Today I went from Asia to Europe and it only took twenty minutes…by ferry. When I woke up this morning and looked at my email there was a note from my friend Tom Johnstone of Australia. He’s the gentleman I met in Spain, and who accompanied me to Gibraltar, where we met up with three other people. Tom is touring for a year as I have been doing, but he’s just a few months into his journey.
He asked me to join him on his last day on the European side of Turkey and he’d show me some of the sites he has seen.
I jumped up out of bed, took a shower, got dressed and within an hour I had purchased a ticket and as the boat screeched it’s warning to leave, and as people were running to catch it, I did the same.
The boat was packed with most people wearing black and had black hair. I think my long white hair is unusual. Many women are Muslims and wear scarfs covering their heads.
Men walked around selling tea and orange juice on the ferry. The tea is delivered in a tiny glass that sits on top of a bowl-like saucer.
Then when the boat docked in Europe, I walked just a few yards away to a large square where, if you sit long enough, you’ll see a cross section of humanity. But first there were the fancy kiosks, and eating areas, all very rich appearing, with many people sitting and drinking tea.
This may be my first adventure with Turkish coffee, I thought, so I went up to a kiosk but was told no coffee, only tea. I think coffee is only an early morning drink, because it happened again this afternoon; must research this. C’mon, I’m in Turkey. Sell me some of your coffee.
So, while waiting for Tom, who never showed up, I saw a fat man wearing a hot-pink tie, and he seemed to be waiting for someone, as well. Then there was a tiny bent over lady, who kept shouting, “hey”, then she’d let out a witches cackle. She would walk over to people, look at them and repeat her performance.
Some young boys seemed to take a liking to her, and had her pose with them for a photo. She seemed to like that.
Meanwhile the man with the pink tie wandered around.
I sat down on some benches, but one spot had something gooey on it, so a Muslim lady motioned for me to sit next to her. I did. Later some men wanted to sit at the same place, but was deterred by the goo. One man went to the nearby tea-drinking place and got a placemat to sit on.
The man with the pink tie roamed on.
I began to roam on myself, as I was one and one half hour too early to meet Tom. Soon, there were Muslim prayers coming from both Mosques. I found the men’s voices, even though I don’t know what they were saying in their chanting, were melodious and easy to listen to. One man held notes for a very long time. I wonder if they audition for the role of invitation to prayer?
Noon came and went, and no Tom. Twelve-thirty, still no Tom. One O’clock and no Tom. I gave him until 1:30 p.m. and decided something was wrong so I left, got a ticket back to the Asian side.
I then went for lunch at my new favorite restaurant and had an omelette, because that was the only thing I could pronounce. The detail on the plate made a cheese omelette look gourmet: three green leaves, carrot and cucumber strips.
Again coffee wasn’t available, but tea was, so that was brought in the little glass and porcelain saucer shaped like a bowl.
Then I had a rice pudding that was the best dessert I’ve had in a very long time, so rich and creamy.
Do you think the man in the hot pink tie likes rice pudding?