Saturday, October 3


I’m staying in a small fishing town opposite the Greek island of Lesbos (famous for inventing lesbianism). Now that I have been assured that staring is perfectly acceptable behaviour in Turkey I have embraced the concept wholeheartedly and stare as hard as I like as I wander around, and I must say that I’m thrilled with the results. I passed a bakery today and stopped to watch several men, all with cigarettes firmly clamped in their mouths, working together to load the oven. They asked me in and I photographed the handsome brutes. My staring drew stares from the rest of the square and soon there was quite a crowd of us. Next door’s, extremely young, male hairdresser came in with tea -there are loads of hairdressers - and there’s always tea. This hairdresser gave me a bracing infusion of eucalyptus, a flavour I wouldn’t ever actually choose, but I’ve put worse things in my mouth so I swallowed bravely and now feel quite medicated.

Wanting to communicate something and failing a bit, the Hairdresser ran off to fetch an exercise book, in which were hand-written all the English phrases that could come in useful to a hairdresser

Hello, How are you, Would you like a haircut, a shampooing, how much to cut?

We leafed through the book but there was nothing that matched what the Hairdresser wanted to say. Actually I would have quite liked a haircut but he was redecorating the salon and his hands were all painty, also I would have had to climb over the piled up chairs to get to the shampooing sink.

I’m staying at the Bonjour Pensiyon, a guesthouse straight out of a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel. A large, crumbling and beautiful house from the Ottoman period with painted ceilings and fabulous light fittings. The central courtyard is paved with marble and piled with plants, this is where breakfast is served and where the sultry girls who run the place spend their time, smoking, gossiping and looking after grandma who has been suffering from Alzheimer's for 20 years now, the old lady is like a baby bird with her shock of fluffy white hair, she hums constantly and tends to wander off when nobody’s looking.

Yesterday there was another guest, a silent Turkish commercial traveller. Now the sole paying inmate, I spent lunchtime with the family and have been invited to the birthday party of a member of the household this evening - the large man who had manned the reception desk yesterday. I remembered him because he was naked apart from his red satin underpants.


  1. You sound like you're having fun!
    *Makes note to always take travel tips from Lulu*
    Pssst.. (wearing)

  2. Ta Scarlet - I know I can always count on you to let me know when I have my skirt tucked into my knickers

  3. I hope the Argas let you leave - I've got a feeling you'll end up 'just helping out' in the kitchen, they'll realise the diamond you are and you'll be Mr Arga's second wife.

  4. At least they were red satin. Anything less would have been rude.

  5. but I’ve put worse things in my mouth

    I think we can ALL say that.

    Love the photos on the guesthouse website.

    I can picture you (and ME too!) having brekkie up here.

  6. thanks for the link to the hotel, sugar! this trip y'all are taking is like one of shahrazade's stories! how exciting! xxoxoo

  7. If lesbianism was invented some time ago, who owns the patent rights?

    Somehow a village of hairdressers and bakers seems appropriate.

  8. It all sounds delightful. Apart from the pants/snot.

  9. I imagine this song as I read of your exotic holiday. Excepting the snot, obv.

  10. Get a haircut THEN write your post A before and after shot would be great too! Don't forget to add the name of the hair dresser! Promise I'll do the same next year when I go to Tibet (euh - if I can sneak in there...)

  11. It all sounds deliciously exotic and European and rustic. I want to be there! I've never been to Turkey. Or I'd be happy to be on any of the Greek islands. With baklava.

  12. a nice, quiet, low-key holiday then!

  13. Frenchie - that wouldn't be such a bad fate, I have never been so kindly welcomed. Unfortunately I have a ticket to Istanbul tonight.

    Madame DeFarge - quite right, I would have been much more disturbed by pink

    MJ I can picture you (and ME too!) having brekkie up here.

    We might need safety equipment actually I explored that roof yesterday

  14. savannah - it is very exciting and if you do come to Turkey, you'd love it here.

    Bill If lesbianism was invented some time ago, who owns the patent rights?

    a village of hairdressers and bakers opposite the island of course!

    Glory von Hathor - I've even got used to the pants and snot

    Scarlet-Blue -xxx

    xl - nice one! xx

    Ange - I'm thinking of writing a book about the sort of haircuts one would get around the world - we could collaborate

    Ms Assassin - there's plenty of stuff you like here, you'd have to make do without Airstreams but I think the baklava makes up for it.

    Kevin - a nice, quiet, low-key holiday then!

    Yeah - kind of, more staring than I'm used to though

  15. Lulu, terribly sorry but your "I photographed the handsome brutes" instantly brought to my mind this Titty Bangbang sketch!

  16. Lulu, what great fun to be able to stare blatantly! Your trip sounds awesome.

  17. You are having a fantastic adventure! Thanks for the GREAT photo!

    I wouldn't be having that bread though (surreptitiously brushing cig ash off the crust)


  18. Is it hot over there at this time of year, Lulu? I leak in the heat.

  19. Gadjo - Aaargh can't reach this link - Turkish broadband is well rubbish

    Dedene - my eyes are now officially out on stalks

    Mrs Cow - great you like the photo, might put more up if I can get any juice in the internet speed

    Funny how I'm not eating that much bread these days!

    Mr Marky Marks - It's a perfect temperature - well I'm not leaking

  20. red satin underpants? that sounds like Gimcrack attire

  21. But was he manning the reception desk in his red underpants? We had a neighbour who would mow his law in a black Speedo. You don't even want to know what he got himself involved in one day. Shudder.

    It's a shame that staring is such a taboo in our society. Next time I'll let the workers get an eyeful and hopefully there will be something there for me, too. Liberating!

  22. Nursey - he wasn't wearing a corset though!

    Denise - People wearing speedos get everything they deserve. Let me know how you get on with your Cop An Eyeful campaign

  23. An excellent tale - what impresses me the most about your travel stories is not the sites, but the charm you have with the locals. It seems no matter where you end up, you always become part of someone's family.


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