Monday 21 August 2006

I love the smell of olive trees burning in the morning

We had some fun yesterday. Apparently the mountain of Meryemana caught fire and quickly burned all they way to Kusadasi. They brought in helicopters to deal with the blaze but as night fell, they had to abandon. Luckily it seemed to die just as it reached the city limits. It ended about 500m from my cousin's house on the outskirts of town. You can see some shots I took.

So we sat on the balcony eating ice-cream watching the fire (well, anything we can do to help) then we heard shots as a wedding party on the island nearby started to get drunk and excited. My step-brother ushered me inside as apparently a number of people are killed each year on balconies by stray bullets.

This morning I was woken by the sound of helicopters and planes resuming their battle with the blaze. It doesn't look like there's much left on this side of the mountain now but a huge area must have burned last night. The big concern is how this is going to affect the local ecology over the coming years.

How did it start? People are talking about the PKK (the Kurdish liberation army) but I think it's more likely that someone chucked a fag out the window or a farmer got a little excited when burning some weeds. Seeing as we're having the hottest period of the year, it doesn't take much to send the whole bloody country up.

The highlight for me was standing watching the fire and having a fag with a friend. "Just bring me the man who started this and I'll shit in his mouth" he said then promptly flicked his fag into some nearby shrubbery and walked away.

Yours heading to the hills for a barbie


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