I’ve just been having a great time in Selcuk. I’ve been lucky in that the owner of the hotel I’m staying in is married to a girl from Edmonton and we’ve been hanging out a lot in the last couple of days, which has been great! Feels like a little taste of home. She recommended I visit a place called Sirince, which is an old Greek village about 20 minutes away by shuttle bus. It’s a hill town, and the road to get there is steep and winding. Once you get there though… wow. It’s a lovely, quaint little village. It’s known for it’s olive oil, wine and B&B’s. It would be a nice spot to spend a night or two. Once the tourists leave it’s probably super quiet and peaceful. Today was also the first day of Bayram which is a big holiday here (akin to Christmas) so it was busy with Turkish people on holiday.
The town used to be called Kirkinca, which meant “sort of ugly.” I guess they wanted to deter people from discovering their little gem of a town. Once the population swap happened in the 1920’s the Turks moved back in and renamed it Sirince which means “sort of sweet and charming.”
The Turkish women make a soup out of dried peppers, tomatoes, onions and other ingredients that I can’t remember. I’m thinking that’s why I’m seeing so many places that have strands and strands of dried peppers hanging outside their homes. Apparently they eat the soup all year long from the summers harvest.
I was walking through an alley when I came across this old man who came up to show me this gigantic grasshopper he’s found.
Am I becoming a crazy cat lady? Possibly! This cat just looked so perfect sitting in this window though.
Look at those eyes!
A view of the town from above.
There are lots of little granny types selling crocheted things and herbs and spices in town.
These are herbed wreaths you can wear around your head.
This is a shepherds cloak made out of felt. This is a designer who makes beautiful felted things in the old fashioned way and hires local women to create her designs for her. No washing machines here! They’re made out of wool and washed by hand with olive oil soap and hot water then pressed and stamped to give them their shape.
A few funny things I’ve noticed about Turkey.
The coffee. It’s either horrible instant coffee- Nescafe, or “puts hair on your chest” Turkish coffee. Sure, every now and then you might find a Starbucks, but it still isn’t quite the same as home. Not to mention, I don’t really like Starbucks at the best of times.
The public announcements. In Selcuk particularly, I’ve noticed a lot of announcements being broadcast in town over loudspeakers. I asked Joanne what that was all about and she said they announce all kinds of things on there. For example, someone has been brought into the hospital and they’ve lost a lot of blood. They’ll make an announcement that they need blood type O negative or whatever and ask people to come over and give blood. Then they’ll sometimes announce the outcome of what happened to the patient. Very, very different from home!
People really go out of their way to help you here. If you stand for more than a couple of minutes looking confused about something, someone will approach you to see if you need help. So nice. No place else has this happened. Having said that, in Istanbul I tried asking a woman for help and she just waved me away, so it’s not a universal thing.
In a nutshell, I love this country!