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Hamams and Howls
Submitted by Tiffany on 6 March, 2010 - 16:18
Numerous camera shots, film sequences and interviews later, filming was completed. We once more trekked our way through Antalya airport, trailing lots of luggage and negotiating with the customs officers about the x-ray machines and the rolls of film that the cameraman was clutching to his chest.
We landed in Istanbul and headed en masse to the local hamam (Turkish bath) for some hot steam and massages, a hamam that has boasted the likes of Florence Nightingale, Cameron Diaz and errr, Brian May amongst its esteemd customers. We were wined and dined at a fantastic restaurant and topped off the evening with a bit of bar hopping, sampling local bands giving their versions of some well known tunes. We discovered a bizarre rock band featuring an aging Lemmy lookalike and a lead singer who was a teddy boy but who was belting out all the rock classics like Wild Thing.
I've now said goodbye to the great team whom I've spent the past week with though I must admit I'm still not 100% sure exactly what role each of them was fulfilling, there was definitely no hair and makup person. Every day was a bad hair day, but then the director had said in advance that he wanted to capture the authentic spirit of my BMW motorcycle travels, and there is nothing more authentic than people looking at photos of me after a hard day's riding and saying
"What the hell has she done to her hair?"
I've been saved from once more being the Norma No Mates of Istanbul by the timely intervention of Ali and his wife Buket. I first met Ali last year travelling in his landrover in Georgia and then bumped into him three months later on the Mongolian/Russian border. Like me his vehicle is currently in North America awaiting his return in the warmer weather months.
In the meantime, they are home in Istanbul and plying me with fantastic Turkish hospitality, visiting ancient sites and boating up the Bosphorous. Not to mention feeding me up at every opportunity. They have a great house in Omerli 20 minutes outside of Istanbul surrounded by forest.
As I sit here in front of the PC in their living room, I can hear the call of the muezzin at the mosque with an unlikely background chorus of what they assure me is the sound of jackals howling. It's creepy enough to have come straight out of a horror film.