Konya, the city where Rumi is buried, is partway between Pamukkale and Cappadocia, so I decided to break my bus trip there. I wanted to go to the Mevlana Museum and learn more about Rumi.
While I don’t think I learned more about Rumi, I did learn more about dervish life at the museum, which had exhibits about dervish life in their former cells of the complex.
There were so many tour groups there! There were several religious groups there too, not surprisingly. Konya itself is a very religious city. I almost wanted to wear a hijab to cover my hair so I wouldn’t feel so out of place (and trust me, by secular standards I was very modestly dressed already).
Dervish cells from the other side of the wall:
After the museum, it was time to grab my bags and head to the bus station to buy a ticket to Cappadocia. I have to say, there have been a lot of things I’ve really enjoyed about traveling by bus. Going overland lets you see the changing landscape, plus buses are the way that Turks travel. On my way to Konya, I tried to ask a young woman when we stopped at a rest stop how long we would be there. She evidently felt bad about not being able to communicate with me, so at the next rest stop she stopped by my seat to make sure I got off to stretch my legs, paid for my tea and the nibbles we shared, and then gave me a book in Turkish! (It looks like a romance novel but when I opened it, it seemed to be short stories of a different genre, though I don’t know which.)
When I bought my ticket to Goreme (in Cappadocia), the guy at the ticket booth acted like a babushka and asked where my boyfriend was when I purchased just one ticket. He then asked if I had kids and how old I was. I of course replied that a woman in my country doesn’t tell her age after twenty-one!