16 July, 2012

Our Holiday

Started with lost luggage, a lost key and a lost temper of epic proportions.  Apparently you can only get anywhere with Turks if you scream at them, they won't take you seriously if you're polite.  Apparently.  All I know is that the sister's husband screamed at the lost luggage people about his lost bag and they had it on the next flight from Istanbul.  30 minutes later!  Thankfully it contained the lost key.  When we arrived at our final destination we discovered a leak in the loo and no electricity and really quick moving creepy crawlies in the spare room which caused me to move even more quickly in the opposite direction.  
We all went to sleep in the one room and woke up the next morning to stunning blue skies and temperatures of 38C and a pool that might as well have been just ours as there was no one else really using it.  
In the light of day we found out that the scuttley insect things were kind've like black silver fish i.e. harmless and weird looking.  Oh 'we' are my sister, her husband, their daughter and my lot.  We also discovered that no. 1 didn't really learn to swim during all those school swimming lessons and was a nervous bloody wreck in the water.  That made Himself nervous and when no. 1 panicked two days later and went under Himself nearly had a heart attack and the other two started crying!!  Where was I?  In the shower, I was hot and bothered and sick of swimming.  I go from relaxed to bored very quickly I'm afraid.
Convinced everyone that no one would have drowned and then told Himself to get his shit together because he was freaking the kids out and they, in turn, where freaking me out.  By the end of two and a bit weeks everyone could float and doggy paddle so all was well.

I printed off a list of 'the top things to do in Kusadasi' before I went and I'll give you what I thought of those top 10.

1. Visit the ancient city of Ephesus and the Virgin Mary's House

We went there on, I think, the first Sunday of our trip so it would have been the 1st July.  You can read all about Ephesus here so I won't bore you with details of how it's one of the oldest structures/towns in existence.  Himself loved it.  Myself and the kids would have loved it more if it hadn't of been 45C!!!!  Seriously, Himself is looking at the ruins, the markings on the ground, asking 'why all the crucifixes?' (are they crucifixes if they don't have a Jesus on them or are they just crosses??) and all myself and the kids could do was try and find shelter.  I swear to God I thought my bones were going to melt.  I got very excited when I saw a burst hose spraying water in the air.  Couldn't have given a toss about the ancient roads/ruins/gods, all I cared about was hiding from the sun.  The lads were fascinated by the communal toilets that the Romans enjoyed but only for long enough to sit on them and grimace as if poohing the biggest pooh ever.  Then it was cries all around of 'can we go, can we, huh?  huh? Huh???' and that was just me and no. 2.  Poor BIL (brother in law), he'd gone to such effort to get us there and all I could think about was getting out.  While we were there though a couple of brides were having their photos taken with their grooms and they didn't break a sweat.  Despite the big hair, big dress and all that slap, not one of them had a bead of sweat on them.  That's impressive.  Oh, was trying to line up the camera to do a timed photo of us all only some bint got in the way!!!
Is it worth seeing?  Most definitely, but only when the temperature is in the late teens.

2. Sit in the Port and watch cruise ships come and go.

Yeah, did that.  Bit boring after a while.  However!!  There is a bar called Nicci Port or Nicci's, not sure but it's definitely worth a visit.  Sit there and drink the best mojito (or any other cocktail you fancy) in the world while the cool beautiful people wonder how they ended up in a hip venue sitting beside a 7 and an 8 year old.  Cackle.  BIL knew several of the staff there so we could hang out easily but seriously, you should've seen the looks on those hipsters faces! Myself and the sister hung on there one night for a couple of cocktails after the men and the children had left and jesus, I haven't been that drunk since my brother's wedding last November.  Something about my family and sunshine get me hammered.  Thanks to BIL knowing most of the barmen when the time came for us to go i.e. when we realised we were seriously under dressed or should that be 'overdressed' we were told that drinks were on the house and whoooohoooooooooooooo off we went.  When Himself had left earlier in the night he had given me 100TL and I'd tucked it into me bra (Irish Mammy style) as I had no bag with me, once we found out we didn't have to pay anything back into the bra my money went and off we staggered.  Or rather, I staggered.  The sister handles her drink better. I do remember leaning against a window at one of the cafe/restaurants on the main street cackling at how brutal the band were only to have Fi pull me away hissing 'there's no fucking glass'.  Still, they were playing so loudly and atrociously I doubt anyone heard me.  Oh, also had to have a sneaky pee on the beach because we were aaaaaaaaaaaaages away from home and the need was great.  The joy of summer dresses and sunbeds is you can sit neatly on the end of one, arrange your skirts around you and piddle to your hearts content - classy, eh?  Once I'd successfully peed I lay back on one of the sunbeds, gossiped and laughed (cackled) with Herself and removed my bra, TA-DAAAHH style, as you do at the end of the night when you're curled up on the sofa and it's digging into you.  
Anyway, we got up and staggered (I staggered, she supported) across the road whereupon a fella at one of the bars asked us inside.  We looked at each and said 'sure why not' only for me to snap me bra open and realise that there was no money in it.  Feck it. Your man just looked at me, looked at my red lacy bra and backed away.  Thankfully Fi could remember where I'd er, pee-d (boys, I'm not proud) and there was the hundred lira.  How cool is that.  Not cool was the creepy man who wanted to chat to us. Home.  Solpodine and bed.  Where I couldn't sleep because it was too hot and I was too drunk.  Tried to get Himself to y'know but strangely enough I just wasn't doing it for him.  Wonder why he didn't fancy the hot drunk mess that I was that night?
Oh, and back to Nicci's bar, they have this little stand just at the bar.  Like, I dunno, a tall box thing where this stunning looking woman stands (the woman changes night to night) and I mean 'STUNNING', her dress was tighter than my skin, her hair was long, straight and glossy as was the rest of her and she was, basically, a vending machine.  You handed her money, she pouted and gave you your ciggies.  
Alternatively you could go to Starbucks and eye up Pigeon Island from a different angle and avail of their free wi-fi.

