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Saturday, May 3, 2008

Antalya, Turkey: silhouettes and beers at sunset

I can't get enough of the sunsets in Antalya. Early evening, an hour or so before the sun goes down, we wander down to the old harbour, a ten minute walk from the house we're renting. During the day Terry and I are so focused on work, that apart from our coffee and lunch breaks, our bend-and-stretch moments, and our breaks to play with the kittens (when we arrived four weeks ago we were asked to babysit a cat and her four newborn kittens; the offer was too good to refuse), we rarely speak and our eyes barely leave our laptop screens. Once upon a time when I worked a full-time job my staff used to call me a robot. Now I freelance I'm the same. Terry's no different. We could be working in separate offices, for separate companies. It's like this when we're in write-up mode. So we use our walks to catch up on the day's 'events'. We ignore the touts wanting to sell us carpets, postcards and tacky souvenirs. Especially the guy in the fez who is always posing for a picture with sunburnt German tourists. And we ignore the guys inviting us to sit down in their restaurants for dinner (at 6pm!), to have a beer, to take a boat tour. And we especially ignore the guys in silly velvet costumes yelling out "Hello! Ice-cream!". Today we look at each other and laugh. It sounds as if they're saying hello to their ice creams. Do these calls ever get people in? Is it not enough to display the ice-cream and for tourists to see it and think "Mmm... ice-cream... that looks good, I might have an ice cream..." Do we need to be shouted at? The touts in Turkey are bugging us more than ever before. They should know we're 'locals' by now, I think. Terry and I use our walks to brief each other on emails received, work opportunities and offers, commissions underway, progress made in trip planning, and new project ideas. We always seem to have new project ideas. This is part of our problem. We're never satisfied. We always want more. We take on too much. And we chat about the travel news and world news and emails from family and friends. And then we enjoy the sunset. With the locals. Who walk along the concrete breakwater and back again. Who canoodle on the rocks. Play with their kids. Read newspapers. Paint their boats. Fix their fishing nets. Buy hot nuts. Eat hot nuts. Play guitar. Drink beers. They always drink beers. They really seem to like their beer here, especially the local brand Efes. Once the sun is so low that the people are only silhouettes, we snap a few pics and go 'home'. Back to work. And then I'm reminded that no matter how much we're living like locals, we're not locals. If we were locals, we'd still be down at the harbour drinking beers.


Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with wanting more if what you want makes your heart content.

I often have the same experience when traveling. Depending on how long I am in one destination, I start to feel like a local.

As I go home for the evening and think about my work or having to go home, I'm reminded that I am in fact another tourist of sorts.

Great post!

Lara Dunston said...

Great comments!

The great thing about our work, I guess, is that it's in those places we're at - so it's easier to slip in and be a local because we have no 'home' as such to go to. Our work is on the road.

Thanks for commenting!

VashonAmy said...

Living abroad - where the extraordinary becomes the ordinary - to you, but not to us the reader! Thank you for the glimpse into evening life in Antalya, Turkey. Sounds relaxing and like a nice respite from work!