Olive fields by Noreen

Olive fields by Noreen
Mysterious, primordial world

Wednesday, 17 January 2018


O my word!  doesn't time fly? I didn't write anything here for the last two months.   It being winter, the nights are long and the days so short,  l kept myself  busy doing my usual daily run of the mill stuff. 
 I started and eventually finished  a small sunset oil painting.

I did quite a lot of baking, Mr. D. loves fruit cake and some friends came for afternoon tea.

 However, this winter much of my time was spent working on two short stories which might yet be long stories .   I'm getting through my 'To do list'!   I've a lot more to write . I constantly edit and re write.  However,  reading is my favorite pastime.

  I love reading. I'm able to read in large print on my e-reader. What a wonderful invention!  I alternate between reading and writing. 

 So life was moving along nicely, no huge highs, no lows and then  suddenly I get what is often referred to as "one of those bumps on the road".  You know, when something happens so  quickly, your life is turned upside down for a while.  
No!  thankfully, nothing life threatening but just a lot of hassle and unnecessary stress.

One Saturday morning l was pleased with my clear out of autumn clothes which I'd ironed and placed in a big bag for the local animal rescue fundraiser. I'd put the plastic bag carefully on the back seat  of my electric scooter.  It  took up most of the seat.
 Beside it, I managed to squeezed my rectangular picnic bag.  Inside the picnic bag, I had already tucked in my handbag and off I went. 

On reaching the town square I drove directly towards the fundraiser volunteers who were busily setting up their tables.  They were happy with my bag of winter clothes. The cake and bread table was in the process of being set up so I decided I would proceed to the vegetable market and return later for my supply of goodies.   My blue picnic bag was sitting on the seat of my scooter and I moved it slightly back into it's usual position. It always sits flatly on the seat due to its rectangular shape. It's ideal for shopping, you can fit everything into it.

I then continued on my way  to the Saturday fruit and vegetables market. It's only about 200 meters along the town.  I made all of my weekly purchases which l put in to the blue picnic bag.  
Then off I went again,  this time back to the animal fundraising stalls. By now the stalls were all set up and the delicious baked goods were on display.
I purchased some home baking and some spinach pies for lunch which  l planned on us enjoying later. 
 I remember putting the purchases and my handbag into the picnic bag at this point. I had one more purchase to make at the clothes market near the marina.I'd brought extra cash with me to buy birthday presents for a friend's two daughters whose birthday's  were the next day.

 I made my way slowly along the key towards the marina,  passing by people who sat outside the restaurants. I moved slowly because there were pedestrians sauntering along.  It still only took me about four  to five  minutes to reach the edge of the market. I parked the scooter and looked to my back seat expecting as usual to see my blue picnic bag.  Then it happened! 

Shock, horror! Nothing on the seat!  I started in disbelief! "O my God! Where could it be, it must have fallen off. "I thought frantically to myself.

I jumped back on and literally raced back retracing my path, checking the grass verges as I went back to the fundraiser stalls. I asked the stall holders if anyone had seen it or if it might have been handed in. No one had seen it.   l again drove back along my route.  There was no sign if it.

 I tried all the restaurants..... they hadn't seen it. Then I went back the route again before eventually going to the council lost property office. Someone suggested l make a statement at the police office. I did so. This took time because of my basic Turkish and their lack of English. They were very concerned for me and said if it was handed in, they would return it.
 By now, l had been out over 3 hours and decided l would have to return home and tell Mr D.
Mr. D.'s reaction was as l expected.  What was in your handbag? He asked frantically. I replied. "Our residency cards, copies of our passports. debit and credit cards, my phone which contained approx 50tl credit.and about 270tl in cash. Translates to over a weeks living expenses plus my purchases!!

At this stage, l still held the vague hope that someone picked it off the ground and would soon return it to me. My address was also in it.
I picked up Mr. D's phone and dallied my number. There was no ringing sound. Straight away the cold truth dawned on me ... My phone had been turned off  by a thief... who  had seen an opportunity and grabbed it.

All that evening I beat myself up. I was so annoyed for not securing the strap of the picnic bag to the seat as was my usual habit before leaving  the house. But in my defense, this time was different. I couldn't do so because of the large bag of clothes.
 l didn't venture  out again to replace the food purchases decided instead to punish myself by not having  the nice treats l had purchased for lunch.
I dreaded having to make the phone calls to cancel the cards, holding on the phone line, waiting,  all the security questions  and the meetings at the bank to remove my phone numbers from bank accounts ,  such hassle, and it's not done in just one meeting, something always needs to be signed again.... and  even worse l would have to go through the residency applications once again.....

The following morning l walked downtown and bought presents for the birthday girls. After reassurance from friends, l decided l would try not to dwell  on it.  Meeting friends and watching the children play at the party did wonders to cheer me up. 

On our return from the party I got a message via email. A friend had been ringing me all afternoon. She had good news!  
"Come over straight away! it read. Seemingly a  purse was handed in to a small grocery shop on the other side of town by the bin man who found it beside the garbage bin.

 I was so  relieved on walking into the shop to see my little blue purse. The bank cards were still inside,  as were our copy passports and our Residency cards.  The cash was gone!  But we expected that!
The next day I searched all along by the bins but as I expected there was no sign of the handbag, phone or picnic bag. 

 Next  job  was go to the bank and apply for new cards. I had already cancelled them over the phone. I bought a new phone and registered a new SIM card. It took four visits to the bank before they finally had a new phone number on our accounts. I couldn't use my old number because it was registered  to the shop owner where I purchased the phone first day!

Needless to say, l no longer bring a handbag or phone with me when I go shopping. I use another big bag for the shopping which is secured to the seat of the scooter before I leave and every time since, I double and treble check!

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