Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Once Again, Turkey
Although I had a wonderful visit with all relatives, I was so very glad to clear out of Ukraine. Everything went swimmingly until I ran into THEM again. Who are THEY? Cab drivers, of course. I don't know whether it's me or them, but we're just not agreeing on principles these days. Here's what happened: my flight arrived at Dalaman Airport at around 6:30. They took all of us international arrivals to a different terminal where we collected our bags and breezed past Turkish Customs. Attention Ukrainians: this is how you do it; let people in and don't hit them up for bribes, OK? It was just getting dark as I cleared the terminal. And then the cab drivers descended on me. Their prices were ridiculous. The fare to Dalyan, some 30km away was $50. Even just to the town of Dalaman - where the airport was located - was nearly $30. I tried to bargain, but they just jeered at me. It's funny, the translation machine in my head was still set on "Russian/Ukrainian," so I thought they were saying all kinds of ridiculous stuff between them, like: "Thunder? That was definitely caviar" or "Stand by the window. Dance promptly." And so on. Look, I like Turks a whole bunch. As a people, they're the tops. But I'm really starting to dislike cab drivers, no matter what nationality. So yes, I'm becoming racist against all cab drivers in the world. At least I admit it.
So all their mockery and their unwillingness to bargain even the slightest bit was kind of pissing me off, so I said, "Fine. I'll walk to Dalaman." They erupted in laughter. Here I was loaded with about 50 lbs of baggage, telling them I was gonna schlep it 5 miles down the road. Plus, it was getting dark. Guess what? That's exactly what I did. Take that, cab drivers! I almost got run over about 10 times and I disturbed several trees containing bats (how the heck do they manage at a loud place like the airport??), but I did make it to Dalaman bus station in around an hour and a half, very sweaty with aching feet. From there, it was just two local buses to Dalyan. Instead of $50, I ended up paying $4, so sometimes stinginess has its rewards. I got in around 10 and went to my favorite hotel (the Çinar Sahil Otel) where they gave me my favorite room.
So yes, I arrived. It's warm here. Hooray.