I think the majority of us are creatures of habit. I believe we develop little daily rituals, and get into the habit of doing things a certain way, because it feels somehow comforting and reassuring.
I was thinking about this today as I was travelling...yet again...by bus over to see Mr Ayak. I'm almost always too early for buses and have to wait around. In fact I'm an "early for everything" kind of person..I have been all my life. I just hate being late.
The buses back from Bodrum to Milas, run every 20 minutes. The journey takes between 40 and 50 minutes, depending on the driver and the traffic. I always catch a bus at 10 minutes past the hour, and when I'm dropped off at the road to the village to get the dolmuş, I have to wait..usually at least half an hour. I know that the village dolmuş leaves Milas on the hour and that it will take anything from 20 minutes to half an hour to reach me. While I'm waiting, the next bus which leaves Bodrum at half past the hour, arrives...and of course I'm still waiting...in the blazing sun. So why do I keep catching the earlier bus? I keep telling myself I should catch the later bus, but somehow I can't bring myself to risk it. It's crazy, but it's become a habit that for some unknown reason, I'm reluctant to break.
And talking of catching the Bodrum bus, Mr Ayak now has a little ritual. He takes me to the bus station, then he pops into a shop and brings me a bottle of water for the journey, and an energy drink which he insists I have to drink as soon as I arrive home. Even though my "too-early" bus was about to leave today, Mr A told the driver to wait while he rushed to the shop to get my drinks....as if something terrible might happen if he didn't!
When I finally get back to the village, I encounter another little ritual...every time. It's really exhausting walking up to the house in this heat. Half way up the hill lives a little old lady. She sees me coming and she leans over her wall with a glass of water for me to drink. I suppose if I had refused it the first time, she may not have offered again, but she is just so sweet I didn't want to offend her, so I accepted. So even if I don't want it now, I can't possibly refuse can I?
There is another ritual which any English-speaking person in Turkey will recognise. If Turkish children know you're English they have to call out "hello" in English. Of course the kids are on school holidays now so there are a fair number out and about in the village and on the way to the house, so I don't expect to walk past them without being called to. They have a standard phrase "Hello...what is your name?" You answer...but the conversation doesn't develop. They just keep repeating it...."hello...what is your name?" ad infinitum...until you just have to make out you can't hear them. I've discovered there's very little point in trying to say anything else, because they just giggle and start all over again..."hello..what is your name?" aaargh!
As I'm doing this bus journey quite regularly now, I'm beginning to notice things. A couple of things amuse me. There is a house at the side of the road in Guvercinlik (on the Bodrum to Milas Road) which is called "Pentonville". I wonder who owns it? Is it perhaps English people with a strange sense of humour, or is it owned by Turks who just picked an English name at random. (For those of you who aren't English, or familiar with the name...Pentonville is a prison).
There's also a boutique hotel just outside Bodrum called "Sedative". I don't know why that makes me chuckle...but it does!
Anyway...back to the subject of this post. Do any of you have any little rituals or habits that you just can't break?