We have just got back from our Bayram holiday – a week at an all inclusive in Sarigerme, not far from Dalaman. The weather was so fantastic that we spent every day either by the pool, or on the beach – not bad for a November. Even coming back to Didim the weather has been hitting the early 20s – all very well but I want to wear my new Uggs, and it is just too hot!
The timing of Bayram this year meant that the country more or less closed down for a week. Every year this annual festival is 10 days earlier than the previous year, and as it has been out of season, it has been a good excuse for us to close the shop and relax for a few days. Though of course being in November, it makes it very close to Christmas, and even though I reside in a predominantly Muslim country, I could never even contemplate not celebrating Christmas as well, so in effect it has felt these last few years that Christmas definitely comes twice a year.
Bayram is as important to the Turks as Christmas is to us, and certainly offers the same commercial opportunities with which we are bombarded as soon as Guy Fawkes is over! Probably some of the biggest winners during this time are the mobile phone companies. Previous generations sent Bayram cards in the post, now the finger happy Turks send text messages to practically everybody in their mobile address books. Our holiday was peppered with the incessant bleeping of my husband’s mobile phone, receiving texts from just about everybody he has spoken with done business with or just passed by in the street with a curt nod. Multiply this constant beleeping with the number of mobile phone possessing, phone obsessing Turks the world over, and you have some very happy phone companies!
It was a good week. We took a package which included two concerts featuring Gunes Gundes, and the favourite uncle of all Turkey, Ibrahim Tatlises, who has been serenading Turkey for as long as I have been on this earth. This ex-construction site worker is a self made millionaire loved by millions, and to see him up close and personal is to truly understand how this level of professionalism and success cannot be manufactured. He has something special.
Of course being an all inclusive was a bit of a waste for me. 21 weeks into the pregnancy and my stomach has is so squashed I cannot eat as much as I would like to have eaten, nor could I imbibe the vast quantities of free flowing wine I would normally have enjoyed! Still, at least my husband made up for it!