lorraine

Non Active Member
A humourous glimpse into living in Turkey
This article is written by a lady who lives in a village beyond Olu Deniz, her write ups can usually be found in the Land of lights, unfortunately they do not get the airing they deserve. Her simple yet comical outlook will bring a smile to anyones face.

Written by
Tricia Emptage For the Land of Lights.

The writer of this article is a cultural anthropologist who lives in a small village about an hour’s drive from Fethiye. It presents a lighthearted view of her experiences.

Ducks and Chickens

Culture and language are inextricably intertwined. Words, in any language, can be used to express a whole range of cultural attitudes and the ways in which words are used can be loaded with culturally specific meanings that are only understood by those who are using their mother tongue. I struggle – not awfully successfully - to get a grasp of the Turkish language. The problem is that, just when I think I begin to understand, I find that I have got it all wrong. Take the Turkish word ‘dolu’ for example. This means ‘full’. Fine, no problem there, then. But ‘dolu’ also means hailstones. Why? Where’s the logic in that? Don’t ask me – I’m just a blonde!

It is not just the Turkish, though. The FC comes from Holland and like so many Dutch people he has a real gift for languages. He has menu of six languages, including Turkish, at his disposal. How I envy and admire this talent. His English is excellent – better than a lot of English people that I have met. However, there are occasions when we fall out because of linguistic misunderstandings. For example, one morning he came to the breakfast table with a seriously hang-dog expression.

“A chicken has digged up my sunflower seeds”, he said bleakly.

“Dug”, I corrected him in my best ‘teacher’ voice, “It’s dug”.

“It wasn’t a duck”, he snapped back at me. “It was a f…ing chicken”.

It so happens that I like chickens. I like them roasted. I like them grilled on a stick. I like them curried, and I especially like them Tandoori style. But most of all I like them dead! The chickens around here are to me what the neighbourhood cats are to my father in England – they are the bane of my life. I am trying to develop my garden, which I really love, but as soon as I clear and dig up (or should I say ‘dug up’?) a piece of earth for planting, the wretched chickens come scratching about and everything gets uprooted. It is impossible to estimate the cost of the damage. They somehow always manage to find a way through, round or over the new fence. I chase them away but they always come back as soon as my back is turned. I spray them with water, which they really hate, but they have chicken brains, of course, and don’t learn anything. I did consider the extensive use of mouse-traps, but unfortunately our poor old cat, Clarence, is blind. Having headless-chickens running around, proverbially speaking, is one thing but I don’t want to hurt the cat, so I must continue with the battle. In any case, when it comes to cruelty, never mind bloodshed, I confess that I am, myself, a bit chicken-livered.

Tourists often ask why they let chickens here in Turkey run around freely rather than contain them, as is the custom in Western Europe. The Turkish, unfamiliar with the concept of battery farming, apparently find this a very stupid question, but for the record, I shall answer it here. Chickens both deter snakes and eat scorpions, neither of which is very welcome in or around the house.

It is not that I don’t like birds – or birdwatchers, for that matter (I have to say that because the FC himself is an enthusiast!). I like them very much and I like to see the beautiful places that they make their habitat. Turkey offers a wonderful variety of birds for those who are keen enough to get out of bed before the ‘crack of doom’, don a daft hat and climb a mountain to observe them. I am afraid my enthusiasm is not quite that great although I was, for several weeks in February, feeding a stony owl. Athena, as I called her, was living in the tree outside of our old cottage. I was alone at the time, so as it happens she offered me the best opportunity for a bit of female conversation that was available. You can imagine how I felt when, as I was sitting at my desk working, a sudden gunshot made me jump out of my skin and I saw poor Athena, feathers and all, shot to pieces by the neighbour’s teenaged son. I cried.

Now ducks (or should I say ‘dugs’?) are another story. There are a lot of them around here but I am not really sure what they do with them, unless they eat the eggs. I have never seen duck on a menu anywhere in Turkey, nor been offered it at a private house. It gave me an idea. Some readers may remember my ‘Mrs. Bridges” ambition concerning the marmalade or at least, before my lemons were stolen. So, here is my next bright idea - ducks. A minimal amount of research has revealed that they breed like … well, like ducks, actually. They don’t need any special feeding and they don’t dig up (dug up? duck up? chicken up?) your garden. Apparently they do an awful lot of ‘seeing a man about a dog’ (for those of you who missed my last piece, that means pooing), but that, surely, is a bonus in a place where fertilisers cost money.

