Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Drummers, Dolmus Drivers and Dursune's chickens

We are half way through Ramadan now...or Ramazan as it's known in Turkey.  It's not good when Ramazan occurs in the middle of summer.  Fasting is difficult  because the days are so long, and I will never know how people manage to survive without water in this heat.  But they do, and I admire their dedication.

The drummer is out every night around 3am.  It's a tradition that seems to be dying out in some of the bigger towns, but it continues in this village.  I had been dreading it because it doesn't take much to start my dogs barking, and sure enough on the first night, as the drummer passed my gate, they went berserk.   I got up to try to stop them, and saw the drummer bid a hasty retreat down the hill.  They had clearly scared him off.

On the second night, I heard him further down in the village, but he didn't venture up this far and since then he has decided to keep his distance.  Having said that, my dogs will often find something to bark about in the middle of the night.  Freddie has found a way of sliding under the metal fencing into the "dog-free" part of the garden, then barking for me to get up and let him in.  If I don't respond fairly quickly, the others join in the barking to let me know.

Last week I went into Milas to collect a few things from the vet, to get a haircut, and some shopping. 

When it's almost midday and the sun is beating down, you don't want to spend any more time than necessary on a hot, stuffy dolmus, with shopping that needs to be in the fridge asap.  But it's all in the hands of the dolmus driver, and this one had errands to run.   We drove all around the back streets of Milas and through the industrial estate, where he made several stops to buy paint, wood, plastic piping, several 50kg bags of fertiliser, and finally the petrol station where he filled up 3 empty 5 litre plastic bottles with petrol.

So the journey which normally takes 20 minutes, stretched into and hour and ten minutes. I was   sweating so much I was almost stuck to the seat by the time I arrived at my stop.  But of course I'm not complaining because you know I love these drivers.  I've mentioned many times how they will put themselves out for anyone..nothing is ever too much trouble.

Dursune seems to be over-run with chickens.  Her well fed hens just seem to keep giving birth, and chicks are running around everywhere.  I am always very careful when I let the dogs out for a run, to check that there are no chicks in the lane outside the house, because I don't want the dogs chasing them.  To be honest, even if one or two are about, the dogs ignore them in their haste to run up the hill behind the house.

However, two days ago, three chicks managed to get into our garden.  I was in the house, where I usually am during the hottest part of the day, when I heard the chirping and the dogs barking.  I rushed outside, but I was too late to save one of the chicks.  Freddie, Megan and Poppy had cornered the poor little thing and killed it.   Megan had it in her mouth and I shouted at her to drop it, which she did immediately, and all three dogs backed off and allowed me to retrieve the body.  The two other chicks had managed to escape in time.   I guess my dogs thought the chick was fair game as it had entered our garden, their territory, so I can't really blame them.

I did find it very upsetting though.  I called out to Dursune and showed her the dead chick and explained what had happened.  She just shrugged and accepted it...she is a village woman after all and is used to this kind of thing.  She just said to throw the body away.   Maybe she was slightly relieved that it was one less to look after.



18 comments:

  1. You've got the dogs very well trained if they dropped the chick. I'm sure Jake wouldn't have given it up so quickly.

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    1. I don't think it's training BtoB. I'm pretty useless at that, but I shouted and screamed so loud I think they were shocked, as they're not used to me shouting.

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  2. Hi!I´m back in Sweden now. And you know, we have 17 degrees, and it´s cloudy and it rains. And I love it. :) The air is so fresh.But some part of me is still in Turkey and as always I love to read what you write about your life in the village. What is the thing with the drummer?Why is he drumming in the middle of the night? How fortunate, though, that he got the message from your dogs. :)
    I´ve never heard drumming during Ramazan in Alanya, neither in the places my son and I visited during our roadtrip. (Maybe I overslept.) We were invited to a turkish family during Ramazan, though. We were invited to share their evening meal after sunset. With what speed they ate! My son and I couldn´t keep up - but then we had had both breakfast and lunch. The toughest part must be not being allowed to drink when Ramazan is in the middle of the summer.
    I couldn´t help laughing when I read about the long tour with the dolmus. :) Oh, I know the feeling when you almost stick to the seat.
    The dolmus buses are slowly disappearing in Alanya. That´s a shame I Think. I love them, too.
    /Gisela

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    1. Hi Gisela. I would love your temperatures right now!

      The drummer is a tradition during Ramazan. Because fasting begins with the first call to prayer in the morning, the drummer goes around the streets a couple of hours beforehand to wake people up, so that they can eat before fasting. It's a bit silly in this day and age as people have alarm clocks, but many people like to keep the tradition going.

      The tour or rather detour with the dolmus is quite normal here. A lot of village people don't have transport so they rely on the dolmus drivers to run errands for them. xxx

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  3. I would love to have chickens, but we are not allowed to where we live. I am also afraid that they would bring the coyotes in our backyard, but fresh eggs would be wonderful!

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    1. There's nothing quite like fresh eggs Kelleyn. I am doubtful about getting chickens now because of the dogs. In any case there is still one cat residing in the chicken coop.

