Dinner At Alanya

dinner-at-alanya

Dinner at Alanya

After my second day of scuba-diving lessons in the turquoise Turkish sea, my experienced diving pals from Ankara Aqua Club knew what to do, dinner at Alanya. Hard work makes hungry and what would be better than a tasty sandwich outside a cafeteria in the street of this still winter sleepy tourist town on an early spring evening?

La Marsa Souk

la-marsa-souk

Zoomable planar pano La Marsa Souk

Despite the revolution, supermarkets are still full, everything more expensive than you really need, and thus basically it is again La Marsa Souk; the open air market on a cool late December Sunday morning in this north eastern Tunisian sea-side town. My wife and her brother go for the fruit and vegetables and then we look for what else, going home with a white porcelain teapot, a five liter printed glass bottle and a lentil formed curious looking stone that I think wants to be cut in half to show it is a septarian concretion.

Just Saw Fish

Just-saw-fish

Spherical pano Just Saw Fish

On my way home for Christmas with family, before I could write down the new address of my oldest friend, the battery of my laptop went dead and I just saw fish. Not the ‘oude visch markt’ told the strange guy opening the door in the wrong street, possibly the ‘vis straat’ just around the corner in the medieval center of the little town of Zaltbommel, where indeed his son welcomed me at the door.

Still with my heart full of Turkey, I heard about the big news in the papers, showing the latest Cretaceous fossil Sawfish that they found together in Mount St Pieter near Maastricht.

The next day, continuing the voyage, we passed student friend’s “Oertijdmuseum” near the town of Boxtel, exposing the petrifact to families with kids attracted by the omnipresent dinosaurs.

With the sound of their roaring skeletons still in my ears, I left with some nice eternal crystals in my pocket.

An Indian Summer

an-indian-summer

Spherical pano An Indian summer

During the half year that I have been living in Ankara, I had 3 rainy days and now an Indian summer. At home we call it old wives’ summer and here they say ‘Pastırma Yazı’, like the highly spiced air-dried cured beef of Anatolian origin. This is perfect weather for late summer peppers and a colorful walk in calm and quiet Ankara’s upper middle-class neighborhood; where my office is just around the corner at the end of the road. Apart from the guy that washes his cars 3-times a day, I only meet gardeners on my rounds to keep that body from rooting in my office chair. Their head-scarfed women of the land are cleaning inside and those Indians must be gathering wood for the harsh winter that is approaching with the evening air.

The Thorny Truth

the-thorny-truth

Zoomable planar pano The Thorny Truth

While walking uphill to the Ankara office under October’s Aesculus hippocastanum, I notice that as the trees become smaller, the fallen nuts loose their spines, and I start thinking of the thorny truth. When we become many escaping natural selection, then civilization is degeneration since ‘In wildness is the preservation of the world’ (H.D. Thoreau). So is rough natural man not more honest, naive and prone to telling the truth, even if it hurts? Then is civilized man not too smooth, always hiding intentions, deceiving while cloaked in lie, just to avoid friction? Or am I a hopeless romantic and is nature still our master and we’re its servants, deceiving us and others out of need just like the natural squirrel while hiding nuts in view of its fellows.

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