Dog Tired

Growing up in a very small family we did not have the social interaction that I have now in Turkey.  There was just me, my brother, my Mum and Dad.  Just the four of us.  On occasion we socialised with our neighbours or with a few close family friends but the constant of social activity just did not exist in my world.  Even as an adult I still lived by that creed.  I would socialise with my family, my neighbours or a few close family friends.  

Now I find myself in what could possibly be described as a nightmare.  A never ending party.  Do not get me wrong – I love a good party.  I love a night out.  I love going to my friend’s house or to a neighbour’s house for dinner but I also need time for me.  Oh and I need to sleep too.

tired

No one ever seems to sleep here.  They are up at the crack of dawn (which suits me as I am usually up very early too – residual from my time working in a law firm) but as I get up early I like to retire early.  I like to watch a show, read a good book and then lights out by 10.  Some would call me “dull”.  I call myself “sensible”.  Your body needs a good 8 hours sleep after all.

With Seker Bayrami in full swing the last few days has been filled with social activity.  I have been to parties, visiting family, visiting friends, visiting cemeteries.  I have been to BBQ’s.  I have been to the beach.  Two restaurants and even a club.  I find myself going out for ice cream each night (but not before midnight) and I have not gone to bed before 3 or 4 am.  

This is not me.  I don’t know who this is but it is definitely not me.  I am shattered.  Dog tired.  I need some quiet time and I look around me at these happy, smiling faces and ask myself, “How on earth do these people keep doing this day after day after day?”  In particular the kids.  None of them go to bed before midnight.  Young or old they all stay up until whenever and run around in the darkness.  Daughter looks like hell.  Honestly.  Her and her cousins stay up all night watching movies, giggling and gossiping.  She just left now on her bike to go to a friend’s house.  She was in tears.  She was Miss Cranky Pants.  She will not admit to being tired but she is.  She stubbornly won’t listen to me or to The Turk and she pushes herself to keep up with everyone but I can see the outcome.  She is going to crash and burn.  Probably soon and I don’t think I want to be around when Daughter has her meltdown.  

I can hear The Turk talking with his sister downstairs.  They want to walk to their Aunt’s house for cay.  Yes!  Go.  Take your time.  Stay all afternoon if you like for I am going to sleep.

Goodnight.

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Festival of Sweets

The month long fast of Ramazan concludes with a three day national holday of Ramazan Bayrami (Arabic – Eid al-Fitr) and is one of the Islamic calendar’s major holidays.  This three day holiday is full of family time, fun and food! 

Ramazan Bayrami is, of course, a religious celebration.  It is a festival to restore oneself after the fasting and growth of Ramazan.  It is also called Seker Bayrami (Festival of Sweets) and the number one thing that I have learnt is to have sweets on hand.  Lots and lots of sweets.  This is to fulfil the tradition of children going around the neighbourhood wishing people a happy bayram.  As a reward they receive a sweet, a lolly or even a coin. seker

We too would visit family members and in particular the older generation.  We kiss their hand and place it on our forehead as is custom to show respect.  We greet them with “Bayrammiz Kutlu”.  We also take time to visit those who are deceased and visit the cemetery as a sign of respect.

As it is a national holiday everyone in the family has been at home which means we have had a lot of BBQ’s and outings as a group.  These few days reminds me of how Christians would celebrate Christmas and I must say that Seker Bayrami is definitely high on my list of excellent fun in Turkey. 

Be aware that during any national holiday most shops, banks and government offices are closed and leading up to Bayram the shopping centres and banks are overflowing with people stocking up on everything they will need over the coming festival days.  There is also a lot of people on the roads with family members travelling great distances to visit loved ones.  Intercity buses are packed and public transport operates on a holiday schedule so you may find yourself waiting some time for a dolmus (I know I did).