lundi 27 juillet 2009

Move along, there's nothing to see here....

Yep, that's the reputation that Ankara has got - not much to do, not much to see.

I know one person who has been there before - my Lovely Flying Friend - and when I told him that I was going to Turkey's capital his response was 'to the point'.

"What do you want to go there for?"  he said.

"Because I've never been there" I answered.  Although, to be perfectly honest, this wasn't the total truth.  

You see, in the world of TBNIL there's a list of historical figures that I would, well, you know....that I would.  And although not on top, pretty high up the list is one Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founding father of modern Turkey.

Atatürk took an islamic, tribal, disjointed and old-fashioned country and transformed it - in less than one generation - into a modern, secular, westward-looking society.  He gave women rights, re-established Turkish history and language, separated the state from the religious leaders and brought about the kind of change that Obama can only dream about.  

On top of all this, he was a handsome man with a twinkle in his eye.  And he looked very fine in a dinner suit...

So, it was largely a historical fuck-fantasy that had me flying high above the Anatolian plain to the joy that is modern day Ankara.  Heading to the centre of the nation to see the mausoleum, museum and, indeed, the legacy of the great man.

What I found wasn't a sleepy backwater.  Nor was it a Stepford-ish modern capital that so often exists when government and business are in different towns.  As brash, loud and obnoxious as Istanbul is, I was expecting Ankara to be provincial, dowdy, boring.

I was wrong.

The city was buzzy, lively, young and trendy.  Especially so in the areas of Kizilay and Cavaklidere, which both had great café cultures and plenty of terraces from which to watch the young and beautiful parade themselves.  The not so young and the not so beautiful were there too, so I didn't feel left out.

True, there's not much to see and not much to do.  But if you're happy with a museum, a mausoleum and a toot round the shops, then it's a great spot.

I was sad to leave, but happy to be getting back to normalcy and to not worrying about how much the calls are costing to and from Florida.

Oh yeah, me and Florida are getting on fine.  I figured the trip to Turkey would give us a bit of a break from each other - time to think about what on earth is going on.  I was wrong.  

We spoke twice a day, every day and never did we struggle for things to say.  I'm not sure how that happened.  I'm not sure when this became a twice-a-day thing.  I'm not sure, I'm not sure, I'm not sure.

We have a day and a night in London when he comes over at the end of next month.  We're going to see a show that he's desperate to get to.

"You know when we're in London in September?" he said to me last week.  I said that I did.  "Well, am I going to meet your Mom?"

"Do you want to meet her?" I asked, a little taken aback.  I took a swift gulp of my gin and tonic.  "Really?"

"Well, I'm going to have to meet her one day, so why not?"  he said.  "After all, I bet she's dying to meet me..."

At the end of the call, I poured myself another drink and went for a big lie down.  

Be careful what you wish for, young Florida Boy, you might just get it.....

17 commentaires:

Daryl a dit…

Obviously Florida Boy does not read your blog ..

travelling, but not in love a dit…

D, he doesn't. He doesn't even know that I blog....at least, I hope not....

Valleys Mam a dit…

I feel a song coming on ..............

Pure Poser a dit…

That is some really messed up schizz. Haha we were joking about being in the same place. Even funnier to think we've seen each other but didn't know!

Did you ever visit Joseph's bar?

Louise a dit…

I want to go to Ankara.

I can't wait to hear about FB meeting your mom. CAN'T. WAIT!

Rob Inukshuk a dit…

Oh yes, I want to be a fly on the wall for that meeting!

12ontheinside a dit…

I wanna meet your mum too.

The Pixy Princess a dit…

I'm going to be in London next week - can I meet your mum?

alan a dit…

{sings} Love is in the air, everywhere I look around!

and Dude; we ALL want to meet your Mum!

cb a dit…

Meeting dear old Mum??? My my! This HAS taken a bit of a serious turn! ;-)

travelling, but not in love a dit…

VM - best keep it to yourself, eh?

Poser, I didn't go to that bar - I generally sat at restaurants and ate kebabs till I was stuffed! And drank me lots of cocktails.....

Louise, I never said it would happen!

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Rob, flies get swatted you know...

12oti - so do I! Only kidding...

Pixy, erm, no. You can't. Sorry. But she'd probably love you though....

Alan, she's a nutcase. I don't know why everyone likes her so much...

CB. I'd introduce you to My Mom. She'd like you a lot. She'd think you were quite the boy. Like mother like son, eh?

Pure Poser a dit…

Oh. Any places in particular? The Serkuls, Cafe Soul?

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Hi Poser, I ate at Bella Mamma's a few times, and stopped for drinks at the café soul once. But mainly we sat in the bean bags on the lawn at Kum City (terrible name...) and chilled with gintonics and the turkish band.

Good times ;-)

Anthony a dit…

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

red a dit…

oh, i can a gazillion blog posts being born.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

LaTanya, OOOOOOOH back at ya!

And Red, me too. Unfortunately. Or is that fortunately?