3. Eat in a Turkish Restaurant and get a true idea of Turkish Cuisine.

Turks like tomatoes.  Tomatoes come with everything, which is grand because they're actually quite nice.  Our first morning we went for a 'traditional Turkish breakfast' on the main road and paid highly for it (178TL) and it was grand.  However, BIL took us to a place up in the mountains and .. well, that was so special it's going to get a post of it's own.
We ate lots of traditional Turkish food which basically means very little meat and lots of bread and vegetables.  It's alright.    Lovely in fact.  There is a kebab shop at the end of Bar Street and it's wonderful.  Small and perfectly formed.  We also ate quite a bit of Mickey D's as the kids were getting tomatoed out.

4. Spend a day at one of Kusadasi's many beaches.  

Bloody hell, they have lots of beaches.  The one on the main street is a bit gross (possibly because I peed there - I mean, if I did then others definitely did, right?).  It's on the main strip (why does the word 'drag' keep coming to mind?  As in: on t'main draaag') and there are way too many cars, people and lots of rubbish.  There are no bins anywhere in Kusadasi.  This dates back, I'm told, to a bomb that was planted in 2005 where 5 people died.  So, what you do is, just sit your rubbish down on the ground somewhere, other people will add to it and then the cleaners come along and night and remove the pile of crap.
Anyway, we went to Sunrise Beach - no camera with me but it was gorgeous.  Lots of waves, the odd Irish accent and many burkinis.     Burkini's are actually very pretty and much more practical that the togs (n. swimwear) I borrowed off Fi.  They had a skirt thing attached which was grand when you were bouncing around on land but the minute you hit the sea the fecking thing tried to drown you.
Next up was Long Beach.  This was one of my favourites.  A very long beach with lots of sand and just the right amount of people.  The kids loved it. Himself hated it but then he hates beaches full stop.  We also saw our only Turkish cloud that day.
We also went to Ladies Beach which is how I imagine Brighton Beach must've looked in the sixties.  It was heaving with people.  Thousands of people all yapping and swimming, mental.  Never heard noise like it on a beach.  Of course no. 2 decided that he did know how to swim after all and took off out to the depths thus scaring the shite out of Himself and wearing me out as it was me who had to go after him.  Fi looked like an old Cara match in her bright pink togs and white legs.  She is the only person I know who can go away and come back a lighter shade of white.  Dil fell asleep in her floating ring thing which was both lovely to see and delightful to hear as it meant she was quiet.  Jesus but that is one stroppy girl.
Actually, Ladies Beach was my favourite day as we got to do another thing on the List of Top 10 things to do ....  We watched the sun go down and had a picnic.  BIL bought some mussels off the guys parading up and down the beach with big trays of the things balanced on their heads.  We'd seen them going up and down but, meh, closed mussel shells?  Don't think so ............. except, they were meant to be closed.  Basically the mussles are cooked with rice, the mussels open are removed from the pan and when the rice is done they stuff it into the mussels and close them back up.  You then buy then and a lemon or two, open them up and squeeze some lemon juice on and ......... heaven.  The kids also got barbecued/boiled corn on the cob and we sat there listening to the sea, eating shellfish, corn and drinking Effes. Perfect.  What was fantastic was that we all recognised that the moment was perfect.  Even the Beach Grinch noticed and stopped scowling.  Just looking at the photos, I'd forgotten no. 1 had to strip off this bloody expensive (because we forgot his and had to buy a new pair as sitting ducks in Aqua Fantasy) togs and turn them around because they were 'hurting his sack'!!!  I'm not kidding, that's what he said to me.  At one point during the holiday I recall screaming 'I've had enough of you lot and your mickeys and your balls'.  It was a long day, that.
 See that mark on his left shoulder?  The burn mark??  Yeah, not only is he probably scarred but myself and Himself turn puce everytime we see it.  What gobshites were we not to notice his skin getting redder and redder and .....
 Himself coming over all Daniel Craig
 I'd love to know what happened her, I mean, if Himself had long hair he'd look like something out of a Clairol ad or something, arching his back and flinging his mane back.  
 Love this.
 Hmmm.... yeah, that was alright.  Mussels and rice.

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