We started off the day at a leather shop. All their coats are made with …..sheep skin leather! I never heard of it, it was cool. They started with a fashion show featuring yours truly… (jk)
Sadly, all the leather coats were like 4-500 euros! Sad face. Now to Ephesus! On the bus ride over, our tour guide gave us more interesting marriage facts. I believe this is also tied to Islamic tradition. A man can only officially divorce his wife once he does it three times. If he wishes to remarry her, she must first have an Islamic law interim marriage (considered necessary before a man can remarry a woman whom he has divorced three times in succession), consummate it and be divorced again! The man she would “marry” temporarily is called a hulle (two dots above the u). Generally, it’s a saggy old man. He must sleep with the woman before she can remarry her former husband. Men often would have to hire someone to play this part, and they tried to stay away from young strappling lads who might woo their ex-wives. Needless to say, this practice is supposed to be a deterrent from rashly divorcing your wife. http://books.google.com/books?id=DTIrK0et4LwC&pg=PA126&lpg=PA126&dq=hulle+turkish+divorce&source=bl&ots=3iQfRBAoff&sig=gMDV1pCDkuFoRK77RWfdIbqS5fU&hl=en&sa=X&ei=8BLZT4rWAYOc8QTUmfTpAw&sqi=2&ved=0CHkQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=hulle%20divorce&f=false (page 119)
Ephesus was supposed to be a stunning ruin. The library facade really was something to behold. Aside from that, I found it sort of run-of-the-mill. But I think that by this time, after Pompeii in Italy, Troy, Pergamum and Hieropolis, I was sort of ancient-ruined out.
I soon discovered that this trip would have significance to me as a Christian as well, both in Turkey and in Greece. Many of the places we went to were lived in by the early Christian communities who were persecuted against. Below is one of the early symbols that helped Christians recognize a Christian presence in a town. If you drew each of the Greek letters at the top of the sheet of paper, it would form that circle you see. Those letters spell out fish in Greek, which is how the fish symbol was soon used as well. I forget what each letter stood for but one of them stands for Christ.
Adventure of the day: Turkish bath! At the beginning of the trip, Larissa of the South African couple on the tour told me that her turkish bath was totally nude and still totally public lol. I couldn’t imagine doing that with strangers, let alone our contiki group! Fortunately, ours was done in bathing suits. I was sort of surprised that the turkish bath attendants were all male when all of the patrons were not, as some women were topless. In a muslim society I would have thought it’d be separated. Anyways, the first step was a dry sauna. I was DYING, it was so hot omg. Probably could have passed out. Second step was to go into the bath part of the house where there is a hot stone slab in the middle of the room. You go to be scrubbed down by the scrubber man on the hot stone slab. Then you go to a cold shower. Third step is to go to the massage man who does your feet. Then another cold shower. Fourth step was to be soaped down by the soap-man. Followed by…you guessed it….a cold shower. I was glad it was cold because the room is absolutely steaming. My goodness. But it was a cool experience!
That night we stayed in Kusadasi. We went out to the shopping bazaar at night and I finally got some of the pashmina scarves I’d been eyeing. We met some really nice shop attendants. I like Turkish people! There are very few black people here though, I definitely noticed that. I think that countries in the west of Europe have more black people because they were all involved in colonization. I didn’t see many black people in places like the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, etc. And when I thought about it, what role did they play in the great race to colonize? Pretty much none… But anyways, I got a positive reaction in Turkey anyway. I remember one man telling me he loved my hair and that he had a whole book with babies with hair like mine. Lol WEIRD.
The next day we are leaving Turkey and boarding the cruise to the Greek islands! I certainly loved Turkey and would love to go back and explore Istanbul and Izmir!