Street Life

It is interesting here in Zafer, across the railway and up the hill from central Selçuk.  In the town are restaurants, a few bars, the museum, the archaeological stuff, tourist facilities.  There are also five supermarkets, banks, shops, and everything else needed for those who live in Selçuk.

Here, life revolves around the street.  Women sitting out chatting to friends, family, neighbours, sometimes busy making lace at the same time.  Children play on the street.  The woman across the street and a few houses down who cooks on her roof every night, earlier in summer she was making salça on her roof, now she sits tending a brick oven.  A woman a little further away who sits in a shaded yard during the day over a loom, weaving, another woman washing wool on her roof and drying it in the sun.  The coal or charcoal delivered in huge sacks over the last couple of days, a gift from the Belediye to those who will be in need of fuel over winter.   The bus which arrives for a teenager a few doors up who has learning problems so he can go to school.  The old lady who sits out, sometimes alone, sometimes she joins others across the street.  The man who arrives every Saturday evening selling fresh milk from the back of his car, unpasteurised and almost certainly still warm.  The tractor towing a trailer heavily laden with watermelons, driven by a farmer calling out to those who might be interested.  Another call, a man collecting unwanted items loudly announcing his presence.  Young men on motorcycles stopping outside windows having hushed conversations.  Deliveries of concrete and other building materials to expand or maintain homes, new rooms being built on a flat roof, solar water systems being installed.  Street weddings.

Our immediate neighbours, who we met over Bayram and got to know a little are Turkish speaking from Macedonia, supposedly retired here.  He worked as a builder in Germany and other places, they have a son at university, another doing military service and third at school.  She was fascinated by us when we arrived and watches over us, she seems to know all our comings and goings, and will no doubt watch over our home when we are away.

Here on the hill it is more like a village than a town.  We talk a little our immediate neighbours.  In time we will probably get to know others, for now to most we are probably strange Yabanci.  It is fascinating and feels a privilege to watch the goings on around us, to observe street life largely at present from the perspective of an outsider.


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