Stories, thoughts, observations, rants and dribble. Just another of my attempts to keep the interested people informed ...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Hair, not the musical ...

I ran away from the restaurant yesterday with one of my new friends and her visiting buddies.  I think being stuck in the same building anywhere will drive you insane after a while and this building is no exception.
So when the other kids came in and asked if I had time to leave right then, I jumped straight up and ran to get my bag and jacket. 
I didn't really care where the destination was, but it turned out we were going to Avanos and then Ürgüp. 
The nearby towns were a nice change from Göreme, a little different in their feel, definitely not as touristy as here.  Ürgüp has a great lookout which would have been even better on a sunny day.
The highlight would have to have been in Avanos, however.  Straight ahead of the bus stop was the destination our guide was so excited to show us. 
The disturbing-sounding Hair Museum is housed within the same complex as the Chez Galip pottery studio.  On entry we were greeted by a resident potter who was throwing pots on a traditional foot-spun wheel.  We happily accepted wine in eggcup-sized pottery beakers and watched a demonstration.  One of our little team was braver than me and attempted to make something recognisable from the local river clay.  He ended up with a small dish that he "made" with a lot of help from the potter.  It was entertaining though and patently obvious how strong the potter's legs had to be as our volunteer could not make the wheel spin nearly fast enough on his own.
After the pottery interlude, we ducked through some low doorways into the cave system the showrooms are set up in.  The bright display lights and colourful clay creations gave way to what was completely unexpected, even knowing what I was coming to see. 
The long, narrow cave stretched away into the distance, every visible part of the wall covered in small pieces of paper, each scrawled with names, dates and details, and finished by a lock of human hair trailing towards the ground.  The hair hung dry and still, tentacles of some latent monster waiting to cling to unsuspecting passersby.  The curls and wisps were like stalactites that I had to duck low under for fear of being infected with the touch of dead hair.
I hate dead hair.  As soon as it leaves its head it becomes repulsive to me.  My sister possibly has a greater aversion, but nonetheless it grossed me out.  So of course I had to leave something as well. 
One of the other girls and I submitted ourselves to the chop, and left a tiny donation from the backs of our heads.  These were taped to our little slips of paper (people have left phone numbers, email addresses, residential addresses and even photos - are they looking for proposals?!) which were then pinned onto the wall. 
The hairfest didn't stop there.  There was a further hair-encrusted cave and passageway which led out into the main showrooms.
I don't know why but it feels good to be part of a legacy of ickiness.

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