Just a Bit of an Anti-Climax

So for approximately 36 hours I was an outlaw.  I lived on the edge.  I fought the good fight.  I took the red pill and I got a glimpse as to just how far that rabbit hole actually went (sorry nerdy Matrix reference) but, well, now it is all just a little anti-climatic because I am back baby!

MatrixBluePillRedPill

After being locked out of blogger heaven the “powers that be” or the glitch police or the little internet gerbil allowed janeyinmersin.com to return to the web-o-sphere.  From what I can determine certain words send up alarm bells from websites run from within Türkiye and they automatically get blocked under Article 90 of the Constitution.  Obviously all my posts about dragons and wizards fall within that category.

For the foreseeable future, however, I will keep my blogging to stories about kittens and sunshine and unicorns.  That should make the “powers that be” happy.

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BLOCKED!

Yep it seems that my humor definitely does not translate into Turkish because as of last night JaneyinMersin.com has been blocked in Turkey.  I am up there with Twitter, Blogloving and FunnyorDie.  Frankly I think this is the highest accolade I have ever received being blocked by a Government!

internet-protest

Hopefully in the coming days sense will prevail and the powers that be realise that I am but a stupid Aussie who runs off at the mouth on occasion.  They will see that I am merely an over opinionated, middle aged woman who could hardly be a threat to national security.  I mean really!

Look don’t get me wrong perhaps it is not the Government that has blocked me, perhaps it is merely a glitch in the system and I will come back online completely on my own and if that is the case then … oops sorry to the powers that be.

So for those of you “outside” I will continue to blog in my sporadic way but for those of you within Türkiye, well you can’t read this anyway so doesn’t really matter what I wanted to say does it?   LMAO!

Oh and just to really be difficult go ahead and share my blog to your friends so my voice gets carried just that little further today.

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Headlines and News Bulletins

They can make a strong impression on us as tourists but where is the line between scaremongering and truth?

I try to keep away from the political side of things with my little blog because I am really not knowledgeable enough on any subject to give anything but a nonsense reply however I have received so many emails from you guys asking for advice about travelling to Türkiye, and in particular, to Mersin.

Turkiye

While it is not for me to give you advice what I will say to those who are thinking of cancelling their holidays to Antalya or Bodrum is this – the distances between these areas and the Syrian border is massive – like the distance between London to Germany.  That’s a couple of countries and even a little water in distance isn’t it?  Over 1000 kilometres or 20+ hours of driving in Türkiye.    To those of you visiting Mersin and its surrounds we are still 150 kilometres from the border with Syria however most of the issues with terrorists are happening in the far east, some 500+ kilometres from here.  If you are, however, travelling to Eastern Türkiye I would suggest that you check with your country’s Consulate before making any travel plans but remember people a terrorist attack can happen anywhere at any time.  America, the UK, Tunisia, India and even Australia.  Nowhere is really safe anymore in the world.  I guess the question you ask yourself is this –  “are you going to let them control your decision, your lives?”  Noone can decide that but you.

What is going on exactly?

The past few days has seen Türkiye launch strikes on several different fronts and you need to note the distinction between the different strikes that have been made.

Firstly Türkiye has launched attacks against ISIS targets inside Syria in retaliation to a bombing last week in the city of Suruc which killed 32 people and also the shooting of security officers at the border.  Simultaneously they launched attacks against the PKK (which has been designated a terrorist organisation by Türkiye) in Iraq.  These attacks were in retaliation to the deaths of two Turkish polis officers on Wednesday.   The Government also feels that the PKK is exploiting ISIS efforts.

Where do we go from here?

Türkiye has agreed to allow the US access to their air bases to co-ordinate strikes inside Syria and Iraq and has requested talks with NATO over the security of the area.  Well I am sure this will open up a can of whoop ass on someone.

Over the past few days Türkiye has also arrested over 850 terror suspects.  This is great news although I have to wonder why, if these terror suspects were already known to Türkiye, why where they not arrested earlier?  Am I wrong?  Did these 850 terror suspects suddenly appear out of nowhere?  Hardly.

The current operations underway is obviously an effort to destabilize the country which is at this time without a proper parliament.  Will the efforts succeed or will it bite the instigator on the ass?  Time will tell.

