Every Sunday, the boys and I leave Ali in the garden and go back to our flat in town so Baki can go to school. But I try to make it back out to the garden twice a week so I can get some things done.
It is about 8 km from the main road up the mountainside to our dirt road, and as I pass by I always peer out at the neighbors’ houses. We don’t have any really nearby neighbors – our house is one of two on our road (although there are some pomegranate orchards as well) – but these are a few of the gates that I pass on my way up:
I have always thought this boat looked a bit out if place. I mean, the sea is nearby, but a mountainside is a mountainside, no matter how close the water is. We see land crabs on the road sometimes, though and they make the boat seem less weird.
This is Huseyin the hunter’s house. He and his wife live here during the warm months, but once the persimmons from their trees are ripe and in crates, they move down to sea level. They are my role models for old age – he lolls around on the porch all day while she climbs the fruit trees and eats fruit, beaming from between the branches.
I’ve always liked the way the drive curves out of sight from the gate at this house. This is also the part of the road that I remember from the first time I ever came up here so it makes me nostalgic.
And this is my favorite gate, belonging to one of our closer neighbors, a friendly guy who has nearly flattened my car with his tractor – twice. We really need to do something about that blind curve in the road by his house.
I forgot to take a picture of our gate, but to be honest it’s not very welcoming – it’s got a slight Fortress if Solitude vibe. It’s a perfect expression of Ali’s hostility towards goats. To be fair, though, we couldn’t have much of a garden if we didn’t keep them out. (The neighbors pass by with their herds twice a day in the cold months.) Before the fence and the gate, we simply couldn’t plant a thing. I remember one memorable morning, though, I was cleaning up after breakfast and I felt eyes on me. I looked up and discovered the house was surrounded by goats. Oh and that was the year that we were covered in ticks all spring.