The eggs take one month to incubate - no effort for me in that. After all, I don’t have to sit on them, do I? Ducklings are best killed and eaten at around two months, just before they get their adult feathers and before they lay down too much fat (after that the meat is tough and the flavour is too strong). Killing and cleaning them would be a job for someone else, of course. As I said before, I am too chicken-livered. However, cooking is straightforward – Duck a l’Orange, Crispy Roast Duckling, Peking Duck – yummy! And then there is the bonus of the livers. Every wannabe gourmet knows that the best pate du fois- gras is made from either goose or duck liver.

There is one small problem. We don’t have a pond or running water. I have tried to persuade the FC that digging a duck pond would be good for his health and weight, but so far I have not been able to convince him. The FC’s idea of aerobic exercise is blinking five times daily to check if his eyelids are functioning normally.

He suggested keeping goats instead, because, as he correctly points out, they would keep the grass down. I thought about it long and hard for – oh, all right then, truthfully - for a few seconds. Some decisions are easily made. Keeping goats here might give me some ‘field-cred’ in the village, and appease our neighbours, who see our natural wild-flower meadow as a wanton and flagrant waste of potentially productive land. But the truth is that I don’t especially care for the idea of grabbing some creature’s tit (any tits at all, for that matter) for the sake of a glass of milk contaminated with goat hair AND its inevitable guava. Nor do I want it on my Crunchy Nut Cornflakes. Besides, as I have previously written, they are smelly things who do more for the ozone layer than fields full of cows ever do.

So for now, I must see a lawyer to find out if I can get an injunction against the chickens entering our garden, and in the meantime, I continue cursing them. But, as Robert Southey (1810) tells us, “Curses are like young chickens, they always come home to roost”.

Tricia Emptage
 

merlin

Member
A humourous glimpse into living in Turkey
Thank You!

I loved reading that


"It so happens that I like chickens. I like them roasted. I like them grilled on a stick. I like them curried, and I especially like them Tandoori style. But most of all I like them dead!"


There are so many more stories like this and I am sure our own members have their own... Post Post Post

Merv!
 

canim

Member
A humourous glimpse into living in Turkey
merlin said:
Thank You!

I loved reading that

What he said!!! :biggrin:

really enjoyable to read!! is this a weekly colum in the paper Lorraine??
 

lorraine

Non Active Member
A humourous glimpse into living in Turkey
Her stories are wonderfully tongue in cheek, and I a trying to have the back copies sent or better still see if she will join the forum.:biggrin:
 

So

Member
A humourous glimpse into living in Turkey
Lovely!!! (and yes the Dutch do tend to speak as many languages as possible)
Her views are so much more light harted than the columnnist in the Didim English paper :) Please try and convince her to join and post her column here
 

Gail

Member
A humourous glimpse into living in Turkey
Lorraine that was a BRILLIANT read :lol: I want more more more :lol:
 

Tonya

Ex owner Calis Beach
A humourous glimpse into living in Turkey
I've read that before, brilliant stuff :) Would be excellent if she joined the forum Loz, go and work your stuff :)
 

tricia

Member
A humourous glimpse into living in Turkey
A lovely read. She brought up an interesting point - What about duck in Turkey? I've seen ducklings for sale at the market (live ones) but never heard of them being eaten here. Crispy Duck for dinner!! Nice :biggrin:
 

merlin

Member
A humourous glimpse into living in Turkey
tricia said:
A lovely read. She brought up an interesting point - What about duck in Turkey? I've seen ducklings for sale at the market (live ones) but never heard of them being eaten here. Crispy Duck for dinner!! Nice :biggrin:

They sell duck in Kusadasi tricia

Merv!
 

Susan

Non Active Member
A humourous glimpse into living in Turkey
:biggrin: Well Lorraine,

Had a real good giggle reading that.

Brightened up my day.

Now back to the ironing.

Susan
 

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