This July Abdé and I took a vacation to Alanya, Turkey. This was an amazing experience for us as a couple. Being in a Muslim country allowed me to see a side to Abdé I had never seen before. I wasn’t expecting it to make much of a difference that we were going to be in a Muslim country, since Turkey is far from Algeria and was a new place for both of us. However, it was clear as soon as we got off the plane that Abdé felt “home.” First of all, all of the food was Halal, meaning he could eat all of the meat and not have to pick and choose amongst the vegetarian and fish options like he does when we eat out in Marseille. Suddenly, Abdé, who has a reputation for eating like a bird ( for which I blame his post meal cigarette) turned into a fourteen year old on steroids; eating around six meals a day with snacking in between!! It was refreshing and also hysterical to watch him talk and think constantly about food, and I could tell how liberated he felt being able to eat what he was used to.
Here are some pictures of the food we and our friends ordered on the first day. everything from the kebab style meat to the fish still with its gills to the strong spices was completely new to me, but textbook for Turkish cuisine and totally comforting for Abdé. Despite being delicious, the food actually made me really sick, and I ended up resorting to tried and true french fries and chicken for almost every meal by the third day. The tomatos and cucumbers you see as a side dish here was very typical to the cuisine in turkey, and was on our plates at every meal, even breakfast! Our entire travel group ate the “Turkish breakfast” almost every morning, which consisted of fried eggs, toast, jam, butter, two types of cheese, and sausage. This has become one of Abdé and my lazy morning staple breakfasts ever since.
The most disappointing thing about Turkish cuisine was the coffee. Abdé and I are both die-hard coffee addicts, so on the first morning we were there, I decided to try and order a turkish coffee. Abdé vehemently warned me against it, and I shrugged him off as being closed minded. I have to say, it was the worst coffee I’ve ever tasted. The coffee grinds rest in the bottom of the cup in turkish coffee, and it gives it a very strange, bitter flavor. Abdé and I spent the rest of the week craving a caffeine fix, and one night we stumbled upon an amazing french cafe on the main street of the city. It was a dream come true for us both!! This night in general was very special and romantic for Abdé and I: this diamond in the rough cafe was defintely my favorite place in all of Antalya.