Today we got about a metric ton of wood. It was supposed to come yesterday between 12 and 1 (Turkish time) phonecalls were made around 4:30 and three bags of kindling turned up at 5:30. We were told we would get the wood today between 10 and 10:30. It arrived just before 12. It came in a pickup truck and got dumped just outside our front gate, all over the road. This, as we have been told and have observed for ourselves, is normal. Now, we actually ordered 800 Kg wood cut small enough to go in the soba and to 100 Kg bags of kindling and the price quoted was 130 lira. We ended up with three bags of kindling, a whole load of wood (about 80% of which is small enough to go in the soba) and the price went up to 150.
The wood is peach wood. We are told that olive wood burns slower but the olive wood was finished. The wood came in all shapes and sizes and some of it is green. It remains to be seen how well it will burn and whether it will be enough to last the winter.
It took us two hours to drag the wood off the street and stack it up in places we hope are waterproof. There is more wood than we can easily store. We have not yet found a dry home for the kindling. Whilst we were working several passing neighbours called out ‘kolay gelsin’ which was much appreciated. This means ‘may your work go easily’ and is what you say to someone when you see them working hard. I’m not sure how you are supposed to answer but a thank you and a grin seemed to go down quite well. We cleaned the street when we had finished and this, we think, was appreciated. Our neighbour tried to tell us something and we tried to answer but there was much incomprehension on both sides. Later, when most of the wood was inside, we managed to explain that a lot of the wood was too big for the soba and he went away and came back with an axe. Well, an axe head tied onto a very long piece of wood. He demonstrated its use. And he lent it to us. We did manage to explain that we had to go to Kuşadası – he asked why – we said we were going to Koçtaş (Turkish for B&Q) and he said we could borrow it till the evening. This was a huge step forward for us in communication!
It’s half an hour on the dolmuş to Kuşadası so it was nearly five thirty when we finally got home after our successful but non-wood-related trip to Koçtaş. We then commenced some very untypically gender-specific tasks. Hilary got stuck into the kitchen to prepare dinner whilst Ashley let loose with the borrowed axe.
This evening we rewarded ourselves with a pre-dinner beer on the roof terrace.