For three days I have been dealing with the Turkish customs to get all the paperwork to look like what they are supposed to with their signatures and stamps, so that those papers can be placed with ease of mind in their corresponding files and left on the shelves to gather dust. The offices are filled with piles and piles of papers that in the end are archived somewhere for the future.
I’m not quite sure what is happening because the customs clearance agent speaks no English, no-one at the customs speaks English, and all conversations I’ve had with people while waiting have been really enjoyable, but I’ve had no idea what I’ve conversed since there’s been no common language. I think I am waiting for the tuk tuk to be taken through the x-ray machine.
The great thing about the last three days is that the co-worker of the customs clearing agent actually does speak English, and we have become friends. He has shown me around Mersin and taught me about the local food and culture. He’s shown me pictures of all the beautiful places in Turkey that would be wonderful to visit of which most I’ll probably miss since I can’t have everything.
We’ve been to luscious meat houses, kebab places, drank Schalgam, which is a black carrot juice type drink, Raki, the local spirit made from anis, and learned about a nice Turkish Delight called Cezerye. The thought has never crossed my mind that a sweet dessert could be made from carrots, but it can, and it’s delicious, and looking at the amount of sugar that goes into it it’s not even that sweet.
Juho is the producer and usually handles paperwork, but he’s not here so I’ve been bobbing around not knowing what to do once again making people come up with creative ways of getting exceptions to most rules. I think people are enjoying doing something different to their everyday procedures because they smile, but who knows.
As a foreigner importing and exporting is always a little bit tricky, but it goes to show that everything is possible. There’s always a way of ‘bending the rules’ to make things happen, and that’s what makes it interesting.
One thing that is really difficult to bend though, is a compulsory green card insurance that expired yesterday. This means that I get the tuk tuk tomorrow, after buying a new one from a local insurance company.
While I wait, I might go and taste some nice Baklava or Kunefe from two places that I heard make them really nice and for those of you who wish to try and make Cezerye at home, here is the recipe.
Feeds 6, and it was translated from Turkish so I hope it’s what it’s supposed to be.
3 Glasses of Sugar
1 Glass of Water
1 Spoon of Flour
1 Spoon of Starch
1 Glass of Nuts
2 Glasses of Walnuts
1 Spoon of Coconut
Clean the carrots and grate them. Put sugar, water and carrots in saucepan and mix and cook them for 15 minutes. Add flour and starch in saucepan and cook them 5 minutes more. Add tiny nuts and walnuts (I’m guessing tiny means crushed) in saucepan and mix the saucepan. Cook a couple on minutes and take the saucepan. Heat the inside of bowl. Put the mixed stuff in bowl and put it in refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
Nuts can be whatever nuts, the ones in the picture has pistachios as garnish. To my understanding a glass is 250 ml and a spoon is probably a tablespoon. Try it out and perfect it and don’t be afraid to make a mistake. Recipes are more like guidelines anyway.