Thursday, 4 July 2013

Kapıkırı - A Hard Sell.


The setting is blissfully peaceful and the description a history buff's dream: Kapıkırı sits on the remains of Carian Herakleia which was later settled by Byzantines. The city walls are well preserved with plenty of accessible look-out towers. Climb higher and caves reveal prehistoric paintings and Christian frescoes. The modern village with it's ancient ruins, nestles just below the Latmos mountains, a name which evokes the image of a libidinous Selene, goddess of the moon and the object of her passion, Endymion, destined to sleep forever for being too gorgeous.  


The approach skirts Bafa lake,  recognised as a wildlife treasury and duly accredited protective status as a national park.

Rock cut tombs

But we had been warned.  Home to a female sales force described in various guides as "robust", "persistent", "relentless", "intimidating" and "annoying", the women of Kapıkırı will hunt you down to get a sale.  They lurk on corners waiting for a hire-car or minibus to arrive and then shoulder their bundles of jewellery and headscarves and hurry off in pursuit to badger and pester new arrivals.


We had our secret weapon - a Teomanater - my husband can not be described as shy and retiring;  on London tubes he is fond of engaging the local loony or drunk in conversation, causing all other passengers to hide behind their papers in case he picks on them too.  As our first saleswoman, Ayşe, approached he subjected her to such a barrage of questions that she had to sit down and didn't even get chance to open her wares.


Our next two venders were rookies so I engaged them while trying to save Jake from a local canine  Lothario who had very amorous intentions . The girls were insistent that I should engage their services as minders to protect us from the "scary"(their word) pedlars in the theatre.


We'd been lucky so far and our arrival at the agora coincided with that of a minibus of more obvious potential and we were allowed to pass by unbothered. From the vantage point of a teahouse, we watched the ladies stalk any obvious tourist . We asked the menfolk sipping their teas what they thought of this commercial activity and not one had a good word to say about it. They'd also heard about the derogatory comments in guide books and on the web and weren't happy.  So it's obvious who wears the trousers in this village and they are flowery baggy ones.



As we walked back to the van we spotted Ayşe in the street but before we could get too close she had darted back into a garden and pretended not to see us.


There is a 3 TL entry fee to the village. 

21 comments:

  1. I've encountered this temerity in New York City and Nogales, Mexico...I figure "they" have to make a living and "they" figure a tourist must have $$$. Don was another one who could talk the ears off an orange :) Courious...I wonder how many of the tea drinkers paid for their tea with some of this touristy money? :)

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    1. I 've nothing against the ladies setting up stalls but hate being followed every step.

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  2. B to B, These ladies are modern-day Selenes. It's a good thing your husband saved himself from endless sleep!

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    Replies
    1. He was quite a catch in his younger days

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  3. Replies
    1. Such a good word, i don't know why I didn't think of it before.

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  4. I can count on my husband....he all but gives them a new business model...

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  5. I guess being Turkish is a big help here - they never come to me!:)

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    1. Even here? They didn't seem to leave anyone alone

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  6. What a perfect spot....and wonderful photos , particularly of the exhausted woman, unable to even open her bundle. I think I like the idea that those of the flowery baggy pants are in control. J

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  7. Wonderful pictures, including that of your secret weapon in full battle mode. :-) I know people have to make a living, but such persistence would ruin a visit for me as I'm not good at saying No.

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  8. I've found that the same 'evil eye' that I give to kids in restaurants seems to work pretty well - if that fails demented mutterings seem to do the trick.

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    1. If you decide to visit let me know ..I'll meet you there because I really want to see if your "evil eye" works.

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  9. You summed the day up brilliantly - loved this post. K&D x

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  10. I loved the article and the photos were excellent!

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  11. I have encountered such a woman! Salvar wearing tenacious little thing with a sack full of plastic bangles. She actually flagged down the car and we stopped because we thought she needed help!

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