Saturday, February 6, 2010
Well here we sit on another long haul bus but not one like you might think. All through Thailand and now through Turkey we have found service to be an art. In Thailand we journeyed between Chiang Mai and Chaing Rai on a bus and the bus had a porter as well as a driver. The porter was there to deliver snacks and drinks and meet whatever need you might have, we have found Turkey to be the same. Service is what the Turks know how to do. All the long haul buses here have porters as well, who want to make sure your trip is as comfortable as possible. Restaurants are amazing as well, it seems that each table in every restaurant has three to four wait staff. Each staff person has a different task to preform, there is a overseer for all the staff, one person to take payment only and a door recruiter.
Door recruiter are a name I have assigned them and it's not only restaurants that have them. Each store, kiosk and tea shop has a person at the door whose job it is to get you into thier shop. They really want to serve you or at least have you pay attention to them. This is the biggest thing we have had to adjust to, biggest if you discount the fact that we went for two solid months of sunshine and warmth to below zero temperatures and snow within 8 hours! The recruoitors have seemed rude to us as they step in front of you and sometimes touch your arm or engage you in small talk just so they have a chance to introduce thier product. But that's a way of life here, it is not just for tourists as some might think. We have seen Turkish buniess men following other Turks down the street trying to make a deal. If you can get past this cultural differenec you will find Turkey, gracious, friendly and good hearted.
The best part of this came when we forgot our camera in a restaurant. We had been looking for an old Turkish bath that had been converted to a Dervish performance centre. We were only just around the corner from the place but one of the door recruiters of a restaurant insisted in making sure we found the front door. We went back to eat at his restaurant where the owner introduced us to dishes he had developed. We had a good meal at a reasonable price with lots of service but in getting to our show our camera was left behind. Within just a few minutes our camera was delivered right into the auditorium by the same recruiter with a big smile knowing that he had saved the day. And, now that we have adjusted to some of the customs it's off to Greece. Wes