by M.J. Hearle
Tonight, Greta and I had dinner at Mosaic in Fethiye. The food, like everything else we’ve eaten in Turkey, was uniformly delicious. Before our starters were served a small boy came up to our table with scales under his arm. Not fish scales – the boy wasn’t some crazy amphibious mammal mutant – but the kind of scales you stand on to feel depressed about your body. He asked us if we’d like to be weighed, presumably for a price. We declined and the boy went on his way. While this encounter was strange enough, what propelled it into Twilight Zone territory was the fact it wasn’t isolated. Three more boys approached us over the course of the evening, each carrying scales, each with the same offer. I’m not sure how these boys make money but assume they must. There is no supply without demand. Evidently, Fethiye is full of weight obsessed tourists.
Sharing dinner at Mosaic with us was an utterly charming American family, The Cramer’s, we’d met on a gullet cruise three days earlier. Before the cruise, I admit I was a little apprehensive about getting on a ship with thirteen strangers, knowing that, whether I liked them or not, I’d be confined to their company for three days. However, I couldn’t have asked for better shipmates. Along with The Cramers’s, there were two Aussie couples (Jason & Sarah, Rob & Shannon), two Spaniards (Joseph & Afrika), an English lady (Carla) and another American (Mary). Everyone got on extremely well and it was fascinating to hear the disparate group’s stories during the voyage.
The Mediterranean is as blue as you imagine, warm as a bath and salty as a McDonalds French frie. Because of the high salt content it’s easy to float on your back, which for this Aussie was a welcome discovery. I have unusually high bone density and usually sink like a stone in the water. Whilst on the boat I swam every day and doubt any of the seas back home will ever treat me as gently as those in Turkey.
In between the swimming, sleeping and eating I managed to get some writing done which alleviated some pent up guilt. Part of being a writer is always feeling like you should be writing. I don’t holiday well but dammit I’m trying.
Tomorrow we say goodbye to Fethiye and set sail for Rhodes. I’m looking forward to visiting the Old Town and sampling a culture which, despite being only across the water from Turkey, promises to be quite different.