Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Katie and I wanted to see the whirling dervishes while we were here and as we suspected there isn't a way to see them that isn't completely touristy so we embraced it. There was a more ceremonial option but just because they pretended it was a spiritual ceremony doesn't change the fact they were simply doing it for money so let's do the one that includes free alcohol and belly dancing! We were picked up promptly at the scheduled time and had to pick up one other party. Our driver seemed to be near tears that the other group wasn't ready on time which while refreshing after being in Africa seemed a bit over emotional given the circumstance. He drove like an absolute maniac and got us there in time to for the dervishes. We sat with our new Brazilian friends, three middle aged women who came to Turkey because a side plot of a soap opera takes place in Cappadocia. We were instructed not to eat or talk by our driver during the "ceremony" and especially no pictures. The Brazilians and virtually everyone else ignored this request. They spun for 2-3 min during two heavily produced new agey songs. The food and drink were all you can eat and they didn't hold back. Two 1.5 liter bottles of wine as well as ouzo were already on the table. Guests around us were ordering entire bottles of vodka at no cost to them. We had a selection of Turkish tapas that as expected were pretty mediocre. So we drank and learned all about the intricate plot lines of this Brazilian soap. We watched some dancing that was heralded as traditional but we suspected was made up because who would know better? We could swear the "dervishes" were also dancing in the napkin dance. The evening closed with the belly dancer. The crowd was good and drunk by this time and the hooting commenced. She seemed to be used to this, there's probably not a whole lotta variation of folks in this scene. She hand picked three spectators. A pot bellied Brit, an aging chinaman and a young Japanese girl. She dressed them up and toyed with them and the crowd ate it up. It felt like they had turned on a strobe light, the flashes were so great. As soon as her show ended, our soberish driver beckoned and 2-300 of us squeezed down the narrow hall. Our quick thinking Brazilian friend grabbed a half empty bottle of wine which we passed around and slugged down the whole way home to keep our minds off the speed of our vehicle. Made it home safe and sound and were sure to pack extra water for the hiking through the valleys today.