Every month Alex Smith shares his perspective on the expats of Kaş. You can also take a look at some other expats of Turkey...
The month of February here on the Mediterranean is probably the coldest of the months particularly in the evenings once the sun has gone down (if the sun has been out in the first place). So for most of us it’s wood burning stove on, telly on and a warm nest guaranteed. A very stark contrast to the summer months when the thought of a blanket, hot water bottle or hot stove is anathema to us all.
Houses here are not equipped with the luxury of central heating so you either have your air conditioning unit blasting out hot air to take the chill off your bedroom or settle for the chill. Bathrooms are universally cold. This does not last for long and as I write this there has been a discernible rise in temperature and as one of my Turkish friends said to me yesterday “bahar geldi” spring is coming.
As I have noted in this column before there is little going on in Kaş itself on winter’s evenings with most establishments in a kind of suspended animation until the beginning of the next season. I for one though would get a little stir crazy if not able to venture out and about in the evenings every now and then. To that end there are a few bars open notably this year The Cappadocia Bar and Evy’s and there is of course Kirsten’s place where our quizzes and book club meetings take place (we’ve just done The Quiet American). Kirsten is a German lady who runs this bar/café/restaurant and she has proved extremely versatile for us all this winter by hosting not only book club music nights and the now weekly quiz but also gourmet meals every Friday evening at a very reasonable price. Far be it from me to advertise in this place but her establishment has certainly been the focal point for many of us these last few months.
A new initiative suggested by me and enthusiastically taken up by some of my friends, particularly a couple of Americans who by the way are beginning to colonise Kaş by stealth (14 of them at the last count), is a poker night. An evening of Texas Hold ‘Em can be just the ticket as far as I am concerned and having just completed our first venture into this territory last night I write this somewhat bleary eyed in anticipation of repeating the process in the future. Seven of us Brits, Americans and Turks playing for small stakes around the green baize, grazing on snacks, knocking back beers and wine and throwing chips around like professionals makes for an excellent way to while away the evening and certainly left me hungry for more.
We’ve had visitors this month which is very unusual for February as, let’s face it, most people visit Kaş for half decent weather amongst other things and that is in no way guaranteed at this time of year. Our visitors though were lucky and having come for a ten day break with the stated intention of doing as much walking as possible, they were not disappointed. The weather permitted walking every day and I was able to help them see the beauty of the surrounding areas on the many trails available. A delight for them and a much needed break from busy lives. We were also able to go on one of the guided Sunday walks which are taking place at the moment under the auspices of the Kaş Tourism Association. These walks are proving extremely popular (thirty two people on the one we attended) and are taken up by both Turkish people and expats accompanied by a good few dogs with mini bus transport provided so that the walks can begin at one point and finish at another. Expertly guided by Dave Crann these walks are a great initiative opening up the possibility of the enjoyment of these trails to many who would possibly not bother otherwise.
It’s the Oscar ceremony this weekend and a number of us are keen film buffs and by hook or crook (by means that I will not go into here) we manage to see most of the latest releases so the awards generate interest amongst our community and often provide the material for the odd quiz question. So many of us are suckers for trivia. I probably won’t do it myself but I know one person in particular who will pull an all-nighter for this occasion and will know everything about the whole shebang including outfits etc. etc. One thing’s for sure, if The Tree Of Life wins best film, the Academy will have had its head somewhere that they haven’t seen much sunshine. It ranks as possibly the most pretentious film I have ever seen. I’m tipping The Artist; the drift of opinion appears to be with it this time round. The best two I’ve seen this year are not nominated which probably says more about me than the Academy – check out 50/50 and The Guard!