After a leisurely breakfast the next morning, we trotted down to the pool for a day sunning ourselves. I admit to being a little peeved at having been wined, dined and dumped at the door but it’s not as if that’s a new experience for me. Having had one too many Rakis at dinner last night, I was quite happy to sit poolside camouflaged by a big sun hat reading the latest blockbuster before participating in a game of water volleyball with some other holidaymakers.
As I was frolicking around in the water like a walrus, I noticed two feet poolside and I looked up to determine the owner. “Hello I am Ahmed” – no shit Sherlock! I can’t deny that I felt somewhat pleased by his unannounced arrival, but prayed that he hadn’t brought his scooter with him. Hangover + white knuckle ride = a very poorly me; and it was not an experience I was hoping to repeat again whilst (a) conscious and/or (b) sober.
“I am coming later going Turkish night” – well, since you put it that way, it’d be rude not to! So later on that night, showered, moisturised, shaved and exfoliated to within an inch of my life, I was ready to rock. Expecting a night of Turkish culture and cuisine, I took extra care with my appearance and a tip from Ahmed’s grooming regime by liberally dousing myself in half a bottle of duty-free Prada.
When he called for me at the apartment later on, I was delighted to notice that he hadn’t brought the monstrous moped with him. So we had a nice stroll to a local hotel, which he informed me was owned by one of his “friends”. When we arrived, the venue for the Turkish evening was on the Hotel pool terrace which was decorated in garish balloons and streamers. We were shown to our seats and as we were getting comfortable, the Chef lit the barbecue that was situated directly behind us. Already, I was regretting wearing shedloads of hair product as should a spark stray my way, I would have become a human torch within nano seconds. Both my waterproof mascara and Prada were also fighting a losing battle with the smoke, giving me the appearance of Norma Desmond meets the cast of Scream. Not to mention that I now smelt like a kebab.
As the Turkish master of ceremonies announced the entertainment, everyone clapped as a Michael Jackson impersonator took centre stage. Now don’t get me wrong I love Michael Jackson as much as the next person but there seemed to be something mildly misplaced about this young Turkish teenager and his endless crotch grabbing routine. Next up was the Turkish Elvis impersonator who crooned “I am no help falling in love with you”; which will never be quite the same for me again. As the evening progressed Ahmed showed me the “Cockytail” menu and against my better judgement, I ordered an “Organism” as opposed to a “Mangarata” which was possibly Margarita’s less attractive and cheaper sister. I was touched to notice that when the waiter delivered my drink it was accompanied by a single red rose and a note from Ahmed which included his phone number with the words “I am very bex like you”. What can I say the man was smitten or quite possibly his parents were, at the very least, first cousins.
I don’t know at what point Ahmed got roped in to assisting with the barbecue, possibly when I was being serenaded poolside by “Elvis”, who was a portly Turk demonstrating that anyone can wear sequined spandex. All too soon he was rapidly replaced by a Turkish breakdancing group with a dodgy sound system. As the required music failed to start on cue, curses were exchanged together with the odd blow between the DJ and the group, which resulted in them abandoning their routine mid performance and jogging off to their next venue.
The buffet was pleasant enough although I was hoping for something a little more traditional than salad, cips (chips or fries) and BBQ chicken. Very quickly the remains of the meal were cleared for the big attraction of the night, the Turkish dancing.
I don’t know exactly what I was anticipating but I thought that there may have involved a little more skill. The hotel staff held hands at shoulder level and hopped along to the music whilst moving backwards and forwards but I noticed that if you were on the end of the conga line, you did get to shake a white hanky around. Everyone was dragged up to dance young and old, and as there were no difficult steps to follow, it was fairly easy to pick up. To be fair everybody entered into the spirit of the proceedings; some a little more enthusiastically than others, owing to the abundant availability of “Cockytails”. As I was hopping up and down, the hot and sweaty aged Elvis cut in next to me – oh yeah I’m a fox magnet! Keen to impress, he hopped along with gusto in his skin-tight Lycra cat suit, grinning at me as if I was his next meal. As the tempo increased so did the enthusiasm of the dancers with Elvis hanging onto me as if I was a prize heifer. Inevitably, he toppled backwards, dragging me along with him into the swimming pool. I don’t know who was more embarrassed me or Mr Presley. A couple of the hotel staff helped me clamber out to the rousing applause of our audience who clearly thought I was the best cabaret of the night. Ahmed came running to my aid with a pile of hotel towels and as he was helping me to dry me off, Elvis suddenly realised he had serious competition for my affections so stomped off in a huff, muttering something about “stupid Engleessssssssshh girls”. As Ahmed gently dried my hair I had no doubt that Mr Presley would have already moved on to another conquest who would appreciate the rhinestone-studded costume and quiff. But for now, Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Elvis had left the building.