Friday, December 3, 2010

more from goreme, turkey

so many stories, but so little time. Don't be fooled, the girl in the first picture is my friend Rachel and not me. People get us mixed up in photos quite often. Goreme is a little city in a general area of Turkey called Cappadocia. It is very arid and has a very laid back attitude. Of course, we still hear the call to prayer five times a day, which differs from Azerbaijan's three.
Before coming to Goreme Rachel, Charlie, and I traveled to a really quaint port city in Turkey called Trabzon. I don't have great pictures from Trabzon, but it was charming, trust me. My funniest (or most interesting?) story thus far takes place on our horribly long bus ride from Trabzon to Goreme. It was 16 hours! It was horrible because we thought originally it was 12...then 14. But, really it was 16. But this is because we choose a strange day to travel in Turkey (Dec. 1). Dec. 1st is one of 4 days that new recruits into Turkey's military must report to duty. Military service is compulsory for Turkish men between the ages of 20-41. Then length of service entirely depends on age/qualifications, but the least qualified must be active for 15 months. As a consequence every single city we stopped in took longer than usual because whole Turkish families were outside waiting to say goodbye to their sons. Mothers were crying, brothers were crying, grandmothers were waiting in the middle of the was an amazing site. So every stop (there were 10-15) was emotional. I even cried once (hey, I was tired). AND, before each male gets on the bus, the other Turkish male family members throw them up and down chanting, "our soldiers are the best, our son is the best" and then carry them onto the bus. All the other new recruits get up from their bus seats to pull the new recruit on. It was a special experience, but that bus ride was very long and tiring.

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