Friday, August 07, 2009


Phidelm, a recent commentator on this blog, was reminding me of playing backgammon in Turkey. As you may know, I taught English to a family in Antakya, for a few months between school and university and went back to visit them on many occasions. My employer (Gazi) was a property developer in Turkey although I lived with his sister and her family while I was there. Gazi had his country's passion for backgammon and he gave me some useful advice on how to improve my game, skills which subsequently I tried out on my schoolfriend JC, over many years. (To this day, we always play backgammon when see each other as she brings her travelling board in her handbag.) Anyway, about a decade after I had first been to Antakya, I visited Gazi in Istanbul and he challenged me to a game. "We'll play for 20,000 Turkish lira!" he declared. I was fairly confident but my optimism was misplaced. I duly handed over the 20,000 note. "Wait!" Gazi said. He handed me a pen. "Your autograph please!" I signed the note, gave it to him and he opened the desk of his drawer. The drawer was full of signed 20,000 notes.


Blogger kinglear said...

I am one of the worst Backgammon players ever. Although I play good Chess, I have never had the patience to learn Backgammon properly. Cards and dice on the other hand......

9:44 am  
Blogger Phidelm said...

Glad to have proved inspirational, even in a minor way - always assumed you do actually mean me.
Who the heck's 'PhiLdelm'?

8:35 am  
Blogger Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I didn't know you taught English to a family in Turkey, WW. Great story.

9:20 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

I do apologise, Phidelm - I've changed it! By the way, I'm denied access to your blog - hope it's not because I misspelt your name!

I remember your dice and card skills, KL. Actually, dice should set you up well for backgammon.

Yes, WL, but I didn't learn very much Turkish: only a few key words such as "Alte, Alte!" ("Double six!") which is useful for backgammon.

8:11 am  
Anonymous Mr Eurodog said...

One weekend I thought mayhem had broken out in the entrance of my apartment block in Georgia. The sound of slapping, cheers, moans, undecipherable cries turned out to be the weekly backgammon contest amongst the security guards, of whom there were at least six at any moment of the day or night! The contest lasted all day, and was frequently repeated!

8:55 am  
Anonymous Phidelm said...

No apologies necessary, WW: had just been having a giggle with blogfriend on my blog re how one never misses one's own typos, etc - either one doesn't notice errors, or one 'sees' words or letters as present and/or correct that ... aren't. And nobody spells my real name right, let alone the pseudonym! No offence taken whatsoever (Lord knows, I make enough mistakes in my own copy!).
You can access my blog via invitation only due to some vile comments (I cannot tolerate these at the best of times - which hardly describes current circs). Prefer people who comment.
Perhaps you might request of WL to forward your email (if she'll be so kind).

6:22 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Hello Mr Eurodog! I hope you're enjoying the Cornish summer. That's the thing about backgammon: it's a passionate game!

Hi Phidelm - ok I'll ask WL to e-mail you my e-mail address.

7:47 am  

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