Thursday, 4 June 2009


I'm working on a series of posts that are related to our trip but my writing skills seem to have gone into hibernation so it might be a few days before the posts go up. I don't want the bother of a separate Blog .... one is enough.

Today I have been messing about on my laptop all morning. Time to have some lunch then bathe & wash hair and go to work.

It's a beautiful day except for one thing. The quiet has been shattered by earthmoving machinery and builders next door. I can't help wishing they'd waited another 2 weeks before starting. Normally it is so quiet here, the occassional vehicle, often towing a boat, birdsong and when there is surf the gentle background swish of the sea 400 m away. I love the quietness of living here.

Jay and Os will probably stay in Turkey a few extra weeks so we will be home before them instead of the carefully planned trip back together from the Airport on July 21st.

Os's mother was buried later the day she died, normal in Turkey. First there was an autopsy. Not normal in Turkey but it settled a few concerns. She had not been well for a couple of days prior to her death and they found her aorta had become totally blocked causing the heart to fill with blood. The family had wanted her to have medical treatment for more than a year. I know Jay talked to her last year but she was too afraid. These are people who do not have the benefit of our education and Jay had to explain the autopsy report by picking our the medical terms, some of which were recogonisable even in Turkish.

Jay and Os are there for the circumcision of one of his nephews. That has been postponed from next week to July 13th. Also 52 days after the death their is some kind of gathering, possibly like a memorial service. Jay is struggling to cope with the cultural differences. The women scream/wail/lament and that can continue for however long but tears can only be shed on the day of death. That is harsh but then much of life in Turkey seems harsh to us. The day of the death and burial the women stayed in the house while the men took Os's Mum out to the burial ground. There seemed to be very little ceremony surrounding this. The next day the women made bread, a kind of flat bread about the size f a pita bread and deep fried. Jay was horrified to see that the very type of food that contributed to Os's Mum's death was being eaten in large quantity.

The circumcision is something that we find offensive. There is a family gathering, a kind of celebration and the boys seem to be circumcised anytime between 4 and 8 years. It would appear that a Dr. comes to the home and anaesthetic, we hope a general anaesthetic, is used. If there is more than one boy of age they will share the day. Gotta feel sorry for the little boys but Os says this is the way it is in Turkey and we must not be critical.

I am so immersed in our western/English culture/civilisation that I am amazed that Jay copes as well as she does with Eastern European and Middle Eastern customs. I know she doesn't like those ways which seem barbaric to us. She worked for a year in a hospital in Saudi Arabia where Saudi/Moslem practices were the norm. I can only imagine the huge cultural shock it was. I guess it helps us to understand why immigrants sometimes react the way they do.

I must stop rambling away and do other things.
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