So it has been a while since I made a blog post. I have been in Scotland for 6 weeks for my usual bout of avoidance of Antalya’s August sunshine. It is a bit too hot for a Scotsman at that time of year here soI use the excuse that I am performing a one man comedy show for an hour a day for three weeks, to justify the wimping out.
I wasn’t sure about how I would feel when I returned to Antalya as I had been thinking about moving back to Scotland. When I mentioned that to my friends there they looked at me as if I was crazy.
On returning back here, I have to say that although I miss being with my own people, living here does have it’s advantages. The sun, the sea, beach, lots of friends and friendly strangers does make Antalya a bit more of a desirable place to live than some dreich Scottish town where everyone is miserable because of the constant rain, poor economy and David Cameron, and that just for starters.
I was really pleased to see my friend Banu again as I missed her a lot. She is a philosophy phd student and I am a professional armchair philosopher/psychologist/guru/shaman type so we have a lot of interesting discussions, especially after a couple of beers.
The thing about Banu that we both can’t understand is that in person, she is really beautiful but no photo ever does her justice so she doesn’t like her photo being taken too much. I keep forcing her though in order that one day we’ll capture her true beauty. Still, this one wasn’t too bad, believe me, there’s a lot worse.
She works at the council and so she invited me to join her colleagues for dinner in a Kaleici Restaurant. I arrived a bit too late though and they had moved onto dessert. That was when the Raki bottle made its appearance. Turkish people like to drink Raki with, well nearly everything, but mainly fish, cheese and fruit. Tonight they focused on the fruit with two big platters at either end of the table.
I usually joke that the only time I drink Raki is when I am at a party and the beer has ran out but when I was offered some at the table it seemed rude to turn it down so I had myself a glass of Raki to go with my beer.
You know how it is though when there is a bottle though, it seems to just evaporate but fortunately the waiters were on hand to make sure we never ran dry.
I then asked about the painting on the wall, which to me looked like a guy out of a John Steinbeck novel. Banu explained that it was Edip Cansever and the poem he wrote that was displayed beside him was Masa Da Masaymış Ha (That’s What I Call A Table).
She tried to explain what the words meant in English but said that it doesn’t translate that well. One of these days I will learn Turkish as it is frustrating being an alien most of the time but she did say that it was about his sturdy reliable table that didn’t complain about the load of all the things he put on it.
Edip Cansever – Masa Da Masaymış Ha
I did find a pretty good English Translation online.
That´s What I Call a Table
A man filled with the gladness of living
Put his keys on the table,
Put flowers in a copper bowl there.
He put his eggs and milk on the table.
He put there the light that came in through the window,
Sound of a bicycle, sound of a spinning wheel.
The softness of bread and weather he put there.
On the table the man put
Things that happened in his mind.
What he wanted to do in life,
He put that there.
Those he loved, those he didn´t love,
The man put them on the table too.
Three times three make nine:
The man put nine on the table.
He was next to the window next to the sky;
He reached out and placed on the table endlessness.
So many days he had wanted to drink a beer!
He put on the table the pouring of that beer.
He placed there his sleep and his wakefulness;
His hunger and his fullness he put there.
Now that´s what I call a table!
It didn´t complain at all about the load.
It wobbled once or twice, then stood firm.
The man kept piling things on.
Turkish Folk Music Duo
So by this time the beer and Raki were kicking in so I got Banu up for a dance. The thing is I can’t pretend to dance like a normal person. If I feel the music I have to let rip and in doing so I scared not only Banu but ALL of the other people on the dancefloor back to their seats!
The couldn’t quite believe what they were seeing as I’m sure no-one had danced rave style in the restaurant before. I did get a big round of applause as the song finished and once they realised I wasn’t an extremist christian terrorist they came back up on the floor for the next one and everyone got into it.
Here is a clip of some other people dancing to them and then at the end Çetin explains about the meaning of the song just previous in the video. I asked him to do it in Turkish which he done and then I said ‘Ok now English’, which threw him a bit but he done well. I loved his response at the end though. lol.
All’s well that ends well.
Kahve Cup Reading
Now as we were on our third of fourth bottle of Raki by this time, I was advised that a Turkish Kahve is what I needed. I was also knackered from the dancing so I did need a pick me up.
I had only ever drank 4 cups of coffee in my life, one of which was a Turkish Kahve about 6 years ago. However I have to say, I did rather enjoy it. You are supposed to sip it but I drank it quite fast. Well, there is only about 3 teaspoons worth in the cup.
The guy sitting beside me (excuse me, I am really bad at remember names period and foreign ones in particular) turned over my cup and the lady opposite me said she could read my cup if I wanted. Sure, why not. Here is everyone having a good laugh about my future…
And if you are interested, here is the reading itself. I didn’t like it when she said my son was crying and asked if I could see it in the cup. I didn’t at the time but on the video it is quite clear. Looks like I am off to Australia then….
From the restaurant it was off to The Rock Bar because that is the place to go when you are drunk and want to hang around other drunk people. Normally the band Blue Life play there and although I think they are a good band, I don’t want to see them every week so I usually leave a gap of a couple of months in between visits. As you can see, not a lot of intellectual dialogue was taking place by this time.
On the way out I took a photo of the bouncer with Banu. I quite liked the way it turned out.
By this time I reckon ı was pretty blitzed. I normally don’t drink Spirits that much so that Raki was kicking in big time, but at least I wasn’t doing as bad as this guy who told me to get lost and turned over, when I asked if he needed help.
We left The Rock Bar at God knows what time and obviously were not drunk enough because we decided to go to King Bar. Well Banu and Hayaati suggested it and I had my Scottish reputation to think about.
On arriving there Banu got me a beer and then I met the owner of King Bar, Levent. He took me to a table and without asking me told one of his waiters to go bring us some Whisky.
Believe me, that was the last thing I needed at that point but that bloody Scottish reputation thing meant I said ‘Şerefe’ and knocked it back in one, only for Levent to order another one each.
About half an hour later and it was time for some more ‘tongues out’ photos.
I thought I had passed that stage of my life…but obviously not.
By this time Banu and Hayaati were going home and so I poured myself into their taxi and then continued back to Gürsü after they got out.
I hadn’t eaten much all day so I thought a soup would help my stomach and maybe my hangover the next day as well so I went to the soup restaurant for a Tavuk Çorba (Chicken Soup). The brown stuff you see in the plate is fried butter. I don’t know if it is good for you but it’s free, so I take someevery time they ask.
Only problem was I was actually too drunk to finish it because those whisky’s were now in full control and so I had to leave and stagger home. I managed to crawl out of my bed at 3pm the next day, not in the best condition for Oktoberfest that night.