*Sigh*

Ultimately as a tourist visiting Türkiye, your personal safety is your utmost concern.  Keep a close eye on news reports.  Register your travel plans with your Consulate and remember you are the only one that can make an informed decision as to whether or not you should travel.

Turkey map

Be safe guys.  Türkiye is a beautiful country and I am sure you will have a wonderful holiday when you visit.

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My Most Hated Turkish Word – Yabancı

This community service announcement is coming to you from my balcony with a glass of red in my hand to calm my frazzled nerves.  It is just on 7.30pm and its 33 degrees (Celius people not that crazy Fahrenheit that only, like, one country in the world still uses) and I am trying to enjoy the mild ocean breeze wafting over our ev.  I have had a crappy day and it all comes down to one word.  A word, I believe, is possibly the worst word in the Turkish language (and that’s saying something ‘cause a Turk can tell you to go and feck yourself in so many unique ways).  The word that has become the bane of my existence is … Yabancı.

meditation

Just breathe Janey.  Breathe!

For the uninitiated the word Yabancı simply means “foreigner”.  According to Google translate (my Bible) it also means “alien”, exotic”, “outlandish” and a few other words but basically a Yabancı is anyone that is not Turkish but can also be used for someone who is not from Mersin or not from The Village so it can be a very diverse word when it puts its mind to it.

Yes people today the word Yabancı has been tossed around more than a football at the Superbowl or a Frisbee at a family barbie and I am not taking it anymore!

We all know that my Turkish is crap.  I have not mastered the language and, despite thousands of liras worth of lessons, I am possibly worse now than when I started (that is not true at all).  BUT I can understand enough to know two things – 1. When they are talking about me; and 2. When they are talking about me.  Alright I only know one thing but I only need to know one thing and I do KNOW WHEN THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT ME!

So the point of this rant?

It is time for me to renew my residency visa.  “A residency visa?” you ask, “Why would you have a residency visa when you have been married to The Turk for what seems like a 1000 years of servitude?”  Why indeed curious reader.  Well the reason that I did not get a kimlik (Identity Card) back when was simple – pure laziness on our part.  Not just me but The Turk too.  We just never got round to it.  “But why don’t you apply for your kimlik now?” Why not?  Well I did actually apply 22 months ago and now 22 months later I am still waiting on my kimlik.  Everything has been lodged.  I have had my interview waaayyy back in March it is now just playing the waiting game but I tell you this right now – if I do not have my kimlik by this time next year I am moving back to Oz!  Yep I’m putting a “used by date” on this shit!

Alright so I am babbling again – back to it.

So now we find ourselves moving into Year 3 of our time here in Türkiye and I need to renew my residency visa yet again.  I went to the bank – they needed paperwork from the Nufus.  Got it.  Back to the Bank, got my statement.  Too easy.  I went to the sigorta and argued the toss with them for a good 2 hours about my place of abode.  They needed proof from the Nufus.  Got it.  Got the confirmation of insurance (oh and thank youto the FB group Doc Martin for your assistance in this regard).  Alrighty then.  Proof of address.  Easy.  Tapu.  No for some stupid, idiotic reason of which I cannot truly understand I needed to go to the Nufus and get proof of place of abode – yet fecking again!  Back to the Nufus for the third time in this week.  Well the past two trips had been relatively easy even though The Turk tends to talk too much and unintentionally irritates the Government employees with his banter but regardless they were pretty straightforward trips up until today.  TODAY.  Feck my life.  For whatever fecking reason today’s employee decided that my address wasn’t correct on the computer and sent The Turk and I backwards and forwards the bloody office like a tennis ball at a Grand Slam.  The word yabancı was tossed around often and every single time I heard it I shuddered.  Not only was yabancı tossed around there was also Avustralya tossed around like a shrimp on a barbie.  At one point I actually counted the number of times the word yabancı was used in one minute.  It was 11.  11 times!  11 times by three Government employees.

Here’s what you need to know people.  Yes I am a yabancı.  Yes I am from Avustralya.  Yes I live here.  Why?  Because I fecking want to.  Give me my fecking document.  Just give it to me.  NOW!

We arrived at the Nufus at 9.15 am and we left at 12.22 pm.  The Turk has suggested I take up meditation before I lose my fecking mind.

