Today is the second day of Seker Bayram (Eid al-Fitr.). It's the holiday that follows Ramazan, the month of fasting. It's traditional for familes to buy new outfits to wear. Many poorer familes may only buy a new outfit once a year, and this will be used throughout the coming year on special occasions.
It's a time of feasting, and in particular the eating of sweets, chocolates and all sorts of other sticky syrupy things like baklava. Children will turn up at the door, and will be given sweets after having kissed the hand of the adult and raised to the forehead as a mark of respect.
Although I bought sweets in readiness for the onslaught of children, none of them turned up. I suspect it's more to do with my dogs than anything else. Children rarely come up this far and I am sure they have discussed amongst themselves that the strange yabanci (foreigner) keeps dogs as pets, so they steer clear. Never mind, I'm sure I can manage the sweets myself!
And talking of being a yabanci. It's at times like this that I really do feel like a fish out of water. It's very much a family time. Younger members of families travel all over the place attempting to visit as many relatives as possible. For me it's just another day. Mr A is away of course, and we have no family visiting (not that I am wishing for a visit by the in-laws!!). Both Dursune and Sevke have family visiting them. Dursune's grandchildren are sleeping on her flat roof so this is making the dogs bark every time they move. None of us are getting much sleep.
Another thing that happened yesterday morning made me feel like an outsider. The Muhtar, accompanied by a man with a big box, went around the village visiting each house and handing out a small gift. It was most likely some sweets or cake. Every house, with the exception of mine! I happened to be in the kitchen looking out of the window and saw him give gifts to Dursune and Sevke, glance briefly at my house, hesitate, then walk on. Naturally I'm not bothered at all by missing out on a gift, I just feel a little sad that after 15 or more years here, I will always be considered an outsider.
You may recall my mentioning the cats that took up residence in the chicken coop some months ago. They have mostly disappeared, with the exception of one handsome cat. He is white with a few grey markings. I leave food and water for him every day in the chicken coop, but he never comes near me. The dogs don't like cats and if they see him they bark furiously. He knows he is safe at the top end of the garden though and the dogs can't get to him, so he will stretch out in full sight of them almost teasing them.
When we had the new metal fencing erected along the driveway, it was mainly to keep the bottom part of the garden dog-free. Unfortunately there was a slight gap at the bottom and Freddie was able to squeeze himself underneath during the night and had great fun chewing and trampling on plants. Last week the metal man came and put another bar along the gap, so Freddie is unable to get underneath. He now spends his nights searching for anything else to destroy, eg a plastic dustbin, water bowls, a huge pot of herbs, shoes, etc. He then takes great pleasure in barking at my bedroom window around 5am to wake me up.
The cat has discovered that the bottom garden is now safe. He has spent the entire day lounging in the shade under the gazebo. The dogs spotted him and started barking, so he got up and strolled slowly away. Ten minutes later he strolled back...unnoticed by the dogs...spread himself out and has remained there ever since. He is indeed a brave cat, completely unperturbed by 5 dogs.