Friday, September 9, 2011

Off-peak holidaying in Bodrum

Finally we made our journey to Yalikavak, a seaside town in Bodrum peninsula. It is the beginning of September. The weather is very pleasant, thirty plus degrees.

Many people have already gone home following ‘bayram’ holiday break as schools are starting. At this time of the year locals, childless couples, and retirees complete the life-scape, and of course those melancholic stray dogs.

If you don’t have young children you should consider holidaying off-peak season. You may have the best holiday of your life in September –or May I am told- in southwest Turkey. It is much less crowded; everybody is more relaxed, the climate is still warm -not boiling hot compared to peak season-. And you have the chance to blend into local population.

There is ‘pazar’ –local markets- in Yalikavak today. We took a ‘dolmus’ –minibus- from Gundogan to Yalikavak. Due to low season, public transportation is less frequent now. Our dolmus is packed with people, 29 in total, twice its capacity.

Semra and Tulin went to stroll in pazar’s endless alleys protected from sunlight by large sails. I am sitting in a local café right now enjoying my cold beer, and typing on my MacBook Air. This is heaven. No not that, I mean seriously what else a middle aged man would want.

Earlier I went to pazar with them and we bought ‘dolma’ from a local seller, a woman whom I may qualify as ‘dolma nazi’. She was proud of her produce and didn’t bother answering our calls for a while as her dolmas were selling fast.

I noticed and Semra too, women in this region are strong in character. Many of them own their own business. Their gestures, the way they talk and behave reflect their pride and strength to a large extent due to perhaps their economic independence. This is in contrast to Anatolian women, who seem trapped inside conservative family structure of Islamic lifestyle.

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