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Saturday, September 3, 2011

NARRATIVE

I took some local folks advice learned over a game of backgammon and went to a pizza place called D'sti. It was fairly remote - meaning a bit cheaper.

Whilst I was on my way there, the normal quiet of the town was broken by - hold up a second. That's something I really haven't noticed here. Considering the town is almost totally inhabited by tourists, it really is a quiet place. Batumi, Georgia (for example) was much noisier. My thought is that either there are local laws that keep people from being loud idiots or the fact that everyone here lives in stone caves may have something to do with it.

Anyway, the big commotion was a wedding. I made a bit of a video that captured a little of the ruckus.

At the pizza place, I decided to spend a bit and try the local (overpriced) brew. It is called "Efes", pronounced like the letters FS. It's OK - it reminds me of 'Little Kings Ale' I used to drink when I was thirteen or fourteen. The restaurant even brought me (for free!) some sort of salad. I don't know what the fuck they did to it. I swear to god, I couldn't choke down more than two fork fulls of it. Normally, I eat any free greens that arrive on my table because I figure the universe is trying to give me a 'get healthy, fat boy' hint but chewing aspirin tastes better than that salad. As it was set aside, I was grateful that nobody witnessed my expression when trying to eat it.

As I sat eating my fairly medocre pizza in the restaurant, I was looking around at the other guests. A lot of them are attractive women. It is true that ninety percent of the women who travel fall into the (stereotypical?) archetype of either traveling with a boy (or boyfriend) or one or more other women.

As for Cappadocia, I think it's safe to say "I've gotten my rocks off and it's time to GTFO."

I've noticed that since I've been moving around more, we've gone back to the 'wall of text' that I use to have. Hopefully, this will be enough written content to keep Adam from biting through his laptop in rage. Yes, even now I can hear his retort "Well, it might if you wrote something worth reading!" Touche.



WISH LIST

I was thinking about how many things would be useful to me in my travels around the world.

The ability of the Matrix to easily and quickly load new languages into my brain. Instead of spending several days trying to learn the Turkish phrase for 'thank you' heads this list.

A 'bag of holding' comes in second place. Reducing the weight of everything by a factor of 40 that I am carrying would make my relatively heavy pack less than half a kilo. I could even take a fairly elaborate camping set and such. Customs might be a bit tricky with Xray machines and such. I'd probably still have to heave a normal pack for the look of the thing with the BOH stuffed into it.

The third thing on the list would of course be an infinite supply of automatically renewable money. With that, a series of translators and pack bearers (and possibly body guards) could be hired.



SCOOTERS, LIES AND CONFUSION

I had thought that I might be wanting to rent a scooter. I decided to talk to my self appointed concierge about it. I figured that if he had the ability to dip into my wallet more, it might make my stay here a little smoother. Initially, I was told that the rental agency would bring a scooter to the hostel. I could even just leave it at the hostel when I was done and they'd pick it up. The price was reasonable (like 35 TRY for the day, basically) so I figured 'why not'.

But then the question of the 'scooter license' came up.

I'm not an expert in such things, having never ridden a scooter before. To the best of my knowledge you don't need a special license for such in the USA.

In Turkey, you need one.

This is baffling because I've seen an assload of tourists that are zooming around on these things. How many of them have 'scooter licenses'?

I figured this would be an attempt to shake down more money from yours truly, but no - they really just didn't want to rent me one.

Weird.

The desk clerk/concierge/guy with his hand straying toward my pocket in an obvious way told me that should there be an accident, it would be potentially big problems for me and that I would do better to rent the more expensive ATV.

So I wandered around in the common area to think about it.

[Note: As I'm typing this, the power has gone off in the hostel - again. This hostel and perhaps part of this city have very shitty power hook ups. I am very happy I am not a 'hunt and peck' typist.]

Whilst I was in the common area, I was listening to two Korean girls who were talking about their balloon experiences. Inquiring as to how much it cost them I was told one hundred and fifty euros each. About sixty over what another guest had told me. Caveat emptor indeed! I also got to hear him upselling another guest on their balloon ride costs. Yikes. Perhaps it is worth it. To me, it is just blowing money that doesn't need to be blown. No, I didn't tell the girls they got ripped off. For all I know, they didn't. Besides, they were very happy with their purchase - who am I to harsh that buzz?

