Monday, February 14, 2011

Something Fishy

via gamze sonmez @Flickr

The best way to learn a language is by immersion. In my case, I was stuck in a small fishing boat off the coast of Mersin with three people who laughed at my childish efforts. Well, that was only part of my training. The point is you have to be forced into it, without recourse to speak your native language. Be a fish out of water, so to speak. :) 

Fishing is a big deal in Turkey, as with any coastal place. My Eniste (husband's uncle-in-law), Teyze (husband's mother's aunt) and dearest husband conspired to spend the weekend evenings of my first Turkish summer cramped into a tekne (rowboat). I couldn't understand anything on TV anyways, so... off I went.

I'm not so bad at fishing...with a rod. But when they gave me a small rectangle of wood wound in some fishing line and studded with multiple hooks at the end, things suddenly got hilarious.

 Eniste baited the hooks with some shrimp and tossed my line overboard. And it came up empty. Again and again and again. Everyone else was catching fish, so I started to get desperate, tugging at the line in little jerks. When I pulled it up, there were fish hooked on alright. Some small fry Eniste called mercan (coral) aka sea bream, all about the size of a half-dollar coin. Hooked on by the gill, tail, fin, everywhere but the mouth! The little buggers kept nibbling my bait all night. (OK, so it was more than just the ONE night. I can't live this down! And here I'm telling you about it...)

I did much better at the seafood restaurant in Narlikuyu, a beautiful cove which managed to included in my MS. Yup! Seafood is important to Mediterranean life, but, if you ask the women there to cook some up, they point to the nearest restaurant. Fish dishes are relegated to the summer, when you can open the windows to air everything out thoroughly. If you cook it at all. (Sinks up the house and that's bad for visitors, apparently.)

BTW, Happy Valentines Day!


Grandpa said...

Happy adventure there, Carolyn.

I think in such a beautiful surrounding with seafood restaurants you wouldn't want to spend your time at home cooking, do you?

Sarah said...

I love interesting stories like this! Great post, Carolyn.

Jules said...

LOL,Here is my first story. Caught a big fish, hate touching them, so I had to run a 1/4 of a mile to get someone to take it off the hook :)

Don't know why I like to fish, can't stand to eat them :)

Happy Valentine's Day!
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Hart Johnson said...

*giggles* I fished once upon a time, but when I was about 10 my grandpa made up the 'you catch it, you clean it' and the romance of it wore off. I suspect though, that is very true for a language.

Old Kitty said...

The way I see it, so long as you got some fish even if they didn't quite play to script!!! Yay for you!!!!!

I'm so crappy at learning languages but I'd like to think that I'd be able to if plunged in at the deep end amongst peoples whose language I want to learn! HAPPY VALENTINES!! Take care

Colene Murphy said...

Interesting. I hope I never have to do that for a book! Hate fishing. I love all your stories!

LTM said...

aww! No beginner's luck for you? I love me some fish dishes, but I have to confess, I'd rather cook them myself than go to the restaurants here. Haven't had a decent seafood dish since leaving south Louisiana... go figure. Happy V'day, honey~ <3

Unknown said...

I've lived in Mexico for almost five years and my Spanish is abysmal. It's true that I've learned the most when I've been forced to speak to someone that doesn't know English.

Michael Di Gesu said...

I'm not into fishing, but I do love fish....

I hopped over from Rach's crusader list. I thought I'd say "Hi" and follow.

Have a great day.


Southpaw said...

Great story. It’s reminds me of a few fishing trips of my own.

Sarah Ketley said...

Hi Crusader,

just popping in to say hello. I have added you to my blog list as i am interested to see your work progress. I also write YA, but i LOVE anything historical and based around myths/traditions and so on. It is the main genre i read OUT side of YA. The Dan Brown novels or even The Book Thief Being some of my favorites or Labyrinth by Kate Mosse.

Love to see what you are doing, havn't seen any with your twists before. Normally i read ones that look into crusader history or early church concerns.

great blog. Let me know if you i can help you at all. :-)


Summer Ross said...

As I read you post I walked back through my own memories of fishing, and I'm not a big fan of doing it LOL. I almost caught a fish once when I was 10 but my dad forgot to tell me how to snag it right- so I lost it along with the patience to fish. Have a great day!

Jacqueline Howett said...

Love the story! I went to sea as a sea captains wife in my teens, as some of you may know. I visited Turkey. Its beautiful. Many of my own experiences of fish and the famous babooni fish were on the Greek islands and the main coastline of Greece. Also in Maine USA. Thanks for the quote from Rumi, my favourite!

Raquel Byrnes said...

That was so interesting! Love your pictures. Just stopping by to say hello to a fellow crusader...following you now.
Edge of Your Seat Romance

Cathy said...

Hello fellow crusader, gorgeous blog. I will definitely back and stay a while--just dropping by for now.

Sarah Ketley said...

Hi again,

thanks for stopping by the blog. Great book recommendation, have downloaded it from amazon.. am reading now. Have pretty much decided how the book is going to develop, but some parts i will leave a little open and see where the emotion takes it.

thanks very much, go crusaders



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