Monday January 21 , 2008


My Dearest Diary,

After Sarah wrote last night, Tina, Linda, Hannah, Jessica, Sarah, Saduman and I decided we were going to go out.  So, we took the “mini-bus” from the hotel to the city, that was an interesting ride…the buses in Turkey are quite different than those in the US.  We got off the bus and immediately had gelato, from the same vendor that we purchased from in Antalya.  Because we got a late start leaving the hotel and it’s also the off season a lot of places were closed.  We decided to walk around and find an open store to get directions.  We stopped at an open bakery and Saduman went in.  After about five minutes she came out with, who we assumed was the owner.  Next thing we know, he is walking us around and acting as our tour guide.  He then started asking us if we wanted to go to a bar or a coffee house and since none of us knew he took us to a local fisherman’s hangout.

We ordered drinks talked to our new friend, who by the way was also Mehmet, and then we went into this game room and watched Saduman and Jessica played backgammon.  They played a few games and if my memory is correct they split the score, each winning one game.  When we left the hangout, we had realized Mehmet had left his business and had just spent almost two hours with us…but the night was not over like we thought!  As we were walking back to find a taxi we came across some locals who were playing music (accordion and hand drum), drinking screw drivers and dancing.  They invited us to drink and dance with them; we declined the drinks but stayed for dancing and music.  After spending three hours in town with locals we finally got back to the hotel.  It was the best night I think the seven of us have had since we got here because it was a true local night doing things and going places the locals do.

This morning started early for us, but to make up for the early start Hannah found a five-cent Euro piece on the floor of the bus, so we knew it was going to be a good day!  We took the bus to Ege Üniversitesi (Aegean University) and walked around the campus for a bit and several of us purchased school t-shirts.  After a quick bite to eat we loaded the bus and took Saduman home.  It was really sad because we really enjoyed our time with her, but I think we convinced her to come to Hollins!  When we got to her house her mom had made dessert for us.  She made a traditional Turkish dessert, Asüre, commonly known as Noah’s dessert.  It had dried fruit and nuts; it tasted better than it sounds!

After we left her, we made our way to our hotel in Bergama but before we got there we stopped to see the Asklepion, the first hospital, which we learned, was more of a rehab center because people who entered were not allowed to die there.  After our visit to the ancient hospital we went to a rug cooperative where we saw how they make the silk threads, dye the fiber and weave the wool rugs.  It was AWESOME!  Some of us even got to tie a few knots in a real Turkish rug that someone else will buy (I was one of them)!!!!  Watching these women work was incredible, they tie the knots so fast.

That’s it for now, possibly more lately,

Becky Dab