One thing I have never understood about our amazing Turkish culture is the love we seem to have for a balo. (Dinner and dance events)
If it’s for a charity event with all proceeds going to charity I can understand, however when it’s done as a money making scheme (which it usually is) that just ‘takes the sidik’.
Over the holiday period, I spent some time thinking about why I don’t like Balo’s, so thought I would share my 3 3 reasons why a balo is just a load of Balo’ney. (see what I did there).
1 – The price
These things are never cheap. On New Year’s Eve for example a Balo in London was charging £50 per head. Some may think that is reasonable but when you are a family of 4 that’s £200 plus you need to get yourself there, and then of course you need a new outfit because that bitch of a cousin Ayşe will be there and she will gossip if she sees you wearing the same outfit again (Ayşes name has been changed to protect the gossiper)
I always think a balo is like a wedding… Except the bride and groom couldn’t be bothered to turn up because they knew how rubbish it would be.
2 – The food
Don’t get me started on the quality of the food. It’s advertised as a 7 course menu (if you include Corek as a course) and when you arrive you find 5 out of the 7 is just Meze that has been sitting out since 2pm.
Then onto the main and surprise surprise you get given a chicken in either white wine sauce, or in mushroom sauce with a few frozen potatoes and some microwave veg (vegetarian option… Just remove chicken)
They try to dress up the price by saying drinks are included (mshhhh). Not if you have to drive! As much as I would love a bottle of cheap whiskey that was left over from a wedding, that means I would have to get a cab which means spending more money.
Plus not sure the average family can put away 2 litres of budget orange juice, multipack Coca-Cola and 2 bottles of cheap wine.
At a wedding you don’t mind because it’s coming out of the bride and grooms pocket and you are invited as a guest, but as a paid for event, no thanks
You get those people that love it because they get a chance to gossip (I’m looking at you Ayşe)
You’ve got the kids that run around screaming all night jacked up on E numbers
And then you have the band that you have seen at the last 4 weddings performing the same set they have done for the last 5 years. If you are lucky they may pull themselves away from singing a depressing slow song to do a countdown for the New Year.
Let’s not forget the raffle where you can win amazing prizes such as Turkish wine that tastes like vinegar, a meal for 2 at a local Turkish restaurant, and free legal advice up to £200 from the Balos sponsor…. Sign me up for 10 tickets!
I just wish for a change they would advertise a balo by telling the truth. I imagine the ad would be something along the lines of:
This weekend come waste your money at a wedding without a bride or groom and enjoy a overpriced menu of dried Meze, frozen food, and a cheeky fruit platter (we’ll put a lit candle in an orange to make it feel extra special)
I reckon it will get more people attending than ever!
For these reasons I feel balos put the ‘balo’ in Baloney!
Turkishisms 2016 balo coming soon, with all profits going to my pocket!