Today, I was kicked out of my hotel. I know that immediately summons up images of me being the tourist from hell, but I didn’t throw a TV out of the window or anything. I didn’t even have a TV. Or a window, come to that.
Long story short, I was staying at a boutique place through this workaway scheme I’ve talked about. It means I got free bed and board in return for five hours work a day, five days a week. That’s a reasonable commitment, and a reasonable offer, imho. Unfortunately, the hours turned out to be much longer than I’d anticipated. Anywhere between nine and twelve hours became the norm, the expected.
Up at eight, washing up, serving breakfast, cleaning the pool, hosing down the paths, gardening, lugging wheelbarrows of dead leaves and egg shells to the compost heap, nipping to the local farm to top up an empty coke can with milk, preparing rooms, incessant sweeping of leaves, and waiting up until all of the guests have returned from their wanders at gone midnight. It wasn’t difficult, though occasionally strenuous in the baking sun. No, the work itself was easy. There was just so much more of it than I considered fair.
(Side note- Jack Smith, on planning a possible trip to Croatia, snubbed the idea of a workaway placement there, as the level of work (about eight hours) the hostel place wanted in comparison to how much simply paying for the rooms would have cost, worked out at less than minimum wage. I’m no mathematician, but this is exactly what was happening at my place in Turkey. I’m not afraid of a little hard graft, but this was getting ridiculous)
The free time was excellent, of course, when I could get it. I had maybe, four, fivehours a day? I’ll write another post on what I got up to later, but for the most part I waited for my next instructions by the pool. This hardly seems like I was having a tough time, I’m aware, but I wanted to actually see Turkey. You know, outside of the hotel grounds.
Anyway, I digress. I told my boss that I was going to leave the next day, as I wanted to do more travelling. She kicked off. According to her, it was dishonest of me to come to her hotel with the intention of leaving after a week. She didn’t believe my protest of not setting out with that intention. She rebuked my argument that I work more than the advertised five hours a day (!!!!!). She told me I could leave. Not tomorrow, not later, now. I packed my bag.
Now, a grown woman, knowing full well I had nowhere to go, no way to get there, and no place to stay, kicked a nineteen year old girl, on her own, in the arse end middle of nowhere, out onto the streets of a country I couldn’t even speak the language of. I don’t mean to sound accusing, but if that isn’t a touch rash, then I couldn’t tell you what is.
Luckily, I had Regina. She’s a German teacher on sabbatical, and we’ve become quite close since meeting at the hotel. She speaks Turkish and English, and upon seeing me, hysterical and lugging my suitcase, found me a taxi and gave me some advice as to what to do next. A few phone calls later, my taxi arrived, Regina negotiated a price, and I was on my way to central Fethiye. Without her, I’d be lost in the woods of Kayakoy dragging my face and 14k suitcase behind me.
I’ve arrived in central Fethiye, and am booked into a small hotel near the dolmus station. I rocked up, slightly hysterical (you know me, never one to get upset in the face of chaos) and was shown my new room. I phoned my mum and a friend to let them know I was safe but in a different place, and sat and thought for a while.
Half in shock still, half relieved, I didn’t really know what to do with myself. I showered (they have two settings here, scalding hot, and “off”.), wandered round Fethiye village, ate something, and stared at the balcony in a daze. I think tomorrow, I’ll go to visit Paspatur . Hopefully it’ll be slightly less eventful. I don’t think my mum’s nerves could take another surprise.