Saturday, August 28, 2010

i am not a Russian prostitute.

Today we were 'forced' into a scavenger hunt of the great city of Ankara.  In order to get us newbies familliar with the city, we were sent into the city with maps and a list of things to find.  Luckily, Eilidh and Colleen and I had the same opinion regarding scavenger hunts 'Scavenger hunts are for foolios' and so we decided to head into the city but enjoy our day and if we saw a few things on the list on the way, so be it.

We took the Bilkent bus to ASTI, the major bus station for the city, and hopped on a metro train to Kizilay, a shopping and cafe area of the city.  The first thing on OUR scavenger hunt list?  Delicious food.  We suddenly forgot our instructions to not eat outside of a cafe out of respect for those fasting for Ramadan (bad foreign girls) and parked ourselves at a table outside of a cute restaurant.  Firstly, I must explain that foreign women here are treated REALLY well...and if you're me, with fair skin, short blonde hair and light eyes, you're treated like a celebrity.  All day long, men were nudging one another, looking me up and down, smiling at me and staring.  There were about eight men working at this rather empty restuarant, and we were the only ones eating there.  We navigate our Turkish menu and decide on Tavuk Sis, which is becoming my no-fail favourite, mostly because I can actually pronounce it and I know that what I'll be served is always chicken on a stick and rice.  Perfect.  Our adorable waiter brings over a delicious-looking salad and explains that it's from the chef, who is waving shyly at us.  Tesekurler! (Thank you!).  Meals here always end with complimentary cay, which is Turkish tea, and it's absolutely delicious.  I've learned how sucessfully to make it's a bit of a process for a very small amount of tea, I must say.

So, off we go, into Kizilay, but not to find the things on my scavenger hunt, but to shop, of course!  We find this fab little shop that sells brand name clothing from last season very cheaply.  I found names from Topshop, Bershka, Abercrombie and Fitch and Zara...there were cute tops for 5 lira!  (That's about 2.5 pounds, and maybe 3.5 canadian dollars).   Most of the clothing is cut so small it wouldn't fit over my left thigh, but still, a pretty cool find, and great for Colleen and Eilidh, who are built like gymnasts and ballerinas, respectively.

So we're wandering down the street, and taking pictures of random things when these three Turkish guys come up to us and ask us to take their picture.  Um, ok.  So we did.  Then they wanted us in the picture, so we took turns posing with these guys, who clearly wanted to document their proof that they spoke to us.  I must pause here and explain to my mother that these guys were completely harmless and that Ankara is a really safe place.  Really.  After taking the pictures, one of the guys comes up to me and asks me if I'm Russian.  I'll pause again to explain that there are alot of Russian women who live in Turkey and unfortunately work as prostitutes, they are known to the locals as 'Natashas'.  Because Russian women often have fair skin and hair, I am constantly mistaken for being a prostitute, because let's face it, I stand out here like a sore thumb.  So I tell the guy that I am not Russian, but from Canada.  No dice.  The guy insists that I am Russian, and proceeds to tell me that he can speak Russian.  Well, good for you buddy, but I'm not Russian.  So he begins speaking in Russian and his friends laugh and I'm like 'Ok, Mister, I don't know what you're saying, but I'm pretty sure it's dirty.  You can't afford me'.  It was a pretty random and hilarious exchange.

All in all, we actually cleaned up at the scavenger hunt, and happened to stumble upon almost all of the things on our list, without even trying.  The only thing we didn't get was 'mc hammer pants', which are super comfortable linen pants that are sold in many market-like stores here.  Maybe tomorrow.  Tomorrow we're heading out to the Turkish Baths which are in Ulus, an area of the city.
My new-found friends who conviently look like they could be in a Turkish boy band.


  1. bahhahahahahah OMG this is great kirbs! i love the last picture and how the two guys in the back are posing although theyre not directly in the picture. sounds like youre having an absolute blast, you lucky duck! im a bit jealous, i must say and cant wait to come visit you! let me know if you have any long weekends and ill jet to ankara! but no olives for me, please.

    and i totally want mc hammer pants, they must be so freakin comfortable!

  2. It's nice to read your updates--thanks. I can see already that you are going to have a great time! :)

  3. typical international whore - money, money and freedom $))