It is a good job we bought a kilo of assorted boiled sweets from the market, they are going at an alarming rate as the local children descend on us. They started at about 9am, there may have been some earlier callers but sleep won. From 9am until around midday there was a fairly continual flow of children (some on second visit). The sweets were received well and after wishing each other Iyi Bayramlar they were off to try their luck with neighbours.
Along with the children were the drums. The Ramazan drummers were wandering around town banging loudly. The drums went on until around midday and then seemed to stop. They never made it along our street, or maybe they did after we had gone out.
We went out around midday having sweets we got from Dugba (a local shop specialising in sweet things of many varieties) to deliver to friends. The stroll into town was pleasant, it remains cooler than of late. Many people were dressed in their fineries, off to visit family and consume more sweet things. We were stopped by some more children, gave away more boiled sweets which we had shoved in our pockets for this eventuality. The children we met in what is supposed to be ‘the bad part of town’ were the most polite. They kissed our hands and held them to their foreheads in traditional manner. Some of the local children loudly and insistently demand money (which we are not handing over and, according to our neighbours, we are right to give sweets, not money). We walked over to the castle which has been decorated for Bayram. Or possibly Victory Day (since they coincide this year).
Back home in the afternoon the flow of children seemed to have reduced. It was quiet. We cooked for the evening. That all got finished quite early and stored in the fridge whilst we went for a walk into town in the cool of the evening. Had a beer and people watched.
After dinner we plucked up the courage to take a box of sweets to our neighbours. We were sat down and plied with baklava and Coca Cola. Introductions were made – they can manage ‘Ashley’ but I don’t think Hilary is easy to pronounce in Turkish. We had a longish conversation and, I think, understood each other reasonably well. We know that they have three sons and we know what those sons are doing. We understand that there are many people from Macedonia in our neighbourhood – our neighbours included. We were told that the Wednesday market will not be happening during Bayram (useful knowledge) and that we need to learn Turkish so that we can bargain for a reasonable price.
A good day. Iyi Bayramlar.