Over the past few days, we’ve been on a short vacation with some friends of ours from the US. Our travels have currently led us to Fethiye, a town on the southwest coast of Turkey where you can find Turkey’s most famous beach, beautiful sunsets, the fantastic bloggers known as Turkey’s For Life and a lot of retired or vacationing British people.
We have been to Fethiye before and we truly enjoy it, especially sitting on the harbor enjoying the view and the local food, all while watching people throw bread into the water for the fish to fight over. The other day when we were sharing this very enjoyable activity with our friends, I saw something in the water and asked, “Is that money?”
We initially concluded that it was a piece of paper or plastic, likely a receipt or a bill from an adjacent restaurant. However, three men at another table were watching this piece of paper rather intently. As it drifted over we discovered that this piece of paper was sure enough, 20 Turkish Lira.
I assumed that the men watching the bill floating across the water had accidentally dropped it in the water and despite the disapproval of our friends who feared we would fall into the water and be eaten by the fish, I helped Stephanie climb down a ladder on the harbor as she reached down and grabbed the 20 Lira bill.
As she walked to the adjacent restaurant, the men who had been watching and very entertained by our escapades said it wasn’t their money and told her to keep the money, but an older man in the back of the restaurant claimed the bill and she handed it over, soggy though it was. After a few minutes, this man walked over to our table and shook her hand, thanking her up and down for retrieving his money.
It reminded me of a time very early on in our time in Turkey when a woman knocked on our door speaking in rapid Turkish as she held an infant and a very naked toddler ran around pestering her. She kept pointing to something in our house and I eventually just welcomed her in and she proceeded straight to our kitchen balcony where she picked up 20 Lira and marched back out the door again.
There seem to be a number of those types of experiences that bookend our time in Turkey. My first extra lesson and my last extra lesson were in the same room. My first real class and my last real class were in the same room. A girl who was in my first weekend class as a beginner was in my last weekend class in intermediate 2.
Life here is coming to a close and it is doing a very good job of reminding me of how life began here, how much things have changed since our arrival and how much we have changed since our arrival.