Urger's Tangerine Dream

17 December 2004


The house we�ve rented has an interesting (and somewhat sad) story behind it. The original owner was the founder of one of Bodrum�s oldest and most prestigious yacht chartering companies . He designed the house himself for his own use. It consists of two wings joined by a corridor and has a sort of rectangular U shape. In front of the wings there is a broad wooden platform with steps that leads to a tiled courtyard that separates them. This is the main entrance to the house. The rightmost leg of the U is the living room/kitchen. There are French doors along both long sides. One leads to the entrance courtyard, the other to a veranda on the pool side. There is a back door between the kitchen and corridor. Along the corridor on the courtyard side are built-in closets separated by a large window and on the other a bath and what I suppose was intended to be a guest room. (This is now my study.) The other leg of the U is the master bedroom, which connects at the back to another room that was intended to be a dressing room and closet (it�s about 9 by 12 feet). This in turn connects to a tiled room that was intended to be the master bath and also a sauna. These last two rooms have domed skylights. The bedroom has French doors at the short end opposite the door to the dressing room. To maximize usable space, most of the inside doors are not hinged but rather are �Star Trek� style sliding doors.


The original owner died before the house could be finished. The house apparently remained empty for a time and then it was decided to rent it out. But because it�s so huge and has so few usable rooms, nobody wanted it at the price that was being asked. I think it�s had only one, possibly two, tenants before us. The last ones moved out over a year ago.


When we first started looking for a place to live in Bodrum we heard about a large house in a citrus grove near Bitez but we were unable to find it. During the week that she spent in Bodrum looking for a house, Mine tried searching on her own but soon realized it was impossible so she got in touch with some real estate agents. With two large dogs and nearly a dozen cats, finding a house for us is no easy task and after a week she still hadn�t come up with anything that satisfied all our needs. The day I came down to fetch her back to Fo�a, I met with the real estate agent Mine had been working with and he said �You know, I think I have the right house for you two.� He took us out to Bitez and to what I have dubbed �Tangerine Dream�. It was the same house we�d heard about at the outset. We signed the lease the next week and moved in the second of December. The rent is about 800 euros a month, which is three times what we were paying in Fo�a for a place not even a tenth as good as this.


There are two other houses and an unfinished one in our compound, which measures about an acre and a half all told. All the trees (so far I�ve identified several varieties of oranges and tangerines (including satsumas), lemons, plums, pomegranates, grapes, walnuts, and figs) effectively conceal the buildings from one another. Apparently the house we�ve rented has the biggest share of the land: as a building it�s certainly bigger than any of the others; the pool, which I�ll get to in a minute, is ours alone.


Urger loves this place. One of the other owners has a champagne-colored poodle (spayed female) and the other has a couple of small dogs. After the first day the dogs had staked out their territories, which are large enough so that they don�t need to intrude on one another. Kanyak is so old now that he only goes outside to do his �business� but he and the other dogs seem to get along too. When he does go outside, he may spend up to an hour wandering around, munching grass, and leaving markers. With all this additional lebensraum, the relationship between Kanyak and Urger has also mellowed considerably. The cats for their part simply adore the grounds with all the trees to climb and critters to chase.


Our water is supplied by an artesian well. The pool is almost but not quite finished. It needs a pump and fixtures like lights and ladders etc. I talked to a friend of Mine�s who�s a civil engineer and he says it would cost between 2-3 thousand euros to get the pool up and running. I think he�s being conservative but nevertheless it�s affordable. My own impression is that the owner doesn�t want to put any more money into this property and would sell it if he could. (From the materials and workmanship I can say that his father must have sunk a small fortune into it.) I think what I�ll do is talk to him and maybe we can cut a deal where I take care of the pool, in return for which he gives us an iron-clad, long-term lease.


There�s plenty more to tell but that will do for now.


30 December 2004


Herding cats�


Let me start off by saying that if I hadn't seen this with my own eyes I probably wouldn't have believed it myself but here goes...


A group of workmen employed by our landlord, some of whom have been doing repairs on our house for about two weeks, came by in a van today to pick fruit (with the landlord's permission). Urger knew a few of them so after introductions were over everybody set about his business. Urger�s business it seemed was to lay down by the poolside within view of the fruit-pickers�and vice versa. Kanyak made an appearance too. He circled around, sniffed, scratched the ground, and left a few markers before returning to the house. I have this visual memory of people picking citrus with their heads turned back over their shoulders as they look warily at the dogs.


At one point one of our young cats, Tiggie (here he is as a kitten ) showed more than a passing an interest in the goings-on and tried to approach the fruit-pickers. Urger intervened. He body-blocked Tiggie; he pushed him with his head; he held him down with his paw; he did everything a dog can do to politely prevent a cat from doing what it wants to do. Tiggie objected strenuously at first but eventually he gave it up and went off to sulk.


(Note: For my own part I have *never* been able to prevent a cat from doing what it wants to do.)


Sera street entrance (at right)



Our street



Outer gate



Approach from outer gate



The house



Living room









Kitchen with dog



Mine�s study



View from back door



Veranda from back door






Veranda from well



Grape arbor with cat



Tangerines with cat






Path to outer gate




Outer gate



This way to Kanyak�s Doghouse