Not all Turks are nice - our New Years debacle

Bodrum Travel Blog

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Eric, Dave and I having a New Years drink

People i met here who contributed to, and improved my trip: Eric and Dave (USA)

There was only one plan when we got back into Bodrum after our day out, and that was to grab some beers and start preparing for the New Year. We stocked up on some 'Efes' from the supermarket and headed back to Eric and Dave's hotel, where we took a shower and watched some TV. We finished the beers off by 21.30 and were all feeling pretty hungry, so caught a taxi down to the marina, where there were plenty of smart restaurants all doing a pretty good trade.

I had been into Kirmizi restaurant the previous day to check on the prices and food, and as it came so highly recommended by Lousy Planet we made this our selection for Dinner.

Dave and I butting hats!
At first the waiter wanted to seat us downstairs where we would be totally alone, but Eric persuaded him to let us join the other guests upstairs, who were enjoying live music and getting into the party atmosphere. I think that these customers had paid extra to have an all inclusive evening, but we only wanted to come in to eat and then move on to a bar.

The first menu that we received was devoid of prices, so we asked for another menu as we didn't want to order something and not have a clue what it cost. The waiter brought us more menus, all of which had different prices on them, and the Turkish side was always cheaper than the English side. When the waiter took our order i pointed to my selection and asked that it cost 10YTL ($6.50), as one of the other menus had it priced higher.
Bodrum's Roman Theatre
The guy said that it did, so now whatever they tried to claim when presenting the bill, i was only going to pay 10YTL.

Sat drinking a beer whilst waiting for the food, the other guests were all handed out party hats and some tambourines and even though there were plenty left over, they deliberately never gave them to us. In the end we asked if we could also get them, so as we could try and join in with the festive mood. The food was actually really good and it seemed like it was going to be a decent evening... that was until the bill came, which was really the beginning of the end.

Before receiving the cheque we had all agreed that even though the service sucked we would leave a 20% tip, as it was New Year, and we felt sorry that they had to work. Unfortunately they felt the necessity to try to overcharge us 25%, with Eric's food nearly double what had been written on his menu.
A view of Bodrum harbour and castle
After complaining to the waiter we asked to see the manager, but got shown to some other guy who was slightly more helpful. I knew who the manager was as i had spoken to him the previous day in the restaurant, but he was presumably out having fun. We found the menus and prices and even then the waiter kept saying that we had to pay the bill, which was totally illogical. Finally the other guy who was there made us a new bill, which we paid, and rather than the 20% tip, we left them 0%! So much for the 'warm welcome' and 'astonishing value' that the Lousy Planet had written about. Dick heads.

The worst part of this scam was that we had lost a lot of time and it had dampened our spirits somewhat. There was only 15 minutes left until New Year arrived, so we walked along the marina looking for anywhere to grab a drink.
Coat of arms at the Castle of St Peter
Incredibly the bouncers at each of the clubs kept telling us that we couldn't come in as we had no girls with us, which was a far cry from the previous day when they would have accepted anyone, as they had all been totally dead. Finally one outdoor nightclub let us in and even though the beers were a hefty 10YTL ($6.50 - the same price as my en-suite air conditioned hotel room for the night), we decided that it was best to stick with the place as we didn't want to see in the New Year stood on a street corner without a beer!

The people in the club were jackasses in all fairness, and certainly didn't seem in any mood to share in the celebrations with us. Standing at a bonfire next to a large group of guys and girls, the men immediately came over to dance in front of us and put some distance between us and their girlfriends.
Amphorae at the Museum of Underwater Archaeology
It was like a scene from the children's playground and their attitude didn't improve even after i took a couple of photos for them. We decided to move apart from them and watched the lame couple of fireworks go off as the clock struck midnight.

The previous night we had found a couple of good looking clubs with cheapish drinks, so headed in their general direction to see if we could have more luck now that it was 2009. The first club we tried to enter wanted a cover charge, even though they had told us that there wouldn't be one, so we tried a place just down the street, where the bouncers refused to let us in. Finally we opted for a bar with no bouncers, which was located up some stairs and had a live band playing.

Dave and I went to the toilet and Eric made his way to the bar to order a round of drinks.
Nesting birds at the Museum of Underwater Archaeology
The barman served the drinks by the time i got back but didn't ask for any money, which seemed rather peculiar, so we stood and waited to see what was going to happen. A minute later a waiter came up to us with a piece of paper saying “Bira - 60YTL”, which is $13 per drink. You can expect these prices in some super club in Ibiza, but not some shit arse bar in Bodrum, so i went off to find the waiter to ask him what the hell was going on. He told me we had to pay a cover charge which was included in the price of our first drink, even though there was no mention of this anywhere and then walked me back to where the guys were stood and told me that i needed to speak to the manager, who was already talking to Eric and Dave.