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  4. I love listening to the drummer in our village. This year he walks right up to the outskirts which he has not done other years we have been here. Sometimes I go out to the terrace to listen to him. Funnily enough our dogs don't bark at him, about the only thing that doesn't set them off! Probably because they are snoring too loudly to hear him.

    I can certainly relate to the dolmus too. Our village ones are just the same.

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    1. Some drummers are better than others Jacqui. The one in the village isn't really pleasant to listen to...maybe that's why the dogs scared him off!

      You never quite know what will happen on a village dolmus journey do you?

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  5. That's funny well I mean in a different sense.....with the Dolmus driver doing erands. In Izmir when we were there and it was hot the Dolmus was packed like a sardine can and front and side doors were open I guess to get some air....so unsafe because he was bombing down the street and people literally hanging out. So we ended up waiting for the bus....

    I was in Bergama one time when that drummer was beating away.....after a while I got use to it...but this time when the Jami was screaming out the prayer my daughter and I woke up every morning to it. Maybe because the Mosque was a building away, so loud. When someone died he kept reading something for 1/2 hour....

    Your doggy's probably thought that was a toy the chicks...running around. None of my dogs would drop it no matter how I yelled. The Husky would show me her dental work and growl....

    take care....XX

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    1. Yes Erica, the dolmus here often has the door open when it's hot...no sense of danger. You're probably right about the dogs thinking the chicks were toys. I really must get some toys for them...very difficult to find here.

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  6. The regular bus ervice will occasionally do a detour if someone has heavy luggage...

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    1. Nice to hear that your drivers are helpful too Helen. This kindness would be unthinkable in the UK.

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  7. We did have a little bus that used to connect our village ( Mankinholes|) in Yorkshire, to the nearest town ( Todmorden).It did a round trip once an hour, and would always drop people as near to their front door as possible...and sometimes that would involve a little detour. So...not completely unthinkable in the UK....but pretty unlikely in the cities I guess.
    I hope the drummer isn't keeping you and the dogs awake too much. Jx

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    1. I don't think it's so common in cities and towns here Janice. I've lived in three different villages in Turkey, and they were always the same. The drummer isn't keeping me awake, but Freddie is up to all sorts of mischief which has me up and down several times a night!

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  8. I rode on buses here in the US a lot when I was a teenager and young adult. I can't imagine them going out of their way to do anything that wasn't on their schedule. There would actually be bus company supervisors out on the route to make sure the drivers were staying on schedule. The nicest thing I've notice about buses recently is the bike racks and wheelchair racks for the bikers and the disabled. I rather like thinking about a transport vehicle driver who actually responds to the rider's needs. I've gotten so spoiled with AC...I've almost forgotten what it's like to sweat so much I stick to things! I was 39 the first time I ever lived in an apartment (or house) with AC...I keep trying to remember when I first used the AC in a vehicle I had...Don and I didn't with the first vehicles we had (it was in the vehicle but we didn't use it). I think it was our motorhome and after Don was suffering from Psoriatic Arthritis and other medical conditions. I insisted that we use it to keep him cool. I can't imagine Baron with the drummer...the barking wouldn't cease till the drumming stopped :) I'm not surprised by the dogs and the baby chick...after all Baron chases lizards that manage to squeeze into the house...and sometimes he eats them. Of course the last time he did that he had intestinal problems which may have been caused by eating the lizard. It's interesting our Collie never paid any attention to the chickens and guineas, he didn't even try to herd them...he reserved that function for us :)

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    1. I notice that buses are much more geared up to help the disabled in the UK Theanne. They can lower the platform to enable wheelchairs to get on the bus and there is a special section for the wheelchair. Even though the drivers here are very helpful, they are still way behind in this country with facilities and access for disabled people.

      We have AC in one room but I never use it. It gives me a headache, and I hate the sensation of going from a cool room to outside the house, when the heat hits you like opening an oven. I have a ceiling fan in the bedroom which keeps me cool for a while, until the air gets so warm that it's not worth using.

      I can't imagine little Baron eating a lizard...he looks too sweet!

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  9. As I sit here with my second cup of tea, I'm trying to imagine going all through a bakingly-hot day without even a sip of water and my mind is boggling. How DO they do it?

    As for the chicks and the dogs, I'm glad Dursune still has some livestock to care for, even if she is being over-run with chicks. The dogs were just reacting by instinct to the possibility of an extra meal, but I can imagine how hard you found it to see this.

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    1. Perpetua, the first call to prayer, signalling the start of fasting, is around 4.30 to 5 am (can't be precise because I'm just waking up around that time), and the end of fasting is around 8.45pm. It's such a long day, and this heat, around 40 degrees the past few days, is dreadful.

      I get up around 4.30am and feed the dogs and let them out for a run. It's still dark and I have a couple of cups of coffee out on the balcony before it gets light, because I don't want to be seen eating or drinking by my neighbours and the shepherdesses passing by around 6am. I'm sure they won't think bad of me, but I do it out of respect.

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