I struggled with how to title this post but I knew it had something to do with the nostalgia inspired by scent and a yearning for familiar things…
I woke early here in this Istanbul world and decided to get up. I’ve been alternatively working on photographs, with an occasional detour out into a new book I’m devouring but don’t have much time to read - The Attack by Yasmina Khadra, is worth checking out if you’re looking for an interesting fiction about suicide bombers.
It’s too early for anyone else and there is the promise of hot fresh borek if I’m patient, so I quietly found a banana to eat while my Turkish tea stewed in the top pot.
The banana was ripe and breaking it open delivered me back, just for a moment, to my childhood of bananas bruised by their trip to the river’s edge in our picnic box.
Savouring that scent here in Istanbul, so very far from the world I grew up in made me stop to think about the way that scent has been taking me ‘home’ lately ... the way that smell has become something akin to an album of memories I carry inside of me.
You see, there is a particular soap I use occasionally, it’s one that transports me directly back to a childhood of happy visits to Nana and Grandad’s Invercargill house. And a colleague of mine delights me by smoking the same cigarette brand that Nana once smoked, a long time ago. Gidon is less than excited by this fact that he reminds me of Nana ... as he is younger than me.
Shampoos and conditioners pick me up and transport me but they come from so many periods of this strange life of mine ... there were those childhood toiletries, then there is that one I used in America, another was discovered in Istanbul and they too offer a surprisingly powerful journey into memory.
It’s like that these days but the house is waking now - remembering took longer than I expected and my tea-glass needs refilled. Soon there will be piping hot borek in my tummy and here I am, creating a whole new set of memories in this different someplace else.