After arguing with the guy for a short time Eric handed over 20YTL and the manager started to push us down the stairs and out of the bar.
Flags inside the English Tower, located in the Museum of Underwater Archaeology
I grabbed my beer but the guys left theres, i figured if we had to pay this much, then i was at least taking my drink! At the entrance to the bar i told the manager that we would go and get the police, and he tried to mock us saying that we should go, as clearly he thought nothing would happen.

There were two police officers only fifty metres from the bar, so we went and explained to them what had happened and after five minutes of asking them to do something, one of them eventually buckled and said he would come to the bar with us. Dave walked in first, with the officer following him with hand on pistol, poor Dave was really in the firing line! Seeing a cop in the bar brought the manager dashing to meet us, this obviously wasn't great for his business and soon we were back out on the street talking about what should happen.
Stained glass window in the English Tower, located in the Museum of Underwater Archaeology
From what i can gather the cop was telling the guy he would have to go to the police station, because he kept pointing back up to the bar, as if to say he had to work and could not leave. Some heated words passed between the men and finally the manager succumbed and refunded us the 20YTL, which was kind of funny as i still got to keep my beer.

The night had started great but turned into a disaster and none of us wanted to try another bar, as we were fed up of been treated like idiots. It seemed hard to believe that this was the same country where i had enjoyed a month of kindness and hospitality, as tonight the people had been complete scum bags. We caught a taxi home and crashed out by 01.00, happy that this season of good will had finally come to an end - boy i hate Christmas and New Year!

On Thursday we all had a lie in to sleep off the excesses of the previous night, although in all fairness i was feeling ok as we hadn't really drunk that much.
A view of the harbour at Bodrum, seen from the Castle of St Peter
The guys called around to my hotel at 14.00 and i took them to a small cafe that i had been to before, which served freshly cooked Lahmacun. The staff were once again really friendly and you get to watch them bake the pizzas in the oven whilst you wait and all this for only 2YTL ($1.30), which includes a complimentary salad. To be honest i much rather prefer these types of places, as you normally receive a warm welcome, get the correct change and the food is pretty decent too.

Heading into the centre of Bodrum we walked past the Ancient Theatre, which was located just off the main road. I'm not really sure why there is an 8YTL ($5.30) entry fee as you can see everything perfectly well from the roadside for free, which is what we did. The Theatre had an impressive 13,000 person capacity, although i think that this would have been a pretty tight squeeze when you look at the size of it!

Down at the marina the streets were bustling with people, who presumably had the day off for New Year and it felt like a different place from when i had arrived on Tuesday.
Glass exhibits at the Museum of Underwater Archaeology
The main reason that we had come down to this part of town was to pay a visit to The Castle of St Peter, which houses the Museum of Underwater Archaeology (10YTL). The Castle was built in the early 15thCentury by the Knights Hospitaller, who also have an impressive castle on Rhodes Island, which i had visited 5 years ago.

The Museum housed a treasure trove of artifacts that had been discovered on shipwrecks off the Turkish coastline. On display were countless old amphorae, a room of stunning glassware, the English Tower with armour and flags, the snake tower, the German tower, Bronze age shipwrecks with the finds from the Uluburun ship, which is the oldest shipwreck excavated and dates back to the 14thCentury BC and also the gold scarab of Egyptian Queen Nefertiti.
Bodrum Marina
Just as striking as anything inside were the views from the castle walls, which offered sweeping panoramas across Salmakis Bay and Kumbahce Bay, which were filled with countless boats. I watched the sun as it set on to the horizon, but sadly the museum closed at 16.30, so we had to leave before it had fully sunk.

All that was left for the day was to go and find out about buses to Selcuk, after which we grabbed a chicken kebab. I walked home and bought some food from the supermarket, whilst Eric and Dave took the dolmush home, as their hotel was located a bit further from the centre. I spent the night online talking to Julia and booking her flight to Turkey, which is now confirmed as February 3rd.
Watching the sunset from the Castle of St Peter


I really wasn't keen to get up at 06.50 on Friday, but i had arranged to meet the guys at the bus station at 07.45 and still had all my stuff to pack. I caught a dolmush down to the terminal and the guys turned up shortly after me. All three of us looked pretty exhausted, but the prospect of visiting Ephesus was justification for making such an early start! As there was no direct bus that left early, we opted to take a ride as far as the town of Soke (15YTL) and then change onto a bus to take us to Ortaklar (4YTL) and finally another bus to go the rest of the way to Selcuk.

Deats says:
And im a gobshite, so you knew you'd get a good long ramble from me ;) haha
Posted on: Feb 01, 2009
lauro says:
i read it from eric, but it was kind short so i had to read yours ^_^ hahaha
Posted on: Feb 01, 2009
ak1215 says:
Haha.. too many words for me.. I will read next time..however.. according to the pictures.. you look great!! I could feel the fun among you guys..

