Sanita comes in at around 9pm (confusing me, as I was expecting Saine but later) and is a vivacious, beautiful woman in her early 20s. She teaches English so is fluent. Saina is an architect (and also vivacious and beautiful) – but has got involved in teaching English because it pays well and it was easier to get a job in patriarchal Turkey doing that than in architecture. They have both moved to Istanbul from Fethiye – and had visited Saklikent too (as I learned when I showed them some of my photographs and they spotted the one of me covered in mud).
All of the family are creative – and sing, play music, dance, act.
I get to sleep on the bed settee – which is very comfortable. Mahvash has terrible insomnia and I think she misses not being able to wile away the long night hours by looking at the internet (because I’m camped out in the living room).
On the Thursday, I’d arranged to meet up with Asli – a Turkish knitter I’d connected with on Ravelry. We met in ‘Coffeetopia’ – an purveyor of just the BEST coffee and a place I subsequently visited several times more –brilliant suggestion for meeting place, Asli!
Asli took me on a stroll around the Old City’s spice Bazaar and upstairs (by the wedding outfits) to the wool shops. Most of the ‘wool’ was cotton or acrylic or blends. The blends felt OK but I prefer wool. Towards the end we went into Asli’s favourite market stall – where they sell undyed skeins of pure wool, cashmere/silk and soft merino wool. Lovely stuff – wish I could have bought some! It was wonderful to get together with a fellow knit and talk knitting – the hours flew past.
On Friday night, I get taken along to a party by Saine and Sanita – organised by a frenchwoman and fellow member of the dance group in a fairly small flat. It’s an international event with people from Syria, France, Turkey, America, Canada, Iran – and England! Did you know that Syria was once the 4th safest place to live in the world? I didn’t. And now it’s the most dangerous L
There was excellent cake and much wine (to which I contributed). Everyone started to dance – circle type dances and very entertaining to watch (there wasn’t a ‘caller’). Watching Saina and Sanita – my two gorgeous sister hosts – take to the dance floor for a solo turn, was mesmerising - they both can move every part of their bodies so gracefully. AT one point I thought I’d got the hang of the steps and make a token effort to join in, when the music stopped and it was time for the next one. We went home in the wee hours, sweaty and happy – but took a taxi (we’d walked there – and got lost).
I had to leave Saina, Sanita and Mahvash on Saturday – and I’m sad I didn’t get to see them again. Hope we meet up again one day. I was invited to the Halloween dance party – but didn’t go because I didn’t have a costume (sometimes I just wimp out). I saw the photos and everyone looked amazing!