Travel Magazine

What I Won't Do on My Summer Vacation

By Ellen @ElleninTurkey

What I won't do on my Summer Vacation

I took a lot of photos of this boat. I thought it looked like a pirate ship.

Now that I'm getting ready to go back to the states for the summer (partly to escape the usually brutal heat that hasn't yet arrived this summer) to visit friends and family, I'm thinking of all the things I'll miss when I'm away.  Yesterday I took an all-day boat ride from Kaleici Harbor with a group of German women.  I was thinking, "this is the last boat ride for a while".
What I won't do on my Summer Vacation

Our small boat was comfortable, not too crowded, and the fish, spaghetti and salad were excellent.  It was a bit chilly (!) on the way back, so we were disappointed that there was no tea.  No big deal, we stopped at the tea house overlooking the harbor when we got back.

What I won't do on my Summer Vacation

Here I am swimming during one of the boat stops.

What I won't do on my Summer Vacation

And here's the context.

Since it was Wednesday, I stayed in town for my last Ayyas night.  They've moved all the tables outside, which I find much more comfortable.  One of our regulars had a birthday, and Ayyas had a cake for him!  We were also saying goodbye to another English teacher who's on her way to Vietnam.  So many of these people have lived in interesting places like China, Oman, Krakow, and Hong Kong.  I wonder if I'll feel like moving someplace completely different in a year or so?  I don't think so.  The idea of living somewhere without speaking the language has limited appeal to me, and the prospect of learning Chinese, Thai or Arabic is just too daunting.  After a year here I'm finally able to speak basic Turkish, but I have a long way to go before I'll be comfortable in conversations.

What I won't do on my Summer Vacation

Early in the evening at Ayyas.

Besides saying goodbye for the summer to Carol, Bill, Annie and Carolyn, I also said goodbye to Buddy and got my last doggie hugs.  He even posed for a picture.  Here he is saying "cheese":
What I won't do on my Summer Vacation

Last weekend was also the last party for a while (unless something comes up for this weekend).  It was a birthday party for Leyla, the Dutch woman with blonde dreadlocks, at Cenk's place.  This garden apartment is by far the coolest bar in town.  There is an actual bar, with stools, in the living room.  It's painted with black and day-glow pastels, with pictures of cannabis and magic mushrooms.  It was like a black light poster from 1968. On the walls were dozens of vinyl LPs and coasters advertising various beers.  There was a projection on the ceiling, showing Leyla and her band.  The center of the room was set with drums, amps and microphones.  It was open mic night.  Just as Leyla was about to get started and grabbed her bass, Cenk stopped her, saying "maybe you should play this one", and presenting her with a new electric bass with a ribbon on it.
Derya, the singer with the band, had a bit of a hoarse voice.  She asked me if I'd help out.  So I joined her at the mic, and the next thing I knew she'd handed it to me.  And that's how I ended up belting out Pink Floyd's Another Brick in the Wall as my Antalya debut.  Yet another career change in my future, perhaps?  Or just an extreme case of embarrassment when that performance turns up on You Tube?  Only time will tell.

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