Kang ^_^
Posted on: Jan 14, 2009
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Eric, Dave and I having a New Year…
Eric, Dave and I having a New Yea…
Dave and I butting hats!
Dave and I butting hats!
Bodrums Roman Theatre
Bodrum's Roman Theatre
A view of Bodrum harbour and castle
A view of Bodrum harbour and castle
Coat of arms at the Castle of St P…
Coat of arms at the Castle of St …
Amphorae at the Museum of Underwat…
Amphorae at the Museum of Underwa…
Nesting birds at the Museum of Und…
Nesting birds at the Museum of Un…
Flags inside the English Tower, lo…
Flags inside the English Tower, l…
Stained glass window in the Englis…
Stained glass window in the Engli…
A view of the harbour at Bodrum, s…
A view of the harbour at Bodrum, …
Glass exhibits at the Museum of Un…
Glass exhibits at the Museum of U…
Bodrum Marina
Bodrum Marina
Watching the sunset from the Castl…
Watching the sunset from the Cast…
Me, Dave and Eric have drinks at t…
Me, Dave and Eric have drinks at …
Dave playing the tambourine to my …
Dave playing the tambourine to my…
My turn to have a go on the tambou…
My turn to have a go on the tambo…
Eric gets to grips with the tambou…
Eric gets to grips with the tambo…
Eventually Eric gets given a hat!
Eventually Eric gets given a hat!
Me, Eric and Dave ready to party
Me, Eric and Dave ready to party
Crazy Turks
Crazy Turks
Fireworks go off for New Year
Fireworks go off for New Year
Dave and Eric at the bonfire
Dave and Eric at the 'bonfire'
Dave and Eric on the streets of Bo…
Dave and Eric on the streets of B…
Eric and Dave
Eric and Dave
Eric holding our bar tb - 3 beers …
Eric holding our bar tb - 3 beers…
Bodrums Roman Theatre
Bodrums Roman Theatre
A view of Bodrum harbour and castle
A view of Bodrum harbour and castle
Bodrums Roman Theatre
Bodrum's Roman Theatre
Headless statue at the entrance to…
Headless statue at the entrance t…
Museum of Underwater Archeology at…
Museum of Underwater Archeology a…
Castle of St Peter
Castle of St Peter
Museum of Underwater Archeology at…
Museum of Underwater Archeology a…
Castle of St Peter
Castle of St Peter
Inscriptions and coat of arms at t…
Inscriptions and coat of arms at …
Carved sculpture at the Museum of …
Carved sculpture at the Museum of…
Coat of arms at the Castle of St P…
Coat of arms at the Castle of St …
Mosque at the Museum of Underwater…
Mosque at the Museum of Underwate…
Museum of Underwater Archeology, l…
Museum of Underwater Archeology, …
Mosaic floor at the Museum of Unde…
Mosaic floor at the Museum of Und…
Carved rocks at the Museum of Unde…
Carved rocks at the Museum of Und…
Carved figures, Museum of Underwat…
Carved figures, Museum of Underwa…
Bird sits on a carved head at the …
Bird sits on a carved head at the…
Peacock at the Museum of Underwate…
Peacock at the Museum of Underwat…
Sarcophagus at the Museum of Under…
Sarcophagus at the Museum of Unde…
Castle of St Peter
Castle of St Peter
Headless statue at the Museum of U…
Headless statue at the Museum of …
Castle of St Peter
Castle of St Peter
Coat of arms at the Castle of St P…
Coat of arms at the Castle of St …
A view of the harbour at Bodrum, s…
A view of the harbour at Bodrum, …
A view of the harbour at Bodrum, s…
A view of the harbour at Bodrum, …
Sphinx statue at the Museum of Und…
Sphinx statue at the Museum of Un…
A view of the harbour at Bodrum, s…
A view of the harbour at Bodrum, …
A view of the harbour at Bodrum, s…
A view of the harbour at Bodrum, …
The Castle of Peter
The Castle of Peter
The Castle of Peter
The Castle of Peter
Lion statue on the English Tower, …
Lion statue on the English Tower,…
Lion statue on the English Tower, …
Lion statue on the English Tower,…
Flag inside the English Tower, loc…
Flag inside the English Tower, lo…
Flags inside the English Tower, lo…
Flags inside the English Tower, l…
A view of the harbour at Bodrum, s…
A view of the harbour at Bodrum, …
Exhibit at the Museum of Underwate…
Exhibit at the Museum of Underwat…
Snake Tower
Snake Tower
Glass exhibits at the Museum of Un…
Glass exhibits at the Museum of U…
Glass exhibits at the Museum of Un…
Glass exhibits at the Museum of U…
Mosaic floor at the Museum of Unde…
Mosaic floor at the Museum of Und…
A view of the harbour at Bodrum, s…
A view of the harbour at Bodrum, …
Mosque inside the Castle of St Pet…
Mosque inside the Castle of St Pe…
A view of the harbour at Bodrum, s…
A view of the harbour at Bodrum, …
The Castle of St Peter
The Castle of St Peter
Watching the sunset from the Castl…
Watching the sunset from the Cast…
Minaret of the Mosque, located ins…
Minaret of the Mosque, located in…
Canons at the Museum of Underwater…
Canons at the Museum of Underwate…
Bodrum
photo by: wanderingluster