Day 9 – Gonen, Igdecik, Gumusgun, and Koctepe

Day 9 – Wednesday – July 20, 2011

We woke up again to no power – its not a complaint – it just happens.  Last year at the mall it happened and people froze and then continued on with their lives.  I noticed a generator and some petrol when I walked out side – the Germans are here with their laser scanner – they are going to create a scan of the entire mountain if they can but first they need to spend the day at the police station getting residency permits.

I joked that their lemonade tasted funny and they told me that the probably should have written that it was petrol in the containers in a language OTHER than German (which they had done).  None of us are stupid enough to drink it though – it looks like pee.

So Pervin picked me up to take me to 3 small villages which contain some great old houses – not great condition but mansions in their day.  In her car I noticed something I noticed all over Turkey.  No one takes the plastic wrap off of the technology or LCD displays.  This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine not that it I feel it is wrong but that I feel compelled to remove it!  I didn’t of course.  Ah – self control.

The three places we were going to were Igdecik, Gumusgun, and Koctepe.  Basically I was told that Isparta is a City, Gonen is a Town, and these were smaller so they were just villages.  There is some formal definition involving public works that I didn’t get the details of.

The first place we went was huge!  It must have been amazing in its day with its windows intact.  It had a great doorknocker of a hand and some very interesting details of molding and paint.  The back of the house was used as a local movie theater in the 1960s and one of the columns instead of being concrete was a bit of ancient column.  As I mentioned earlier this type of ‘spolia’ is not uncommon.  In fact we saw a cornerstone on another house and some grapes on a city wall embedded just the same. We couldn’t get inside though and told us another time we might be able to.  It was still pretty early and the moon was still visible in the sky – I hope it shows in the photos.

The village was interesting – very nice modern (but small houses) we even passed a club where men and women are allowed to socialize together.  In Gonen the men hand out at the cafe drinking tea but the women are nowhere to be seen.

And then it happened.  I saw a cow! I didn’t think they had them but they do – a lone cow!

I ask a lot of questions and I talk really fast and Pervin who was never been to American keeps up really well.  But today she was prepared – when I would ask what something was – she would whip out her dictionary and tell me!  She really was a great sport about it all and I tried to talk slower – but it is me! She was on the ball – that’s a hazelnut – that’s a locust plant etc…

We spotted some ladies making  small fire from twigs with a big purple bucket – I thought it was dye but it turns out it was berries – it looked like a giant cobbler – and I wanted some but I bet it didn’t taste like cobbler.

We saw a lot of dogs – in fact a real variety of them – and they seemed very friendly which is nice because up on the mountain if you see a dog you are told to panic cause they are NOT friendly there.  I enjoyed seeing the livestock because I am a city boy and it was funny to watch a chicken followed by the chicks wander in and out of the big livestock pen via a little hole in the wall right past a sleepy cat who clear wasn’t going to attack the chickens.  Damn cartoons you taught me wrong again! And FYI kittens are always cute.

Everyone was very friendly and let us take pictures of them – several of the older women were DO photogenic I couldn’t get it down to just one picture – one lady was so expressive that I would say all 20 pictures of her are different and all wonderful. This one woman had her scarf so tight and an earring just so that she reminded me of a gypsy or a pirate.

One of the houses we were told was very dangerous so we just took a photo from the outside. Then the opened the door for us and we stuck out heads in and took another photo. And then he said it was ok and we followed him up.  It was a spectacular ruin – the roof caved in – the floors with holes – but still furnished and with paint and decoration on the walls.  We saw two different 100 year old chests and some really neat and scary looking rooms.  We walked very carefully and man could you film a haunted house movie here!  I will post many pictures because each image is its own glory of decay.

As we left the house the man pointed to something on the group like a little fuzzy ball.  He picked it up and it started to move and he put it down in the road and it totally curled up.  I asked Pervin and she flipped through the dictionary and told me it was a hedgehog (the word was VERY foreign to her and she had a hard time saying it – but braver than me I usually just point). It stayed in a ball and would only occasionally open a touch to stick its nose out and look to see if we were still there.  The man said he could get it to open up and poured water on it – at which point it started to run away – I apologize if the pictures are blurry but c’mon its a hedgehog!

We headed back to Gonen for lunch and afterward Bert and I headed to the park to take photos again of the stones there.  It was much easier with a second set of hands.  On the way we passed a children’s park and I noticed all the equipment and remarked to Bert how shocking it was to see all metal construction of a jungle gym and slides and such all over concrete – we don’t play that way anymore do we? We took a break for water and bumped into my friend Abdullah! He was thrilled to see us and we had to have tea with him – I got to meet his son Sadick and Bert translated back and forth.  It must have bee really hard on Bert.  His German is great but its not his native language and being put in the middle isn’t easy.  Abdullah remarked that my boots looked to big and hot and everyone was staring at my giant boots – they were very concerned that my feet were too hot. At one point I told him – Tell Abdullah I really appreciate his kindness and the tea and Bert turns to him and a in a loud clear voice says – He really appreciates your kindness and the tea.  I said to Bert – now tell it to him in German.  We both laughed because he literally turned to him and said exactly what I said to him IN ENGLISH.

I don’t know who paid for the tea – the shopkeeper or Abdullah but no one would take my money and we went back to work.  I don’t think the tea was good both Bert and I didn’t feel very well afterwards.

We walked back to the house and I saw a man riding a motorcycle carrying a ladder!  But I was too slow with the camera to get it.  I saw one guy with a shovel before – but a ladder?  Back at the house people were scrubbing the days pottery find.  Apparently Bert is a complete natural at spotting pottery and I told him to cut it out because I had to photograph it all!

This might seem like a short narrative but it was a crazy big photo day – check out the gallery there are some real winners!

Images from Day 9 (also read the captions!)
(click here if you don’t see the image thumbnails)