Monday, 28 May 2012

I only popped out to buy bread

You'd think that walking down the hill to the village shop early in the morning to get bread would be pretty non-eventful.   It's impossible to get there and back without passing village women busy sweeping their yards or milking their cows, who always stop what they are doing to say good morning, to ask how you are, where you are going and what for.

I've long since got used to this.  Most people would think these women are nosy.  They are a bit, but mostly they are just interested in the only foreigner for miles around.  I think they wonder if my life is completely different to theirs, that maybe I'm off to do something exciting.  They look a little disappointed when I say I'm going to the shop to buy bread.  It can sometimes feel like I'm living in a goldfish bowl.  But I don't dislike it.

Dursune next door was milking her cows when I left the house.  I asked if she wanted me to get her bread which she did.  On the way down the hill I met the man who regularly brings his flock of sheep up to the hill behind our house to graze.  This man has adopted a little street dog which he calls Tony.  I think he is hoping Tony will become a sheepdog.  Tony has different ideas.  He was more interested in rushing up to me for a bit of attention (probably because I give him the odd chewstick when he's passing my gate).  Hence the sheep just ran riot...eventually being called back by the man, and completely surrounding me.  The man tried to get Tony to encourage the sheep to move, but Tony just shot off up the hill.  The man just shrugged and smiled and eventually moved the sheep himself.

Having bought bread and started the climb back up the hill, I found myself complete blocked by a cow in a narrow part of the lane.  She absolutely refused to budge.  Her owner, with two other cows were further up the lane and she hadn't realised that this one wasn't following her.  I called out to her and she called the cow, who still refused to move.  So I had no choice but to grab the rope around the cow's neck..give her a good pull...and lead her up to her owner.

Finally I reached home and gave Dursune her bread.  Money never changes hands with me and my neighbours.  She handed me 4 eggs newly laid by one of her hens.  I pick up simits for her whenever I go to Milas.  I give her vegetables when Mr A buys too much.  She gives me olive oil and eggs.  I love it that bartering is still thriving in this village.  Even the shopkeeper, who had no small change  when I bought my bread, gave me 4 boxes of matches instead.  I don't need matches but it was that or Turkish chewing gum which is vile.

Who would have thought that popping out to buy bread could be such an adventure!





19 comments:

  1. Bartering is a good way of life..... provided you don't get matches!
    I would be scared of the cows.... city girl that I am & no way would I go close to one!
    You live an exciting life.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

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    1. I was a little wary of the cows before I came to this village Maggie, but you can't really avoid them. They are more placid than I thought they would be.

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  2. Just lovely, Ayak. Long may you have such adventures as you go to buy bread - and that wonderful arrangements you have with your neighbours also lasts indefinitely. Axxx

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    1. This arrangement works well Annie. There's no embarrassment when someone doesn't have money. They always have something to share...or even if they don't, it doesn't matter!

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  3. What a wonderful picture of a morning in your life in Turkey...how much nicer than living in a flat by the seaside...

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    1. I think so Fly. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but it suits me!

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  4. What a lovely post, Ayak. It gives such an endearing glimpse into life in your village. I'm filled with admiration at your handling of the cow, being one of those who prefers to meet them on the other side of the fence.

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    1. Well it was a very long rope Perpetua so I didn't have to get too close! We sometimes get a donkey from somewhere in the village who breaks loose from his tether and runs past our house but I wouldn't attempt to catch him!

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  5. Sounds like a real nice walk to get some bread in the morning providing the weather is nice......I love 'cows', I remember my Grandparents had a cow on their farm when I was lil' near Niagara Falls. Her name was Star, and I was heart broken when they sold the farm along with the cow and moved to the city.Donkeys are like my favourite beasts.....I got to know one in Izmir when they use to tie her up near my MIL's apt. every Tuesday when the Bazaar was there.I felt sorry for it standing for hours waiting for its owners in the hot blazing sun. :-(

    You never have a dull moment in your Village....and the people are so different from city ones, more friendly and hospitable. We sure don't have bartering here, but it does sound like a great idea.

    ....have a great day and love this post and your bread shopping adventures.

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    1. I love donkeys too Erica, but not when they're running riot..they can really kick out! My next door neighbour's donkey is lovely, very well cared for and very friendly. I think bartering is brilliant..who needs money?

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  6. We love going to the baker - though we tend to go in the afternoons, just before he closes. We pass two perfectly good dukkan to get there. We don't often see cows though - problem with living in town!
    We also love the friendliness and helpfulness of our neighbours here. Kilo of mulberries yesterday!

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    1. I always think that your part of Selçuk has a village feel to it omentide, even though there are no cows! I'm interested to know what Ashley managed to produce with the mulberries!

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    2. It's a kind of syrup. We had some tonight on chicken (replacing the nar eskisi I usually use) and it was delicious!

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  7. what an adventure! Did it take you some time to get used to the fact that no money changes hands?

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    1. It did seem a bit strange at first Kelleyn. When we first moved to the village, Dursune would ask me to get bread if she saw me going down to the shop and never offered to pay for it or she would ask me for an onion or a couple of tomatoes and I thought it was a bit cheeky. I guess I'm just used to paying for everything..but then it kind of clicked that this is the way it happens here. You just stop thinking about money...we give and take and everyone's happy.

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  8. I love hearing these village stories, Ayak. Wish I could barter for some fresh eggs - and some Turkish bread!

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    1. It's great Deniz. The eggs were delicious!

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  9. I can imagine it all now much nicer way of life. If I go to the shops thats it I can be there and back and not speak to a soul lol xx

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    1. It certainly makes popping out to buy bread more interesting greygirl!

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