An African's Anecdotes and Accoutrements
|This morning I watched as Kit, my little Citroen Saxo, was driven away by Umit, one of the company drivers. Turkish law requires any car imported by a foreigner must either been taken out of Turkey when the foreigner leaves or surrendered to customs. As Kit’s resale value is virtually zero we have surrendered him to customs.
It’s a sad day. I don’t mind admitting I shed a tear as I watched him drive around the corner of the factory and out of my life. For nearly six years Kit has taken me to some of the world’s most wonderful historical sites. Thanks to Kit I have visited Mount Olympus, Alexander the Great’s father King Phillip’s tomb in Vergina. I’ve visited Ephesus and Pammukale in Kit, as well as Aphrodisias. Kit has taken me into Thessaloniki and İzmir whenever I’ve had to venture into the city centres.
Apart from my friend Margot every single person that has visited us in Thessaloniki and İzmir during our years in the diaspora has travelled in Kit. Heather, Dermot, Courtney, Mom, Jenny, Judy, Gavin, Nigel, Sian, Denis, Denise, Bryan, Cindy, Robs, Megan, Caitie, Roy and Victoria... Kit has helped make the time our family and friends who visited us in Greece and Turkey a memorable holiday. Sometimes I wonder just how we managed to fit all that shopping AND all the people into Kit!
And the dogs... Matti, Indi, Chewy and Jabba all travelled to and from the kennels in Thessaloniki and İzmir in Kit – all at the same time. On one occasion there were FIVE dogs and one human in Kit - when I was taking care of little GiGi before she moved to Africa. My darling Chewy took his final journey in Kit.
Yesterday Kit and I went for our last journey. I had my hair and nails done, then went for some last minute shopping at Bornova Forum. After that we drove back to the Taj Mahal – the nickname for the house at Ivan’s factory. We went the long way home... past the very first house we lived in in Turkey, through the countryside leading to our second house, into the village and in the pine forests and olive groves leading back to the factory.
Is it pathetic to feel sad at saying goodbye to a little car that has brought so much to my quality of life the past six years?
Tonight we have a farewell dinner wıth Ivan's work colleagues and hıs boss from head offıce ın Swıtzerland. Tomorrow we go into town for the last time – to close the bank accounts and buy the last bits and pieces from the market. At lunchtime on Friday we leave İzmir and fly to İstanbul. Friday evening we leave Turkey for Dubai. After a seven hour layover (we are staying in a hotel because we are there from 21.45 to 04.30!) we fly to Johannesburg. At 14.15 on Saturday we are scheduled to land in Harare. Our container docked at Durban earlier this week, and is expected in Harare at the end of August – it has to be shipped back up to Beira in Mozambique and then over land to Harare.
So this is my last entry in this blog. It feels strange to type that sentence, because now I am not sure if I will start another blog, and if I do I am not sure it will be here. I can honestly say writing the two blogs on WDC during the years I’ve been out of africa has been a wonderful experience. I have met some very talented writers, made some excellent online friends from all over the world and – hopefully – managed to improve my writing ability by keeping what has really been an online diary on WDC. I intend to remain a member of the site, but as we all know life has a way of messing up our writing intentions, which is why this week I have given up my membership of most of the groups I was affiliated with here. So I will still be present... still commenting... still interacting and reviewing... just the level of my ınteraction depends on what happens in my future.
Thank you all for your support and encouragement; we really have shared some wonderful memories ove rthe years! And I leave you now with the Turkish words for goodbye: