Prosecards from the Edge (of a Continent)

A running commentary on my life in Izmir, Turkey...and other thoughts.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday afternoon

There are long, lazy slow days, punctuated by the ting-a-ling of spoons swirling in tulip-shaped tea glasses, the sun hot on the back of your neck. Tantalizing aromas of meat on grill, seagulls calling one another, headscarved women moving, talking slowly. People sitting, everywhere. A couple cuddles on a bench by the waterfront. He nuzzles her neck and she giggles in little bursts. Dignified mustachioed men lounge in the shade of a tree, smoking. Placid street dogs slumber wherever sleep overtook them. Sellers of cotton candy, stuffed mussels, simit, packets of tissues, flowers, and fortunes told by white rabbits slowly but doggedly ply their trades along the waterfront. Still harnessed to their colorful surreys, sleepy horses snooze, one rear leg crooked nonchalantly in a posture of repose. The world is in slow motion today, and even the great pelicans, jumbo-jet-like in their enormity and girth, seem to cut through the improbably blue sky at half their normal speed. The grass is cool and soft beneath me...eyes flicker and close; sleep arrives on tiptoes.

9 Comments:

At 10:55 AM, Blogger Jack Knox said...

Suggested reeadings? Shantaram or Birds Without Wings (author of captain corelli's mandolin -- writes about turkey during WW1).

 
At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Kate said...

Thanks for the suggestions. I've read 'Birds Without Wings' and absolutely loved it...Shantaram I haven't heard of...I'll check it out.

 
At 6:23 PM, Anonymous Mum said...

"Shantaram" is, perhaps, interesting, but irrelevant to your experience, Kate. It is also irrelevant to anyone who wishes to understand or experience Turkey. "Shantaram" is about an Australian convict who escapes from prison, winds up in India, and is transformed by his experiences there. To the extent that we are all transformed by the experience of living abroad it is, perhaps, relevant; but not all foreign countries, or expriences, are alike! You live in Turkey, not India. And your reasons for being in Turkey are quite different from the reasons "Shantaram's" author had for going to India. "Birds Without Wings", in addition to being a lovely, lyrical work of historical fiction, is relevant to understanding modern Turkey through its description of what that country has experienced in the past.

Mum

 
At 6:25 PM, Anonymous Mum said...

What a lovely description of a perfect spring day! Wish I could have been there to enjoy it with you.

 
At 9:38 PM, Blogger Kate's Blog said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 9:41 PM, Blogger Kate's Blog said...

Thanks for the positive feedback, Mum! The suggestion (about Shantaram) wasn't necessarily meant to be for a book about Turkey...I had just said on my bio that I was looking for something interesting to read, and anyone with suggestions should send them in. Actually, I'm a bit Ottoman-ed out at the moment, having spent something like 6 months reading "Ottoman Centuries" -- so a literary trip to another country might be just what the doctor ordered! :-)

 
At 12:56 PM, Blogger Jack Knox said...

wow, your mom is tough. ;) i just thought it was a good book. i'm sorry.

 
At 1:44 PM, Blogger Kate's Blog said...

Ahh, don't sweat it. I think she thought I was looking for recommendations of books about Turkey...right, Mom? :-) Time for a bit of a breather, though...

 
At 8:05 AM, Anonymous Mum said...

Sorry, Kate. Sorry, Jack. Peace to you both! Didn't mean to cause an upset with my comments. I thought that Kate was looking for Turkey-related reading matter and just wanted to give her "heads-up" that Santaram is Aussie-Indian. I've heard it's an interesting book. A student of mine is reading it now and is enthusiastic about it. I'm sure it would make a nice change of pace, and location, from The Ottoman Centuries.

All of us--but I think especially those of us who live abroad where English language books are hard to come by and it's difficult to keep up with what's new and good in literature--welcome tips for "good reads." So keep those recommendatations coming--whatever the topic!

Kate, you're fortunate to live in a city that has bookstores with a marvelous selection of English language books. Here in China we are mostly limited to the classics of 19th century British literature and the modern "classics" of Danielle Steele!

 

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