Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Magpie: A Source of Happiness

I have hardly been in any other turkish city other than Istanbul. And, Istanbul is quite poor in terms of bird 'content'. We only have sparrows, pigeons, crows, and pinkish pigeons, whose english name being laughing dove (Streptopelia senegalensis) -as I have just learned via googling-.

It was the beginning of this week. Morning. I guess I was busy with making my bed/my cupboard/ my desk tidy as you can get strange punishments in the military service otherwise (eg. Your 9 AM- 6 PM weekend breaks are cancelled if they have any trace of untidyness)

I, without any reason, looked at outside at one time. It was there. It was real. It was exactly the same as the ones in Denmark and Netherlands. It was walking there.

Alas, I was alone in our 4-person bedroom, and I did not hear any humanly voice at our floor (probably everybody was already at the breakfast). So, very unfortunate that I could not share my happiness with anybody else :(

It was a magpie. Yes, exactly the same as the ones I tried to photograph in Amsterdam; the exact replica of the ones I saw everyday multiple times in my dutch life. The black-and-white bird from the crow family.

I never imagined to come across a magpie here in the small turkish city, Balikesir. I had seen them during my Denmark stage for the first time. I had realized their similarity to crows, and thought "they must be danish version of crows" , and stopped thinking about them.

In the Netherlands, however, I had an increasing interest to all those birds in nature. It was Maikel who taught me the name of this bird and the other birds from the crow family (jackdaw etc). Seeing a magpie here was like building a path to our chats with Maikel on birds, a path to my very nice moments in the Netherlands, a path to dutch life, dutch weather (especially if the weather is always 30-35-40 degrees here without any rain all month), a path to all dutchy stuff. It was like all the holland was squeezed in the form of a magpie in the front side of our building here..

I found the following magpie (pica pica as Maikel calls it) photograph on the internet. I wish I could photograph the one I saw. But, this is more than impossible as it is not allowed to have a camera within the military complex.

the other stuff

So, my military service is going well; the difficult part is over (training on the field). It is really very nice to meet many more people. Actually, the most attractive part for my for my dutch stage was to have the opportunity to meet new people there. I like meeting new people, new worlds.

I had a quick look to the A Touch of Dutch, Kelly's blog, Tjeerd and Nina's blogs to feel the dutch atmosphere here. I just very much wonder if the people who follow this blog are doing OK, how their life is going etc.


Sara said...

Salam Tunahan!
glad to see that you are back here!
We saw Maikel in the street the other day and he said that you had called him and are OK, that was good news, and also hearing of you now :)

We live rather close to him now, and we cycled home together.

I finally managed to write the kisir recipe here:

Vahid also says hello,
Good luck and Ramazan Mubarak!

tunahan said...

How nice to hear from you and Vahid. I here really miss our parties, dinners we had together with Vahid, you and sometimes with other friends.

So, I understand that you have already moved. Hope you like new place and your thesis and future-life plans going well.

And it was a nice feeling to see nice photos of kisir (especially if you are fasting); I realized I really missed it. It will be the first dish I will do when I go back home for the bayram (fest) holiday.

Greetings to Vahid; and say Hi to Maikel if you see him again.

Maikel said...

This is one version of the Magpie riddle. You ought to cite it up to the number of them you see at once. By the way Pica Pica is the Latin name

One for sorrow
Two for joy
Three for a girl
Four for a boy
Five for silver
Six for gold
Seven for a secret that's never to be told
Eight is a wish
Night is a kiss
Ten for a bird that's never to be missed

tunahan said...

Dank je Maikel!
Funny :D

The related entry for Magpie at Wikipedia also talks about those rhymes. I will quote a part:

In Britain and Ireland a widespread traditional rhyme records the myth (it is not clear whether it has been seriously believed) that seeing magpies predicts the future, depending on how many are seen.

So, I got it: if you see six magpies, you will get gold soon; if only one, you better not dare counting since it is sorrow :)

tunahan said...

Few weeks ago, I had a very similar experience with one difference: this time, the source of happiness was another bird: blackbird (merel in dutch).

It was about 07:45, just before our morning-military-gathering. We had just finished our cleaning duty outside. I looked at upwards, and noticed a blackbird with its orange beak on a short tree.. How happy I was! It was like I was beamed to Holland for a second :)..

(By the way, I like the dutch name of this word very much: Merel. It is even a female name in Holland)

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