Posts Tagged With: hospitality


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Leaving the busy city of Atalya, we bused overland through mountainous rocky country headed into the Taurus Mountains for an overnight with a family in the Village of Ibradi. On the way, we stopped for lunch at Kardeni-Pide, a roadside restaurant. Usla likes us to experience different foods and here we see salads with much red cabbage.

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Our first offering of a type of flat bread along with the traditional loaf bread is brought to the table with the soup.

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Service here is very quick as the cooks prepare everything ahead of time in a refrigerated case within view.

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Owen ordered chicken shish, but I tried the hand-made pizza, a half of one is enough for lunch, but I ate most of this very substantial pizza. Best of others I’ve tasted.

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They served a type of walnut-tomato chili here as well that was delicious.

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The restaurant owner provides a prayer room where employees can go upstairs and pray on their “break” that would then coincide with the call to prayer.

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After many more miles down the road, Usla wanted to stop at a roadside fruit stand. He claims Turkish bananas are superior. He bought a bag for aboard the bus and they are very good tasting. And loquats to taste, new to some members from the Eastern U.S.

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Typical fare at a stand here is raw peanuts and carob pods.

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Citrus fruits and home canned jars of olives of various types and jams and syrups.

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Everywhere is citrus fruits, melons and strawberries in season and loquats. Joan B. got a sour one but they are traditionally sweet and easy to grow.

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We met and had apple tea with the Assistant Mayor since the Mayor was visiting in Antalya and we actually met him there briefly at dinner in Old Town. He said he would have his assistant give us the keys to the city.  We learned from the assistant that the population of Ibradi is 3,000 people and they have a housing shortage. People who have left, like Ibradi because it is cool in summer and many people come here to retire. Their relatives come and visit during the hot summer months and they are trying to encourage more tourism and hotel space, which is almost non existent. I wanted to tell him that tourism will ruin this wonderful little village, (my opinion), but others agreed with that.

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This beautiful chandelier with the star and crescent of the flag, hangs in the hall outside of the mayor’s office.


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They have public water and farmers have wells.


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Village buildings appear to be more modern than the stucco structures we saw in the first village we visited.DSC06166 (Copy)

Usla wanted to show us a tree over one thousand years old.

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It is big enough to compare with our Calaveras Big Trees, sequoia gigantea. DSC06175 (Copy)

Early residents learned to build  with the small rocks and stones typical of the area. No grand granite blocks nor adobe available. DSC06161 (Copy)

Two of them in town are being preserved and restored. We were given a tour of a wood frame building that a village committee has faithfully furnished and restored to be used as a hotel for tourists.

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Enjoying a meadow, was quite a big herd of goats that run wild in the mountains and return to be milked. The farmer demonstrated milking these long haired nubians, but he was so quick, I couldn’t get my camera focused in time.DSC06173 (Copy)

His wife posed for a picture.

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Weather is chilly, windy and raining lightly. We take cover in a cafe for tea when in come’s our Hostess, Hatice Sekman. (Pronounced hat-jay.) The gentleman was in the cafe when we arrived.

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People came in to meet us with many questions and a lot of curiosity about Americans. The fellow in the bright blue jacket is very concerned about brain damage from cell phones and he wanted to know if we worry too? Our two doctors claim the evidence is preliminary and no one knows yet. They wanted to know ages and about our daily life. And they liked telling us about theirs. The fellow on the left is 71 and his father lived to be 94.

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Usla gave us the key to the city. The joke being they had a hard time finding it because it hasn’t been used in many years. No one locks their doors here.

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The rain was getting heavier and we dashed over to the Mosque to visit with the Imam.DSC06184 (Copy)

The niche is the equivalent of an altar and people face it when they pray, aligned with Mecca.

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The Imam lighted the chandeliers, sang for us and answered all of our questions.

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Like teachers and doctors, he is assigned to be Imam for a village. He was not born in this village. His sermons are delivered to every Imam in the country and each Imam preaches  the same message. No one is allowed to go off message so that they don’t have rogue factions like they do in other countries. It seems smart in view of things, though my first thought was control of freedom of speech.  One person asked if he would like to leave this village and he readily admitted, with several locals present, that, yes, he would like to be in charge of a bigger mosque where he could do more good. He sang for us, in the distinct wailing chant of the Imams. The muscles in his throat visibly contracting in ways different from normal speech. It was a wonderful experience and gives me chills when I think about it. (I was not ready with my camera and was unable to record it.)

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The government pays the Imams and pays to build the mosques, but this one was built and paid for by a rich donor.

