This morning I did this post...published it...and then it disappeared. I searched but couldn't find it so I posted again but wasn't happy with what I had written. I received a comment from Jules who had found my original post and she kindly copied and emailed it to me. Thankyou Jules...I am so grateful.
My apologies to Bombshellicious and Kelloggsville who commented on my original post before it disappeared giving me no chance to respond.
I am now about to delete my second post, because I wasn't happy with it. I couldn't re-create what I felt when I wrote this one. So I would also like to say thankyou to those of you who commented : Deniz, Charlotte Ann and of course Jules, and apologies because of course your comments will be deleted along with the post.
Mr A was asked by his boss if he would be prepared to collect his car for him yesterday. This would mean Mr A travelling by bus to a place called Salihli, which is 90km east of Izmir. The boss agreed to take Mr A's bookings for him in his absence, to make sure there was no loss of earnings, and to pay for any expenses incurred. It seemed like an ideal opportunity for Mr A and I to spend some time together, so he bought bus tickets for both of us.
I left the dogs out in the garden yesterday. It's now very secure and they have a large area in the old house for shelter from the sun, so making sure they were settled, I caught the dolmuş to the main road outside the village to wait for the bus carrying Mr A, which left Bodrum at 11.00am.
I haven't done any long bus journeys for a number of years. I've always been impressed by the service provided and how inexpensive and efficient it is to travel all over Turkey by bus. Things have improved enormously. There is now internet connection, each seat having its own monitor . Although I decided not to make use of it ...it makes a change to have a totally internet-free day. As soon as I sat down the steward brought me an icecream..lovely. He then dished out water at intervals, and half way through the journey served coffee/tea, cold drinks, and a huge variety of cakes and biscuits. They even have a little "dolly trolley" like the airlines!
There are always problems of course. Mr A's boss has had his 10 year old son, Ali, staying with him for a few days, and he needed to be delivered back to his mother at Izmir bus station, so he accompanied us. Mr A tells me that the boss and his wife are separated and the boss doesn't treat his son terribly well. In fact a couple of days ago Mr A almost came to blows with the boss for the way he was shouting at his son. He's a lovely boy, but quite timid...and clearly quite scared of his father. I felt like weeping for him.
Poor little boy clearly suffers from travel sickness, so spent the entire 3 and a half hour journey throwing up into plastic bags, which Mr A gathered up and disposed of once we reached Izmir. Mr A was so kind and gentle with this little boy...he really looked after him and was rewarded with a big hug from Ali when we said goodbye.
From Izmir we caught a bus to Salihli...90 km further. There's some interesting history attached to this town here but we didn't really have the opportunity to explore...maybe another time.
At Salihli bus station we picked up a taxi to take us to the address provided...which turned out to be a huge tomato warehouse...don't ask me why...I have no idea, and nor does Mr A. The car had been undergoing repairs by a guy who also humps crates of tomatoes...well this is Turkey...nothing comes as a surprise. The car was absolutely filthy, inside and out. Boy am I glad I changed my mind about wearing my white jeans. The cleanest bit of the car was the ashtray...and that had been well used.
We set off on the return journey, hitting Izmir at around 6.30pm and decided to pop in to Ikea. We had something to eat in their "value for money" restaurant, and a quick browse. We don't have money to burn at the moment but I picked up a couple of doormats for 2.95 lira each (just over a pound) and a large frying pan for 9.95 lira (about 4 pounds). We then popped into the Kipa supermarket next door and bought some dog food and milk, both on offer, and I managed to get a small electric fan for the bedroom, which at 24 lira was a pretty good deal.
We arrived home, exhausted at 10.30pm and the dogs were absolutely fine. I worried about them being left for 12 hours, but it didn't seem to bother them at all. Mr A took a shower then set off back to Bodrum to deliver the car.
It was a tiring day but one that gave Mr A and I some rare time together to talk. He was telling me about an accident on the Bodrum road that happened around 7am yesterday, when he was driving back to work on the motorbike. A car driving extremely fast overtook Mr A so close that Mr A had to swerve. No more than a few minutes later, the driver of the car seem to lose control and ploughed into two young men standing at the side of the road. They were thrown up into the air, and died instantly. The car crashed and was a complete wreck, the driver was taken to hospital in a serious condition. Mr A witness the whole thing, waited for the police and ambulance along with other witnesses. The incident has really shaken him up...understandably.
While we were walking around Ikea yesterday, Mr A received a call from his father to say that Mr A's grandmother is dying. Mr A is very close to her. He spent more of his childhood with them than his father. Grandmother is 97 years old. Grandfather is the same age. They have spent more than 70 years together. I'm not sad when people die who have lived such a long life. It's almost a cause for celebration. Grandmother has had a long, happy life...her time is up.
Mr A usually becomes quite emotional about his grandparents. He loves them dearly. Yesterday however he said he couldn't be sad about his grandmother dying because he can't stop thinking about the two young men, in their early 20s, whose lives were so tragically cut short without warning. This is really sad.
A strange day for us both. A timid little boy..scared of his father. A dearly loved grandmother coming to the end of her life, and two young men losing theirs so abruptly. A thought provoking day in so many ways