The Turkish Bazaar


Day Eleven: Size Matters (In Sentences)

Today’s Prompt: Where did you live when you were 12 years old? Which town, city, and country? Was it a house or an apartment? A boarding school or foster home? An airstream or an RV? Who lived there with you?

Mixing up the lengths of your sentences creates variety for the reader and makes for much more interesting reading.

Today’s twist: pay attention to your sentence lengths and use short, medium, and long sentences as you compose your response about the home you lived in when you were twelve.

This post intends to not make you sleep while reading. Let me try to spare you from such agony.

My parents were old-school catholics. They had as many kids as possible, until my mother had health issues. The end result: Five boys and three girls. So we had to live in a house with a garden, terraces, a courtyard and many rooms.

All my single child’s friends dreamed of having a family like that.They enjoyed coming over to play with us. Ou parents preferred us inviting them home than the other way around. Sometimes it felt like a club! There were always kids arriving after school to play football or volleyball in our courtyard, as we lived at walking distance from  school.

I would oscillate from love and hatred of the experience. I loved the liveliness of a full house, added with the presence our many friends. And of course, I loved the boys! I liked the attention but also how they equally cared for their friend’s little sister. If any kid at school would do something against me, they would jump to the rescue. Just like my brothers.

But forget privacy and isolation. These are unknown words in a big family. You don’t even learn to spell it. Useless. Everything will be shared and collective. Even your thoughts. There will always be someone asking: “What’s up?”, never leaving you alone. Some friends of my brothers may have thought that our house was the Hotel California…they never left, until being called by their parents!

When I was 12 years old, I lived in this big house, in the city I was born in Brazil, with my parents and 4 brothers. But wait? Where are the other siblings? My two eldest sisters and an eldest brother, had gone to study in another city. They would be back only during holidays or vacations time. I had a bedroom only for me! My paradise. I missed them dearly, though. The house felt empty without them

I enjoyed the kitchen and its large windows overlooking the courtyard. That’s were I would watch the boys’ games. That’s also where I would join another brother in his cooking experiments, mixing various fruits and seeds, and literally almost killing us, as he didn’t know of the poisoning effects of one of those seeds. I also loved watching my mother’s trials after her cooking courses. She didn’t like cooking but loved making deserts. She was my role model.

The spacious living room overlooking the front garden and a hill, was a ‘no-fly’ zone. Not because it was forbidden, but because we’d better not mess up than being grounded. I was a ‘frequent-flyer’ though, because of the telephone. The phone was on top of a dresser, taller than my height. I would stand on a chair and spend time there. That ended when I tripped over my foot, and stumbled forward, bringing the phone, and a Chinese vase with me, while watching it breaking into many pieces before my eyes. It was a very special gift that my father gave to my mother. Oops.

My parents entertained many guests due to his business. They also received many priests and nuns. I recall having seen them home, more than at school or the church, and more than I had wished.

My parents still live in the same house, although only the two of them. The house underwent many changes over the years, fulfilling my parents wishes for a new look or functionality. It does not feel entirely like my childhood’s house. I have also gone to study in another city when I was 13, and have never returned to live there.

Fourteen houses, eight cities, four countries, and three continents later, I still have the fondest memories of my time in that house.

In hindsight, I never hated that our house resembled a ‘Turkish bazaar’ crowd and vibrancy. It was there, during formative years, that I learnt to share and appreciate diversity. I have also continued the tradition to have a house full of guests and friends.

Just so you know: at the end of the first year we lived together, my husband told me that we had more guests than he had his whole life! But that is another story…

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Sharing sights & insights captured with diverse angles. Ex-corporate, now my own boss. Cycling, hiking, cooking, reading, yoga, writing and photography, are no longer only hobbies listed on my resume. It's what I do when I want.

57 thoughts on “The Turkish Bazaar

  1. What wonderful memories and to have such a large boisterous family life is fantastic! It is interesting how family dynamics have changed through the years. We try to maintain traditions but they seem to slip away. Thank you, for sharing some of your childhood, Lucile~


  2. Such a charming insight, into a charmed life, Lucile. I appreciate it meant a great lack of privacy, but the rewards of such a community of siblings and friends are very great. I love the way your brothers’ friends stood up for you at school. Now that was a real gift – to be able to call on so many protecting young knights.


  3. I loved this! What wonderful memories. The nuns and priests continue to haunt, don’t they? My friends and I joke about the nightmares of Catholic school–12 years of it!! 🙂


  4. Sounds like such a lively and happy home, Lucile. I’m sure that you learnt more than just diversity from those years. I wondered where the ‘Turkish bazaar’ would come into your story, and now I can quite understand why! I really enjoyed reading about your childhood 🙂


  5. Fabulous. I love that you loved the attention of the boys 😉 And so good that they protected you. I forgot about the phone!!! We had one in our downstairs hallway that I got a long extension cord for so that I could drag it in to the garage for complete privacy. What a lovely trip down memory lane with you. Xx
    BTW your mum loved making desserts and she was your role model, so does that mean you make great desserts?!


