Ekrem Kara, a former teacher of the PakTurk Schools, wrote about one of the Turkish dishes he had missed while he was in Pakistan. He told our readers how he had gotten the anchovies delivered and what happened to him after he ate them.
In Pakistan, our deepest longing was for our homeland Turkey and the comestibles coming from there. We would especially bring tomato sauce, soujouk (Turkish style fermented sausage), olives, cheese, bulgur wheat, and the Ulker biscuit and chocolate products from Turkey. Since we could visit our hometowns once a year, our baggage on our way back to Pakistan would exceed the allowed weight. We would virtually beg to the clerks at the check-in counters before boarding the plane! Thankfully, they were often understanding and we would be able to have our baggage loaded without having to leave anything behind.
Some private airlines would not accept even a kilo extra. Whenever we had to travel with those, we would be humiliated at the airport due to our luggage. It was very difficult for us to unpack the suitcases and take out some materials to lighten the weight.
We would keep a close watch to detect if a friend or an acquaintance was to come from Turkey to Pakistan, because we could request them to bring the food packages we had ordered. One of the things we missed the most was anchovy. On one occasion, we planned to have some anchovies delivered to Pakistan through an acquaintance. I had said to my mother “A friend of mine is coming to visit you. Please stuff the anchovies in soft drink bottles and freeze them well before you hand them over to him.” Thankfully, my mother had prepared the anchovies as requested and our friend brought them to Pakistan.
However, I guess on its way to our home, one of the bottles had not been entirely sealed and the anchovies in there were spoiled. Actually, I had noticed that while cooking them; however, we still ate the anchovies “for the anchovies’ sake”. Unfortunately, within an hour or two, first I and then my wife and children were poisoned by the fish. We were rushed to a medical centre and they immediately put me on a drip. Meanwhile, my wife and kids had a narrow escape.
I had eaten those anchovies on that day. If I had them here, I would eat them once again, because I had missed eating anchovies so much.
Everyone had missed eating anchovies indeed. I offered the unspoiled anchovies from the securely-sealed bottle to my guests. Even though they had said on their arrival, “We are full, do not ever prepare anything for us!” there were not even bones left from the anchovies when they finished.