The Son and Heir was more used to me ordering a coffee and a biscuit, but when in Bodrum it’s the pipe of peace.
Well they say that in life you should try everything (and that would include the shisha pipe) once.
By hookah, by crook
You probably need to be from Turkey, the Middle East or North Africa, to pull off the kasbah chic look.
My cuppa tea
Instead I just sipped my mint tea and watched the regulars play chess.
In Bodrum. I dare say there were more than a few Bobby Fischers, but on our first days in the marketplace it was backgammon.
They played a different, more fast-paced game than the one me and my Mum would play back in the stuffy Glasgow suburbs.
It wouldn’t have gone down well to chain smoke in front of my Dear Old Mum, exhort Allah or slam my counters down.
Chairman of the board
The cry of Ally filled the air too in Bodrum when I would try to bring the Son and Heir back into line.
And would discover a market trader swirling the six-year-old in the air exclaiming Ally!
They would look out for the boy every day with the Arabic name every day when we would walk through the market.
We had made instant friends.
And we would enjoy a family holiday we still look back on with joy 20 years later.
A slice of Turkey
I would fall in love with Turkey, its Turkish barbers, mud baths and Turkish dancers.
Which is why my heart breaks to see the wildfires around Bodrum.
And holidaymakers evacuating for rescue boats.
The Turks have suffered particularly badly through the pandemic.
So the wildfires must feel like the last straw.
Inevitably, and not without some evidence, the climate change zealots are taking excessive joy out of the situation.
I, of course, do not have the answer. But I would say that we cannot glibly just say make it more difficult to fly.
As exploring foreign countries, meeting the locals and making their friendship is the best way of breaking down barriers.
Because when they do get back on their feet, remember in Bodrum it’s the pipe of peace.