Friday, 7 October 2011

about the man who talks to animals

This post finds me once again in a favourite spot -  a small port on Turkey's spectacular turquoise coast. I am in love with this place, it's mid October and over 30 degrees with clear blue skies and a lively breeze, electric pink bougainville tumbling over buildings, trees laden with pomegranates, red sunsets and a warmth and friendliness from local people that I have never experienced before. I always have an adventure when I come here, and maybe that's why I keep coming back.
I had lunch yesterday on the terrace of a restaurant overlooking the town and marina and the tiny Greek island of Meis where I was befriended by the elderly waiter, cook and general do everything man. His English was much better than my Turkish (not difficult) and we joked a little about how I had the place to myself and no one else was allowed in; well I thought it was a joke until another couple tried to sit down (instantly spoiling my view and my peace) and he told them to come back in the evening as they were closed even though it was only 1 o'clock.
After fresh calamari he invited me to sit and chat, made me a turkish coffee and presented me with a choice of three liqueurs on the house but with a fatherly warning not to drink too much. I chose a nutty one, thick and sweet and then he started telling me about his life, his parents, how he was brought up and his love for animals. He told me he loved to write and that one day he would publish a book, but it was too soon now and he would ask someone to do this for him after his death. He told me how he loves to disappear into the woods to be with animals and that they come to him - wild dogs, rabbits, goats, sheep, birds. He spends days camping out in the woods.Then he told me how the animals talk to him and he understands them. He said they tell him their stories and he writes it all down and that is the substance of his book. Such is the rhythm of life here this encounter seemed perfectly normal at the time, or maybe there was something in the nutty liqueur that made it seem quite normal. Today it seems really quite barmy but who knows, the book may be a best seller?