leader when according to this guy, he was a ruthless dictator, and lots of other stuff. this guy was a bit odd, but talking to him was really interesting.

after dinner, caryn and i had some beers and plahyed backgammon. i didnt really know how to play, and caryn hadnt played in years, so we both kinda sucked. i wont mention here who the winner was, but lets just say it wasnt caryn ;).

late at night, around midnight, we got hungry again, and went searching for food. we could find only one place open. the guy who owned the place had his wife cook up some really really good food for us and talke dto us for a bit. he was sooo proud of his wife’s cooking and also of his restaurant. i guess bill clinton or maybe the secret service that was w/ bill clinton ate there several times and his business cards had a photo of bill and bhis family at ephesus. he also had like 10 humongouis guestbooks full of people’s thoughts on his restaurant. i guess he’s owned the place for 17 years…


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