In an effort to be busy and temporarily limit my exposure to unbridled capitalism, I went for a walk in the town.

I came across a little place tucked away that had four large bubbling cauldrons out front.
At a glance, I knew these were dye pots. I wasn't sure what they were dying but I discovered that they were making rugs. Surprise.

Why not go in and check it out? I got a tour from the token man of the place. Everyone else were women working on rugs. I took several pictures and made a bit of a video o how it works. It is painfully labor intensive. Sadly, it reminded me of the coffee sets I saw in Sarajevo. There were tons of stores stocked to the gills with these (how many coffee sets does one family need?) with nobody buying more. You could hear the ceaseless banging of little hammers making more. I've never understood why. I suspect is much the same with rugs. Unless they are special order rugs, I'm guessing that there may be in existence enough rugs for everyone who wants to actually slap down some cold, hard cash to have one. For at least a decade. Sure, then it becomes a question of how many decades ahead do you prepare for but come on. It's not really a matter of 'but people need jobs' - if nobody is buying anything, it makes no sense.

But it was interesting to see how carpets are made.



COMPENSATION?

For some reason, I've noticed that most all of the travelers who have cameras usually have giant lenses on them. Are they compensating for something? If this is the case, since my camera lense is so small does it mean I have a huge cock? If so, where is it?



POLICE! EGAD!

I went to the ATV renters suggested by the guy at the hostel (trying to keep him fucking happy - still got some time left here) and negotiated the price with them down to 50 TRY instead of the normal 60. This was fortunate as they only had a couple scooters left. I got to see a huge group of Arabic tourists take off from there. It was like a race. Talking to their guide, there are like sixty of them in the tour group. That would drive me fucking nuts.

Anyway, I got assigned a kid who works there to be my new guide. He immediately became named "Paco 2". [As a side note, I was talking to Christina who is from Mexico about my naming of these small brown children as Paco. She started laughing and agreed that in the movies, the kid is always named Paco.]

One of the first places Paco 2 took me was to a town. He tried to encourage me to get off my bike and walk around the town. I obliged with a quick five meter walk then remounted and made it clear it was time to go. We resumed our trip. If I had wanted to see the town more than just driving through it on the ATV, I'd just hitchhike my ass over to it and do so. I was using my two hour time limit and wanted to be riding the ATV for it.

While we were out driving on some back trail, we got stopped by the police. Neither the kid nor I had a clue of what was going on. The police didn't feel the need to explain. Since none of them spoke any English and since I don't like the idea of saving money in a 'Turkish prison', I just sat there and smoked while they noted down Paco 2's license plates and spoke to him in Turkish. They had no interest in me. Weird.

So we drove on. I did find that standing up or squatting when going over really bad terrain saves your ass from a terrible pounding and allows you to shift your center of gravity more easily. Eventually Paco 2 managed to convey to me that he thought I was pretty good at driving the ATV. Mind you, I wasn't trying for any tricks - I'm going totally for safety. While these things are really easy to ride, it is always the beginners thinking they are hot shit that get into accidents. Add to that my poor physical fitness, inability to look from side to side. No fancy stuff from me.

The two ATV rides were pretty much my big high points for the Cappadocia visit.



THE DINNER

The consierge made us dinner tonight. Against my better judgement, I decided to try out the 23 TRY meal. Totally not worth 23 TRY. I get just as full (same tastes or better) for about half that. When I asked for seconds, he grabbed a piece of bread and began shredding it into my bowl. I asked him what he was doing and he said it was a Turkish custom for when someone wants seconds. I figure it is so they will eat less of the more expensive food. It's funny as none of the Turkish people who showed up to eat did the bread thing. I wonder if I helped buy them their meal?

