John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Saturday 20 July 2013

[Friday 19 July 2013]

22:30 Izmir Adnan Menderes, Turkey
00:45 Manchester

We got out of bed a little after 8am. Janet used the bathroom and I sat at the computer. The right hand was very painful, though there was little to no evidence of oedema in the forearm. I had to use the touch-pad, not the mouse. We went down to breakfast a little after 9am. Before going into the restaurant we checked at reception what time check-out was — “twelve” — and whether we could keep our wrist-bands e.g. so we could have lunch — “yes, and you can use the shower by the pool.” Towards the end of breakfast I turned in my chair to the right away from sight of a fat young boy, naked from the waist up, who had sat at the next table on the left. “I don’t want to have to look at ‘lard boy’!” I said. It was obscene. I guess it wasn’t his fault, really; the scum that spawned him oughtn’t to have allowed him in the restaurant looking like that. We saw the room cleaner when we got back to the 6th floor, and gave her 20₤. She hugged and kissed us. Janet started the packing, and I sat at the computer. By now I could without too much difficulty use the mouse.

Saturday 20 July 2013 — 11:45:00
View from one of the hotel lifts

Saturday 20 July 2013 — 11:45:00
View from one of the hotel lifts: detail 1

Saturday 20 July 2013 — 11:45:00
View from one of the hotel lifts: detail 2

Saturday 20 July 2013 — 11:45:00
View from one of the hotel lifts: detail 3 — ubiquitous solar water-heaters and satellite dishes

We vacated the room ca.11:40, went down in the lift, were relieved of our luggage by a porter, handed door-key, safe-key and towel-hire cards in at reception, and outside hailed the dolmuş that appeared almost immediately. We alighted opposite the Caravanserai, crossed to there and went down the adjacent shopping street on which stands the gate-tower. Janet saw a stall selling, among other things, bananas, and bought a few. It wasn’t a fruit stall; they appeared to have the bananas to use in food or drink items. Then we went to the seaside bar we were at the other day. I had two Efes Dark and along with the second some water, and Janet had two Coke Light.

Saturday 20 July 2013 — 12:26:06
View from “our” bar

Saturday 20 July 2013 — 12:26:06
View from “our” bar. See the next photo for a view zoomed in to the area of the yellow rectangle.

Saturday 20 July 2013 — 12:32:14
Zoomed-in view from “our” bar

Saturday 20 July 2013 — 12:32:14
Zoomed-in view from “our” bar: detail 1

Saturday 20 July 2013 — 12:32:14
Zoomed-in view from “our” bar: detail 2

Saturday 20 July 2013 — 12:54:30
Another view from “our” bar

Saturday 20 July 2013 — 12:55:12
The boat in 12:54:30 is to the right.

On the way in, the dolmuş had come along the nearby shore-hugging road, so to avoid getting on the wrong one as we had the other day at the Caravanserai, I suggested that we just cross the shore road to a “D” stop and get the dolmuş going in the opposite direction from there.

Saturday 20 July 2013 — 13:23:34
Going back to the hotel in the dolmuş

And so we got to the hotel ca.1.40pm in time for lunch (12:30–14:00). The soup today was red Turkish-style lentil, so I had some. And the buffet included Chinese-style chicken and sautéed cabbage (seasoned with soy sauce), so it made choosing very easy. Then we sat in comfy chairs in the lobby. I did some diary update. The hours passed quickly enough. A coach arrived with Jordan on it, and she oversaw the boarding of a few people. Janet went out to have a word with her: this was the transfer of people flying to Birmingham. Our coach arrived; someone called Yasmin was looking after things. A handful of people got on, then there were pickups both beyond our hotel and in the opposite direction from it, travelling roads familiar to us from previous dolmuş, jeep and coach trips — skirting Ephesus, going through now-familiar Selçuk, then onward, via motorways and the two remembered tollbars, to Adnan Menderes Airport. There was the reddening sun near one horizon, and a gibbous moon near the opposite horizon. When one entered the airport, there was an initial scan of all luggage. I transferred belt, watch, wallet, etc., to my hand-bag, and got through the scanner portal without setting off the alarm. Then we queued for luggage check-in and receipt of boarding cards; then passport control, where the visas were given an “exit” rubber stamp; then another security scan, where I did set off the alarm. The guy passed a metal-detector type of thing all over me and was satisfied; there was no physical frisking. And so we were “air-side”. I had a sandwich, drink and crisps at inflated airport prices. When boarding was about to start, we commented disparagingly about the people who straight away started to bunch up and line up at the desk. I amused a young man next to me with my “colourful designation” of them (i.e. “dormemaj piĉaĉoj” — but in English!). In fact, it was better to wait, because when we got aboard, there weren’t people blocking the aisle. The couple next to me were the same as on the outward journey; this time, though, it was I who left them and sat next to the window in Janet’s row. I read more of The Apostle en route. Somewhere over Germany Janet pointed out the multitudinous points of city lights below. She didn’t realise that an illuminated straight line was a road, though. The similar, familiar sight over Manchester didn’t come to view till the flight was almost over, because we were a relatively long time passing through cloud; the regular flashing of the aircraft lights was reflected brightly back through the windows. At this point the cabin lights had been dimmed. It was coolish, but warmer than the aircraft air-conditioning had been, when we alighted. Passport control was quickly passed; baggage claim took somewhat longer. The customs lanes were unstaffed. We were led by the First Choice documentation to expect a free phone in the arrivals lounge, and had difficulty finding it till we asked someone; and then as soon as I started to dial the Hilton hotel’s number to ask them to send their shuttle bus I got an “unavailable” tone. So we went outside to where the sign said “Taxis”, but the drivers in the vehicles ignored us. I then realised that that was because they were “Private Hire”, which required prior booking. There was their office nearby, but Janet spotted a single taxi a few tens of yards behind us so we went to that. The documentation hadn’t said which Hilton hotel it was, but there was an airport Hilton so the driver took us there. Not far as the crow flies, but there were many roundabouts and twists and turns and junctions. £8.50, the fare was — £7 + £1.50 extras — so I gave the driver a £10 note. It was the right hotel! An ageing porter loaded our cases on a trolley, and after we had checked in with the friendly, foreign-accented young male receptionist, and Janet had obtained a bottle of Diet Coke at the bar, we accompanied him in the lift to the fifth-floor room. I don’t know what the expectations are for tipping in a hotel like this, but he seemed quite content to receive a £2 coin. The room was modest-sized, neither huge nor poky, with a large double bed, ironing board, safe, fridge, tea- and coffee-making facilities and TV, and the bathroom, with in-bathtub shower, was sparklingly clean. We both neglected to clean our teeth before we, as soon as we could, went to bed, ca.1.40am.

[Sunday 21 July 2013]

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