This is a tale about the good times as we previously knew them yet how they will be once again real soon here in Turkey and anywhere else.

It is meant to be an uplifting piece with a bit of sarcasm shipped in for good measure. And about measuring a very particular kind of purchase it is indeed. Are you ready?

Here we go, returning to the day’s right before the current health situation kicked in. It was one of those nights or to be more precise, probably one of the funniest get-together’s your friendly columnist ever enjoyed along the splendid southern Aegean shores. And believe me – as our local folk both native and new arrivals are welcoming and socializing characters by definition over the years there had been quite a few memorable evenings. Nothing compares to the  story unfolding in front of your eyes though…

Paying a visit to a well-known expat hangout which forms part of a fine hotel soon the locale would fill up with regulars who came round for a chat and perhaps a wee dram and in true public house fashion were standing at the bar and not being seated. As the hours went by the place was jam-packed and the vibrant and joyous mood soon impacted on the choice of casual topics initially amongst a group of people who had known each other for quite some time yet quickly attracting by-standers ready to share their very own thoughts mostly to be credited to our regularly repeated outbursts of loud laughter. And so a hilarious exchange of viewpoints and reflections commenced eventually lasting for hours intersected by other issues of (relative) concern yet every ten minutes or so it was back to the major agenda topic of the night.

At stake: swimming pools. Actually – apartments or houses that boost a private pool for exclusive use by the renters or owners of that individual building or housing complex. The conversation then focused on the required or recommended size, respectively, and hence the term ‘Semi-Olympic’ was born. Its invention was the result of a heated though amicable chat about a) why would we invest in a pool living by the sea in the first place, and b) had been mentioned by one member of the lively debating society who apparently did not have any such luck and lived in more moderate accommodation without any watersports to be enjoyed in his backyard. Thus he was poking fun at anyone else who proudly announced ‘we have a pool’; sarcastically speaking up further and concerning size said that they probably could afford nothing more than a ‘Semi-Olympic’.


Joking apart for a paragraph – are private pools important?


This is a very personal question. It all depends on what the term living under palm trees means to you and your family. Are you more the Three S – personality preferring sea, sand and sun hence the actual location or number of bedrooms of your fixed abode would not matter too much as every day after a late breakfast you would head to the sandy beach anyways even if that involves a 60 minute ride by public transport. Alternatively, you rather opt for the short walk from your living room down to the pool instead, book or newspaper in hand and all in the clear knowledge of that no outsiders can intrude in your privacy. Lounging by the calm waters… In some instances complete with on-site café; or in the adverse case and should you own a truly ‘private’ pool simply requiring a short commute to your fridge to collect a fresh round of ice-cold beverages. Needless to say both types are well represented here in Kusadasi and the wider region and both have their justified arguments for either scenario. Choice is the key in this regard and the southern Aegean coastline and its enterprising towns and cities offer exactly that.


So how did the ‘Semi-Olympic’ debate end?


No one would really recall at what time of the evening another discussion participant came up with the perfect add-on, the absolutely brilliant doubling of all things funny uttered up until then. He suggested if you can afford a ‘Semi-Olympic’ you might just as well buy yourself a boat.

Oh yes, by now you will have guessed it… the ensuing comment made clear that if you own a good-sized pool your boat would fit in, too, hence you no longer need a nearby marina or pleasure port to moor it. Correct, then we tried to find out how big that boat should be and at least one more hour of ‘it’s good to talk’ atmosphere began.

What everyone discreetly overlooked however was that in theory you would want to get your boat out of your pool in order to use it in the sea yet with all modesty one should reckon that after such an extended exchange of philosophical viewpoints practical matters such as lifting a boat out of a pool requiring more than just a pair of hands did not come up as an overly important subject.

Fact or fiction – one hundred per cent fact only that I shall not disclose the names or even initials of my conversation partners as I had no chance to ask them whether they wish to be featured. Nevertheless and assuming that they will read these lines I dearly hope it brings a smile onto their face remembering very happy moments; thank you from all my heart.

Oh, and in case you wondered: an Olympic sized pool has a length of exactly 50 meters.

Wishing you all wonderful early spring days in Kusadasi and the region, stay safe and take good care of yourself.

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