Turkish Time Out
After backpacking for two months around Europe, a Mediterranean Cruise was the perfect way to rest my mind, body and soul, (but mostly my feet. That backpack was heavy). There really is nothing more relaxing than surrounding yourself in a confined space with lazy Western tourists, genuinely wanting to immerse themselves in a variety of cultures (as long as they can still eat a burger saved by an English-speaking waiter for dinner).
But we had our days of freedom, and one of our laziest ports of call would have to be Kusadasi, Turkey. The port is extremely close to the ancient city of Ephesus, but we were so lazy that we hardly made it 100 metres from the ship…
I am ashamed. After weeks of hyperactive touristing I gave up a day of ancient city exploring for aimless wandering around through the bazaar with the occasional coffee or food break. Because on that day, even walking around was an effort. Laziness was reaching whole new levels.
But lazy days are underrated. Even though there is the underlying guilt that I should have been appreciating something of greater significance than coffee and conversation, there is really something special about spending time in a foreign city with one of your closest friends. After months of separation from Eliza, a particular favourite human in my life, we had a lot of catching up to do.
Along with the beautiful Isabel and Charlotte, the four of us explored the port side bazaar, as seedy local men shouted references to well-known caucasian pop stars in an attempt to lure us into their stores. (I am sorry but yelling ‘Lady Gaga’ at me consistently is not going to make your products more appealing. It just isn’t the best business strategy and I think you should stop).
But we manage to tick off a few touristy activities of the to-do list. We drank Turkish coffee . We ate Turkish food. We admired Turkish souvenirs. We laughed at the Turkish McDonalds menu. It was all very Turkish. Consider us cultured.
Did I mention that the bazaar was packed full of beautiful items, (in between the stores dedicated to Nike and Channel knock-offs, and the genuine fake watches…) There were stores that were entirely filled with beautiful lamps and hand-painted ceramics, teasing us with their mesmerising colours and obvious fragility, that would hardly survive the afternoon in the depths of my backpack…
There is no shame with spending some travelling days being lazy.Some days all you need is a taste of local delicacies and a seat with a view. People watching can sometimes be just as interesting as ancient ruin exploring.
That afternoon we were Greece bound. With Turkish sun reflecting on my skin and Turkish coffee pumping in my veins, I could almost ignore the pang of lazy-tourist guilt. There was coffee and there was culture, and we didn’t even order burgers for dinner.