Interlude

Kars smells like dust and freshly baked bread. Like cigarette smoke. Sometimes, like cloying baklava syrup, or the tartness and musk of strong cheese. When you pass the abandoned houses, it smells like mildew and rust.

It smells like lilacs.

On the edges of town, it smells like mountains. The sharp farm smell of cows, grazing sheep.

A grey-blue storm cloud rolls in slowly, lilac lightning illuminating it in flashes. And the smell of rain and lilacs. For a moment, I am surrounded by lilac on all sides, filling all my senses.

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