I have an interesting way of dealing with any of my trips, well, not as much as an interesting way, but more as a very limited preparation, I mean I normally buy the tickets, the one that takes me to where I want to go, and the one that will bring me back to the boring 9h to 5h life, and besides that, usually I just read about the place, to know what I should expect.
This year I was able to go to Turkey for 10 days, it was amazing, but, I made even less preparation than my normal self, I didn’t even read about Turkey, I went there with my limited knowledge of Istanbul couple of well-known places and a flight in and out.
This time I wasn’t alone, but my friend had almost the same amount of knowledge as I, the result:
We acknowledge that for our next trip we should at least a read a little about the country
And most of all, we should know some basic words in their language.
Our biggest problem was language, it was not that big of a barrier, since we’re able to communicate with hand gestures and some very basic English words, but it was definitely my first encounter with a country where English was not usual known by the population. Besides Istanbul, where they did speak English, we did have several language incidents.
First things first, this is completely my fault, I should had never gone to a country without knowing some basic sentences , I can’t expect that someone knows English everywhere I go, but I was expecting that a country with so much tourism had a bigger knowledge of it, or at least in the touristy places (hotels, airports, restaurants….) and out of Istanbul, it was not as usual to find it. On the other hand, I must assume that it was my first experience less occidental, if we exclude Israel, and since I do have some knowledge in 6 European languages, I hadn’t felt this difficulty before, not even in Israel since English is widespread there.
But the moment where we found ourselves a bit overwhelmed was when we went to Cappadocia:
– We just knew that we wanted to go there, so while in Istanbul, we bought a plane ticket to Kayseri airport (we had to search online for the closest airport to Goreme – the main city when you want to go to Cappadocia) .
– We had several doubts while buying, after buying and even on the plane (or worst – the airport) if we were going to the correct airport.
– When we landed we felt that we were landing in the middle of nowhere, the airport seemed to be basically a road and a warehouse.
– It was the first time that I went to a bathroom that was basically a hole in the ground.
Bearing in mind that we made no preparation to this trip, we done something fairly stupid, and we didn’t asked for a shuttle to our hotel.
Something that I should tell you is that Goreme is around 80 km away from Kayseri.
So we landed in Kayseri around 2PM we entered the warehouse, sorry airport, and we started searching for the best way to go to Goreme:
– First option: ask at the tourism/information counter
– We went there and the answer was “No English” and then started to point to the Executive counter
– So, we went to the executive counter, and the answer was “No English”
And that’s when we started to have a mildly panic moment.
– We left the airport and we saw all the tourist-looking-people going to shuttles and we were… “fuck”
– And then, we find our savior, that could speak 1 our 2 words of English
With a lot of hand gestures he told us that he could take us to the bus station (Oktobus – one of the few words that got stuck on my memory) and that from there we could take a bus to Goreme, and he was a bus driver, so no, we didn’t just enter some random guy car.
Our second moment of mildly panic…..
– We asked the bus driver how far away was the bus station and he kept on telling us that it was 5 lira (the Turkish currency)…
– We started in the bus station direction (supposedly) and it kept going and going….. and going…. And we looked around and it seems a poorer and poorer city, and we kept on going … and going…. And it seemed that the bus took us 30 minutes to get there…
There was no traffic….
Third moment of mildly panic….
– Let’s enter the bus station… and we were almost attacked by several men that kept on yelling something that neither of us were understanding….
And then finally another savior that could speak a little English, and that somehow explained us, that there were several companies with the same destinations, and the guys that “attacked us” were the representatives, he then guided us for the one that was selling tickets to a bus to Goreme and that was leaving in 5 min.
The problem here….. I asked for 2 tickets to Goreme, paid and saw that the tickets said something else.
– When I asked Goreme… he kept on insisting, that the tickets were to Goreme.
– So we went to the Bus, and asked again if it was going to Goreme, and the answer was “Uçhisar… Goreme” (yeah I understood nothing)
– Well, let’s assume that they know what they’re telling us
While on the bus, and after understanding that the bus had marked places and we’re not on the correct ( it seemed that it happened a discussion because of it between the ones that were supposed to be and the usher of the bus), we started to panic again:
Imagine us, 2 girls that weren’t able to understand absolutely anything in Turkish, in a bus where no one spoke English, and when I say no one, is absolutely no one:
So…. our conversation was:
“Connect to the internet, it doesn’t matter how much it cost, do it, go to google maps, try to see where we are and if that name that is on the ticket is correct!”
“ It isn’t working!!! I can’t connect!!””
“It connected…. But is slow…. Very slow…. It’s loading…. Let’s see … how does it fucking called?”
“Oh…. Yeah… about 4 km from Goreme”
“Why were we panicking??”
“Panicking? We? Never!”