Inga’s All Turkish Adventures Part…something

Yes, it may have been fifteen months since I returned from my pivotal Turkey adventure, but I still have anecdotes to blog.

There was myself, my university housemate (from back in the day) Fiona, her older sister Mandy, and two of Fiona’s work colleagues – Susan and Ems. It was day 5 or 6, and we’d decided to go out for dinner and dancing. We found ourselves at the restaurant of a small, high-pitched 28 year old that delighted in doing magic tricks for a table full of rowdy Australian ladies. When Susan saw through one of his acts, he invited her behind the bar to make her own cocktails for all of us. I’d like to see an Australian restaurant ever offer that.

Bizarrely, after the cocktails we become much rowdier than usual.

The other three girls eventually headed back to the hotel, while Mandy and I stayed to check out the night life. We found an upstairs disco which seemed respectable, where Mandy promptly fell into the arms of a young Turkish fellow. He spoke passable English, and I was perfectly civil until I realised he was trying to take Mandy “for a walk”. And Mandy was amenable to the idea.

Now usually I’m not opposed to this kind of thing, provided both parties are consensual and there are prophylactics involved. However, drunk, disoriented and in a Turkish backwater, my liberal views underwent a massive shift. I became virulently opposed to the whole notion, grabbed Mandy by the ear and blabbered “you can’t go with him! He can’t even speak English!”

Mandy, bless her, bought me another drink and reminded me she was thirty-three and more than capable of looking after herself. Despite that, I followed them out the door and trailed mournfully behind them down to the docks, cursing my overprotective nature and trying to remember the best place to stab a man to ensure they die before they can scream.            

In my inebriated state, I decided that talking with an extremely overplayed Aussie accent and utilising every slang word I knew would block the multilingual attempts of our Turkish guest.

“Mazza, I dar’n reckon we should be garn walkabout with this joker, eh.”

“There’s a bitta Wolf Creek about this cobber , he’s not dinky-di Mandy!”

“Mandy!! Throw another shrimp on the cooee for smoko and my dead horse will be flat out like a wallaby larrikin! Why aren’t you listening to meeeeee?”

Mandy steadfastly ignored me and stroked the arm of her new friend, until we arrived at the marina. Turkish Boy pointed out a boat which he claimed was his, and invited us both aboard.

Now, even two blocks down the road from my own house, I’m excessively leery of strange men hanging around my girlfriends in pubs. In a foreign country at 2.00am on the jetty of some guy who doesn’t even speak English, I’m positively Ted Bundy. I huffed, wrung my hands, shot devil-psychopath eyes at Turkey Boy, and watched helplessly as Mandy climbed down into his cabin. Neither wanting to get on Turkey Boy’s boat, nor leave Mandy to the fate of the Kaş Ripper, I sat myself down on the dark wharfside and waited for them to get on with it.

Shortly afterwards, a fellow I recognised as a local bartender* wandered out of the darkness to say hello. “Hello” is exactly all he said, because that was the extent of his English. I mimed my best rendition of “my friend is in that boat having intercourse with a stranger, so I’m sitting here waiting for her”, which prompted him to leave in rather a hurry. The pelvic thrusting probably did it.

After half an hour or so of arguing with myself and stroking stray cats, I eventually realised it was a bit seedy to be hanging around waiting for someone to complete their one night stand. I staggered back to the main town square, and was immediately accosted by yet another familiar bartender**, this time on a Vespa. He garbled some Turkish at me, which I took to mean he was offering me lift. I eyeballed his helmet-less head, eyeballed the Vespa, eyeballed the hard cobblestones and politely shook my head. I may have also given him a bear hug and sang ‘Born to be Alive’ at him.

Some minutes later, I lurched into our hotel room and landed on top of the soundly sleeping Fiona.

“Fifiiiiiii,” I wailed, “Mandy went to shome guysh boat and I left hah there and she’sh probly getting maaahhdaaahhhhed! I’m sho shorry Fifiiiii, she’s you shishta….”      

Fiona squinted up at me and murmured blearily “She’s THIRTY-FUCKING-THREE Inga. You smell like bourbon. Go to bed.”

So I did.

*This is not implying I drank a lot while I was in Turkey. Kaş is a small community and you start to recognise people if you stay long enough. Honest. 

**No, really.

Inga’s New Year’s Address

 Arse.

Apparently it’s 2011. Apparently I’m also supposed to be back at work today, which you wouldn’t know because I left at lunch time and bought myself a $350 antique table as retail therapy to compensate for the fact that it’s 2011 and I’m supposed to be back at work today.

Arse.

Negativity aside, I had a bit of a reflection on what I learnt in 2010:

1. The trick to folding fitted sheets nicely. 
2. What stinging nettle looks like.

That is all. 2010 was the biggest waste of twelve months I’ve ever underachieved. 2010 was a blurry mish-mash of work, stress, red wine, bizarre physical impediments and Kelly Clarkson. And it ended with my getting a nasty head cold and going to bed at 11pm, which seems apt.

On that note, here are some photos of my Canberra holiday:

Holbrook bigass submarine

This is Holbrook. It’s about three hours out of Melbourne. It calls itself the Submarine Town, because there’s a bigass submarine in the middle of the town. It’s so bigass I couldn’t even fit it into the whole photo. I was too busy hoeing into my ham and pickle sandwich to bother visiting the information centre, so unfortunately I can’t tell you where the submarine came from or why it’s currently suffering the indignity of being mired in this tiny countrified portion of New South Wales.

That said, Holbrook is also one of the few towns you will find remaining on the Hume Highway. The Hume Highway Alliance, according to a gazillion road signs on the trip from Yass to Melbourne, is endeavouring to manufacture “dual carriageways from Melbourne to Sydney by 2012”. This means little towns like Holbrook will be bypassed by commuters, who will instead be caught by the nets strung between those ugly twin roadhouses that stand opposite each other all along Australia’s highways. They have BP and McDonald’s, what else could you possibly need? I make a point of never stopping at those roadhouses, and when poor little Holbrook and Tarcutta and Woomagarma are finally overtaken, I’ll go 5 kilometres out of my way for another ham and pickle sandwich.

Along the road to Gundagai!

I couldn't get my tripod straight

Art or reckless driving...?

These are some pics I took while driving. Because when you’re driving for seven and a half hours, you start looking for things to do apart from singing along to Midnight Oil and counting dead wombats.

No really, it's a train.

Molongolo Gorge

This is Molongolo Gorge. It’s somewhere on the outskirts of Canberra, it’s pretty, and sometimes you can spot a train chugging along the hillside. I’m not sure why trains are so much more interesting in the countryside – if said train was at a level crossing in the middle of Dandenong on a Wednesday, I’d be saying rude words at it instead of taking photos.

The Lord of the Prance

And this is me prancing through the wild flowers. Enough said.