Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"We're in the Throes of a Frustrating Search for a Home and Have Only Two More Nights in the Pension, Which Means I'm Both Disheartened Yet Still Enjoying the Spectacle...Hence, I Call This Post 'Snippets'"

I woke up the other morning to the voice of a balloon pilot calling out to our neighbors at the pension, who were sitting out on their balcony, taking in the morning balloon launches. The pilot, hovering incredibly close to the pension, called out, "Can I offer you a cup of coffee?"


The celebration of Ramazan (as it's called in Turkey) starts today: 28 days during which devout Muslims neither eat nor drink during daylight hours. They have one meal just before sunrise and one just after--and if that's not an occasion for gluttony, I don't know what is. Everyday's Ramazan for Jocelyn, in that respect.

Anyhow, due to Ramazan, the village bakery was pulling fresh loaves out of their ovens at 6 p.m. last night, so that folks could load up on good food on their way home from work, shopping, gouging the tourists... We scored a steaming hot wheel of sesame bread, already a favorite of mine. When I took the picture above, though, I looked at it and thought, "Wow, it looks like Domino's delivers in Cappadocia."

A Turkish tradition during Ramazan is to have crews of drummers walk the streets in the hours before sunrise, banging on huge olive oil cans. As they pass each house, they call out the names of the inhabitants, along with words to the effect of "Roll your hungry belly out of bed, you layabout, and have a stack of pancakes. Then have an omelette. Maybe tack on some sesame bread and feta. Plus a nectarine, some figs, some mulberries, and a Snickers."

Thus, between 2 and 3 a.m., the streets are literally being pounded by the feet of hollering drum crews; at 4:30 a.m. the first Call to Prayer echoes across the valley; and at 5:00 a.m. forty hot air balloons fire up their roaring propane jets and take off.

But get this: sure, I'm waking up for some of it each dawn, and a few times I've just stayed up, but mostly, I wake up, listen, register the activities, and then fall deeply back to sleep. Even my bones are tired.

All right, back to the day now. It's market day in Goreme, and we need to ask every single person we encounter if they've heard of any rentals. So far, it's looking grim, but we'll expand our search to neighboring villages starting tomorrow.

More anon!

17 comments:

Deborah said...

Fantastic!!!!! You're stocking up on dinner table tales for the next 10 years, Jocelyn!

It's as though you've stepped inside a living book and become one of the characters - so exotic and different and amazing to think that you are where you are.

I'm sending all my positive vibes your way and crossing every digit that you find somewhere to live TODAY. Are you going to be asking the rental question in Turkish??

geewits said...

Can you move into one of those hobbit homes? That would be too cool.

unmitigated me said...

Fate is just holding out for the perfect opportunity. It will come...

christopher said...

Your wit is your guide.

Can't wait to see your next move.

Jazz said...

Yeah, the hobbit homes would be awesome.

Becky C. said...

My favorite food on every vacation is the local version of BREAD! Thanks for showing us what it looks like in Turkey. I can almost taste it. Yum. This (wo)man *could* live by bread alone!

I'm sure you will find the perfect abode (I'm voting for the hobbit homes!) and get settled in soon. It will likely feel great to spread out in your own place. I can't wait to hear all about it.

Anonymous said...

I suggest bringing your charming children along to get the sympathy vote for finding a residence for them. Who could let those kids face homelessness in a new land?
Really. Good luck!

And, with as busy as everyone seems to be during the middle of the night, it is amazing that they can do anything during the day-especially with the heat!

alwaysinthebackrow

diane said...

Honey, my heart is with you as you look for a new home. When I purchased my house, we had to stay in a motel for a month in between one house selling and signing the papers for the new house. Cute Hubby was an invalid at the time, with too much scar tissue on his back for them to do a third surgery. And my oldest daughter was pregnant and staying with us as well. We made it in to the house by the "skin of our teeth". I'll hold good thoughts for you and your family. Hugs, xo d

kmkat said...

Hey, you want my cousin Vinny to *eliminate* the current inhabitants of one of those hobbit houses so you can move it? No prob...

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

You'll find something--and it will be amazing. That's just the sort of year you're destined to have.

ds said...

Hoping that by now you have found the rental of your dreams and are making arrangements to move in.

What a fascinating description of Ramazan--and the bread looks divine!

Enjoy it all!

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

I once had to get used to a train going by at all hours of the night, but people yelling, the call for prayer and balloons? Ugh!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I echo the first comment by Deborah - it is fascinating to hear about your early experiences there and see images you are sharing too, it really brings it to life.

The ability to fall back asleep after such ruckus is an invaluable life coping skill. For us its an old complaining loudly meowing cat at 4am, then chickens cackling away at 6am, with our barking dog getting in her two cents along the way. Maybe tomorrow morning I can morph those sounds in my sleepy state to visions of hot air balloons delivering fresh coffee to my bed. All the while I'll have my fingers crossed that market day was good to you and that your new home is in reach. Are the neighboring villages the similar in size to Goreme with the same kind of landscape? ~ Joy from Betty's Pies

Jeni said...

Boy, have you already been there 3 weeks? I thought that was how long you said before that you had your place at the Pension but maybe I misread. (Old eyes do that at times, ya know!)
But I hope you do find something quickly to get moved and settled in for the coming year and that way, you can REALLY enjoy your sabbatical!
About the early awakening though -I normally am a night owl, not going to bed virtually till the cows come home (as the old saying goes) and therefore, rarely am I an early riser. But last week, first week home from the hospital, I found myself falling asleep around 2 a.m. each night and waking around 6-7 a.m. and feeling quite refreshed then as well! This week, I seem to be settling back into my former routines and not waking till 8-9 a.m. and also, unable to stay awake all that much during the day too. Go figure that change out, will ya?

flutter said...

You know what, Jocelyn? every post of yours that I read makes me like you more.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Maybe you could live in a balloon. I hope you find something wonderful today, and that the move is easy. Good luck!!!

Hmmm, my verification word is "coven." Maybe it's a clue. Have you seen any witches with vacancies?

brokenbiro said...

Hi Jocelyn! I just popped by from Deborah's blog for the first time... great and fascinating post! I'm sure there's something in the Koran that says people have to take you in if you're homeless - but hope it doesn't come to that!
Your bread takes me back to my own time in the middle east, and you story of the Ramazan drummers reminds me of staying in Java 18months ago and being awakened by 20 different out-of-sync muezzins at various pitches, speeds and locations across town every dawn. *sighs wistfully*