On our last day in Yalıkavak we ventured again into the village for a sunny stroll and a spot of lunch. We were greeted by a host of familiar waiters, foremost of whom was Ahmed the Kurd. Handsomely constructed, entrepreneurial Ahmed has a flirtatious charm and dishonest eyes. He juggles his life by waiting tables during the summer and smuggling contraband across the Iraqi border during the winter, bribing the border guards with cartons of Marlboro’ Lights.
After lunch, we sauntered back to the house for a final dip and a nap before our return home. On route we spotted little bit gay, local boy Rasheed sitting alone in a lokanta. We approached him for a cheery, shallow chat. It pained us to find him unkempt, fidgety and broody, so different from the flirty, chirpy chappy we’d met just a few months before. He said that he hadn’t been able to find work this year. This will have left him close to penniless. We offered a few words of solace and a refill which he declined. We left him to nurse his tepid Nescafé.