Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Lodos & Poyraz

Last week's Hurriyet Daily News headlines read:Storms Paralyze Life Across Turkey. Even CNN picked up the story with a video feed (below) highlighting the destruction.

So I was reminded of this post, which I wrote last June: Which Way The Wind Blows

I've heard of the Sirocco and even used the Mistral in one of my chapters. It got me to thinking about the winds of Istanbul. There are two major ones. Lodos (Notus) comes up from the south. In the winter, it cancels the ferry schedule it's so rough. Poyraz (Boreas) comes down from the northeast. Both are named after Greek wind gods.

Care for another one of my adventure stories?

This time, I'm a naive young woman on Büyükada. DH and I borrow a Zodiac (inflatable boat w/ an outboard motor) from a family friend and take it out fishing one day.

The owner says to us: Make sure you come back before the wind picks up in the afternoon.
DH: Absolutely!

So we head off on our merry way, enjoying our little outboard cruise around the island.

Me: checking out all the houses on the shore from a new perspective. Picnic lunch, etc. We anchor on the back side of the island in the forested park area. There's a pretty steep rock face on that side. (read: no safe place to hide) lalalalalala. No fish anywhere. It is the middle of the day. Well, we catch one rock fish. Ugly as sin.

Loose track of time and guess what....the wind changes. The sea just up and does the cha-cha underneath us, slapping me around in the boat like the fish I'm supposed to be catching.

Me: fear for my life. That rocky shore is getting awfully close. No houses in sight on this side of the island. It takes three times as long to get back. Almost run out of gas. Worst. Fishing. Trip. Ever.

That was not even Poyraz. Not even close.

Now in Mersin there are winds of a different sort. There you want the north/south dynamic. Winds from the south bring air through the house during the day. Winds from the mountains in the north bring cooler air down at night. If you're buying an apartment, direction is one of the the first things you check. If the house faces east/west? Too bad. How sad. Lowball offer.

On a hot summer evening, we joke about the heat: "Don't worry, in a little while the wind will come down from the mountains." We even have a special word for the sea when its waiting for a wind, reflecting the moon like a mirror - Yakamoz.

Which way does the wind blow for your hero?

Istanbul Winds Battle Over the City

The Wind Gods
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