Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Month In Türkiye

  All my lovely plans of blogging our trip to Türkiye this summer were ruined by my charge converter blowing while in the mountains.  The electric current there is undependable, with frequent spikes and outages.  I have learned, the hard way, to have a back-up charge converter and a back-up laptop battery.  Now, back in Istanbul, I am borrowing a niece's computer, complete with funkyTurkish keyboard.  I am finding my way around it.  when I get back to NY, I will have to readjust to my own.

   As well as seeing some sights in Istanbul, travelling to the mountains of the Sivas province, hiking, mountain climbing, swimming in the river, climbing up waterfalls, going down the rapids, we have experienced the quiet pastoral farm life of Belentarla (in Zara, Sivas province).  Roosters and tractor engines revving up awaken us every morning.  There are cows and goats to be milked, eggs to be gathered, baby chıcks and baby turkeys to round up, new calves and goat kids to groom and feed.  There is fresh bread to be baked in the separate room with its open hearth, baked on a hot stone, or thin köy pita baked on a huge circular metal pan over hot coals, listening to the Zaza chatter and laughter of the local neighbor ladies who come by to help.  There are endless pots of çay (Turkish tea), lots of meals made from fresh picked farm vegetables and wild herbs.  Regular additions, that we do not see in America, like purslane and lamb's ear (both small leafed spinach-like plants), enhance spicy baked goods.  Men help each other at the drop of a hat, at any bigger farm chore, hooking up larger farm implements to the tractor, harvesting everything from wheat to potatoes to honey, in this place that is both the Bread Basket of Türkiye and the Honey Capitol of the world.  Wildflowers abound in every conceivable color and fragrance, and the natives know the medicinal properties of every wild plant.  To know the köy (village) is to love the köy.  Life here is simpler, but physically challenging, peaceful and easier paced than life in New York.

   more later...we are being called to breakfast!

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