An African's Anecdotes and Accoutrements
|Boredom is a terrible thing. I still have NO computer – the hard drive is being replaced as I write – and I have just one more book left to read. With three weeks here I don’t want to finish the book and have nothing to read, because I don’t want to buy any more books because of the weight on our suitcases on the flight back to Zim. I don’t want to leave any books behind either. Ah well, at least I can cook and iron clothes… sad isn’t it?
Yesterday I decided to take a walk to the café in Uluçak. Ivan used to stop there every evening on his way home from work. I measured the distance on Friday, and figured 1,2 kilometres was manageable. The challenge would be the walk back – my evening walk with Jabba around the complex was around 1 kilometre, so walking more than double that was something interesting, new and would definitely kill the boredom. Temporarily at least.
I’ve driven this short distance many times over the last three and a half years, and always found it to be very attractive. The road is paved with bricks, so not only is the pattern very effective but it also makes the wheels almost hum as they drive down the road. The verges are fringed with lovely peach-coloured roses, which regularly bloom and are a perfect blend with the pink oleander planted next to the pedestrian path running parallel on both sides of the road.
I set out at 10 am. The security guards seemed very surprised when I wandered up to the gate, and proceeded to walk through it after they greeted me. I passed the sidewalk “shops” just outside the office complex and began walking along the road towards the café.
That lasted five minutes. The driving in Turkey is fast and frightening… after two minibus sped past me with their hooters blaring and a couple more drivers slowed right down to watch me walking I decided to walk where pedestrians are supposed to walk. As I climbed between two rose bushes to get to the path I breathed in their lovely floral scent. A perfect start to the walk I thought.
The thought lasted just two minutes. The appealing sights visible from the inside of Kit mask what is actually on the ground. Plastic bags of all shapes and sizes and coloured are twisted around the rose bushes and lying along the path and against the fence. Empty beer bottles and tin cans litter the banks of the small stream I crossed using a rather fearsome looking metal “bridge”. I nearly step in what looks like cow dung, scattered along the pedestrian path. Obviously it’s not only humans that choose the relative safety of the footpath.
Suddenly a rather scruffy speckled hen joins me, her long yellow legs moving quickly as she realises she’s next to a human. It doesn’t take her long to squawk in terror and rush ahead of me, disappearing at the edge of the fence. When I get there I meet the dung creator, a large brown horse casually grazing in the grassy area. Unusually for any animal from this part of the world he is not tied up, and pays me no attention whatsoever. I continue my walk, past the olive and cherry trees growing amidst the plastic bags and other refuse.
After buying my bread I walked back on the other side of the road. I ended up crossing over to walk with the dirty bags and bottles – after seeing two ”guard dogs” chained up at the local service station, a very crispy dead bird on the path and noticing a man with two rather vicious looking dogs walking up that path towards me I figured this was not the road I should be taking today. Fifty minutes after leaving this house I walked back in the front door – fifty minutes to walked nearly 2,5 kilometres isn’t bad going!
I enjoyed my walk, and will do it a few more times before we go home. Sadly it doesn’t matter how many times I see rubbish discarded by people clogging up pretty little streams and ruining the beauty of nature… it never fails to annoy and frustrate me. Nature is responsible for the real beauty on our planet – what a shame that the species supposedly the most evolved of all creatures living on the planet seems determined to ruin nature’s beauty by just carelessly discarding things he/she no longer needs. Even the horse dung and the dead bird were less offensive than the refuse produced and discarded by man, although a responsible man would have either cleared up the dung or ensured the horse couldn’t get out to foul the path. And there’s a good chance the bird died because of man – perhaps a poisoning or a catapult… but maybe I’m being unfair.
Blame on man, and the rubbish he seems unable to dispose of responsibly.