Day 2

June 24, 2003
Ortahisar
9:46 local time

Jet lagged and sleepy. Woke at dawn to the sound of the call to prayer. Woke again, a few moments later to the sound of a propane gas jet roaring. Close to my ear. What IS that? I’m reminded of the roaring noise of the glass flameworking torch. Times five. So I sit up and look out the window at a hot air balloon rising and drifting toward us. Oh. Pulse back to normal. Realize that I’m trying to wake up just at the time that I usually fall asleep.

Extended breakfast on Hatice’s rooftop. Bread and homemade cheeses, Ortahisar honey and pekmes (grape syrup), cucumbers and tomatoes, and fried hot peppers and French fries. Glasses and glasses of tea. Laughter and lessons in Turkish. This visit I will work on counting. Bir, iki, uç… (I have a way to go.)

We send email home and to Barbara, to let everyone know we’ve arrived safely. (Reacquaint myself with the delights of typing on a Turkish keyboard.) We talk about the weaving and different possible products. The doormats are quite beautiful, about two feet by three feet, I’d guess. Perfect for tabletop or wall hanging or small area rug. However, since Hatice and Sultan estimate that the weavers can only make four in a month, there isn’t as much income for Hands-on-Hips to be made with them as with the larger rugs. Other ideas include book/journal covers and belts. The natural-dyed colors are beautiful to behold. We go back to Barbara’s house, where we show Hatice how to operate the new video camera we’ve brought, and then we all tape and photograph the weavers weaving. Jen weaves a little.

We make some plans for the days ahead. Today seems to be the best day to go to Urgup to change money, have lunch, and maybe do a little shopping. The Ortahisar-Urgup minibus has Masaallah painted inside above the front window, which seems appropriate, as at one point on our way out of town I counted 22 people on board, not including the driver. People on laps, on the dashboard, and standing - yet men and women were politely in separate rows. Presents and souvenirs bought in Urgup included a handmade doll in traditional dress, and a heavy Turkish double-boiler for making and serving tea. Yes, I did get half a dozen glasses, as well. Hatice knew the owner and the price was good.

An evening of resting and talking and looking at my pictures and video so far - lunch was too late for supper to be very interesting - so we went for a walk to Crazy Ali’s shop. Poems and purchases, in nearly equal measure. I found two treasures for myself: a large copper bowl and a heavy Turkman pendant, silver, with a malachite (or green agate) intaglio. (Is that the right word? A leaping horse was incised in the deep green stone.) Ellen and Jen found other things: rings, a ewer, a carved wooden coffee grinder, and a collapsible knife-cane. What delight. I need to concentrate on photography now, as I haven’t any money left to buy things with. Maybe a little something for each of the boys - I’ll know it when I see it.

Tomorrow the plan is to go to Zelve, Avanos, and Goreme.

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