Tuesday, 19 February 2013
Does city living dehumanise?
The last two Sundays have seen heavy rain in Bodrum and by heavy, I mean torrential. Imagine a bath upturned on your head. On days like this I'd rather stay on the sofa with a good book, but our newest family member has to venture out a few times a day. I try and live by the line "there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing" and have the full wet weather gear; rain hat, long mac and high boots and thanks to a great buy from Amazon, Jake has a waxed jacket to keep some of him dry. Because we spend the winter in the centre of Bodrum, to get to any pedestrian or green area we have to negotiate the town's original narrow roads. In the past, these roads would turn into rivers as the water from the surrounding hills funnelled down to the sea. Floods are rare now, but the new drains struggle to cope and when it's really pouring, six inches of water sits on the road surface. We have no choice but to use these narrow lanes and as I walked along last week I conducted my own anthropological survey. 32 cars drove by us as we walked along Turgut Reis Caddesi, 29 slowed down before reaching us and passed without a big splash. 3 cars made no attempt to slow down and sent an impressive wave up and under my mac, and over Jake's head. The considerate drivers were all 48 plates, i.e. from the local area. The other 3 were from Izmir and Istanbul. Not a scientific study I know, but one that unfortunately confirms the stereotype of city drivers that we all believe anyway.