Friday, December 18, 2009

Idyllic Kaș

By Claire
Once again we have discovered a magical place where we have planted ourselves for an indeterminate period of time. We woke to a perfect day—clear, warm and sunny. We don’t expect it to be this way everyday but as long as there are a few breaks between the winter storms, we’re content. The campground is wonderful and would be perfect in spring or fall. They have a nice restaurant and several sunning decks and some very nice little cabins. I can almost hear the Beach Boys singing Kokomo.

The town is an easy 4 block walk from our campground. There are produce stands conveniently located, an internet café, plenty of cafés and restaurants and the atmosphere is wonderfully mellow.

We’ve been in small towns that are too quiet and essentially dead. This is a lively town that is clean and neat with just the right amount of activity for us. One block from our campground is a well-preserved ancient theatre—just something we walk by each day. Oh, and of course the usual cat. This one just couldn’t get enough of us. We'll be staying for awhile.

Our first order of business was finding the internet café. The campground had a power outage during the raging storm and we lost our internet connection. They’re not sure when it will be running again. Why do I feel like it’s just finding the right switch? We’ve been trying to make arrangements for a trip to Cappadocia via email to various hotels so it’s hard to do it without access. Luckily, it’s very cheap to get online, at a café—just inconvenient not to have it 24/7 inside Homer.

Walking back through town we spotted a place offering gölzeme, Turkish pancakes. We’ve wanted to try them and selected this place because there were a number of people sitting at this cute outdoor café; but, they got up and left the moment we were seated. Now, what have we done? We walked in and asked for gölzeme but were told by a woman that we couldn’t get them. We turned to go as the man said, “no, no, Gölzeme yes.” There was a bit of confusion as we were ushered to a nice outdoor table. Communication was once again a challenge. Another woman came over who spoke English and took our order of potato gölzeme and fresh squeezed orange juice and tea. She was a customer who has a shop down the street. The man began bustling about and then disappeared down the street. He soon returned and took care of squeezing the oranges. My drink came, then Chuck’s tea. We waited while the man seemed to be doing something in the kitchen but we couldn’t figure out what. Next thing I knew, he disappeared down the street again, returning with one plate of gölzeme which he served to me. From the pile in front of me, I suspected that we had managed to order 2 for each of us rather than a total of 2 gölzeme. He indicated that Chuck’s plate would be coming. I had pretty much finished, sharing bites with Chuck, when he left again, returning with Chuck’s plate. This reminded us of our lunch for Chuck’s birthday where they were caught completely off guard but quickly recovered and got the woman down the street to prepare lunch. We wonder how they split the proceeds. I think Chuck was hoping for butter and syrup but these are more like crepes and were quite tasty.

Next, we needed to find a place to rent a car for a few days for our trip to Cappadocia. We have gone back and forth about driving Homer or taking a 12 hour overnight bus. We’re not keen on the idea of driving Homer such a long distance, about 900 km., in possible snow or rain so we decided to rent a small car. Most of the car rental places were closed (it really is the low season) so we wandered to the harbor and found the Tourist Information. The helpful man called Ali Baba Car Rentals for us, took Chuck outside and raising his voice over the loud, echoing sounds of the call to prayer, pointed out where to go, and sent us to meet Mehmet.

Mehmet was professional, asking us questions in good English about our needs. We agreed on a reasonable price but couldn’t give him our exact dates because we hadn’t been able to find a hotel yet. He offered to let us use his computer and make phone calls, which we did. After several false starts—even Mehmet couldn’t get the calls to go through—we found two hotels—one in Konya as a stop along the way and back and one for our time in Göreme, a town very centrally located in the Cappadocia region. We are excited to have definite plans for Christmas in place.

Home again and we realized we just couldn’t let a breezy, sunny day go by without doing some laundry. We’re realizing the difficulties of clean laundry in the winter in Turkey. We have not seen a single clothes dryer which means everything will have to be line dried. Sometimes the inside of Homer becomes a laundry drying room. It works…eventually.

Walking into town today, we stopped at one of the four pharmacies so that Chuck could fill a prescription. While I was waiting, I noticed a supply of prophylactics—your choice of classic, personal, arouser or extra safe. Do they have impersonal?

Our evening was spent reading and listening to a Turkish CD that Diane and David gave us after their trip to Turkey last year. Perfect.


Napamick said...

Sounds like a wonderful little town.

You're going via Konya. That's great. You can see Rumi's tomb. And maybe even a sema - the whirling dervishes. Although the big one was likely done yesterday - Dec 17 - Rumi's "birthday", which was actually the day he died.

Chuck and Claire said...

You are reading our minds. We are actually glad to miss the festival. We try our best to avoid the hoards or people. We are anxious to see the museum and Rumi's tomb as well as a Sema performance. We'll let you know...