But almost the best images of the day, both on the way to Afrodisias and on the way back, were shot in this dusty, on-the-edge village where the Monday market was going on.

We hit it twice, and got some great shots— shooting grannies, just as Susan and I did last year.

The best part (or the most interesting part) of the AM was in the market on the way to the Roman town. We were schmoozing with everyone we could, visiting in our very limited Turkish; one stall vendor bought us tea (in the little tulip glasses) after we took pictures of him and his family.

And others just gave us produce, I think for trying to use their language to say Hello, rather than just stand there and yell, “Does anyone here speak English?”

Here’s what some of them looked like this AM.

Anyway, it’s about 9 something this AM, and there are a couple thousand or more people buying and selling, visiting and shopping.

The loudspeaker from the minaret started up, and within 20 seconds or so, it was dead quiet, people had stopped all their activities, had turned to face the minaret, and were mostly holding both of their hands out in front of them, palms up, shoulder-width apart, almost like they were holding each end of a two-foot long French batard (very long, very thin loaf of bread).

It reminded me of Lutherans in as much of a rapturous state as they get, raising one arm.

And you know how to tell if you are talking to an assertive Lutheran? They look at your shoes.

Anyway, the whole damn market-place (town?) just came to a dead stop.

This went on for about three minutes, then the announcements/call/??? from the minaret stopped, and everything was back to normal in about 10 seconds.

We thought it would be impolite to shoot it, but Kim tried to switch on the video mode of her new camera, but it didn’t work. Rats.

I need to find out what that was all about.

As I heard the first call, I thought back to the comment at the acropolis in Bergama about how many practicing Muslims there are here, separate from what’s written on the identity cards, and thought that it might be interesting to track what percentage of the people stopped their marketing (from either side of that equation) and went to the mosque.

The other interesting thing that happened in the town was when Kim went in to a pharmacy (Eczane) to get some Aleve-type tablets.

Nice new pharmacy, everything modern and clean, looked like it could have been anywhere in the developed world. But the clerk wrapped the box of pills in a half-page torn out of the local newspaper, kept on the counter for that exact purpose.

And we bought some groceries there as our larder was getting low, and this is what we bought: Clementina oranges, tomatoes, red peppers (long and pointed, not like ours), a kilo of figs, a loaf of bread, and the two cucumbers were a gift.

All this cost us about 4 Lira, which is just about $2.50.

We were a little anxious as they were filling the bags; at the fig stall, for example, we held out 3 Liras, and she grabbed a plastic bag and put several hands full of figs in it, put it on the scale, added a couple of more hands full (Figs Forever!) of figs to the bag, tied it up, handed it to us and said, Bir.” One Lira. Sixty cents.

And we had lunch at this cemetery.

Originally written for Two Minutes in Turkey

posts by Robert