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It is beautiful and quite sizable for a town of 3,000.  About 20 people come to pray on Fridays.

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It was pouring down heavily by the time we loaded into a bus to our hosts home.

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Usla is a very talented and fast translator and we talked for an hour and got acquainted and warmed up before dinner and bed. DSC06202 (Copy)

Hatice fitted us all on a sort of sun porch off her very modern kitchen. We ate lentil soup, an entre with rice and lamb , salad and she makes her own walnut-chili concoction and told us the basic recipe. She also served a sort of sweetened bread that I can only compare to tender corn bread except it was made from wheat flour.

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Gina with Hatice and her husband Ferhat (pronouced fed-het) During our talk we learned that her parents died when she was very young and she was raised by her cousins family. Ferhat is her first cousin, but it isn’t common to marry first cousins.  They have one daughter, age 21 who is in college now. She encourages her daughter not to wear the scarf. It isn’t required of them, but it is tradition, especially in rural areas.

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Norman and Joan with the Sekmens. Hatice was very curious about us and wanted to know where we were from, what we do, our children and ages. And Turkish men don’t do dishes, “They just eat,” she said. But we noticed he picked up dishes and refrigerated leftovers. She was whirlwind and had that whole kitchen cleaned up in 15 minutes. We slept like logs safe and snug from wind and rain.








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We Visit Dirty Miller in Grand Chenier, Louisiana!


Yesterday we drove the motorhome the about 40 miles from Holly Beach to Grand Chenier, Louisiana. The yellow line on the below Google Earth image shows our route…


The day started with a beautiful sunrise over the Gulf of Mexico…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…


The gulf was nearby on our right as we drove east along the shore route…


We were also on the Creole Nature Trail…



We took the ferry from Holly Beach across the Calcasieu Waterway 1/4 mile to Cameron on the far shore…



About 25 miles later we came to the Mermentau River Bridge where we stopped to take a few photos…





We started along this narrow road following the river shore…


About two miles later the road narrowed to a single lane and a sign saying PAVEMENT ENDS. I said to Mary…I don’t think I want to do this. Looking to the left we saw our only escape…a circular driveway…


As we made the circle we could hear someone shouting at us. I asked Mary we he said and she replied she did not know. So, I decided to stop…and that’s when we met him…DIRTY MILLER…a crazy, Cajun Coonass…


As we approached his shed…he shouted…it’s not done cooking yet! I asked him what was cooking and he replied…Cowboy Stew! With him was his girlfriend Rachael whom he calls Ray-Ray and several other friends. He introduced himself as Dirty Miller. His real name is Pravato Miller. He works for Cameron Parish and has lived there all of his life.

He explained the concrete slab in front of his shed covers the remains of his house which was destroyed by Hurricane Rita in 2005…


Next thing we knew he was giving us the grand tour of his utility shed which includes among other things…a refrigerator, cooking stove, washer and dryer, a great sound system and numerous photos…



He had had a little to drink by then and kept repeating…I love life and having fun and I’m one crazy Cajun Coonass! He also told us that he was a guide who has had a number of famous people as clients…including Hank Williams, Jr.

He and the crowd were super friendly and a barrel of laughs. We were fast becoming friends…so much so that Mary shared a tobacco chew with him…


All the while the French Cajun Music was blaring away and dancing happened…


As time passed it was time for delicious Cowboy Stew and coleslaw…


As he was stirring the stew, I asked the ingredients and you can enjoy his Cajun accent by clicking this link…

He’s a gun collector and showed Mary the largest handgun made…a Smith & Wesson 50 caliber…


He wanted to show us how loud it was and we were absolutely amazed when he actually hit the beer can…


This dog wasn’t impressed…


Nor this dog…


He offered to show us the scenery along the gravel road that included cattle…


And lots of birds and ducks of which Mary took many photos…


By now we were fast friends…


He invited us to spend the night in his driveway…which we did. Here’s the dinette photo…


He and Ray-Ray insisted on cooking us a breakfast…


So at 6:00 AM they served us a tasty shrimp, crab and crawfish omelet complete with home-made hot sauce…


Here’s the view from Dirty Miller’s shed just before we left this morning…


Needless to say we had a ball visiting Dirty Miller and his friends. He really did not want us to leave and he actually had tears in his eyes as we made ready to depart.

A whole bunch of that great Louisiana Cajun hospitality. Thanks y’all for a great visit!

Enjoying meeting fun and interesting people is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows our approximate location in the State of Louisiana. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…


Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein


If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2013
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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