I am writing about the kebabs as promised previously, whilst the the music from Tarkan’s support act (some cover group) is in the background.
On Thursday I received a telephone call from Hakan. He informed me the AIESEC Adana summer tour was starting tomorrow and asked if I wanted to join. The tour was to visit Adana on the first day followed by Sanliurfa and Mt Nemrut.
Because of the very short notice I could only go the first day. Besides, I had already visited Urfa and Nemrut previously. I was mainly interested in meeting and having fun with the trainees AIESECers.
After taking the train, I first chatted with Buket at work’s Adana office.
The Adana part of the tour involved Ataturk House, the Omer Sabanci Cultural Centre, the Sabanci Mosque, Adana kebab for dinner and the evening at ‘Flame’ nightclub.
As an old trainee and one who had lived in Turkey for a few years, Murat asked me to give a few speeches to the entourage that mainly consisted of foreign trainees. At Ataturk House I spoke about Ataturk and at the restaurant the subject was Adana kebab. My last words were “Kebab is Adana and Adana is kebab”. One AIESECer in the nightclub actually asked if I was a guide- very flattering!
At the nightclub a full boat race (drinking game) actually occurred. This is the only time I recall a boat race competition reaching a conclusion. It was nowhere near as professional as at Australian AIESEC events but it was fun anyway. My team was knocked out in the first round.
That night or, more accurately, that morning, we stayed in dormitories, men and women in separate complexes in different neighbourhoods. At 6:30 am I woke up and left for Mersin.
The highlights of Adana were meeting the trainees and AIESECers. It is great to mix with a group of young people from many different parts of the world. I met and chatted with many people including Aaron from Sweden. Just last week he was at a meeting with Loz. It’s a small world!
On Saturday my boss was generous enough to shout me lunch. He took me to ‘Devekusu Doner’ restaurant, literally, ‘Ostrich Doner’.
There we both ate Devekusu Iskender. This consisted of sliced ostrich doner meat on pide bread with yoghurt and fresh tomato on the side.
The ostrich was delicious and tasted slightly different to anything I have eaten before. I will go back again in the future. That is if the restaurant is still around. Restaurants with different or exotic food don’t often last very long in Mersin as the locals are usually fussy when it comes to non-Turkish tastes.
To top my Saturday off, after lunch I shook hands with the Mayor of Mersin. He was visiting the office to discuss his son’s foreign education.
See related entry.