Although we only move 30 kms between our summer home and the winter one, it feels like we are stepping from one world to another. The village is focused on rural activities, Bodrum is a port. In the village, I can collect veg on the daily dog walk, in town I pass the quayside fish stalls. Only 3 "yabanci" i.e. anyone from outside the county, have settled in the village in the past 30 years where as Bodrum is a mish-mash of locals, Turks from the cities or Anatolia and foreigners from every corner of the world. Only Turkish is spoken in the village, but not the received pronunciation you'll pick up from a language class. The local dialect can best be explained by imagining an extra "ptrrr" in the middle of every verb and changing all the ks to gs. Bodrumites used to speak like this, but it's rarely heard today. The local accent is a bit addictive and I sometimes find myself adding a few extra consonants when talking to my village neighbours. They humour me, but I probably sound as if I am doing an impression of an angry horse. I don't recommend it but one can live a full life in Bodrum without speaking a word of Turkish. This month I'll attend a photography workshop, a writing group, a book club and a lecture all conducted in English.
It's sometime easy to forget on which continent we live. Last week-end, a market selling scotch eggs, cup cakes, egg tarts, crumpets, walnut loaf and Christmas cards could have been in any village hall in Europe. This time next week we will be gearing up for the carol concert. After a busy summer in and out of the village, it's great to be back in cosmopolitan Bodrum.