J and I ramble about quite a lot – we ramble up and down mountains – we ramble up and down backways and trackways – sometimes we ramble in circles whilst rambling up and down. Rambling is fun! It is also intriguing!
Let me explain; in 15 years of wandering around this beautiful country of Turkey we have come across countless examples of that which intrigues us. We have found what intrigues us near habitation and we have found examples to intrigue us miles from any habitation. We’ve found them near rivers and ruins; near pathways and fields; we’ve even found them on the tops of snowy mountains! In fact, hand on heart, I can’t think of a single ramble where we have not found at least one of them and we really are intrigued by this phenomenon.
Now, behind the impatient tutting I’m hearing from you, and the ‘Oh! For gawd’s sake will you get to the point!’ mutterings under your breath – you have to admit that you’re intrigued, too. So I’ll reveal this intriguing mystery in the hopes that someone out there can give me the answer or reason ‘why?’
Not shoes as in pairs of shoes – there are never pairs of shoes – just shoes! Wherever we go we find single shoes lying abandoned; often in the most unlikely places. Has anyone else seen this strange manifestation? I mean, it can’t be just us, can it?
Actually, there is a double intrigue here; first the abandoned shoes all over the place; and then there’s the question that I keep asking myself, I even wake up at night asking myself this question – ‘Didn’t they notice?’ I mean, there they are, half way up or down a rocky, thorny mountainside and the fact that a shoe has gone missing from their foot has completely passed them by! If a horse loses a shoe it pretty soon lets you know; if I lose a shoe I’m hopping about on one foot right away! Yet there are thousands of Turks out there who get back home from doing whatever it is they were doing, go to kick off their shoes and . . . ‘Allah hallah! İnanılmaz!’ (‘My God!’ they say, ‘Unbelievable!’) And I’m intrigued!
Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü