Friday, May 30, 2008


After a grueling 9 hour trip from Erbil, our contingent finally arrived in Batman! Part of the delay was due to a stupid mistake on my part. At passport control, the Turkish official kept telling me, "Bitti" (finished). Since my passport it not finished, I assumed he meant my visa and tried to give him the US $60.00 fee for Canadians. Unfortunately, this was NOT the visa window and he became very angry because there is a camera on his station to ensure that officials do not take bribes! Opps... Anyway, after arrival, it was decided that I would spend the night at Memet's house, or rather at the house of Felice - his father's Wife No. 2 (pictured above). I had a great time here... she was very comfortable, casually tossing cigarettes to any and all who cared to smoke and wildly gesturing as she told stories. She talked about how hard life has been since her husband passed away (she has 3 small daughters and 1 son). But later I heard that life is harder still for Memet's mother - Wife No. 1  - who didn't receive any of the property when her husband died. It was all left to Felice. 
And tonight I will stay at Cengis' house with his wife (only 1) and their 6 children. Above is Hakan, the oldest boy, Erkan, Serkan and Yakub (spelling?). Gukhan (the boy I traveled from Erbil with) and Hilal are missing. Hilal, the only daughter, took me shopping in the market and was wonderfully warm. She gave me a headscarf that she had enbroidered herself. Apparently, the embroidery speaks to those in the know. I wonder what the pattern on mine says...
And finally, this is Cengis and his wife with their youngest. It is wonderful how close the family is. I suppose given the amount of space a family this size lives in, it is no wonder. There is little privacy. At night, Cengis and his wife will sleep in one room, the two oldest boys in another, Hilal and myself on dushaks on the living room floor with the 3 yougest boys between us. 

1 comment:

Je ne regrette rien said...

a handsome group of fellows! Looking forward to reading more.