It seems fitting to finally get my first post on my new blog up on St. Patrick’s Day. Fitting because the odd mix of national holiday celebrated in a country that doesn’t acknowledge it is typical of expat life.
So as I sit here listening to NPR’s Irish music stream and am sent a stream of Paddy’s day greetings and news through Twitter, the daily reality around me is sublimely ignorant. More so than usual perhaps as we have workmen here, so the garden is a trampled mess of rough stones and wheel barrows of cement. I am on the lookout for calls and questions, though thankfully the Handyman is here to oversee operations.
But this ignorance is one I live with every year because unfortunately the 17th of March is only one day ahead of the 18th of March.
So… I hear you say…
18 Mart is when the Turks celebrate the Dardanelles naval victory of 1915. The Allies tried to force the straits a month ahead of Anzac Day, cleared the sea mines and waited for dawn before launching their attack. What they didn’t know was that a brave little minelayer named Nusrat sailed in the dead of night, without lights and laid more mines. When the Allies attacked between the newly laid mines and heavy bombardment from cannons on the hills around the straits, they were forced to retreat.
So today is a day of minor panic as the town prepares for an invasion of politicians (including the Prime Minister), military personnel and other very important people.
And no one has much time to spare for celebrating anything else…