Friday, July 16, 2010

İzmir Gypsy Street

To a simple midwestern American searching for something to compare this place to, maybe it looked like a renaissance fair... a purpose-built, festival grounds, but without the costumed re-enactment fetishists and their false British accents. The action was real, the crowds real.... no false fronts on the buildings or the people, just winding narrow streets lined with neat, colorful little concrete/brick homes and shops that looked too make-believe to be beleived. There was also a whole lot more shouting and life on the street than a fesival - five fights and one wedding while we were there, lots of cars and scooters, kids playing and getting into trouble, and business being conducted.

We sat with our host and his family on plastic chairs drinking tea for most of the evening, and the night hadn't even started when we left at about 10:30. Our hosts were extremely gracious; gypsy hospitality must be the finest in the world.

We thought the wedding was starting when a '64 Chevy Impala convertible, decorated with rows of lights and carrying a mother, father, and two children dressed in white satin, came tearing through the main street to celebrate the boy's circumcisions.

I was cursing myself all night for not having a camera, but that moment really made me feel the misery of my failure.

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