Imagine this ……. you have found your way to the PTT office in an unfamiliar city and successfully release your parcel retained by customs. You only have to pay 5 TL tax instead of the 850TL they quoted in your letter – there is nothing else that can spoil your day.
You would think that wouldn’t you?
Well the beer didn’t disappoint and the table overlooking the harbour was perfect as was the view and the service. So no complaints there
The day gets even better when a cheeseburger and chips only cost 10TL per head.
Even after the food and drink we enjoyed listening to the buskers on the promenade and watching the trams and the horses moving the tourists back and for on sight seeing rides.
So far so good – after a perfect few hours we decide to happily wander back up the busy shopping streets to find the car park to return home….. it is only then you realise you made the fatal error before you left Mahmutlar, that error was made when you chose what you were going to wear on your feet!
INDIRIM SOK flip flops (actually my favourite flip flops) bought in 2016 when they were discounted from a ridiculous 15TL to 10TL.
Perhaps flip flops are never going to be the best choice of footwear to go walking around Antalya harbour but that is what I chose and that is what I was wearing.
But this error of judgement only hits me when the right flip flop decides to SNAP and fly off my foot into the crowd of international tourists walking along the same street.
It hit home even more when I had to limp over into the middle of that crowd red faced and barefoot with just the one flipflop on the left foot to pick up the broken one.
Of course, everyone is enjoying the entertainment and staring, I can also see them smirking as I pick up the broken shoe and pretend everything is normal. But then suddenly ……. A Turkish guy appears from nowhere and whips my broken flip flop right out of my hand and walks away saying ‘come, come, come arkadas, arkadas’.
So without question (and where else in the world would you do this) we find ourselves blindly following this stranger down long alleyways and backstreets wondering where on earth he was leading us.
After many twists and turns in these dark passages we arrive at our destination. His ‘arkadas’ is a backstreet cobbler. Once introduced our flip-flop is handed over and we are left in this cobbler’s capable hands.
He is such a gentleman, he doesn’t laugh at my flip flop or mock the quality of the poor worn out things, he has a vital job to do and he takes the responsibility very seriously indeed.
He gets straight to work and pulls out a huge needle and starts threading the detached flip flop top and stitches it back in place by pulling the threads through to the back of the sole stitching it neatly.
When finished he asks me to hand over the ‘good’ flip flop (as if he is confident this will happen again) and does the same thing but now he is muttering 100TL occasionally.
I am thinking to myself, does he realise these shoes only cost me 10TL in the first place and what do I do if he has finished the job and asks for 100TL. I have learned the hard way that you should obey the golden rule in tourist towns or where you are not known. Agree a price before you eat anything and agree a price before anyone starts work on anything. But I didnt agree anything, my brain flew away with my flip flop, into the air and never to be seen again.
So now I am worried …..and so I should be
When he finishes he looks at me, puts his hand out and offers me the mended flip flops and asks if I am the ‘CHEF’
Gra kindly says yes (thanks Gra!!!)
Tamam he says and tells me the HESAP is 100 TL
Now at that point my blood pressure was rising and I was about to start explaining that the flips flops only cost me 10TL in the first place and were bought in SOK in a sale but he just laughs ……and adds
Madam fiyat 100TL – INDIRIM – 10tl. and proudly places my mended flips flops in my hands.
A bargain and a relief – 5 TL per flip flop ( as much as I paid for them mind you)
But worth every lira as I can walk through the streets once more without embaressment and get back to the car without being humiliated.
So there you have it – I can’t think of another place on this earth where someone would go out of their way to help a person dumb enough to wear cheap and nasty flip flops on a day out, or even begin to try and mend the things.
But you know , this is Turkey.
It’s what happens.
No matter what you do, there is always someone with a solution to every problem.
Need ideas for a day trip
Check out our webpage on trips and tours from Mahmutlar