Not all Turks are nice - our New Years debacle
Bodrum Travel Blog› entry 497 of 658 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.