On Friday night I bought my first ice cream from Ali’s and Derya’ shop. Every summer they set up in the same location. A cone topped by 6 different flavours of ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, melon, pistachio, strawberry + 1 other) and dipped in desiccated coconut is still 500,000 TL. This is the same price as 2003, possibly even 2002, amazing for Turkey, given the country’s tradition of rising prices. As well as devouring an ice cream myself, I gave one to Huseyin abi, my shopkeeper friend.
Saturday evening I spent at Hanifi amca’s place. Along with my neighbour was his nephew from Nizip, Gaziantep and two other visitors. It was a good night of meze and accompanying alcoholic beverages. One of the visitors had spent 8 years in Chechnya. To shoe for tis time, he spoke Russian and had two bullet-hole scars- one on his inner forearm, the other on his torso.
Yesterday, after a Turkish breakfast, again at Hanifi’s, I walked upstream along the river. To my joy, I ‘discovered’ another weekly bazaar. At a few places along the river boys were playing in the water. I guess the boys have a good immune system. The river water at the start of summer (when the level is low) and this far downstream can’t be very healthy.
I brought my bazaar-purchased plastic containers, tea holder, tomatoes, eggplant, strawberries and melon back along the river home. By the time I came home I was thirsty. I made a delicious soda-ayran yoghurt drink in my 1 litre Efes Pilsen beer mug. Directions: Shake up 400 gm yoghurt, water, ice and a few shakes of salt. Pour into the glass. Add 300 ml soda water. Enjoy! The soda water creates frothy bubbles and gives the ayran a zing.
Yesterday evening I strolled to the yacht harbour in the beautiful late afternoon light. Near ‘Luna Park’ there are three tea gardens: the Luna Park cafe and two further gardens. I drank tea and wrote about my aims and goals for the present and future. This is something I should do more often. When almost home, I smelt marijuana in the night breeze. It probbaly came from a nearby tea house. Unless my memory is hazy, this is the first ever time I have smelt (or noticed) marijuana in Turkey. I know it exists, but I never want to get mixed up in it.