Doğubeyazıt reminded me a bit of some parts of Kathmandu. Streets were full of potholes, buildings were incomplete or leaning a little to a side, and the Western tourists (the first we had seen in a long time) were geared up for treks in the Ararat area. This was the farthest east I had ever been in Turkey, and it seemed as though we had crossed a border into another land— in fact, I heard more Kurdish spoken than Turkish. With the Iranian border a mere 35 km away, the military presence here is strong; army barracks and lots lined with tanks and other armoured vehicles are prevalent. Despite this show of force, I took an instant liking to Doğubeyazıt.
We wandered up the busiest street that we believed would have the most potential for lunch, and soon found in one of those leaning buildings a most marvellous establishment for kebabs. Judging by the stares I received, this was a dude's joint, and perhaps a place not usually frequented by foreigners. The waiter seemed delighted by our presence, and quickly brought us two succulent kebabs and beautiful copper mugs of the frothiest ayran.
No matter how delicately I tried to sip my ayran, I ended up looking somewhat like this:
Naturally, the initial two swigs I took were closely watched with glee by the two guys at the next table, who did their best to giggle discreetly— and I deeply appreciate that Pedro did not photograph my foamy moustache and nose. Anyway, yoghurt is good for the skin, isn't it?