Turkey’s most popular beer is named after Ephesus. I only mention this because, after an expensive week in Istanbul, my informal accountant had started clamping down on unnecessary spending.
I lack a voice in my brain that says ‘don’t buy that, you don’t need it. If you continue to buy this crap you will die poor and alone, possibly in the company of a lot of cats’.
Fortunately I have an outer voice – let’s call it Deirdre – hovering around at about chest height. This voice has divided the world’s commodities into two categories. In category one is placed food and shelter. Everything else is in the second category. The outer voice is happy to offer a persistent and unsolicited reminder whenever eyes are made towards category two goods or services.
Beer had mistakenly been placed in the wrong category and the suspicion was after a day wandering around the ruins of Ephesus, in the hot mid-day September sun, at some point a cold one would be needed.
On the externalisation of this thought the outer voice insisted on going over what it thought were unnecessary recent purchases in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar and Selçuk’s souvenir shops.
Postcards were mentioned, fridge magnets and cushion covers questioned. Dolphin shaped bottle openers, lighters and nautical themed drinks mats were subjected to scrutiny and I’m sure the blowpipe from Bali that I thought would have looked good on the wall if it hadn’t broke was brought up. Again.
I didn’t see how any of these things were related.
Another thought popped up to offer a suggestion – or at least change the subject – though it was tentative at first. What if, it said, what if we walk to Ephesus from our hostel in Selçuk? Wouldn’t that save money that would otherwise be spent on a taxi? Could that money not go towards some sort of beer fund?
The outer voice hates taxis so the idea had wings.
Later that day I raised a glass to Dr Sabri Yayla who planted the mulberry trees along the boulevard named after him. They made the four kilometre walk so pleasant that later, over an Efes, another thought occurred. Why not have another one and walk back too.