The Festival of Kurban Bayran is finally coming to a close. It has been a great couple of days visiting with family, lots of scrumptious banquets (I am pretty sure I have put back on the weight that I have lost over the past few weeks) and generally spending quality time with Daughter which has been lacking since we have arrived (mainly because she is zigging left with her cousins and new friends and I am zagging right attending Government offices and chasing down documents).
So today we decided to travel by dolmus into the city of Mersin itself and spend the day exploring our new surrounds. I have done this a few times while Daughter has been at school so I proudly asserted that I could find my way around without a map and that I would “NOT” get us lost!
Mersin is sometimes known as the Pearl of the Mediterranean” (Akdeniz’in İncisi) although I would never call it that. I have always been overwhelmed by Mersin with its noisy streets feeling somewhat claustrophobic with chaotic traffic and even more chaotic people rushing around to get to where they want to be but today, being the last day of Kurban Bayram, the city gave off a completely new vibe with most of the shops and businesses closed for the 4 day holiday. I must say that I drank in the peace wandering through the alleys in the old city, passing through secret doors leading to cobbled passageways away from the main caddesi. Unfortunately for me (and for my pride) it became quite apparent to Daughter that we were completely lost and, despite my objections to the contrary, she laughed loudly before pulling out her mobile and saving the day with Google maps!
Even though many of the shops were closed the restaurants were all open for business so we stopped for chai before making our way to Ataturk Parki to soak up the sunshine and watch the endless parade of people passing by. From men fishing, families picnicking and young lovers walking hand in hand it reminded me just a little of Manly Beach on a Sunday morning. I felt a little bit homesick right then (or maybe I was hungry) so we crossed back near the mosque and found a small tantuni shop open for business with the waiters more than happy to practice their English on us both.
Content with our day we returned home ready to spend the late afternoon on the couch, maybe dozing with a cat on my lap but as soon as we arrived Daughter was called to visit friends (zig) and I was called down to my mother in laws for cay and to chat about my day (zag).
I could definitely get used to this life!