After a barren winter with barely a sighting of another human life form in the neighbourhood for months, it has been exciting to see the influx of visitors arriving into their summer homes on our complex. They’re new arrivals for the season, in search of a respite from the heat of Turkish cities like Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara.
Hitching a ride with new neighbours
We met our first neighbours on the road to Yalikavak. We were ambling along waiting for a dolmus to take us to the market, and a stranger offered us a ride.
This is one of the benefits of taking public transport. We frequently get offered lifts off random strangers, and more often than not they don’t speak a lick of English, and are Turkish is still at the stumbling stages, but that doesn’t seem to deter anyone from offering a couple of sweaty foreigners a ride into town.
He didn’t speak much English, but we manage to communicate enough to discover that he and his wife lived a couple of doors down from us and had just moved into the neighbourhood.
We’ve seen them multiple times now, and even got a dinner invite that turned into quite an evening. So much so that it inspired a poem that will be appearing in my new poetry collection full of travel-inspired rhymes. Here’s the first verse to whet your appetite:
We were invited to dinner, early doors
But we headed to bed for some much needed snores
We woke up refreshed, and then ambled over.
But guests were as rare as a 4-leafed clover.
Paying Respects to THE family in the neighbourhood
A few doors in the other direction are a multigenerational Turkish family. Grandpop, who we’ve named Tommy 2-Kebabs, loves sitting in the swing set during daylight hours with his shirt off sporting a white vest, reading the newspaper. Mother splits her time between tending her vegetable garden and rattling the pots and pans in the kitchen, and Adult Daughter seems only to appear at meal times. We think they keep Adult Daughter locked up between feeding frenzies to stop her meddling in the kitchen, or taking her shirt off and reading the paper.
It’s been intriguing (and then amusing), to watch a steady stream of new arrival summer migrants pay homage to this trio. Tommy 2-Kebabs holds court multiple times a day, as each new visitor treads a path their their door, I physically have to restrain Red from diving to the iPod to blast the theme from the Godfather.
We have been chastised by them once for the volume of our music, and now the iPod is set to a moderate level, incase we ending up with equine 3-way.
Influx of Summer Migration Wildlife
When we got back from our last trip away, the weeds in the garden were hip-height, and I’ve spent the last month taming the weeds and planting wildlife-attracting flowers.
We seem to be doing something right. There’s a constant flutter of butterfly wings doing figure-eight formations over the front garden, and there’s a plentiful supply of other winged creatures helping to pollinate my tomato plants.
New Species in the Garden
This week we saw wildlife of a different species.
Chubby-cheeked toddlers are tearing up and down the paths between houses, and today we had our first sighting of the Greater Spotted Teenager, and the Lessor Spotted Tweenie. No matter what size these new arrivals are, they all chirp a similar song….. “An-ne, An-ne, An-ne”*
Looks like summer has well and truly arrived, and our winter-peace has been shattered. Just as week it was the Summer solstice yesterday and the days are now getting shorter.
I wonder what time bedtime is for Turkish children?