March will be two years for me in Ankara, and I have yet to see a mailman, although I am certain they exist. Every once in a while I get mail from my undergrad university, or from the PA Bar Association. Even the IRS seems to get their mail through to me! Yikes! But most often, we simply get flyers stuffed into our box from some guy who is trying to push his local restaurant.
Newspaper delivery never even occurred to me. I stopped having papers delivered to my Philly home many years ago when I realized I was carrying them out to recycling without having read a single page. In this world of high technology, I found myself reading the news online. Although I certainly still enjoy the smell and feel of that fresh ink in my hands and definitely prefer to do the crossword puzzles in ink.
Today, I spotted my first newspaper delivery in Ankara. Let me set the stage . . .
In my hometown of West Chester PA, Mom has a twin brick home with a smallish front yard and a sidewalk leading up to the front steps. For as long as I can remember, there was always a kid on a bike with a heavy cloth bag over his shoulder laden with the morning news. I say a boy even though at one time, I was the newspaper “boy”.
He would toss the paper on to the porch on a daily cycle. If he missed and it landed in the yard, Mom would scold him. He was working for that weekly tip, so you know he was careful.
In more recent years, a man took over delivery of the paper. It was a little more difficult for him to hit his mark as he tossed the paper from his car window. It often lands in the yard, where Mom has to walk out in the mornings, donned in her bathrobe, go down the steps, open the gate, and retrieve it. I’m not sure if she has ever accidentally locked herself out while doing this. But let me just say that she is not happy about it.
It’s more difficult for her to complain about it to the appropriate authorities as the bill now comes in the mail. She rarely catches the guy to give him a good face-to-face talking to!
Things are much different here in Ankara. Although many read the papers online, the hard copies are still very popular. Every bakkal has a newspaper rack in front of the store. In my neighborhood, I can’t walk for 3 minutes without passing 4 or 5 places to buy a paper. I guess that’s why delivery of the paper never crossed my mind.
But alas, today I caught one of the scoundrels! And believe me, they have it much harder than the West Chester man tossing the paper from his window.
While enjoying my morning coffee on the balcony once again, (not even the snow stops me there), I saw a car pull up in front of the neighboring building. There were stacks of papers all over the car. Since the living situation is very different in Turkey, his job was much harder for him.
In Ankara, and most of Turkey, Most people live in apartment buildings. Even if they own their place, it’s usually in an apartment-style building. So this driver had to get out of his car paper in hand, walk up to the building, and stuff the paper into a slot designed specifically for this purpose. By the time he got back to his car, his partner was also returning. I assume he was delivering to another building.
My readers will note that the newsfeed from my hometown paper is linked on the side of this blog. The reason is that the paper links my blog to its website. So maybe, just maybe, my Mom’s delivery guy will read this post! That would really be cool if he not only read it, but also stopped throwing her paper in the dagnabbit yard!