Monday, October 15, 2007

Pomegranates and cutting back the pace

I'm now back in the city after a weekend in the village of Kaynarca. Not as many people showed up for Ramazan Bayramı as last year, but it was still a good time of feasting and family. Ev's mom and aunt as well as his teenage cousin Musa were at the family house when we got there. We first visited another aunt and uncle that live in the house next door. This village was founded by Ev's grandparents and thus the family owns the houses at the village center. Various family members then came by to visit throughout the day. For our afternoon feast we had pilaf and lamb, sarma (stuffed grape leaves), stuffed cabbage, grilled peppers and eggplant, freshly made yogurt and a couple other dishes. For dessert we had different types of baklava.
Later, Ev's Aunt Fatoş showed up (I always remember her as the mad-skills dancer of our wedding reception) and her first comment to me was how thin I looked. Ev started laughing and mentioned how one of my American friends here in Istanbul had noted that comments on people's weight seem to be the first thing out of people's mouths when they haven't seen you in awhile. Fatoş then went on to ask why I had lost weight. I laughed and said it was because of Ramadan (though many people are known to gain weight during this time because of the hearty iftar meals in the evenings). I guess I've grown used to such questions here and they no longer phase me, only amuse me.

Ev's mom and aunt had been out earlier picking vegetables out of other people's gardens -- they're known for such mischief. This time they got caught and jokingly reprimanded by the owners. In mid-afternoon Ev's mom gave me a pomegranate, remembering that they are one of my favorite fruits. As I lounged on the couch and picked away at it I was reminded of why I love this place so much -- the easy pace that just invites you to relax, slow down and pop those tangy morsels of fruit, one by one.

Before leaving we went up to the cemetary to pay respects to Ev's grandmother, who died about a year ago, and other relatives. Musa filled a jug with water to pour on the graves where trees and flowers have been planted. We stood silently at the family site caught up in our personal memories of grandma as the sun set over the village.

1 comment:

Bev said...

so happy that Ev's family is so warm and caring. Its nice to have family close by. Miss you! Turkey sounds amazing and i hope that i can come visit you someday soon! BTW, pomergranate juice is the best!