Saturday, August 23, 2008

turkey: the cruise

ed note: pictures will be posted once i download them...

getting there was a bit of a palaver. our plane to CDG was 5 hours delayed so we missed our connection to IST and also our flight to the southern coast for our cruise. however, we did fly there in first class so were greeted with glasses of champagne and had fully reclining seats that we played with endlessly, making everyone around us think we must have been near 12 years old. also, everyone kept referring to us as a couple, him as my husband, me as his wife. on the plane we met a guy whom we called aspergers (any name used herein, assume to be a nickname. everyone on this trip was given one by either colin or i), some boy in his very early 20's who just walked up to us out of nowhere and asked us how long we'd been together, how long we were staying in paris, and what our favorite west village restaurants were. he would yell things across the first class cabin to his parents, "mom! they've never been to scarpetta! can you believe that?" (she couldn't.) he stayed for about 20 minutes yelling restaurant names to and fro between us and his parents in back. strange boy. thankfully once we landed, we quickly caught other flights (mostly by the skin of our teeth and possibly due to a few we also dropped mentions of "our honeymoon" several times to airline desk agents to make sure we got the flights out we needed) and got into fethiye around 10pm.

fethiye is a bit touristy and kitschy with a large marina stuffed to the gills with sailboats. we were escorted to ours by our driver and were shown to not-the-nicest but still fine boat halfway down a dock. on the ship was a teddy bear of a man, the captain, bald head, who grunted plenty but spoke no english (or very little, through the duration of the trip we counted about 20 words he knew). his wife, babushka, a squat chubby lady with short curly hair and a perma-smile on her face. she brought us to our room, a musty thing down below and explained to us how to shower (there was an expandable shower head that also functioned as the sink faucet, you literally stood in the middle of the bathroom and showered there), not to throw toilet paper in the toilet, and that the outlets and lights would stop working about 2 hours after the engine had been shut off.

with that, colin and i dropped our stuff and wandered through the bazaar in town. stopped at a place for dinner that had a rooftop terrace. the owner swaggared through like a proud papa, checking on everyone about every 5 minutes, eagerly inquiring if we were still okay? if we were really truly enjoying ourselves? the people were lovely and our waiter brought us some shot that tasted like a banana smoothie for dessert, gratis. on the way back home we heard madonna blaring from a rooftop bar. "could it be?" colin and i asked each other, hoping that we'd found a fethiye gay bar. however, we headed up to a lot of people smoking hookahs or just being otherwise quite lame. how does one listen to madonna and justin timberlake and NOT get up and dance? that is the question. we stayed and ordered a few long island iced teas anyhow. once back on the boat (which wasn't leaving until the next morning) we immediately decided the room was too stuffy to sleep in and brought our blankets up on deck to sleep under the stars. i desperately needed a shower but the lights were already off on the boat. i feebly tried to give myself some light with the flashlight function of my iphone propped up on the windowsill. the thing made me giggle endlessly and my own stupidity. i joined colin up top and we arose with the sun and some roosters. i'd literally never heard a rooster at dawn before in my life. i felt as if i were in a movie.

at ten, we were told the rest of the passengers would arrive. colin and i fantasized that they'd all be cool people from all parts of the globe. "i want some brits!" he said. "i want some spaniards!" half an hour later colin says, "um, i see a gaggle of americans headed this way." (if you've never traveled outside the country, trust me when i say you can always spot americans from 300 yards.) and sure enough, they headed onto the boat. where were they from? if you guessed NYC, give yourself a gold star. they were all recent law school grads even. wtf. two other couples rounded out our crew: one from south africa (dale and wendy, whom we absolutely adored!) and another made up of a mid-40's californian dude (an independently wealthy sommelier) and his girlfriend (a chubby brazilian who wore swimsuits 3 sizes too small who seemed kind of dumb but who we found out later was a pulmonary cardiologist. who knew?!).

and off we went! we island and coastline hopped taking time to swim a few times a day in different spots. in more popular locales you'd find little boats pulling alongside yours selling ice cream or banana and nutella crepes. captain and babushka have a daughter, skipper, who was 14. babushka turned out to be a phenomenal cook. our breakfast spreads were amazing: baked eggs, bread, nutella, a few kinds of cheeses, a couple types of olives, some tomatoes and cucumbers, coffee and tea. lunches and dinners were salads, pastas and fish. in the mid-afternoon, we had tea and cookies. most impressive was captain getting out a spear gun at night and jumping in to kill the fish we'd eat for the next day. dude is hardcore.

the lawyers actually turned out to be a lot of fun and we'll certainly see them again here in new york. a blond surfer dude who was going to clerk in miami, a cute one i LOVED named ben who had a girlfriend (of course), a dorky couple, a quiet latino who maybe said 2 words the entire trip, a tall langy gay dude who was so funny and a tall dark haired/big bearded one whom his friends called "muslim." muslim had eaten intestine in istanbul (BAD IDEA) and was sick for the first day and a half we were on the boat. captain heard his friends call him muslim and thought it was hilarious. "moo-SLIM!" he'd yell, and ask for a thumbs up or down to see how he was feeling. or to see if he wanted to swim. or if he wanted a beer. we probably heard "moo-SLIM!" yelled out about once an hour. and we laughed every goddamn time. it was the joke that never got old.

everywhere we went, the water was an unreal color blue or teal. it was clear as glass and i think if you'd dropped a quarter in an area 30 feet deep, you'd see it gleaming back up at you. our favorite spot was butterfly valley. a small rocky beach, filled with tents and all lying within this huge gorge. swimming to the beach you saw a stucco hut where just beyond lay a hippie haven. a cafe with a canopy of grapevines, a bar and a small kitchen. hammocks lined the perimeter and pot wafted in the air. people dance and played bongos and some guy was braiding and beading people's hair. basically, it was a hilariously awesome tucked away little oasis and i wished i could have spent a couple weeks there.

evenings were spent swimming, drinking ("ef-ESS!" captain would yell, the name of turkey's official beer and a decent one at that, to see if we wanted any), playing cards and board games with skipper, swinging around wendy's glowing poi balls, star-gazing and other revelry. one evening held an almost total lunar eclipse and the next night a harvest moon. both personally tragic to me because i couldn't take photos with my new awesome camera as the boat swayed too much. we all slept atop the boat in the evenings, chatting as we dozed off one by one. our last night i got a bit too tipsy and apparently did a lot of speaking and singing in spanish. that scares me because i know only two songs in spanish and they're both terribly annoying and also my vocabulary in spanish is terrible so who knows what was coming out. i do know that i accidentally stepped on moo-SLIM!s sunglasses. the arms came right off and i thought i could screw them back on but, according to colin, i kept coming up to him saying, "i can't find the screws! i can't find the screws!" until colin threw the pieces overboard. we were silent the next day when moo-SLIM! was looking for them. does that make us evil?

before we knew it, it was time for us to go. hugs and contact info exchanged (mostly taken care of with a "you're on facebook, right? i'll find you there"). we were pretty depressed actually to leave our carefree boat-living life but it was on to istanbul...

2 people who played with me:

Blogger Cousin said...

All that's well and good, but what we really want to know is your opinion on whether Turkey should they be allowed in the European Union!

8/23/2008 6:24 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

so glad you had fun- can't wait to see the pics.

8/25/2008 12:15 AM  

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