A story not for the faint hearted
The Mediterranean coastline of Turkey is one of those idyllic locations like you would see in a James Bond movie. The flashy boat’s, seeped in opulence, the beautiful deep crystal, blue, sea and the sunlit shoreline, sending sparkles, like diamonds across the water. At each anchorage, wafts the fragrant aromas of Turkish cooking, concealing the salty, sea air. All the while the waves smearing the shore in resonances with the chorus of seagulls, engendering a feeling of peacefulness and relaxation in a haze of friendly banter.
What you don’t see lurking in the background is unfortunately a high level of water born pollutants, including not only junk, plastic bags but sometimes, human waste.
It was as the vivid orange sun was making its way towards the skyline on a picturesque warm summer’s eve that Alex with his wife Chris, made their way to the water’s edge. Alex and Chris are Australian travellers, adventures, fun loving and courageous. Chris was always excited to get to the water, it was always warm and inviting, well most of the time.
Golden highlights kissed Chris’s long hair, evident of too many days spent frolicking in the sun. She donned a black, one-piece swimsuit, which perfectly restrained her ample waist and Alex a pair of black board shorts of no particular style. Alex’s upright carriage sold a story of confidence and single-mindedness and yet they looked quite the amateurs amidst the other striking tourists and local sun bakers. Alex held his belly in, as he approached the water whilst, Chris strutted purposely down to the water’s edge, skipping across the rocks on tippy toes in a manner that was less than eloquent, to the crystal clear waters. In a moment of absolute splendour Alex jumped into the air and entered the water in an almost perfect swan dive whilst Chris, not to be out done waddled down and made an entrance to the water that looked more like a flock of startled seagulls, but nevertheless she emerged with a beaming smile.
Together they made their way out into the deep and duck dived and swam around like two well-tuned athletes. Well, that was until they stirred an unwanted visitor from the deep. ‘Swim away slowly,’ said Chris, holding her nose. As they did the murkiness with spills of unfolding toilet paper followed them. No matter how fast they swam the terror from the deep kept pace with ease. The more they moved the more this giant unfolded into a cloudier mess. It was like a moment from Jaws, the movie, where the imminent unexpected horror was about to strike. ‘Swim,’ she cried, ‘swim faster.’
‘It’s toilet paper,’ Alex shouted.
‘I know,’ shouted Chris with a look of total disgust on her face.
‘No, it’s toilet paper,’ Alex repeated as he realised that the toilet paper was coming from his own pocket. ‘From my pocket,’ he continued with a sheepish grin. Alex always carried a small chunk of toilet paper in his pocket, knowing full well that most toilets in Turkey don’t include toilet paper and it is advisable to carry your own.