Feck.My.Life!

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Caretta Caretta

For anyone travelling to Mersin over the next few days why not head to the beach around sunset for the chance of witnessing one of nature’s miracles.  Right now in Mersin the baby loggerhead turtles also known as Caretta Caretta have begun to hatch and can be found early evening making their journey towards the sea.  The turtles were on the decline but with conservation efforts by the local belediyi their numbers have increased and this year there was over 530 nests found in the area.

"Caretta caretta yavrularını elinize almayın"

Just remember to keep your distance and please don’t pick them up as they can become disorientated and the walk to the ocean is actually a way for these little guys to strengthen their muscles.

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200 (+ 2) stupendous posts!

I have finally made it to the 200 post mark, well 202 because I hadn’t checked my stats recently.  Again I am amazed that I have kept this blog up, that my brain has had 200 (and 2) separate thoughts that I felt were interesting enough, or funny enough or important enough, to be immortalized for all to read.  Forever and ever.  On the internet.

200

So let’s talk about a few of these tremendous, colossal, amazing posts.

The most popular post was, as expected, My Letter to Özgecan.  I was amazed at the response that I received from everyone to this post. Özgecan’s death sparked a lot of debate here in Mersin and in Türkiye regarding violence against women.  Three men are currently on trial over Özgecan’s murder and will face a life sentence if convicted of charges including “murdering with a monstrous feeling”.  Türkiye does not have the death penalty (although perhaps it should).

The post that caused the most outrage (and had me forcibly removed from one of those Turkish groups on Facebook) was, 10 Things I Hate About The Turk.  Written in jest it seems that this post upset every Turk within 100 miles and perhaps it can be said that my sense of humor does not translate into all languages.

Yesterday’s most popular post is Satan Called.  I agree it is “kinda” hot here in Türkiye at the moment although perhaps not really as hot as Satan would like.

I got on my high horse quite a few times over the past 200 posts but I also fell of my throne more than once .  For a bit of toilet humor enjoy Rage Against The Latrine.

The post that made me giggle was To My No 1 Fan.  I am always so happy to hear from someone who has felt any emotion after reading one of my posts.  The fact that this particular fan was bat shit crazy only adds to my enjoyment of the whole thing.

So enough about the posts.  Now a quick rundown of other stats:

692 subscribers is amazing (a big thanks to each of you) and 738 ‘likers’ on my Facebook page (go on click on it people – you know you want to).

Over 100,000 page views is phenomenal!  I mean that’s a big number.  That’s a lot of people that either stumbled onto this blog or intentionally went out looking for it (which is nice).

I’ve had some crazy search terms as well including: “naked turkish moustache men”.  I like that one, in fact, I am going to Google that right now and see what comes up.  (Edit:  DON’T GOOGLE THAT!).  “I am selfish” – I think maybe this is a running theme with my blog.  How about “Let’s have sex tonight” – hey, I just met you, and this is crazy but here’s my number … um, no thank you but it is definitely nice to be asked.  “Ball busting bitch”.  The triple “B” threat.  This one is also obviously about me.  I don’t know how Google sends these people my way but my definite favourite search term would have to be “mersin hate sad cookies”.  This one just shouts out my name doesn’t it?  I did actually also Google “mersin hate sad cookies” and had to scroll through about 30 pages of rubbish before I found myself so whoever that searcher was must have really, really – REALLY – wanted to find me!  And anyway just who hates cookies in Mersin anyway and why would someone who hates cookies in Mersin want to Google it and make their way through pages of crap before coming across my page?  And just precisely why are the cookies sad?  Who made them sad?  Who the feck are these people that make the cookies sad?  To hell with them!

Finally I have received so many lovely messages from you guys.  I want to thank you all.  If you do ever find yourself in Mersin please look me up, well unless you were the one that Googled “mersin hate sad cookies” anyway.

Here’s to another 100!

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So this just happened …

Daughter had me edit this post as I had originally said there was 312 water balloons.  She explained to me in earnest that I should not lie on the internet.  There is in fact 450 water balloons!  So starting now …

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Daughter just returned from the market with 450 water balloons.  The old bloke at the market must have thought she was quite mad.  450 balloons seems a like a lot of work what with the filling them and then the pesky tying of the knots.  I don’t envy that job!  But she seems intent of arming our house – just in case.

water-balloons

Me:  “Just in case of what?”

