An extremely uncooperative internet connection has kept me from posting any photos anywhere for the past few days, which is why I am sitting at Kahve Dünyası now.
That, and their lattes.
I am ambivalent about Kahve Dünyası – and not just on the level of “poor service vs great coffee”, but on a more existential level of “corporate chain vs mom+pop”, “shameful elitism vs shameful populism”.
But I sit here at Coffee World in the Doğuş-Holding-owned marina AVM (because it is an AVM ‘shopping center’) basically because no one in Turgutreis has figured out that good coffee+free WiFi+a breeze=customers; either that, or they just couldn’t care less.
So what does the tourist want? In any discussion of sustainable tourism, that question has to figure into the picture.
But it’s not the only question. Which means that even if “If You Build It, They Will Come” is true, it does not necessarily make building it a Good Idea.
In fact, at this point, in Bodrum, “building it” is no longer a good idea at all – if “it” is a hotel, dwelling or commercial establishment. The fact is, we’ve got enough of them already. Trust me – ask anyone, and they’ll all tell you the same – the exception being anyone in the construction industry, or any politician dependent upon the construction industry.
But don’t get me wrong. Just because I am against the idea of paving paradise to put up a parking lot does not mean I am against construction in Bodrum (or Turkey or anywhere) per se.
In fact, construction in Bodrum is necessary.
In fact, construction in Bodrum is very necessary.
Build me a sewage treatment plant in Turgutreis so that I can swim in the water somewhere reasonably close to where I live.
Build me a couple of schools, so that my neighbor’s kids can get a full-day education that might give them a chance of growing up to be something a little more emotionally and economically rewarding than a bus boy or a cleaning lady in a “7-star hotel”.
DON’T BUILD ME ANOTHER BIG HOTEL,
DON’T BUILD ME A BIG HOTEL IN KISSEBUKU, ONE OF THE FEW UNSPOILT PLACES LEFT ON THE BODRUM PENINSULA.
If you’re thinking of coming to Bodrum, think of a sailing trip in the Gulf of Gökova.
Think of staying someplace other than an all-inclusive hotel that doesn’t put anything back into my community.
Think of how what you’re doing affects all of us here, including the farmers that are trying to feed us, and the sea turtles that are still out there, somewhere,
and think of yourself, and how you will want it to be here when you come back again.