Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Four years, five pounds and one baby ago, I put on a pair of şalvar, covered my hair with a scarf to keep it clean and out of my face, and milked a cow. Or rather, tried to. I never did manage to squeeze a drop of milk out of that animal's stubborn teats, but the day remains a highlight of my early months in Turkey -- I wasn't working and had no stress or responsibilities; I could focus entirely on ''the experience,'' ''the adventure'' of my new expat life.

Recently, I found the pictures from that day. The first thing I thought upon seeing them was how skinny I used to be! No matter how carefully I eat, life here has just that much more oil and unrefined carbs, and no opportunity to walk anywhere. But that's beside the point. Looking at the four photos taken that afternoon transported me back to that village house and garden, whose residents have recently reentered our lives, incidentally, and to the wonderful truly alive feeling I had that day.

It's also appropriate that I should have stumbled upon those photos just now, because Murat and his wife recently gave us a huge bucket of yogurt. I don't know how many kilograms the silver bucket held, but it was darn heavy, and every time I put it back on its shelf in the fridge, I worried the shelf would break! The yogurt lasted two weeks, and we needed to eat a little every single day in order to get through the whole lot. But it was the best yogurt I've ever eaten, so that wasn't difficult. It was so sweet and creamy, I even asked if they'd put sugar in it! (''Just milk,'' they promised ... although I've heard that before!)

And the best part? It's from the milk of the very same cow I milked four years ago!

No comments:

Post a Comment