An early rise and off to the village of Kanatlar 30km away with Nevsat, Shermin and Firdes. It was very humid and hot morning in Bitola. Nevsat drove at approximately 150kmph in a his little boink boink. I had much anticipation of seeing mums (and the families) village for the first time. We were greeted warmly by my 3rd cousin Memet and his mother Mevlude. The humble mud brick abode must of been 200yrs old. A slowly evolving and decaying structure constantly being adapted over time. I noticed a cow in the barn. Chillies drying, reminded my of Bukebaba’s house.
After a short time Memet, Nevsat and I were taken for a tour through a newly built house in the front of their property. Then walked through the main center of the village to the Tekke where Bukebaba practiced his faith. We walked past the newly built gleaming Gami, which was a sign of the times as there seems to be a kind of battle for peoples faith ie. minds! The Tekke was humble in appearance comparatively, no frills whatsoever. There were many spirited people preparing for Barjam.
After a short time a few local people, Baba’s, touring Turks come to warmly greet me. I was taken for a tour of the Tekke. I saw the cemetery, sacrificial area and Selman Baba’s hut. He was the Baba who gave blessings for Bukebaba (whose name is also Selman) to practice here in Australia. I met Selman’s granddaughter Melek (which happens to also be mums sisters name) who spoke English very well. We chatted much. I felt a deep connection to this place, all the stories as a child were made real, I just didn’t want to leave the place!
After exchanging numbers and taking a few photos we walked to the house mum grew up in. It was occupied by the Macedonian people who purchased the house in the late 1950’s early 60’s. I had thought the house was destroyed by the ravages of time. I can now place memories to an actual place. We didn’t stay long unfortunately as people did live their. It was a somewhat surreal experience.
We went back to Memet’s house for a little while again. My Turkish wasn’t great at all but nonetheless I loved listening to the language and dialect, it felt like home in allot of ways.
The drive home to Bitola was very reflective. I was touring the depths of my memories. Finally closed another link.
After lunch Sebajdin, Erdzan, Hujlia, Gulshen and I drove to the village of Asamat. We passed through many old villages to finally arrive at Xha Dure’s house situated right on the Lake Prespa. The 25yrs of a receding water line pushed the shore far from its original place just behind his property. House was locked. We walked to the lake, long grass everywhere blocking the view of the lake. We drove on, stopped along the highway and walked down to the pebble beach and we all skipped rocks on the flat glassy water,
We headed back to Bitola, chilled out in the backyard playing cards with Sebajdin, Adem, Gevdat, Edzan & Zinka before we had dinner. Fatime had made a delicious stew, I was famished. After dinner we sat around the PC with Erdzan whilst Sebajdin played some early Yugoslavian rock. Sebajdin introduced me to the legendary Yugoslav rock band Bijelo Dugme.
Again, exhausted from all the traveling, called it a night.