Sunday, October 26, 2014

the traces left behind

On our way out of Hasankeyf, we took one last good look at the Zeynel Bey Mausoleum, which was built in the mid 15th century in a style more typical of Central Asia. Remnants of the navy and turquoise glazes on the bricks are still visible, which bring out the elaborate geometric patterns that once covered the structure. I can imagine how stunning it must have been; glittering blue against the orange rocks and deep sky.

Lost in my thoughts, I was suddenly startled by the voice of a man— there was no one around but me and Pedro, and he had wandered off to check out a bird that darted away into the surrounding field. The voice called out again, and I realised it was coming from inside the mausoleum. I walked over towards the entrance to find a cheery man in an immaculate powder blue shirt beckoning me to come inside.

Pedro soon joined us, and after a pleasant chat about history, education, and the inevitable flooding of the area, the man gave us a bag of dried thyme as a gift. The thyme was so fragrant, it seemed to form a cloud that enveloped us. We thanked him, wished him well, and set off.

It was only a few minutes on the road until we pulled over to dip our feet in the Tigris, another mythical river of my childhood dreams— the Tigris, and the Euphrates. I have now seen and stood in both.

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