Wow! So the groups finally arrived last night and early this morning and there are representatives from basically.. the eastern bloc, Turkey and Portugal. Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania are here, and personally my only exposure to the eastern bloc was in NY with the Russians and Ukranians. The only things I came away with regarding those two cultures are that they're fun, they drink a lot and they're extremely extremely intelligent. I have to say the cultures I'm being exposed to today are EXTREMELY different. It's very... opinionated and serious and competitive.
I'm enjoying the Turkish culture much more. I find the women lovely and caring, I find the men welcoming and interested, and I've dubbed the rather handsome kitchen manager my boyfriend! =) Take for instance this afternoon.
I went outside to smoke and he was sitting with about a dozen colleagues. He waved me over and since he speaks no English and I speak no Turkish we just sat there smiling at each other. He kept talking about me but I have no idea what he's saying as he keeps gesturing towards me. A lady - a "food engineer" said that he wants to collect flowers for me. So sweet so sweet!
Ok, right so back to the whole cultural exchange thing...
At dinner tonight we found out that a dance troupe was here at the same hotel. That evening, they would dance for us! Well maybe not for us but they would do their thing and we would be allowed to watch. WOW, MORE DANCING?? This was really spectacular.. the troupe was basically 16-20 year olds and there were actual stories in their dancing, it was so fascinating! It's a very powerful, jumpy kind of dance that I can only compare to cripwalking at first with some jumpy-moves afterwards.
But it's cute, when someone gets invited onto the floor who isn't ready, they do this old man walk with a hand on the hip. The men are much more comical than the women, who are just beautiful on the floor but not quite as funny or unique in their dance. The men also fling about the circle (I think most Turkish dances occur in a circle) and look for people to pull in, which they don't do physically but make a motion like pulling a rope. And some of the dancers pretended to be women and would like simper along dancing with someone else acting all shy and flirtatious - it was really the coolest expression of dance I've ever seen =)