On an early morning in late May, I caught a ride to Nevşehir with some Ibrahimpaşa locals. I found myself sardined in the back of a van, soft bodies surrounding me on every side, bumping along the road to Nevşehir with a group of Turkish women. We were on our way to make gözleme and other Turkish goods for the first day of a 10 day long food drive. I had been invited on the excursion, and was eager to help as well as spend a day in some new surroundings.
I spent the morning rolling out paper thin dough with the village women, practicing my Turkish and eating way more than I ever thought I could. When my attempts to turn down more gözleme or baklava seemed to be failing, I decided to take a break from rolling dough (which I was embarrassingly terrible at) and walk around the city in search for a good place to draw. Unless you want to go to the mall, or eat some American style pizza, Nevşehir is not the most interesting place to visit in Kapadokya. However, there is a Byzantine castle on a hill above the town, and plenty of shady spots to sit on the streets below.
I settled myself outside of the Nevşehir Belediyesi (or local government building), where there was a perfect view of the ruins, and began work on an ink and watercolor sketch. I had been working for about an hour when I heard the snap of a camera from behind me. Before I knew it, I was surrounded by a small news crew that had seen me drawing on the street and rushed over to ask me questions. There can be an awkward moment when you are talking with people whose English is about as good as your Turkish and it becomes confusing which language is the best to communicate in. So, we switched back and forth, speaking Turklish, as I explained where I was from and what I was doing in Kapadokya. When the interview was done, they thanked me and rushed inside the Belediye building to bring me a fresh cup of Turkish coffee that I enjoyed as I leisurely finished my drawing.
It was a matter of days before the paper circulated in Ibrahimpaşa with the short interview I had in Nevşehir. There was a bit of excitement at the local bakkal as I passed around the paper with locals and we all read it together. Apparently, my Turkish isn’t as good as I think…because there were a few facts that were a little off…but I was so pleased and honored to be mentioned in the local news. I love Turkey, in all its spontaneity! To see a digital version of the article click here.