We arrived at our chosen restaurant for dinner on our last night ın Köyceğiz, noting that the patio area appeared laid out for a large gathering. We were about to move elsewhere but were assured it was fine to eat. We ordered mixed mezes, köfte and chıps, we were not feelıng particularly adventurous and we had seen locals enjoying this choice the previous evening.
Before our food arrıved a member of staff fell through a stool he was standing on, split his scalp. Nothing serious, but it was an impressive amount of bleedıng. Staff dashed off with the injured man, others from nearby places offered to help. It all looked very chaotic.
Halfway through our dinner the party started to arrive. It quickly became obvious this was some sort of post theatre cast gathering. There were people still in costume, still in stage makeup, some still in role. The gathering grew larger and larger spillıng into the interior, around our table, until we were pretty much part of the event. We were welcomed, offered more food, and generally made to feel part of events.
The food was interesting. It had been prepared by varıous members of the cast each bringing his or her regional specialities. These included çiğ köfte – raw meat kneaded with bulgur, herbs and spices – absolutely delicıous and devastatingly hot – much more so than any commercially prepared equivalent we had previously sampled. We ate more, we had our photos taken. And finally, we left. The party was still going strong…