Daughter:  “Zombie apocalypse”.

Me:  “In the Village?”

“Daughter:  “Sure.  I mean it makes sense.  Around here I sometimes wonder whether it’s already started.”

I just spat out my mouthful of red!  So wasteful!

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Do you ever shut up?

You know that thing where you realize you are talking too much, but you can’t seem to stop yourself from talking, and then you just keep talking and talking and talking and in your head you keep telling yourself to shut the feck up but somehow your mouth doesn’t get the message and then you start to panic because you realize how annoying it must be for the other person but you just keep talking and talking and talking? Well this happens to me all the time and I really need to make it stop!

pap smear

This time my verbal diarrhoea happened while I was having my pap smear.  I hate having pap smears, every woman hates having pap smears.  It is a well-documented fact. I put them off as long as possible which is probably how I got myself into this mess in the first place.  Ladies – don’t neglect your pap smear!

Anyhow, so living in Mersin is, of course, difficult when there is no one who speaks your language so visiting my gynaecologist is a great excuse to blab away in my mother language and know that at least one person understands me.  My gyno was down the other end nodding his head so I think he was listening, actually I don’t even care if he was listening, but told him all about my trip to London and The Turk’s operation and even my dolmus ride into the city.  I was just about to start on my next topic of conversation (whether or not to change Daughter’s school) when he shot his head up over my flabby stomach and said, “Do you ever shut up?”

Oh my!

That seemed a little harsh from the man who sounds like a half crazed vampire when he laughs but … whatever.  I lay meekly in silence trying to wish myself away pretty much anywhere else while he finished up and wait for the order to hop off the examination table.

Dead set.  I swear.  This is exactly what he sounds like!

We left it with these words, “You are more difficult to examine than a Turkish woman”.  Well thank you sir, I take THAT as a compliment!

Oh and for those wondering, the tests came back fine.  I need to go back more frequently for check ups (and I will) but right now I am feeling fine.

The Turk really is a bit of a prenses!

Back for less than a day and The Turk is already driving me to distraction.  For those of you who know The Turk personally know that he is one of those people who must be doing something – anything – constantly.  Being an invalid really doesn’t work for him HOWEVER being a fecking prenses when he is hasta is something that he does with great success.

Heart

So right now The Turk has a dilly of a predicament.  Daughter and I have arrived home from London with 3 suitcases that need to duly be unpacked, cleaned and then put away until next time.  So this is where the predicament comes in.  Does he tidy up the mess that Daughter and I leave in our wake or does he lie on the couch clutching his pillow to his chest and yelling “Allah” to anyone who will listen and let Daughter and I tidy up at our own pace?  The mess is sending him quite deli but as the doktor has told him he cannot carry anything more than 1 kilogram he is unable to really do anything about it – well other than complain that is – so the mess will need to wait until I have finished catching up on the finale of Game of Thrones. (Edit – Holy crap Jon Snow)!

He is working that 1 kilogram rule pretty well to his advantage as well.  He cannot carry any groceries.  He cannot pick up My Hurley Dog’s panda chew toy.  He cannot pick up that bread crumb that fell from his mouth.  Yes peeps literally everything falls under the 1 kilogram rule in accordance with his Doctor’s orders (and yet he still sneaks upstairs for a cigarette and thinks I don’t know).

For a bit of fun I am currently conducting an experiment of great scientific importance.  Currently residing on my bedroom floor is a small piece of paper, no more than about 3 centimetres in length.  This innocent piece of paper is literally driving The Turk quite insane.  He wants to pick it up.  He tries to pick it up.  He screams at the paper but the paper choses to wisely ignore his stream of insults.  I am taking bets as to how long that piece of paper lies on the floor before The Turk gets on his hands and knees and retrieves it.  I could, I mean I guess I could, you know, pick.it.up but … nah, it is definitely more entertaining this way.

