Wordless disco beats with occasional unpaid Soundcloud advertisements are bumping softly out of old wood encased speakers in our colourful new (to us) hotel. We are located right in the city of Bodrum, on the south west coast of Turkey. There is a small stray cat – a dainty little white one – licking her tiny paw in a lobby filled with mementos and red couches.
My back is still sweaty from carrying a 40lb backpack to one hotel, and then to another (this one), because the first one would simply never do. More on that in a later post. I sit here, musky in scent, drinking an Efes beer, relieved to be ‘home’ for another 4 nights.
Travel is delightful. We spent the last week in a small boutique hotel overlooking the Agean Sea, in the honeymoon suite by pure luck. We were a ten minute walk from Bargilya, a small fishing village, and ate most of our meals in one restaurant called Lagun, with an owner who used to live in Toronto. She was so happy we were there; we were the first Canadians to visit in over two years.
Over the course of our week in Bargilya, we witnessed an empty village in low season barely offering service start to show the tricklings of what will soon be a flood of European tourists visiting for high season. Hipster glasses and neon became much more prevalent. We wound up becoming so familiar with this little place, we got to know the names of the stray dogs who so lovingly held their posts outside the restaurant, occasionally straying as far as the ‘pide’ (pizza) restaurant across the street.
Here is my favourite of them all. Originally we thought her to be a she, the way she pranced about, but she was actually a he. When she was a she, we named her Flores…seemed fitting. After realizing he was a he, we still called her Flores. This photo does not do justice to what a filthy, matted little animal he is, humping anything in sight. So much character, he made us laugh every single time we saw him. I think this portrait will be hanging on my wall very soon.
The village and my professional life strangely converged at many points through the week. I know I’m not ‘supposed to’, but I’ve been spending hours (and hours) on my course work for B-School, and I continue to be called to it daily, so I’m not fighting it. Carving out a business for yourself, in my opinion, is one of the most rewarding (and freakin’ fun) things ever, and even just today I’ve drafted up post ideas to last me a year. Business butterflies buzz in my belly.
Food, always an issue when we travel, has been amazing. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the dedication (or is that just The Way?) to natural ingredients, fresh vegetables, and LOADS of olive oil that tastes sharply unlike the organic, first cold pressed stuff I buy at home. It’s way better. Kev’s been eating fish freshly caught each day and served with the head, tail and fins still attached. It never ceases to gross me out, but I appreciate it nonetheless.
One of the highlights so far, for me, was the local market on Sunday.
Hardly anyone spoke a word of English, and we were laughed and pointed at cheerfully as we walked through snapping professional pictures with our fancy cameras.
Fresh savoury crepe (gozleme) were being warmed on an outside hot-plate and too-warm-to-eat phyllo (ispanakli tepsi boregi) was stuffed with spinach (of course), dill, parsley like I’ve never tasted before, and feta – you guessed it – from the local roaming sheep. Woah.
Nuts and seeds (aka heaven) were piled high, along with dried fruits in different colours than I’ve ever seen. There is no such thing as irradiation or chemical sprays up in here. My Turkish speaking pal nearly laughed when I asked.
I know it’s a total cliche, but right now, I’m in full Turkish delight. 🙂
I apologize again for the formatting of this post. Things will be more in line when I’m back in Canada.