Later, I went to pay him. I said "Do you have change?" because I just had a twenty and a five and would need two lira back. He responded 'Would you like a glass of wine?' I figured that is damned decent of him as it would eat up the change and have the cool side effect of giving me a glass of wine they normally charge 5 TRY for only 2 TRY. Cool. I gave him the money. He opened a fresh bottle of wine and poured me a glass. He asked "Can you pay now?" I said I had just given him the money. He had meant for the wine. I told him I believed the glass of wine was fine instead of change and watched him closely. If he had asked for the other three lira, I'd have responded that he needed to give me my two lira change and go find a funnel if he wanted to get the wine back into the bottle. I think he may have read on my face I've had enough of his shenanigans though and told me to enjoy my glass of wine. A Pyrrhic victory at best, I feel. I am looking forward to boarding that bus.



LOOKING FORWARD

Now, I just have to cool my heels till about seven PM tomorrow before I can make my way down to the bus station to finally get the fuck out of this town. From what Adam and other travelers have told me about Antalya it's not going to be much better. I'm not sure if it would be better to try to just move on to Pamukkale to see some ruins and shit. At least there they have hostels for sure in my price range. It will be a long nine more hours just after an overnight bus so I'm concerned about that. But my interest in these ruins wanes with the amount of money it costs and how tourist the cities are. And by touristic, I'm talking about the level to which I feel someone's hand in my wallet. Don't know - I might feel so shagged out from the initial bus ride that I just want to find a guest house to sleep. We'll see where I'm at. Right now, I've had my feel of Touristic shit. If Antalya is a turn off, I may just hit fast forward and go to visit Denge in Izmir. I don't think I'm really seeing the parts of Turkey that I'm excited about yet. After visiting him, Istanbul which I am excited about seeing.

Based on the cost of things I've encountered so far and the enjoyment I've gotten from them, it's starting to look like Turkey will be a 'pass through fairly quickly place' unlike Georgia which was a 'settle in' place. Yeah, India and Asia are on my list.



MOVIE REVIEW

Paul. 7/10. Don't forget to watch the end credits for a bit more of the film. Although this movie dragged in spots, there was a lot of very funny stuff in it where I genuinely laughed out loud. None of that LOL crap either - the kind of laugh that makes other people in the place think I've lost it. This is an especially good movie if you are a 'nerd'. It does make me wonder about so many 'nerds will inherit the earth' movies that have come out lately. Is the majority of the population thinking it is hopelessly inept and/or 'nerdy'? Has the 'nerd' image undergone a 'Post-Gates Upgrade'? Regardless of all that, I found the movie funny.



COSTS

Efes beer: In restaurant, 6 TRY, in store, 3 TRY.

Cappadocia scooter rental, they start at 60 TRY, real price is 50 TRY. You've got to be awesome to get them lower than that.



SUMMARY OF APPROXIMATE COSTS FOR CAPPADOCIA

Dorm bed with a guy who snores really amazingly loud, $12.50
Meals, $10 x2 (breakfast is really cheap but I don't have much for it - fuck the food in the hostel)
Miscellaneous drinks and such, say $6.
Call it $40 per day. Not horrible - but doing any sort of 'tourist shit' will probably double your costs or more. So, it's OK but I don't recommend staying long. For me, it's only taken two days to be completely satisified with the amount of pointy rocks I've seen. I strongly recommend just renting ATV's and zipping around rather than burning your energy walking around to tourist stuff. You can get plenty of walking in on stuff that can't handle ATV's like the underground cities, Canyon of Pigeons, etc.



VIDEOS

Noise

Tourist Crap

Rugs

Second Bike Intro

Narrow Paths

Star Cave Hostel

6 comments:

  1. here's the difference between the large penis camer and your cam pics...

    Logans

    telephoto

    ReplyDelete
  2. Gosh - if the gear I didn't carry around already didn't weigh so much I'd certainly think about getting a bigger penis. I mean, camera. That is an impressive amount of detail.

    ReplyDelete
  3. entry lvl "student" cameras start at 6-700... that's camera and 1 lens upgrade. No memory, case, charger, ect ect.... However for a well to do enthusiast well worth the value.

    I'd nix the bag of holding for a portable gate box (made impervious) or "chipped etiquette" with the languages. If you have the PC no worries money perk no need for the bag.