With Daughter and I were away The Turk obviously drove the rest of the family up the wall with his demands as they were so happy to see us when we arrived home.  Last night my sister in law literally cried when she walked through the door!  I believe that he was quite the bastard to all of them and I must say that I was so glad that we have been away though the worst of it as I don’t think our relationship would ever have survived that kind of behaviour!  In case you are wondering I was with The Turk during his stay in the hospital but after discussions with both The Turk and his family (and taking into account our recent less than stellar relationship) we decided is was better for all concerned (and my sanity) that Daughter and I continued with our trip to Londra.

I have said before that The Turk is morphing into his father and now having spent the past 24 hours in his company I declare that I am absolutely right.  I remember watching my mother in law arguing with her husband and I used to think it was hilarious.  She would yell and he would ignore her.  Now I realise that what was really happening was that I was looking at my future.  I yell and The Turk ignores me.

Feck my life!

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Seriously speaking though The Turk had his by-pass surgery at Aci Badem Hastanesi in Adana.  The hospital was very clean, The Turk had a private room and he himself said that the standard of treatment was as good if not better than his stay in hospital in Sydney.  I understand (although you should confirm this yourself) that even though the hospital is ozel (Private) they will deal with cancer patients AND heart patients for next to nothing.  The Turk spent a grand total of 13TL for the initial appointment (yes we also have private cover).  There are Aci Badem hospitals all around Turkiye.

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*Knock, knock* Hello?

You might not have noticed but I haven’t posted for a while.  Why have I been so neglectful?  Why, oh why, have I left you, my dear followers and friends, hanging for the next episode of action packed drama that is living in Mersin?  Well to be honest I haven’t been particularly happy recently.

The Turk and I have been fighting – a lot – and not just a little scrap here and there, no, we have been having a few smack down whoopings that a stoned Hulk Hogan atop a wrecking ball could be proud of.

hulk hogan

Yes.  Seriously.  This is the current synopsis of our relationship.  I am not sure if I am Hulk Hogan or perhaps the wrecking ball and I never thought I would see the day that I had to quote Miley Cyrus but over the past weeks and months all The Turk has really achieved is to “wreck me”.

I am not really sure where it all began but since The Turk returned from Australia (after his heart attack) he has had difficulty settling back into the village way of life.  He has found fault in everything and everyone (including me) and has made me feel that our relationship is irretrievably broken.  To add insult to injury, and despite the fact that the first heart attack should have scared him straight, he has not changed his diet or his habits and in early June was admitted into hospital to have a triple by-pass.  Officially he now resembles Frankenstein’s Monster.

Adding to these current woes and health issues is me being diagnosed with “abnormal cervical cells” which has required treatment.  My doctor speaks pretty good English, although when he laughs he sounds a little like a hyena on crack, but I am relatively confident with the treatment that I have had and I go back next week for another check.  Fingers crossed that the treatment destroyed all the cells and nice, happy, non-cancerous cells have grown in their place.

There have been a few moments over these months that I have sat on the couch in tears and a few moments where I have wanted to pack my bags and flee back to Australia but I cannot because Daughter is so happy here (although I need to update you guys on her most recent boy drama when I get a chance).  Being that I am officially (yes it is officially) the Best Mum In The World I also took her to Londra in June for her birthday to a “5SOS” concert.  For those of you who have no clue what a “5SOS” is you should Google them because apparently Daughter is going to marry either the Lead Singer (who I suspect could be a world class tool) or the Bass Player (who reminds me of a dopey puppy).  The concert itself wasn’t too shabby, they reminded me of a very young INXS, although a little more polished than the INXS that played at Manly Vale Hotel back in the 1980’s.  I also got some shopping done in Londra so it was a pretty successful trip for both of us.

5sos

We also chuffed off to Rome for a week which was lovely (although the restoration work on the Trevi Fountain is STILL NOT finished!  How fecking long does it take?) and finally for a break in Istanbul.

As you can see there should be quite a bit to blog about but my sadness and health concerns have unfortunately overtaken my mental functions and writing proved very difficult over the past weeks.  I will be back to writing a little more often and hopefully I will return to a more comedic writing style which is how I would normally feel.  I am also going to re-jiggy the blog a little bit as I have had a lot of requests for more touristic information on Mersin (as there is limited information out there) and its surrounds so if I go off-line in the near future don’t distress it is merely my ridiculous attempts of navigating the web page tools (which will no doubt prove to be a little difficult for my pea-sized intellect).

And in case you are wondering yes The Turk is still smoking!

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