Day 11 – Gonen
Day 11 – Friday – July 22, 2011
I got to sleep in on Friday morning because I was heading to the market. Gokce was going to be my guide and she said that Bilge wanted us there at 9am! Gokce’s English isn’t as good as some of the others but she is very enthusiastic and very helpful – she was very nervous though.
As we walked to the market I asked what our goal was. Her’s was to give out invitations to an upcoming event and mine was to take the pictures Bilge wanted me to take. The only problem was that Bilge didn’t tell me what she wanted pictures of at the market and has never wanted pictures of the market before. I figured I would just wing it.
When we got to the market it was half empty – not of people – but of merchants. Normally we show up around noon or so and some people have left because they have sold out. Apparently they don’t all setup at 9am either. But we wandered around watching people get setup. A voice came on the loudspeaker and everyone froze in their tracks (like a flash mob) and put their hands out in front of them palms up. Gokce explained that it was a prayer ceremony that happens before they open. It was really neat kind of a National Anthem at a ballgame moment. When the voice was done – the hustle and bustle started right up again – and even a little louder as they were now open.
At the market they sell more than just food. The little kitchen comforts like Disney glasses, salt and pepper shakers shaped like flowers, tea pots, and brooms. I love the brooms – everywhere you go you see people sweeping and sweeping – (no handle on the brooms). And there is this little touch of pride in it – you see old ladies trying to get their little house just a tad nicer in the front and you realize how homey it all is.
People still were setting up for a while. I liked watching the olive vendor scoop out each tray of olives. Some people took it nice and causal. I watched a family eat a nice big breakfast and another man making his morning tea (using a propane burner). The butcher was busy getting his chicken together and everyone was getting their displays and signs just right.
I think it was a slow day in the market – a lot of places didn’t seem to fill. Gokce slowly gave out her invitations and we walked up and down the rows over and over. I said hello to a lot of my village friends and even saw the last guy I needed to give 2 photos to. He was very friendly and again asked when I would come back up the mountain.
One display had a big cardboard sign in front of it and Gokce told me that it said his vegetables were grown without medicines, hormones, or chemicals. Organic! A selling point even in rural Turkey. Another display had really nice tomatoes and right next to them this weirdly shaped pink/yellow things which she told me were ‘garden’ tomatoes vs ‘greenhouse’ tomatoes. See – live and learn.
People kept calling us over to chat and the guys who sold fabric insisted I share some watermelon with them – yummy. I went around and around and I looked at the one place that sold clothes and I saw they had vests! Just a few but one fit me nicely – I asked how much and she said it was older so that instead of 10TL she would give it to me for 8TL. Yeah that’s less than $5. I didn’t negotiate any further.
I passed this one little kid sleeping on some carpets but Gokce told me that he was awake and saw him arguing with his mother and was just sulking. Kids.
Everyone said hi – the Yufka (bread) guy asked if I wanted some but I wasn’t going to make that mistake again – and we headed back to the field house to the sounds of “oneliraoneliraonelira”!
At lunch time there was meat – little meat patties that they call hamburgers but don’t look like them and a big plate of mixed veggies. I was happy to enjoy my patty when they brought out – gasp – PIZZA!
It turns out that the Minister’s rep decided to make us all pizza – oh my goodness – it was so good – cheese and olives and some onion and peppers and even some of the meat patties. We ate our fill and it hit the spot so nicely.
The rest of the day we spent working in the field house.
After dinner Bert and I decided to get our Friday shave but found that the barber we went to was closed. We did find another one open and his was a little fancier. He had multiple chairs and instead of propane to heat the water used a instant electric kettle. We had to wait for a local to get his very stylish beard shaped and trimmed and then it was out turn. It was a great shave – though no flames at the end. When I handed him my 5TL note – he gave me change! It was only 3TL! That’s like $1.80! Bert reasoned that’s why you can have fancy beards if you can afford to trim them at the barber.
I can’t believe how fast the time is flying. Saturday is my last working day because we have Sunday off and Monday I head to Istanbul.
Images from Day 11 (also read the captions!)
(click here if you don’t see the image thumbnails)