Let me tell you a little about Ibrahim.
I had lunch today with Ibrahim at his restaurant in Oren, outside Anamur. The restaurant, I don’t think it had a name, was empty and I suspect I was their first customer for some time. We talked, well he talked, for over an hour about life the universe and everything. The only peculiar thing is that he doesn’t speak a word of English and I certainly can’t speak a word of Turkish.
Nevertheless let me tell me you a little about Ibrahim.
Ibrahim is over 50 years old and originally comes from Adiyaman, north of Gaziantep the start of my cycle. As a young man his family moved to Adana, as this was the only place his father could find work.
His wife passed away 5 years ago, so Ibrahim moved to Oren to run his own restaurant with his son Murad. They couldn’t afford a property in Anamur so settled for Oren. This upsets Ibrahim as he knows his business will never really take off in its current location. He dreams of owning a restaurant in town but in his heart knows this is unlikely given his financial circumstances. In fact so desperate is he to work elsewhere when hearing I liked his food Ibrahim offered to return to the UK with me so that we could set up a restaurant together.
Ibrahim is not permanently preoccupied with work. He loves surfing the Internet with his son and laughing at silly videos, makes his own cigarettes, and has a tree which seems to grow both redberries and blackberries. He also makes a mean Turkish pizza (somebody please tell me its real name).
I’ve absolutely no idea how much of the above is true, I rather hope some of it isn’t. But over the course of lunch today this was the story I heard.
Here’s Ibrahim smoking one of the cigarettes he proudly made.