Friday, January 1, 2010

Our New Year's Eve

By Claire
We spent a relatively quiet evening together last night. Walking into town under a full moon and balmy air was very pleasant. We wandered around town trying to figure out which place would suit our celebration of a new year. Lots of bars were revving up with loud music and lots of booze. We passed. We also noticed lots of families running around happily. Most of the eateries were offering outdoor seating. What, do they think it's summer? We meandered back to my first choice, right on the main drag. No menu, a glass case with lots of meat waiting to be grilled. It was surprising and funny that not one person spoke any English. We struggled for awhile but went ahead and pointed to the lamb kebabs. I tried to ask what came with them but they were clueless, as were we with their responses. So, from a selection of dishes we chose spinach, potatoes and some pilaf. We were seated and out came the dishes.

I thought it was a little odd that they hadn't waited for the kebabs to be cooked. We also tried to order tea but had no luck. Communication really wasn't working tonight; we were the only non-Turkish people in the place. We dove into the food, delicious as usual, and just as we were finishing, our kebabs arrived, along with plenty of other food. They must have thought we were pigs! Lesson learned: when ordering kebabs, know that side dishes always come with it!

However, I did my best and after awhile we stood up, gathered our things and Chuck stepped up to the cash register to pay the bill, €14.40. That's when a sweet woman came up and offered tea. I said no, thank you, and she left. Just as we were about to leave, she brought us some homemade Helva. Well we couldn't walk away from that! It was as good as at the Old Greek House in Mustafapașa only warm. Mmmmmmmmmm.

We walked home, bellies full, and relaxed with 3 episodes of Dexter and were in bed by 11:29. We just couldn't stay up. But, I did wake to the sound of a volley of gunfire going off at the stroke of midnight. Interesting custom.

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called "Opportunity" and its first chapter is New Year's Day. ~ Edith Lovejoy Pierce


Holly said...

Dear Claire and Chuck,

How delightful to get your Christmas and New Year's emails! I feel so privileged to be a part of your journey this way. Claire, I thought of you a lot while in Pt Reyes for Christmas. I took a few photos which I'll send to you (and I said hello to Tomales Point for you). I had to laugh at your comment about the gunfire going off to celebrate New Year's Eve. Mark and I stayed home last night reading by the fire and were up until midnight, at which time a volley of gunfire erupted throughout the neighborhood. Interesting custom is right! Mark said that's what they do here instead of fireworks. Grants Pass is...well, it's not Davis, that's for sure. Now I think I know why Warren at the Arboretum calls it "Grass Pants". Happy New Year! I feel truly blessed to have you both as friends and I wish you much joy and adventure ahead. Cheers...

Anonymous said...

Gunfire in Pollock Pines too. Was expecting it. Blearily watched "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" with kids and grandkids. Whoo hoo! Happy New Year to you both...and many more happy journeys. Sheila

Paros Shepherd said...

A travel tip for Greece may work in Turkey as well?
In Greece the waiter will not bring your bill until you ask for it. When you do, that is the signal for them to bring your free dessert (if there is to be one, it is not 100% the case).
So when time is limited I ask for the bill immeditely upon finishing eating.


Chuck and Claire said...

Thanks! We will try this next time. If we had just signaled that we wanted the bill, they surely would have brought our chai and dessert. We are always learning!