There’s nothing like going on vacation to make you appreciate your home. As much as I love traveling and seeing friends and family, it feels good to be back in Antalya. I especially appreciate the weather, having come from three weeks in Scotland. I’ll be posting more about Edinburgh, Glasgow and various small towns and castles in the near future, so if you’re only interested in Turkey you might want to ignore me for a while.
But back to Antalya. What’s so great about living here? I think I’ll answer that by describing my day:
Yesterday I got up, had breakfast on my balcony and then went for a swim in my pool. At 1:00 I met with my friend Denise (who’s here from Germany visiting her Turkish mother who lives in my building) and we went to the beach. Here’s an iPhone photo Denise took of us:
We rented lounge chairs and umbrellas for 5 lira each (about $3). A bit later my friend Gabi called, and I invited her to join us and we all had a great swim in the Mediterranean, which at this time of year is a perfect temperature.
I returned to my apartment late afternoon and did a bit of work on my new project, my mystery novel set backstage at the Metropolitan Opera. I’m calling it “Die, Walkure!” as it involves Helmwige impaled on her spear.
A bit later Billy called and he came over to escort me to Oktoberfest, where we met up with a large group of friends (several of whom are pictured in this shot of our send off party in July). It was a bit of a hassle getting in. Our friends at Antalya Expat Social Group had arranged for our free entry by putting our names on a list, but we couldn’t find anyone holding a list. All we could see was the massive security set-up.
Billy called Rob, who came out to escort us through. Our names were at an information desk on the other side of security. So after being pat down and rubbed with a magic wand we entered Oktoberfest. Guess what that was like? If you guessed “lots of people drinking beer and a band so over-amplified you had to scream into the ear of the person next to you to communicate” you got it right.
It was fun though, especially when the “main event” band took the stage. Gripin is famous throughout Turkey, and I think they’re a pretty good band. But I’m a sucker for rock groups who use classical instruments. In the U.S. that usually means a cello obligato, but in Turkey it’s a saz, which is also a stringed instrument and has a similar sound.
The above is the official music video of Gripin”s hit song “Durma Yagmur Durma” (Don’t stop, Rain, don’t stop). Even I recognized it when they played it last night; it was on the radio constantly in 2010. Here’s a translation of the lyrics:
I’m wet in the middle of the Bosphorus
My tears are hidden in its drops
Don’t stop, rain, don’t stop
My soul is being polished under Istanbul’s pouring down
Drops are mixed on my cheekbones
Don’t stop, rain, don’t stop
Her name can’t be read in the stars anymore
Separation is writing the next tomorrows
Don’t ask me, don’t ask me about her
Don’t ask, don’t ask, fill the Bosphorus
Fill and I’ll gulp it with sorrow
Don’t stop, rain, don’t stop, fill the Bosphorus
You fill and I’ll gulp it with lies
Don’t stop, my soul is burning and crackling
Extinguish it, don’t stop, please, don’t stop
Not exactly “Baby, baby, baby oh, baby baby baby oh” but I’ll take it.Google+