Friday, 26 October 2012
The wrong day
On Wednesday Mr A decided to go down to the land in the village and pick the rest of the pomegranates, as someone had offered to buy them. While he was there he had a phone call from Ankara to say that his grandfather had passed away.
As you may be aware, funerals here take place the day after death, and it's customary for every member of the family to make the effort to get there, no matter how far away they live. The fastest way for Mr A to get to Ankara would be to fly. Unfortunately there were no seats available on flights leaving on Wednesday, the earliest being Thursday. So he would have to drive there...the most expensive alternative with the high cost of petrol here. It would take him 10 hours, but at least he would arrive in time for the funeral.
I emptied my purse, except for some loose change, and Mr A withdrew what he needed from the ATM and off he set.
Yesterday ( Thursday), still thinking I had time to do shopping before the start of Bayram, I went down to the village to catch the bus at 9.00am. I started to have doubts when I saw hoards of men coming out of the mosque. They are not very religious in this village. The only time they attend mosque en masse is at the start of a religious festival. Amongst them was one of the bus drivers, who saw me waiting at the bus stop. He informed me that there were no buses today as it was Kurban Bayram...and in any case even if I went into Milas, the shops would probably be closed.
With the loose change I popped into the village shop and bought some bread and then returned home. OK I have enough food to last until Mr A returns...but I am a smoker (I know...filthy habit) but at this point in time I knew I wasn't going to last for several days with half a packet of cigarettes.
Mr A phoned and informed me that because of Bayram the funeral has been delayed until today (Friday). No doubt he will then stay on for the rest of the holiday with his family.
I explained how I had got the date wrong and was now unable to get into Milas until he returned. He told me to go to the village shop and ask for cigarettes and tell the man I would pay later. I know this is common practise...everyone does it...but I can't. I find it too embarrassing. I'd rather go without.
So he phoned the shop and has asked the man to give some cigarettes to our neighbour Mehmet who brings my post, and tell him to drop them off to me when he passes by, which he duly did last night. Aren't people lovely?
Another reason for not actually wanting to set foot outside the house on the first day of Kurban Bayram, is that I can't face witnessing the slaughter of sheep. After so many years I accept it, even though I don't like it, but I prefer to shut myself in the house until it's over. I'm relieved that I had set off for the 9.00am bus before it started. If I'd left it until later I doubt I would have been able to avoid it.
Moral of this story (note to self)...always check your diary.
Kurban Bayraminiz Kutlu Olsun.