As it's my birthday today, I'm taking a break and giving you a post by my good friend of many years, Angie Mitchell - Author of "Secrets of a Turkish Kitchen." Angie and I have a lot in common. We both started our careers in Turkey on yachts, we both cook for our living, have Turkish husbands, have a birthday within 24 hours of each other and now Angie is building a house on the Karaova plain, we are both bona fideTurkish Villagers and entitled to wear flowery baggy şalvars, and own a donkey.
Today the zurna and drums (gypsy music) have been succeeded by electronic keyboards, instruments and singers amplified to a ridiculously high volume. There is no chance to have a conversation over this noise – but today no one is here to have a chat, today it is "come and see" time. The youth are starting to make their own marriage decisions, rather than have it arranged by their families; A wedding is a big opportunity to see the local talent. Dressing up has also become an event. Big money is spent on the dresses not only for the bride but for the other female relations and the smaller ones who want their day as a princess. The local kuaför or hairdresser is stuffed full on a wedding day with make-up jobs and glittering hair-dos. But still today the wedding celebration is in the village square and companies lease out lorry loads of plastic chairs for the event. Most importantly, the older ladies get a chance to get out and feel proud of the generation they have been responsible for raising. It is their day as much as those of marriageable age. The local boys come and show off and strut, with their rendition of zeybek but the girls get to do their own dances too, albeit his and hers are separate affairs. Guests still line up and money bills and gold are pinned to the newly-weds, the total worth a tad more than 20-something years ago.
Leaving the village wedding and on my way back to Bodrum I stopped for a wee behind a bush. Got back in the car and the battery was flat (who knows?) Another car leaving the wedding stopped to see if he could help. ‘Yes it is the battery’ he agreed, made a call to his mate and within 20 minutes I had a new battery and was home by midnight on a Sunday night. Would this happen anywhere else? Nice to think that something don't change over years. This is Turkey!