Friday, June 4, 2010

No Escape

You know, Russians used to be confined to just one or two areas in the vicinity. Those were Kemer (there are two; one by Antalya and one by Fethiye here in the west; theirs was the former) and Demre. But now there's no escaping them. Back when their economy super-sucked, even those strongholds were sparse with my Slavic brethren. These days they even show up at Dalyan's beach. God knows where they import them from (besides Russia), because they definitely don't stay in town. And the weird thing is that they're all part of the same package tour, so they're given an hour and a half and Turtle Beach and then they're gone back to wherever the heck they came from (not Russia). The other day, I had the unique opportunity to yell at a Russian woman in Russian because she had no idea that the sand she was shaking from her towel could be carried by the wind, which is all around us, and shower some innocent party, namely myself, with sand. It went something like this:

"Woman! Don't be throwing sand! Damn!"

I think she may have said, "Oh," but there was no accompanying apology. That's OK. In five minutes, I was practically alone on the beach. And then the afternoon shift of sunbathing Russians appeared with their too-small bathing suits, burly physiques and endless talk of how much everything costs. There is no escape. At least the British act like someone is watching them. The Russians do not.

Speaking of no escape, there is a bar in Dalyan that has a trivia night. It's a quaint little British-owned joint that caters to the British ex-pats of whom there are quite a few around town. Like almost all Brits, these expats don't tan well and don't speak Turkish. But they are very nice. So my first week there, I was just sitting there watching the NBA playoffs (Boston vs Orlando broadcast a day late on - get this - al-Jazeera) and the quiz started. I allied myself with a couple of tipsy middle-aged Scottish persons and, long story short, we won. The next week, I was on the ex-pats team. We also won. It was nice that the music round was American TV theme songs of the seventies and eighties. We slew the competition. So yes, no escaping my lust for trivia.

No escape, part 3. You know, I left Seattle in a fairly apprehensive state. It had been eight years since I'd been overseas. My biggest concern was that perhaps travel would no longer agree with me. Well, that was a stupid concern, because not only am I still a good traveler, but I seem to have gotten better at it in the intervening years. I'm more energetic, resourceful and motivated than I've ever been before. Another major reason why I just wanted to call this whole thing off is because I was going great guns with music. Seriously, I was extremely productive in the weeks leading up to my departure, plus I was writing stuff that I liked a lot. There's a difference between that and being-productive-with-stuff-that-I'll-have-to-go-back-and-fix-later. Anyhow, so I had to mentally file all this stuff away, as there wasn't too much concentrated effort I could give it while I was traveling. I only gave it a passing thought while I was in Ukraine. But as soon as I got to Turkey, I started having these music dreams that became progressively louder and more insistent. They have culminated in Dalyan. They now wake me up at about three in the morning. Some part of some tune needs work and I can't get to sleep until I mentally fix it. This has happened a lot lately. So I guess there's no escape from that either.

NOTE: I'm actually back now. I have two more Turkey entries, then I'll start roaming around Belltown again looking for stuff to write about. This appears to be something of a challenge since this crummy place is almost exactly as I left it. OK, Shallots closed. And that's about it. Meanwhile, Istanbul was folding me into its sweaty embrace. It takes a while to recover from that, sweet people. I have tales from my last day there, but I can't go into detail until everyone connected with those events has died. Yeah, it was that kind of last day. I'll have those posts up in the next few days.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

The McGuire is still as beautiful as ever.

It's probably more beautiful than anything you saw on your trip ha jk.