    1. Oh yes, the boys were the biggest attraction.
      So funny to picture those old phones! The extension cord was responsible for my fall!
      So glad you liked my ramblings!
      Yes, I am a desert lover and know how to make great ones! You may choose. 😉
      What is your kind of desert? Your order is my command, ma’am!

      Liked by 1 person

            1. We can teach you! Lol
              Next Monday will be chaos in the city because of the King’s day party. There will be no public transport to the canals. Options are bike or boat.
              Our boat is in front of our house but brace yourself because it will be 11C.

              Liked by 1 person

  6. I enjoyed your “story” in every detail , as I was reminded of my own 12 years of age…….
    Now I know why you use Prtuguese when commenting on some blogs ! (What was your town , in Brazil?)
    The description of your family’s liveliness is so realistic and joyful !
    Thanks for sharing this part of your life…


    1. Thank you, for reading and for a lovely comment!
      So nice yo hear that it made you think of your own experience!
      Do you know Brazil? I lived in a few towns there. My state is Pernambuco. I lived in Serra Talhada, Recife, Olinda and Sao Paulo.


      1. Actually , I lived in Buenos Aires , with my family , but I had relatives in Sao Paulo and stayed with them a whole year, when I was seventeen!
        I loved the country and the people , the language and the climate!
        (I happened to visit Rio and Recife , too!)
        Boa noite!


        1. How nice to hear that! You know Recife, my city.
          Do you still have relatives there? And do you speak Portuguese too?
          Lots of questions! Lol
          Now you made me curious!
          Where do you live now?
          Boa noite!


          1. Hi, Lucile!
            I can read Portuguese , but, unfortunately , I can only speak very little….
            Now I live in Milan and have no more relatives in Brazil !

            I loved this “conversation”!


            1. Hi!
              No worries, let’s continue in English.
              How wonderful to live in Milan. Gorgeous city.
              I have relatives in Rome.
              And I love Italy.
              I enjoyed very much our conversation as well! Let’s keep in contact!


    1. Janet, I’m grateful to hear you enjoyed it. It has been a new experience to write about so many personal aspects of my life. After this course, I think I will be exhausted! 😉


  7. What a joyful look into your life and home of your childhood! Your description makes me feel as if I too had visited!
    Your welcoming and friendly spirit were definitely formed during those years because of all the guests, family and friends around you. How beautiful!!!


  8. Wonderful! And sometimes a tiny “oops” goes a long way! What´s the secret to the full house? Do you invite people on a regular basis, or do they just drop by knowing your door is always open? 🙂


    1. There isn’t much of a secret when you have a big family like mine. They visit when they are in town. They call before to plan ahead of time respecting that we have our plans too.
      We invite friends regularly as well and vice versa.
      “open doors” means that family and friends are not ashamed to ask if they can drop by or stay for the weekend, as they know that we like it.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes I am 🙂 I have been living on my own for some time now, and whenever I see or read about “full houses” like yours, I feel very drawn to it. However, after a few days at a family gathering, I tend to long for some alone time. But I will try to have more people over, make time for it. Thanks for the inspiration!


            1. I know what you are talking about. I also like to have my own time and away from family or a full house. Growing up in a full house makes you appreciate the opportunity to be alone too.
              I am honored with your appreciation. If you really want to have people come over, inviting is the best approach because you will have them when you are ready for it.
              Enjoy it! Let me know how it develops.
              Thanks a lot for reading!

              Liked by 1 person

              1. I do invite people, but I usually feel like I have to prepare for it (clean the house, cook food etc), so I sometimes wish people would drop by more – so we could just hang out in a very informal way, snack on whatever´s in the fridge and ignoring the dust 😉 The “Open door”-concept… I totally get that this too, must start with my invitation to do so, and first I have to convince myself it is OK to have people over even if the house is not 100 % tidy. I will try to get there, like I said, reading about your full house inspires me 🙂


                1. It looks like you know the way already. The open door concept has to be one where also you will enjoy and relax, as much as your guests; one shouldn’t be busy cooking, organizing, etc. and having no time to share with the people you invited.
                  It would be nice if they would just drop by and bring the food and drinks too! 😉
                  You can also invite for a cooking session together. I have a friend who comes here with her husband often or we go to their house, and we cook and chat together. It’s very relaxing and fun.

                  Liked by 1 person

  9. The title of your post really intrigued me, Turkish Bazaar. That was funny about not having any privacy and not even knowing how to spell it. And the part about your brother’s cooking almost poisoning everyone. Great memories. 🙂


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