Getting anywhere outside of Ortahisar (the village of lounging, staring men) requires a trip on a dolmus, which is a mini-bus that zips from village to village. The unfortunate thing about dolmuses for us is that there’s no direct bus to Goreme, the village where several of our favorite people live. However, that aside, the dolmuses make it easy to get out into the world and see other places.
From Ortahisar, the easiest place to get to by dolmus is the town of 17,000 called Urgup. Were we slated to live in Cappadocia for an extended period of time, Urgup would likely be my choice of a place to live. When I go to Urgup, I feel like I have choices, like I can be anonymous, like I could buy a pillow if I needed to.
It’s a sweet town.
Urgup was made even sweeter yesterday when our family trotted into an art shop devoted to the Ottoman art of marbling (painting without brush ever touching paint) called Ebru. The shop owner is a woman who studied for 13 years and now makes her livelihood off intriguing others in this art (there are demonstrations on YouTube, but since it’s banned in Turkey, I’m having trouble embedding the video into this post!). For ten lira–a bit under $7–each, we were able to sit down at her table and follow her instructions in order to make our own paintings. She directed us towards traditional subjects and forms, but I already can imagine the fun that could be had with more freedom and the opportunity to play around with the paints and personal ideas.
We have hopes of talking her into formal classes, although she may not have time in the high tourist season of Money Making, but at the very least, we plan to drag all of our visitors in to her to try their own hand at the thing. And if their necks are cold, they can buy a scarf she’s Ebru painted, too.
“Nazar” means “evil eye,” but we definitely felt caught by the warm gaze of Ebru Lady,
so much so that we also had to buy a cashmere shawl and a tablecloth stamped with Hittite patterns.
It was a beneficial afternoon for shop owners and dolmus riders alike.