August 17, 2002

Turkey (day 4)


Purchases: bus fare to and from Urgup, book on rug motifs, book on Cappadocia, a kilo of tea, some anti-evil eye necklaces, a bracelet for Piper, and world cup trading cards (with gum).

Places: Urgup, Ortahisar, the Ozer's garden, red valley

First sentence in Turkish: Ani, Cay! (Mom, tea!)

Half-learned skill: how to wrap a Cappadocian woman's headscarf

Photos: 125

Audio: last call to prayer of the day

Glasses of tea: innumerable

Another day with at least a week of experience in it. Finally worked with Hatice's scanner, and she posted an image to the weblog. So did Sultan, but the internet service was busy, and we couldn't get the updated page to show.

The weavers had rolled the rug on the lower beam of the loom. (Yesterday they simply sat on extra cushions.) They had completed about 65 cm. when we visited them. They brought headscarfs as presents for Mom and me, and taught us how to put them on. They stay wrapped through the friction of cloth against cloth, but my, were they hot.

To and from Urgup, where we confirmed the place and time of our departure (6:50 a.m. Sunday in front of Crazy Ali's) and picked up tour information at Argeus travel, and then walked around the souvenir stores with Hatice, who bargained for our necklaces. We drank tea at a carpet store, where the owner wanted to show us ugly kilims, and I didn't buy a peculiar style of rug which mixes very coarse kilim with carpet and embroidered kilim. Mom got a little blue-flowered bowl at another shop, and we also bought our books, getting an extra copy of the rug motif one for Hatice, to help her with the kilim weblog.

In Ortahisar, went to the corner grocery store with Hatice, to weigh yarn and buy tea.

Back to the house to sort photos, and Mom wound more yarn.

The center of the day - and maybe of the entire trip - was the picnic in Hatice's family's garden. Late afternoon. With the picnic in the trunk and on our laps, seven of us rode in their little red car to just outside the village. We parked at the end of a dirt road and climbed down a path that was as close to vertical as I've ever seen - a path with sandy curves, steep drop offs, and stairs. It led us halfway down a cliff where the valley walls rise up on every side, which is where the family has their fruit and vegetable gardens. The place feels like magic. I think it must be magic. Green plants and laden fruit trees against the incredibly steep walls of blonde stone. Beehives and sunflowers. We picked ripe peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers and ate them with the guveÁ Hatice's mother had prepared, a wonderful stew of beef, eggplant, onions, garlic, and tomatoes. Bread and pilaf to go with, and little onions Sultan had pulled from another garden on the way down the hill. Dessert was karpuz - watermelon. We ate and ate. After the meal, Hatice's father "opened the lake," letting water flow from a small pond in another of their (unseen) gardens, through a tunnel in the cliff and emerging where we were into a set of shallow channels to irrigate the vegetables and fruit trees where we were. With a hoe, he could open or close any channel, watering each section of the garden in turn. Sultan produced hot tea - miraculously? No, from the little "house." Up a handmade ladder was a door in the cliff face, and a tiny room carved out of stone. Inside it were garden supplies, some ancient tunnel-shaped beehives, and a gas burner for making tea. After tea, dishes were washed with water carried down with us, and we packed and climbed back to the top. The tape player in the car was blasting a dance tune as we put the picnic containers and a bucket of freshly picked vegetables in the trunk. Hatice's father and her six-year-old cousin began to clap, and Hatice, Sultan, and their mother started to dance, snapping fingers. We took pictures and laughed and tried to dance at the same time.

All in the car again, we returned to red valley, in hopes of seeing more sunset than yesterday. We did, and I took many pictures - though I think my favorite is of a laughing Hatice holding her cousin Furcan in the last light of the day.

Then home to Barbara's house. Tired. Full. Happy. I wish everyone I love could have been at that picnic.

Posted by EGP at August 17, 2002 5:35 AM