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 The family pension

WEST TURKEY, AUGUST 1991 - In every town we arrived, people were waiting at the bus station - they invited us to stay with them, in their 'family pension'.  It was always difficult to make a choice, and we always had to disappoint most of them.  We often stayed in this type of accomodation, and although it was mostly "very basic" (but we didn't care, it was very cheap also), the atmosphere was always great - the cooking was always good, food typical for the region, and we mostly ate together with the family. 

 

 We had a drink and a chat, we watched Turkish TV together, didn't understand any of it, but had a lot of fun.  Sometimes we went with some of the family members to a wedding party or a cultural event in town.  Sometimes these people also guided us around town...

The wedding party Pension in Selçuk...

These people always had a lot of family and friends that had a restaurant or café or shop, or they knew the taxi driver - they also posted your postcards if you wanted... Of course, all this service was for a small fee, and that is how the whole system worked, everybody helped everybody - but it was at times very convenient, especially because our knowledge of Turkish was very limited. Like in the situation that I got sick, and needed to go to the doctor. When he gave me a prescription, he called a little girl (maybe his daughter or another family member ?) and she accompanied me to the pharmacy - of course she got a small fee from the pharmacist...

Living for a couple of days with these people, learned us more about Turkey than any guidebook.  And I will always remember the last day of our holiday, we had to leave at 4:00 AM to go to the airport, and the whole family of the pension was there to say goodbye to us - as if we were good friends that were leaving...

Turkey Main