John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Monday 15 July 2013

[Sunday 14 July 2013]

Hotel Palmin, Kuşadası

With a somewhat thinner pillow behind the head and two chunky ones beneath the feet, and the outside noise moderately well shut out by the closed window, I slept well…. Janet wrote: “Did I get any sleep at all? My third sleepless night. In exasperation I finally got up at 6.45am.” Today was Janet’s “pig out” day, her day for eating and drinking anything and everything she fancies. At home, it’s usually a Saturday, but on holiday she sets the day according to what is most convenient. She was keen to get started as soon as possible, and woke me out of my slumber a little before the 7.30am breakfast starting time to tell me she was going to the restaurant and to invite me to join her when I was ready. I was still feeling sleepy, but got myself up shortly afterwards.… Went down, ca.8.30am. We went back to our room briefly, ca.9.30am, then went down to find Jordan. She was in the restaurant, so we asked her to join us in the lobby when she’d finished. We had all day; it wasn’t urgent. From what we’d asked and been told yesterday, Janet had been convinced that finding our own way unescorted to Ephesus was not easily doable — for which I felt relieved — but she hadn’t thought she’d be able to do the full-day excursion, the one including a visit to Mary’s house and St. John’s basilica, just the morning Ephesus-only trip. But knowing what I preferred, she asked Jordan some questions about the durations of the various parts of the full day, and satisfied herself that she would be able to do it. So we booked that, for Thursday — and to my surprise she fancied an off-road jeep “safari”, which we booked for Wednesday. When I started quoting the silversmith — “This fellow Paul says that man-made gods are no gods at all. There is danger for us here, brothers, not only for us, but for the great goddess Artemis” — Janet said to Jordan that I was a Christian and she a believer in God. Jordan told us that she had no belief herself, but ex-boyfriend had been a JW. She said, e.g., along the JW line, that the “cross” was not a cross at all. I expressed familiarity with this notion by saying the in Greek the word is “stauros”, meaning a stake — torture-stake. When I showed her the photos from yesterday, specifically the one with “Nisan” on it, she used her phone to do an internet lookup: “Nisan” in Turkish means “April”. We went back up to the room, got ready, and went off down the ¼- to ½-mile walk to the “Ladies Beach”. It was just after 11am and the sun was very hot when we reached the juxtaposed indigo and azure colours and foaming white of the Aegean. Janet found it very moving. It was later when we sat in a café and there was Turkish pop music on a TV, and I mused on human beings of whatever nationality being just ordinary human beings like me, that I had to stifle a tear. Janet saw a stall selling “natural ice cream”, and we each bought three scoops of different flavours in a cup and sat under the adjoining awnings of the aforementioned bar/café. It was strange — rather elastic. The young guy who served us — did I hear someone call him “Ali”? — also served us with drinks. It seems he was summoned to us by other staff because he spoke English. Janet had her first taste of Turkish coffee, which was served in a small cup with a glass of water. Ali asked if we knew the story of the coffee and water, and proceeded to tell us: if one drinks water first, it signals that one wants also to eat; if coffee first, then not. On the way in from Izmir, I’d been impressed with the multi-lane motorways, and here I got the impression, in contrast with parts of Italy, that there was relative affluence. So I asked Ali, “Why does Turkey want to join the European Union?” I thought it was doing all right on its own. He mentioned mobility of labour and national security as factors. He was a student: international relations. He thought we looked a bit like university professors! On the way back we stopped at a shop, and Janet bought some big bottles of Pepsi Light and some mulberry-flavoured Turkish delight.

Monday 15 July 2013 — 11:08:28
Ladies Beach, Kuşadası

Monday 15 July 2013 — 11:08:28
Ladies Beach, Kuşadası: detail

Monday 15 July 2013 — 11:08:54
View from Ladies Beach, Kuşadası

Monday 15 July 2013 — 11:09:08
Ladies Beach, Kuşadası: looking in the opposite direction to “11:08:28”

Monday 15 July 2013 — 11:17:18
Ladies Beach, Kuşadası: three scoops of ice cream each

Monday 15 July 2013 — 11:29:46
Ladies Beach, Kuşadası: Janet has Turkish coffee and Fanta orange; I have Efes beer,

Monday 15 July 2013 — 12:09:14
Aegean breakers at Ladies Beach, Kuşadası

Monday 15 July 2013 — 12:38:08
Approaching the Palmin Hotel, Kuşadası

We went back to the room. Janet sorted things and did some updating of her journal. I don’t remember and Janet didn’t record whether we went to the hotel restaurant for lunch. Because today was her “pig out day” it would be reasonable to suppose that we did. I copied all the photos from the camera (13:51). Edited yesterday’s using Photoshop (13:56–14:53), and made a PowerPoint presentation of them (14:46–15:28). We went down to the pool bar, but found cigarette smoke intrusive wherever we tried to sit. Then loud music was replaced by extremely loud music, so we escaped to the relative quiet of the lobby lounge. “I had an ice cream,” Janet wrote, “a still orange worthy of David Jones,[i] and a Fanta Orange. [John] had a beer. We stayed there for about an hour then had our large water bottle refilled and returned to our room.”
[i] The orange drink dispensed from the machine at breakfast was similar. Cf. the Early Days story In and around Davelyshome: “A glass of orange squash”.

Started a PowerPoint presentation of today’s photos (16:50), then realised I hadn’t edited the photos, which I proceeded to do (17:07–17:26). Added them to the PowerPoint presentation. Added PowerPoint rubrics and the photos to yesterday’s and today’s diary entries. “At 5.20pm,” Janet wrote, “I suddenly remembered I’d said I would go to the jewellery shop in the hotel after 5pm to look at the turquoise and opal earrings and ‘amethyst’ crystal necklace. The owner hadn’t arrived, so I’ll return at 6pm.” She added: “I did and he hadn’t.” Ca.7.15pm, we went down to the restaurant for dinner. The soup, labelled “broccoli”, looked identical to previously: white with little black bits in it. Afterwards, as Janet wrote: “We sat in the bar lounge on a comfy sofa for about 10 minutes, then we went to the jeweller’s. It’s only a poky place and he had a shop full [of people] so we waited about 5 minutes. I didn’t mind. I selected some beautiful silver opal (turquoise[-coloured]) earrings and a pair of silver turquoise earrings. Lovely. I’ve to return on Wednesday evening re the amethyst crystal necklace as he hadn’t been able to find one but would try again.” There was a problem with the hand-held card-reading device getting the transaction processed in sterling, so we opted to pay in euros. We returned to the room. Janet had bought some little fruit-flavoured sweets when we were out — some lemon, some orange — and she told me I could finish them off if I wanted to. I was chewing the last of them when there was an all-too-familiar crunch. Couldn’t find from where at first, but later discovered a rough spot with a hole in “Lower Left 5”. At 10.45pm some repetitive and annoying musical phrases started, annoyingly audible through the closed window and above the air-conditioning white-noise, but it didn’t continue long after 11pm. I was doing diary update. Not long afterwards I went to bed.

[Tuesday 16 July 2013]

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