19.02.2013 - 19.02.2013
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Ben, Hannah and I drove the 4 kilometers back into town for lunch today, leaving Abby to her schoolwork and leftovers, as she desired. We walked around the sunlit square assessing the various eatery options, and decided upon a different restaurant than last time, just to have variety. Looking at the menu, and assisted by our pleasant and shy young waiter, we ordered simply: a doner for Hannah, sautéed beef and mushrooms for me, and a pide for Ben. There are about 4-5 people cooking and plating the food, all adults. The only teenagers we ever see working in such places appear to be part of the family; no doubt, it’s too valuable a job to give a job away to someone who’s not yet grown.
Presently, we were served with the ‘extras’ that were a prelude to our meal. I don’t know if they automatically order them for tourists since we don’t know to ask for them to round out the meal or whether it is assumed as a matter of course. By now, I was expecting the mixed salad so that didn’t surprise me. But we also received a plate with tzatziki-like sauce, a peppery relish, spiced beans and some other chutney I couldn’t identify, accompanied by very hot, papery bread. Not knowing how exactly to eat it, we just broke off pieces of the steaming bread and scooped on the various sauces. It was very good, and in no time, we had finished the joint plate. (Many plates are joint, with customers at the same table eating off the same plate, whether it’s the salad, appetizer or dessert.) When our meals came, we were quite surprised at the quantities. We also received a large basket of warm delicious flatbread made fresh in the restaurant. My meal was served in a black cast iron dish, still bubbling from the oven; it consisted of beef chunks, mushrooms, peppers, onions, tomato sauce, cheese and a liberal amount of olive oil. Hannah’s doner was huge (more like two), stuffed with lamb, lettuce, tomato, onion and pepper. In trying Ben’s pide, I determined it wasn’t as good as our last haunt so I plan to take him there someday for pide. The prices are quite good ($20), although it’s wise to add a quarter onto your expected bill as it may be that the ‘extras’ are not free. We didn’t mind as it proved such a substantial lunch that none of us wanted anything but a light supper. After paying, the cashier motioned for me to hold out my hand, on which he squeezed a dose of lemon-scented cologne. It evaporates quickly and serves to send you out into the world with clean hands; an alternative are the prepackaged wipes that have a similar effect.
Strolling around town, even for those few minutes, we came across half a dozen barbers and hairdressers and I suspect there are more to be found in the other streets we have yet to peruse. I suspect that Turkish men must have professional shaves a lot more than North American males; otherwise, how can a town this size support so many? We have also found four pharmacies and numerous grocery stores, at least eight in the town centre. We are certain that one pharmacy is not as honest as the others, having paid an exorbitant price for suntan lotion at the first one, and then paying mere pennies for Ben’s back medicine at the second. I find the same occurrence in the markets sometime, paying high one time and much lower at a different stall for the same type of item. It’s hard to quibble when you don’t know much Turkish.
We enjoyed people (and cat, dog and chicken) watching. The animals all get along and take little notice of other approaching species, including humans...unless they have food in their hands. Like Greece, the many strays seem able to live off the kindness of the townspeople. Back to the villa: more schoolwork, reading, naps and games.