Arriving in Antalya, Zerdalilik

Antalya Travel Blog

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Before you read on waiting on something exciting to happen " this blog is more of what I thought and the impressions I have gotten this time.

We did not visit many sights, as I have seen them all before, but stayed mainly in the city itself. I was trying to get somewhat of a feel of what it would be like to live there, to really understand Turkish culture.



After our arrival in Antalya shortly after midnight, we walked out to the taxistand, only to find a couple of taxis there, with both drivers sleeping.

My yard needs soooo much work
As I was still indecisive if I should wake them, another man approached us, asking where we wanted to go. When I said downtown, he asked one of the drivers, but he decided to wait on somebody that needed to go further out. He then called a taxi from the area which arrived shortly and we had a pleasant ride to “home”.  Unfortunately this man did not speak German or English. But we still managed. He thought it was funny, that I knew some streets better than he did, but he was originally from Isparta.

We were lucky to arrive on Monday night, since Tuesday is the PAZAR in “my” corner of Antalya. So we exchanged our money into Lira, found out the dollar has lost value again as had the Lira and headed toward the market.


Every time I return to Antalya, there are new shops, where the old ones had been, but at least no new streets this time, which was confusing the last time I came here. The major drawback going to the Pazar was always the “tourist market”, where people would talk to you, trying to get you to buy some unnecessary items to show to your friends at home. Even though they never bother me, when I am walking by myself, my boy does not look Turkish, so they start speaking to him and try to persuade him to buy something. Even though this is illegal in Turkey, many vendors still will do this. It is their custom and I find it actually sad, that they had to stop this, because the tourists complain too much… after all, it is not like they grab you.  But it is part of their custom to get business and part of the oriental ways.Way before tourism was established.


But, I was talking about going to the Pazar.  This time I was walking and wondering how many busses of tourists would already be at the tourist market, I find it interesting to listen to all those different languages and dialects. Since it was still early in the year, I figured there would not be too many " and when I got closer, I saw this big metal wall surrounding a very, very big whole. The market was gone. Completely. Non-existent. Just a very, very large gaping hole. They are now building a mall in the place of the tourist market.  Memories of the bus stop that it used to be came to mind. Waiting for the “Dolmus” " a mini bus taxi, while sipping on tea. Times when a tourist was considered a welcome change to everyday routine. When Antalya had no highrises and there were only 2 pensions in the city. Shortly after that visit, they build the first large hotel. And now, the only thing left of the busstop is the name: Dogu Garaj (do not speak the g) And now " a MALL. So much for escaping the city life at home. Proudly my neighbour tells me that they will have a theatre and bowling alley as well and it will have all kinds of boutiques. And rumours say they will include an ice-skating rink also.

I am thinking of 48 degrees Celsius in the midst of summer and a picture of people skating in bathing suits or actually laying on the ice for anything cool comes to mind. Great, I think to myself, so nicely traditionally Turkish and how I come here to avoid all this city stuff and I am wondering if I should make my next vacation trip to the US again. There I expect those things. Thinking of where should I move to now, I will try the Black Sea Coast one day, but I remember all those tar spots on my towels, maybe the East, but the ocean is polluted. We will see, no vacation planned  for now anyways.


Once I get to the Pazar the gloomy thoughts are gone. People, all kinds of people are running around. They might make the city western, but they will not change the people. I am staring at all the people around me in awe. Now it feels like Turkey again.  Young & old, blond & brunettes, men, women & children. With scarves, with skirts, with shorts, with salvars and with sandals. Men carrying their prayer beads, while women are bargaining for shoes. Fake D&G stuff in competition with fake G-Star Jeans, coast a little extra, even if they are fake.  Sellers are praising their goods “Strawberries, strawberries only 2 Million”. Even though the New Turkish Lira, was supposed to make it easier, people are used to counting in millions still. Maybe, because it sounds better to have two millions than only 2 Lira. 

So many voices, from everywhere, all trying to sell things. “Bayan (woman) look here, I have apples, nice apples”  - “cute kid, cute kid” while pushing a pear in my daughters hand. And they are all pushy. I am starting to think, maybe bumping into each other is considered good manners. And I think of my visit to the US and how people like to have their “space”. I do not think they would be happy. As I was trying to get some tomatoes, and people coming from left and right " I am almost ready to give up. I don’t stand a chance of yelling what I want, as I do not speak the language. Now I miss the standing in line at a grocery market in the US, where people do not cut in front of you. Ah, the market tender sees my helplessness and gestures with  his fingers….. gives me a funny look. Russian? No, Alman. Ahhh, Aaaalllmaaaan… ah my brother lives in Germany. In Köln. Zwei Kilo? I say correct? Yes, zwei is correct. Tschüss. He gives me a big smile, so proud that he was able to say bye in my language. And again I realize I will never learn Turkish in Antalya. Maybe I should move to Cologne.


   The colors of the fresh fruits are overwhelming to my senses. The purple of the eggplants, the yellow peppers next to their red brothers and green sisters, the yellow lemons, the whole market a colourful picture of nature’s beauty all piled on tables, while their smell mixes with the smell of the spices on the table across from them. And the markettenders that do not own a table simply put their goods on a blanket on the and sell by the plastic cup " or per item. As I am picking up eggs, I wonder if I manage to get them home without breaking, as the lady in salvars (those real colourful very wide Turkish pants " speak with "S"  like sh..shalvars) is placing them in a sandwich bag. I think, oh well, when in roman do like the romans and I start bargaining for a pair of jeans for my boy. The clothing is unbelievable cheap, but so is the quality most of the time. Nevertheless, I stand behind some locals, to overhear what they are charged, just to make sure, I am paying a fair price. Even though at a Pazar I seldom get overcharged, once my kids start talking, the prices rise automatically.


I have managed to spend hours, yes, hours at the market and when my arms seemed to get longer and longer from all the goodies I bought, it was time to go back…..grabbing a few odds and ends on the way. As we were of course hungry, I grabbed a few Gözleme to eat when we get home. Interesting thing those gözleme. Two ladies were sitting on the ground preparing them right there. It is a flour tortilla (Mexican tortilla) filled with sheep cheese and parsley.


By the time we walked down the street we were exhausted. How nice to have a coffee on the terrace now, overlooking the yard that had been left to itself for the last few years. Even though Turks enjoy the beauty of nature and the flowers, they are not used to do something for it. Plants are often just planted in old tin cans of olive oil and taking care of a garden is unusual for them. Unless it is edible. And when you do have people that care… well, a friend of the family was taking care of the roses in his garden. When he cut them (as you do with roses) the neighbour complained and asked him to please not cut them. They should grow as Allah would like.

I look at the weed that rises to my knees, the garbage mattress that people dumped off and the flowers that are dead from no water and I wonder if it ever occurs to anybody that Allah actually likes a pretty garden…



dahling says:
Thank you all very much
Posted on: Aug 29, 2011
bernard69 says:
congrats on your featured blog Bettina:)
Posted on: Aug 29, 2011
Koralifix says:
Congrats on having this adventurous blog of yours featured, Bettina! Nicely done!
Posted on: Aug 28, 2011
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Home for the next ten days
Home for the next ten days
okay, this used to be a very, very…
okay, this used to be a very, ver…
My yard needs soooo much work
My yard needs soooo much work
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