While we’re all certainly busy here learning about and trying to follow the eight limbs of yoga, the star of this particular post has eight tentacles! You see, on Wednesday night, six us (there are eight participating in the training) went out to eat at a popular Bodrum fish restaurant. We sat outside on an upstairs patio overlooking the marina with a nearly full moon shining down on us. This was, most definitely, the best restaurant meal I have eaten in Turkey thus far. I went to sleep that night dreaming of the grilled octopus we ate–seriously!
Like the nicer kabap places in Adana, the meal was served family style and started with a large assortment of salads and appetizers. These, however, were more fresh and varied and elegant than I have experienced previously. We had zucchini flowers stuffed with rice and herbs, two types of yogurt that included spicy eggplant as well as cucumber and mint, several dishes of garlic-y greens, amazing little sardines, white cheese and a couple of other things that I now can’t recall.
Then the octopus arrived. It had been cooked on a grill in olive oil and what tasted like paprika and possibly some other herbs, as well. The lighting was dim, so it simply looked like a long, thin piece of delicate white meat. I have eaten octopus once before at a sushi restaurant, but there it had been steamed and it was a bit tough and rubbery. This was anything but. Like I said, I dreamed about it that night–I really did!
For dessert they served halvah and fruit. I’ve eaten halvah, a candy made from sesame seed paste, before in the form of blocks or bars, often coated with chocolate. But this dish was served warm and it had been mixed with molasses to soften it.
It’s now been exactly one week since the training began. Fourteen more days to go. As is typical for me with any intensive program I’ve ever attended, whether it had to do with music or dance or academics or whether I was a teacher or a student, I feel as though I’ve been here for quite a long time. At the same time, each day seems to pass quickly. I know that by the time we’re nearing the end I will be wondering where the weeks went.
I must say that the Bodrum area seems quite different from Adana, and it’s giving me an entirely different impression of Turkey. Because this is a very popular tourist destination, both within Turkey as well as the whole of Europe, people come here from all over the world, and many of the now-permanent Turkish residents are also originally from Istanbul or Ankara. This is all to say that the population is quite diverse and that a large portion of the residents are here by choice because they love it here. That factor alone can set any city apart.
Sunday is our day off, so we’re planning to do a little more exploring of the downtown and seaside area. Then it will be back to work! (As J says, I won’t need a new Halloween costume this year–I’m planning to be flexible. 🙂 )