The Demise of the Horse and Cart

One of the most unique aspects of living in the Village is knowing that the freshest of fruit and vegetables, straight from the farm, can be found just by walking out my front door.  Yes the horse and cart is a mainstay of village life here in the Village and each day I am inundated with vendor’s selling everything from fruit and vegetables and fresh milk (yes I have found a supplier) as well as being utilised to transfer firewood and charcoal, agricultural day workers, and even, on occasion, kids to and from school.  Basically, the horse and cart are an integral part of my life.

For us Turkish housewives (which I am calling myself now despite not being Turkish nor a particularly good housewife) having the vendors come to you door means that we, who are extremely busy keeping our homes spotless, working in the farms and feeding our families (none of which I am doing but I stand by my statement that I am a Turkish housewife), do not need to leave our homes to shop and everything will come past at some stage over the course of the week.  This means I get the freshest of fruit and vegetables while practicing my inadequate Turkish on the vendor.  I am a source of amusement for the vendors too as I try and purchase their goods and negotiate the price all the while trying to control My Hurley Dog who, due to the fact that he has Small Dog Syndrome, hates every animal on site that is bigger than him.  I am quite sure I am one of the highlights of their day.

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With the change of Government from CHP to MHP in Mersin one of the first laws brought in by the new Government is outlawing the horse and cart as the Government body believe that they are inhumane and outdated (and they poop everywhere).  Sure no one likes horse poop outside their front door but what happens to the horses I questioned?  Sadly (and definitely even more inhumane) many of them have been sold for food but a few others are put out to pasture to live the rest of their life peacefully after all they have worked hard every day pulling their owner’s cart through rain, hail, snow and extreme heat.

And what are out options now for daily deliveries?  This morning a small tractor pulled up outside with a cart attached with fruit and vegetables.  The vendor tells me (via a lot of hand gestures and laughter) that the cost is higher now (as I found when I purchased some muz) as he has to pay for diesel.  Also stopping by was the vendor that usually sells kitchen and household goods.  He has purchased an old motorbike with a cart on the back.  It was apparently very expensive to purchase and sadly he had to sell his old horse to pay for it.  Poor thing.

 

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The Little Things

Since moving to Turkey and more particularly moving to The Village I (along with Daughter) am learning to appreciate the simple way of life and to, perhaps, disparage what we had and how we lived in Australia.  I have learnt to not complain about things that are not perfect and instead focus on the good things that we do have (unless you refer to those neighbours in which case – watch out!).

Living in Australia Daughter was always on the lookout for something new.  Shopping was a weekly event and clothes, computer games or gadgets were expected.  I was exactly the same.  Like mother, like daughter.  I used to sneak my purchases into the house so The Turk would not have a conniption, funny thing though – he would always find it no matter how well I hid things.  Bags hidden under the bed – he would find it.  Bags hidden in the garage – he would find them.  Hell he was like one of those dogs at the airport sniffing out contraband!  I could never hide anything from him and despite his terrible ability to read English he could read the credit card statement!

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Here in Karaduvar it is a little different.  Firstly we do not have two disposable incomes.  We must live on a budget and admittedly we are not doing a very good job of that.  We now need to be a little more stringent with our spending habits and that . . . well that definitely takes some getting used to!

The other reason Karaduvar is different is that our friends and neighbours do not have disposable incomes.  They work extremely hard and long hours to put food on their table and to ensure that their family and those around them are warm and happy.  I watch women arrive at the bache (farm) across the street before the sun has risen and they will work all day for approximately 30TL (AUD$15.00).   These women then return to their own homes and cook dinner for their family and, after the family have had their fill they will clean their homes until they shine.  If their neighbour needs anything they will give them theirs no questions asked even if this means they will go without. There is no jealousy, there is just caring and friendship.  Is this not what life should be about?

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I have begun to realise that I do not need all the material things that seemed necessary at home.  I look out my window where Daughter is playing with her cousins on the street with Hurley running after them.  I recall how her entire class came to check on her recently when she had a day off from school.  This would have never happened back in Sydney.

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I think our little family will be happier here with a simpler lifestyle.  Look at me – I am growing!    Who would have thunk it!