Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Back in Kaş

By Claire
Yesterday and today were eventful days—for us anyway. We walked into town to talk to Mehmet (Ali Baba) about paying the speeding ticket. He greeted us all smiles, shook our hands and asked us to sit down. When Chuck showed him the ticket he thought about it for awhile then went next door to the bank to find out what we should do. Turns out we need to go to the tax office but it was almost noon so we would have to do it later.

Walking into town

Next problem on the agenda was getting the passenger door lock fixed on Homer—the one that was damaged during the robbery. Chuck asked Mehmet if he could help us find someone to fix the lock. It took a little while to make it clear that the key wasn’t broken and he told us he would take Chuck to a locksmith. It was decided that I could head back to Homer with the groceries we had bought. Not long after I was back, Chuck showed up and we had a quick lunch since the lock guy would be coming after lunch. Next thing I knew, Chuck jumped up and was saying “Merhaba” to Mehmet and the locksmith. The guy worked and worked on the lock while Mehmet watched closely. It was windy out and I could see that he was cold so I asked Mehmet inside. Pretty soon it became clear that the guy could not fix the lock. So, Mehmet called someone else who showed up within minutes on his motor scooter. There were now 4 guys hovering around the damaged lock. Pretty soon I heard a hammering sound, then Chuck saying, “It’s a miracle”. I knew it must be fixed. Chuck asked Mehmet how much he should pay the first guy but Mehmet said “Nothing, he didn’t fix it.”

Chuck came back inside and told me that the new guy had hammered away with the blunt end of a very large screw driver, pounding the punched out part of the lock back into place. “Miraculously”, it now works! He paid the guy 20 TL and gave 10TL to the first guy who had his hand out with expectation. After all, he did come to us and time is money. It takes a village to fix a door lock.

Today we went back to Mehmet to deal with the speeding ticket. Again, smiles, “Merhaba”, we shake hands and sit down. He pointed to his assistant, Mustapha, and told us he would take us to the tax office. We walked across town, entering an administrative building we would never have found, with the police station on the bottom floor. Up the stairs we went to a room reminiscent of the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles for those of you outside the U.S.). Long lines at 4 different stations. Mustapha went to the first one—no dice. Then the second one, nope. Finally, he took us to the third counter and it was the correct one but the computer was down. So, outside we went for a cigarette break—Mustapha’s. We chatted for awhile then went back upstairs to find the computer working but we now had to go to another line after this guy did some administrative thing to bless it or something. While Chuck and Mustapha waited in line (it was 10 minutes until noon at which time they would be closing), I went out to the lobby to examine a large wall map of Turkey and try to plan our route to Istanbul.

Inching along, they made it with a few minutes to spare and we even received a 20% discount for paying the ticket within 10 days! We saved 26 TL. Love it! Mustapha took us to his office and made a copy for us. Chuck gave him 10 TL for his trouble and then we looked at a wall map in Mehmet’s office so that he could show us how to get to Istanbul. It can be done in 2 days but we’ll probably do it in 3. We’d like to arrive early in the day since it will be a white knuckle drive into the city.

We ran a few errands: bread, bakery items for Chuck, additional clothes pins, and a replacement plastic breadboard for our backpack (the other was lost in one of the stolen backpacks) and now we’re back enjoying the warm, sunny afternoon at home, reading our latest book on our Kindles: Istanbul, by Orhan Pamuk, author of Snow, which we read a few weeks back. Thanks to Chuck's daughter Natasha, who gave us a gift certificate to Amazon for Christmas, we immediately ordered this book.

We make a daily stop at this bakery

Street in Kaş

Time for a nap.

A small key opens big doors ~ Turkish Proverb


Kim said...

Turkey has been fascinating for me, so I can imagine it has been the experience of a lifetime for you! I especially like the respect with which you have approached Islam....I wish we could all be mutually respectful. One question, were the dervishes a performance, or was it an actual religious ceremony?

When people ask me what I am reading these days, I tell them I am reading a great travelogue by two really good writers...hope you have plans to publish when you get back!


Chuck and Claire said...

Thanks for your comment and compliment. We think the dervishes have a religious practice; but we cannot be sure. They were outlawed by Ataturk in 1925. "But several orders survived on a technicality as religious fraternities. The Konya Lodge was revived in 1957 as a 'cultural association' intended to preserve a historical tradition."

Thanks for asking.
Claire and Chuck

Anonymous said...

Howling with laughter over the locksmith saga. It reminded me so much of Amman where things like changing a car tire were always done "by committee!" Likewise the "tale of the ticket.". All too familiar. Kaz looks lovely. Sheila

Diane said...

I think Cappadocia and the Grand Canyon are the most spiritual places I have ever been.

Didn't know about the speeding ticket (can't wait for the details). What a process--unlike the $40 parking ticket I recently got in Davis which only induced rage (I was 2 minutes late). It sounds like Kas is the most perfect "home base" you could hope for. Ataturk is one of the most fascinating characters in history--a few people lost their lives in the face of his vision but overall, he deserves the adulation. Waiting for the next chapter! love, Diane

David said...

Happy New Year C & C,

Your trip to Cappadocia brought back many pleasant memories; nice to see the Greek House again and to learn you enjoyed visiting.

May your 2010 adventures be safe and memorable- and full of delicious food.

Best Wishes,