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Speaking Mother - Part 2

by Lyndie (8/10/2005)

Speaking 'Mother' - Part 2

This year I went again to Ayvalik to stay with my ‘adopted’ son and his mother. I had gone to Icmeler with my husband, son and his wife and some friends, but I went alone to Ayvalik on a bus to visit Yakup and his mum. Yakup was working and so I spent a lot of my time with his mum. My Turkish is slightly improved since I saw her in February (but not much)! I arrived in Ayvalik at 2.30am. When I got to their house, my ‘sister’ was up and preparing a lovely meal for me. I was bustled into the shower and when I came out all refreshed from my journey the table was groaning with food and drink for me. She had bought a nightdress for me also and she was delighted when I came out wearing it! She had got up from her bed to welcome me. It was wonderful to see her and Yakup again and we sat up until the sun came up talking. She was delighted with the ‘ready prepared’ phrases I took with me to say to her. (Thanks to my very good friend Attila for this). I reassured her that when Yakup came to live with us I would take very good care of him and he would be like another member of our family.


The next day she and I went on a boat trip together. We met a Dutch girl who is married to a Turk on the boat and she did some translating for us, but on the whole we were just together without an interpreter. We had a wonderful time together. We swam and ate and drank together and just seemed to spend all day laughing with each other, my dictionary came in very handy, but even when we couldn’t be bothered to look up words in the dictionary we still enjoyed each others company. When we got off the boat she took me shopping. She spent a good deal of time saying ‘git, git’ (go go) and ‘gel, gel’ (come, come) - and pulling me and pushing me here and there. We had a great time in the supermarket ‘discussing’ what we would cook for dinner that night.


Before we went home, she took me to a jewellery shop in the town and waiting for me in the shop was a gold bracelet and ring bought for me by Yakup and his brother as a belated birthday gift. She was proud to show me off to her friends as she had before and by the time we got home with the shopping, I felt as though I had been ‘presented’ to half the population of Ayvalik. That night we cooked together. I insisted on making the carrot starter that she taught me to make in February. This caused her great pain, because she is very clean, tidy and organised. I am the complete opposite and I could see her grief as I messed up her immaculate kitchen. She kept repeating a word to me and when I looked it up she was telling me I was untidy - so true I’m afraid.


After dinner, we sat alone on her balcony ‘talking’ we made a great effort with the dictionary, but I understood that she was telling me that Yakup coming to England would be very difficult for her. Her other son will go to do his military service in February and she would be alone for 1 year. I invited her to spend a holiday with us in England so she could see Yakup . No problem with visas for her because she has a military passport. She cried when I invited her and I cried with her.


She is quite a gossip and one evening we gossiped about some neighbours and what she thought of them, another time we spoke about the financial hardships of raising children, the cost of living in Turkey and how we would find a Turkish wife for Yakup. All of this with only a Turkish dictionary between us. When Yakup came home from work, he again could not believe how many things we had talked about.


The rest of the time we spent together passed too quickly and I had to return to my family in Icmeler for the rest of our holiday together. I had learned lots of new Turkish while I was with her and by the time I left we were speaking more and more. She was very proud when some friends came to visit and I was able to say a few things to them in Turkish.


I am looking forward to ’kardesim’ coming to stay with me, although I know she won’t think very highly of my housekeeping efforts. I am quite sure that the minute she arrives she will grab a cloth and start cleaning and berating me for being untidy. I believe that by the time she comes I will be able to speak plenty of Turkish but we will still rely a lot on speaking ‘Mother’.


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