April 29, 2017 / 00:48
THE FISH AUCTION
Saturday morning. The sun burns white above, bleaches the earth below white.
4 May 2013 Saturday 22:01
Saturday morning. The sun burns white above, bleaches the earth below white. A man with a resplendent white moustache and an immaculately pressed shirt weighs and sorts piles of fresh catch under a covered structure. On the long glistening marble table hundreds of fish of numerous shapes and hues, lobsters, prawns, shimmer in numbered lots. Craggy faced men, and sunglass-wearing women crowd around the table and ready themselves for the first bid. Mustafa Kemals steely blue eyes overlook the gathering from a large wall hanging. Its 11:00 AM. The man in the striped shirt, the auctioneer, now holds a metre stick with which taps the table immediately below his nose. The first bid is for over 100 TL for a pile of fish.
It being the weekend, a woman who runs one of the local restaurants or hotels motions and no one challenges. The fish are immediately bagged and the sale recorded. Apparently the local men seldom, if ever, challenge a womans bid. For the next hour over a hundred lots will be auctioned off, the first, best lots going to the restaurant and hotel owners and local gentry, then gradually decreasing in price and quality for the less well healed among the crowd. A day before, before the weekend population surge, towards the end of the proceedings, a man storms off after a vociferous outburst which seemed to end and then abruptly resume at 10-metre distant intervals. Yeter, Agabey! (Enough, brother!) is shouted back at him several times. He doesnt quiet so much as allow his increasing distance swallow his almost burst of uncontainable annoyance. There is some laughter. Today there are no disputes, but there is plenty of excitement, some mild confusion, as the fish is snapped up. After about an hour and a half the lots that will sell have been sold. The mornings excitement is over. Village life, the large bazaar, and the beach all beckon.
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