Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Tuesday report—a day in the life…

Several who read my description of a Tuesday in our lives at Spa for the Soul commented that it helped them to “see,” to catch something of the meaning of our choice to live as we do. That they found the descriptions encouraging, nourishing.

So here’s another Tuesday. Just for fun.

Last week was the major holiday with many businesses and public offices closed for the whole time. Kaş was packed, the tour and dive boats full, the cars all rented, and the restaurants overwhelmed with diners. Children ran and played in the square while vendors hawked their almonds, ice cream and pretty lamps. Paragliders drifted down to land on the harbor wall. An enterprising village woman wandered among the guests to sell her bundles of fresh sage.

And then on Sunday they all left. Monday bleary-eyed restaurant workers and shopkeepers gave up their cheerful, energetic facades and sat slumped in the sun.

We were weary, too, and I hit the 6am alarm onto snooze several times Tuesday morning, finally coming awake at 7. The house was empty save for Curt and me. I had rushed to prepare our apartment for unexpected guests Monday and laundry lay in the kitchen floor when I padded in to make coffee. Two loads were already on the lines from the evening before. I hung a third load and started yet another. Leaving three piles to go. Sipped coffee in the quiet while I looked at email. Jeremiah, Paul and Moses greeted me when I opened to the day’s reading. Jeremiah full of the pain of presiding over Israel’s demise at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, and I prayed over parallels to modern-day America. Paul exhorting young Timothy, and I prayed for our kids. Moses celebrating God’s faithfulness, and I once again shook my head in befuddlement at His crazy blessings showered on us, All at once it was time to jump in the shower and get ourselves to Kaş. Halil and l had plans for our day. Gül has a spanking new passport and Greek visa and asked me to accompany her on her first-ever trip out of Turkey. She and Halil can’t go together until the restaurant closes for the season.
And with Gül away for the day, Halil asked Curt, who had already been there to make juice during the final days of Bayram, to help in the restaurant.

The adventure out of Turkey meant we would take the ferry for the two-mile run to Meis, a Greek island just off Kaş. Not far, but complete with passport control on both ends and a duty free shop on the island. And a plane to Athens now and again, and a ferry to Rhodes every Monday morning. Meis (Kastalorizzo in Greek) is tiny with a sweet sheltered harbor, colorful Greek architecture, and loads of restaurants because there isn’t much else to do there but eat and drink, and the ferry keeps you there for five or six hours. Truth be told, the main reason for the trip was to buy rakı for the restaurant at duty free prices. Two bottles each allowance. Well worth the price of the ferry ticket. This coming weekend is Turkey's national day. For one last time in 2013 Kaş will be packed with holiday makers who tour and shop and dine.

Gül speaks only Turkish. Like Halil she has adopted me as Momi and we’ve done day trips together before. She was a little nervous to go to another country, one where people don’t speak Turkish much, and thus I was chosen.

As we entered the harbor Gül thrilled over the bright houses that look so different from what she knows. After the formalities of immigration we set off to walk the town. Looked in little shops (very expensive, we agreed), bought some things Güvenç had asked for, looked around the tiny supermarket where she marveled over a dark brown round of artisan bread, and then stopped for a coffee and savored the sharing of a luscious banana-chocolate crepe. As would prove true most of the day, the vendors spoke English but not Turkish and I found myself in a brand-new role as Gül’s translator. Which brought me deep joy, a sense that the investment in learning the Turkish language is well worth it. Gül found the cappuccino extraordinary. We swapped stories about what we knew of Meis and I learned a new word. “Dedekodu” (gossip) can be a problem for the tiny community. After a lazy sit in the sun we wandered on.

Halil knows people on Meis so there were connections to be made and greetings to be given. We walked around the big church hoping to find a door open. Gül had never seen one before and asked whether a church is the same as a mosque. “Sort of,” I answered. David told us about a tiny sculpture garden on beyond the last hotel on the harbor and we explored that. Gül pointed out several smaller buildings scattered here and there and asked what they were. Invariably they were small chapels. More churches. “So many churches,” she marveled and I longed for the language to tell her more. Then lunch at a friend’s place where we shared Greek salad, calamari, and something akin to falafel that she had never seen before. All fresh and local and vibrant with color and flavor.

As we sat Gül asked what I wanted to drink. Looked disappointed when I said water. When I asked if she wanted wine on this special day she said only if I was having. So we did. We sat just at the water’s edge. The walkway between the buildings and the edge of the concrete is, after all, just three meters wide. Talked about the women going about in bikinis, about how women who would never dress that way in their home place would come to Kaş and do the same. We saw a heavy woman my age in shorts and a bikini top. I told her about Eda’s response the first time she met a 60-something American woman in shorts. She still refers to “your friend with the puffy legs like marshmallows.”
Halil phoned many times to direct his wife’s journey, ensuring that she met those he wanted her to meet, saw things he wanted her to see, and, of course, got to the duty free shop in time to buy the rakı. I called Curt once just to make sure he didn’t feel left out. Smile. We arrived everywhere early because Gül didn’t want to mess up. We were back on the ferry 40 minutes before we needed to be. I enjoyed a read while she napped.

For Curt and Halil it was a slow day, an enjoyable time together. Yasemin ran to greet her mother, greedy for what gift she might receive. Halil waited all aglow with delight at this gift he'd give his wife. With Gül back, Curt covered the pomegranate juicing while Halil ran home to shower and change into his evening workclothes. 

Investing. Invested. In people, language, houses and lands and furnishings for guests. Another day of it. Closed with a tasty spinach and cheese pide (Turkish pizza) from the wood-fired oven of the neighboring restaurant. Home. 

1 comment:

Susan said...

I'm reading blog posts of yours with delight. You write with just enough detail to make me feel as if I were walking alongside you, enjoying your busy days. Thanks for sharing your lives with us.