Sunday, November 09, 2008

Turkey: Day 5

Another long travel day. We thought we could take a bus straight from our town to the next place on our itinerary, Selcuk, which is near the ruins of Ephesus. Unfortunately, when I went to check on the timing in the morning, the bus we were planning to take was sold out. That meant we needed to take a 10am ferry to Canakkale where we could get the 11am bus to Izmir, from which we could catch a mini bus to Selcuk. I found this out at 9:30am.

I went up to the room to tell the guys, but the door was locked. I ran down the lobby and asked the staff where they were, "Internet café!" I dashed across the street to find them…and said we had to hurry.

A note on the internet café: we all had financial and other business to take care of on the internet, which is why they were there. When we first visited the place the day before, we found a room full of 14-year-old and younger boys sitting at about a dozen computers. It was quite a scene.

Since we were all mostly packed, we did manage to get on the 10am ferry and make all the necessary connections. On the last leg of our trip, the shuttle to Selcuk, a young university student befriended us. He asked where we were from and seemed very happy to meet a couple of Kiwis (typical in Turkey) and greeted the American with a more muted enthusiasm. Towards the end of our trip, he engaged me in conversation, asking what did Americans think about Turkey and Turkish people. This was tough to answer because I think, in general, Americans don't think very much about Turkey. I said that and that I thought Turkey was in a tough position, caught between Europe and the Middle East. I'm afraid my subtlety was lost on him.

When we got to Selcuk, it was dark. We had a hostel recommendation but we didn't find the place-- instead we stumbled upon the "Kiwi Pension." How could we not stay there? It was a nice place, though quiet. Cheap, clean and…included breakfast.  We were hoping for a little entertainment too, since the place had a very well-stocked video library. Unfortunately, their tv was broken.

While the town wasn't empty, all of the adult male population out that evening was watching a soccer game. We had dinner and went back to the hostel and drank a few beers.  Then, goodnight.

Grateful for: another safe trip.

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