First, it was the strawberries. Shops and street bazaars that used to have stalls weighed down by tiny succulent strawberries began to only have small amounts available; some more bruised than the others, most already crushed into strawberry paste. But it wasn’t a problem as cherries and apricots were aplenty. (“One kilo each of cherries, apricots and strawberries, please! No strawberries? I’ll just have the others then.”) Yes, it was only here that I started buying fruit by the kilograms.Then the cherries followed suit. They got more and more elusive, requiring stops at multiple shops in hopes of finding some that weren’t overly bruised, overly expensive (“TL10 for a kilo?! I used to get them for TL6!”) and still in their prime. Cherry stands became emptier and more depressing to look at. Then the plums, peaches and nectarines began to appear (“Wait, when did the apricots disappear?!?”). It was heaven for a while, until they too, started to slowly fade away. Now we’re stuck with pears, apples and figs. Life doesn’t look like it’ll be as sweet as before..
Where has the summer gone???
Where before it was all a hot, sticky, sunblock-y mess of looong summer days, we’re now facing shorter days filled with cardigans, raincoats and umbrellas. Just a short while ago, skies were all blue reflecting back the Bosporus’ intense colours, the days were gold from the sun bouncing around the rooftops and green wherever a few trees managed to grow.
As much as I hate the sun and the inevitable tanning I would suffer no matter how much I covered up, ran into the shade or sunblocked myself, I now miss those days. People looked more cheerful in polka dots and shorts, ice creams and open-toed sandals. Now there’s a new sense of intensity, when they’re hidden under umbrellas or wrapped in scarves and raincoats.
Yes, the passing of time and the changing of the seasons is all new to me. Did the sun really set at 9:20 pm in May?? I can’t imagine it now when it gets dark around 7pm. Was it really that hot just a few months ago, when I swore that even Singapore wasn’t this sticky and searingly hot?
I’m not very sure what the upcoming months at the markets will be like (“Are there going to be any fruits at all in December??”) but I’m excited. Every day when you wake up, it’s a little less brighter than the day before, a little cooler than you remembered and before long, I’ll have to open my suitcase, take out all of my winter things and pack away the summer clothes to make way for them.
Summer’s gone and winter has come knocking…