For Whom the Bell Tolls

Living as do at the heart of old Bodrum Town, we are both regaled and disturbed in equal measure by the glorious non-stop cacophony that surrounds us – the silly-speed mopeds farting down the street, the earth-quaking Turkopop vying with the impatient horns from every four-wheel Nissan tank, the catcalls from the randy rooftop pussies, the amplified ezan bouncing about in surround sound, the discordant cock-a-doodle-doos from the roosters in every courtyard and lonely mongrels barking incessantly until they’re hoarse.

One of the charming aspects of town centre living is the twice daily water-man who heralds his arrival by ringing his little bell. He’s a hairy giant of a beast who effortlessly swings his 19 litre bottles around like a Herculean water carrier. It’s enough to make a boy go weak at the knees. For a while, we were waterless. Our dusky su-seller’s familiar ding-a-ling was missing from our noise-scape. Maybe he was ill or away visiting relatives? A week went by before, one afternoon, we saw him silently pass by our window. Liam rushed out, empty bottle in hand. “Where’s your little bell?” he asked. “Finish,” was the shrugged response. “Many complaint because of noise.” Liam struggled to understand above the roar of the traffic. “But I like your little bell,” he said. Su-man smiled the warmest of smiles and shook Liam’s hand. “I know, my friend. I know.” It’s a real shame. We miss our big man’s little ding dong.

Now for the tenuous link. Sit back and feast on Ding a Dong, Teach In’s Eurovision Song Contest entry for the Netherlands some time during the Seventies (judging by the outrageous glam drag).

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15 thoughts on “For Whom the Bell Tolls

  1. It’s hard to imagine complaints about his bell with all the other noise happening. I kind of miss the Turkish town noises, but am now used to cows, donkeys, sheep and chicken noises instead. I also miss the water sellers and gas bottle men, who don’t deliver to this village unfortunately. You are really going to miss all these things when you go Jack.:-(


  2. Hilarious! The seventies were rather weird in a way, weren’t they! The drummer in his pink sequined jumpsuit looks particularly odd. I am sorry to hear of the demise of the ding dong, but now, how do you know your big hairy man is on his way?


  3. The ‘noise pollution’ obsession in Turkey is all topsy turvy isn’t it? Why on earth are people complaining about the little bells. There’s talk of the car horns being banned for weddings and circumcision and the like. Why? It’s lovely. What’s not lovely is all the noise you described in your post…but that’s more difficult to control. You still made me laugh at the end though. 🙂


  4. The image of the mopeds farting (so apropos) had me LOLing just about enough to get over the sadness at the thought of the loss of the dingaling bell! Your little moments of observation are just wonderful. What do you imagine you will be listening to a year from now back in beloved Blighty? Whatever it is, your turns of phrase will be to die for.


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