    And yes, jocks still have most of the perks but this is the age of the nerd. Gaming (society considers WoW nad Xbox gaming) is mainstream and accepted as cool.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm glad I didn't get that expensive of camera - not only for the holy crap is this a lot to carry effect but also the replaceability of the one I've got. I can have say five accidents that are fatal to the one I currently have before I'd paid for just one of those 'student' cameras.

    The portable gate box end is a bitch to carry around. Heavy, large and awkward. Sure, one you've got it with you you're gold but that's still a lot of weight and strange questions at customs. Just being able to teleport and have an extra dimensional space would be just as well.

    I'd be totally happy to give that up for 'chipped etiquette' (languages and such) because in countries that I've been to that the usefulness of the language ends at their borders, anyone who has taken the time to learn it fluently will have a tough time not to stay in people's homes and be their honored guest for a couple days.

    But yes, the giant bags of money still wins.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Caveat emptor? Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Clean your room or get your head chopped off??

    ReplyDelete

PICTURES

{{2011}} London, GB | Rail N Sail | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Prague, Czech Republic | Budapest, Hungary | Sarajevo, Bosnia | Romania | Chisinau, Moldova | Ukraine: Odessa - Sevastopol | Crossed Black Sea by ship | Georgia: Batumi - Tbilisi - Telavi - Sighnaghi - Chabukiani | Turkey: Kars - Lost City of Ani - Goreme - Istanbul | Jordan: Amman - Wadi Rum | Israel | Egypt: Neweiba - Luxor - Karnak - Cairo | Thailand: Bangkok - Pattaya - Chaing Mai - Chaing Rei | Laos: Luang Prabang - Pakse | Cambodia: Phnom Penh | Vietnam: Vung Tau - Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City

{{2012}} Cambodia: Kampot - Sihanoukville - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat | Thailand: Bangkok | India: Rishikesh - Ajmer - Pushkar - Bundi - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jasalmer - Bikaner - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi | Nepal: Kathmandu - Chitwan - Pokhara - Bhaktapur - (Rafting) - Dharan | India: Darjeeling - Calcutta Panaji | Thailand: Bangkok - again - Krabi Town | Malaysia, Malaka | Indonesia: Dumas - Bukittinggi - Kuta - Ubud - 'Full Throttle' - Gili Islands - Senggigi | Cambodia: Siem Reap | Thailand: Trat | Turkey: Istanbul | Georgia: Tbilisi

{{2013}} Latvia: Riga | Germany: Berlin | Spain: Malaga - Grenada | Morocco: Marrakech - Essauira - Casablanca - Chefchawen - Fes | Germany: Frankfurt | Logan's Home Invasion USA: Virginia - Michigan - Indiana - Illinois - Illinois - Colorado | Guatemala: Antigua - San Pedro | Honduras: Copan Ruinas - Utila | Nicaragua: Granada | Colombia: Cartagena | Ecuador: Otavalo - Quito - Banos - Samari (a spa outside of Banos) - Puyo - Mera

{{2014}} Peru: Lima - Nasca - Cusco | Dominican Republic | Ukraine: Odessa | Bulgaria: Varna - Plovdiv | Macedonia: Skopje - Bitola - Ohrid - Struga | Albania: Berat - Sarande | Greece: Athens | Italy: Naples - Pompeii - Salerno | Tunisia: Hammamet 1

{{2015}} Hammamet 2 | South Africa: Johnnesburg | Thailand: Hua Hin - Hat Yai | Malaysia: Georgetown | Thailand: Krabi Town | Indonesia:
Sabang Island | Bulgaria: Plovdiv | Romania: Ploiesti - Targu Mures | Poland: Warsaw | Czech Republic: Prague | Germany: Munich | Netherlands: Groningen | England: Slough | Thailand: Ayutthaya - Khon Kaen - Vang Vieng | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2016}} Thailand: Kanchanaburi - Chumphon | Malaysia: Ipoh - Kuala Lumpur - Kuching - Miri | Ukraine: Kiev | Romania: Targu Mures - Barsov | Morocco: Tetouan

{{2017}} Portugal: Faro | USA: Virginia | Michigan | Illinois | Colorado |

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