Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Coping with Ramazan

We are in the last week of Ramazan.  The heat at this time of the year is intense and I don't know how those who are fasting are managing to cope without even being able to drink water.  I admire their determination.

This year is the first time we haven't had a drummer banging away from 3am onwards every day, and it should be a relief for someone like me who doesn't fast, and resents being woken up at this unearthly hour.  However, the woman with mental health/learning disabilities who lives in the lane below us, seems to have decided to take matters into her own hands.  She can be pretty noisy at the best of times.  She shouts, wails, calls the cats, and takes great pleasure in immitating every sound she hears, from sheep and cows to tractors.  It's surprising how one can actually get used to noises and most of the time I don't notice her.  Most mornings during Ramazan....not every morning thank goodness..she is waking up around 3.30am, standing outside her house and giving her interpretation of a drum...very loudly.

I've pretty much ignored it...turned over, put the pillow over my head and gone back to sleep.  But this morning I'd had enough so went outside and shouted for her to be quiet.  She responded immediately and silence reigned.  But she'll forget and will no doubt be outside doing the same thing tomorrow morning.

I have Gwen from Selçuk staying with me for a few days.  We're off to Milas market this morning, but it's just after 5am now and having had little sleep, it's a trip I'm not looking forward to.

Ramazan ends on the 28th, to be followed by Şeker Bayram.  The shops are full of sweets and chocolates and I will be getting my supply in today, ready for the visits of children from the village. 

The in-laws are due to descend on me at the end of the week and as usual I have no idea how long they will be staying.  I have a feeling I may be spending most days over at the hotel with Mr A.

I'm off to visit my grandsons on 17th September just for a week.  Having this to look forward to keeps me sane!


  1. I do enjoy these insights into Turkey.
    Hope your trip to the village goes/went well. No incidents or extra smelly encounters on the bus.
    Hope all goes well with the in laws.
    Those little grandsons must keep you filled with excited anticipation for the next visit.
    I'll be seeing my *grown up* grandsons this weekend. Yeah!!!!!!
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  2. Hi Maggie. We gave up on the trip into's just too hot!
    Very excited about seeing my grandsons...have a lovely weekend with yours too xx

    (By the way, haven't been able to comment on your blog recently, but know I'm thinking of you and hoping the treatment is going well x)

  3. And just when you thought the drum had gone...someone is substituting for it!

  4. Hot here too ...and I shouldn't complain. As long as I stay IN the house, I've very comfortable and when I think of you with no power during those days of construction, I really should appreciate the zone of comfort I enjoy. ...and the fact that the hurricane coming in isn't headed this way. Fall is on it's way..and I'm giddy with anticipation!

  5. Off-topic somewhat. apologies.
    One time, a long time ago, when I was in a small town in the north of Turkey, I was sitting on my balcony on a cool evening watching the sun setting on a Van Gogh landscape and I hear a small boy in the field, pretty far away. In fact, I couldn't actually see him, being hidden behind some brush and trees. He was singing to himself the call for prayer. His voice was quiet nice and strong for his age. I thought it was very sweet and made that moment even more special.

    However, it was not the correct time, and I suddenly heard a woman's voice yelling at him from out of a window to stop it because it was considered a minor sort of blasphemy. :)

  6. Fly: If it happens again tonight I may do more than shout!

    Charlotte: So glad to hear the hurricane isn't headed your way. Oh yes roll on cooler weather!

    Nomad: Presumably in the same way that dogs howling along with the call to prayer is also blasphemous.
    And still off topic your story reminds me of when we lived in Cappadocia and if I happened to be in Nevşehir on a Friday the call to prayer was sung by a young boy with such a sweet voice that it sent shivers up my spine. Beautiful.

  7. What about that article in the paper about folks in Sanliurfa sleeping in the mosque because it was so hot outside and they were fasting? It must be so difficult in this heat, especially if they're working.
    Hope you guys have fun at the market! We've got one day left in Kusadasi tomorrow...

  8. isn't so much the going without food, but not to be able to drink water in this heat must be unbearable.
    I bet your holiday is going far too quickly. Istanbul next?

  9. Yup! Hopefully I'll have more regular internet access there!

  10. Safe journey Deniz. Enjoy the rest of your stay xx

  11. You know, it is so interesting. As a disability scholar and social worker, to read about this early morning noise. I am reminded of my neighbor, also a young woman with special needs, who takes to doing karaoke with ABBA at all hours - we learn to live with it and her parents close all of the windows. However, although all of us disability services types promote equal treatment etc., why not just yell out the window to shut it at 3:30 a.m. during ramazan? Your post made me think about my own inherent biases. It was also just super interesting, thanks!

  12. Hi Elspeth and welcome. A far as I am concerned I am treating tis woman as an equa by shouting at her to shut up. I would do the same to anyone in that situation. The way the neighbours treat her is worse in my opinion. They tolerate absolutely everything, even when the woman humiliates herself. They just shrug their shoulders and say "she has a mental problem". She is not stupid. It's far kinder and certainly giving her equal respect to point out where she is behaving inappropriately. I would expect someone to do the same to me.


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