How to Ride the Dolmus

Step 1: Stand in front of the bench just outside the main base gates.

Step 2: Choose a dolmus (a vehicle that looks like a mix between a small shuttle bus and a Volkswagon van) that’s not already full of people–or live chickens… Yes, we’ve heard some interesting stories!

Step 3: Try to find a seat near an open window and hand your 1.4 TL to the driver.

Step 4: Ride the dolmus until it stops at a city park square in the middle of downtown Adana. Once you get off, try to avoid the bees swarming around the stacks of honey-soaked fried pastries sitting out in the front of bakery facing you.

NOTE: These next steps are specific to our too-large group of “newcomers” who signed up to ride the dolmus with our volunteer tour-guide.

Step 5: Stand around in a huge sidewalk-clogging mass while people juggle their strollers (not practical for the narrow and bumpy sidewalks, as soon became apparent) and multiple young children.

Step 6: Cross streets quickly. “Hesitation will not be tolerated,” according to our guide.

Step 7: Eat ice cream. Turkish ice cream is…chewy? It’s very difficult to describe. J calls it gummy–or even stringy, like taffy. Let’s just say that these tiny spoons had to work very hard… This is lemon and pistachio. Pistachios are extremely common here, and they are fantastic! No fake green food coloring here!

Step 8: Wind through streets and try to stay near the front of the group to hear our guide (and to keep from getting frustrated with the “slow walkers” 🙂 ). On the way, look at the old mosques that seem as though they’re practically growing out of the ground and out of the newer building that have been molded around them.

Step 9: Turkish candy store.

a part of the window display

Turkish delight sampling station. It seemed as though you can just grab chunks from that sandbox of sugar and coconut(?) in the center.

wedding candies

My own personal jury is still out on Turkish delight. But, it sure is pretty!

No one told us what this is. I'm thinking it's perhaps made from walnuts and dates?

Step 10: Find somewhere air-conditioned for lunch.

Step 11: Find a few other people interested in riding the dolmus back while the rest of the group is shopping. Walk back to the park and flag down the one with the name of our region.

Step 12: Repeat Step 3.

Step 13: Sit tight and thank your lucky stars that you’re not the one driving on these narrow city streets and in the lane-less roundabouts!

NOTE: This final step is specific to us alone.

Step 14: Arrive at home. Shake Sadie’s red Kong out of the tree. (Those things can bounce!)

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