The List

I questioned whether it would be appropriate to hand out little sticks of deodorant while riding a dolmuş this week in Mersin.  There is some major reeking going on at the moment and you just cannot escape from it.  I actually threw up a little bit in my mouth the stench was so foul! 

The Turk who really cannot tell when I am being facetious solemnly tells me that I am being rude but I kind of think I am doing everyone a favour.  I mean we do not want the dolmuş driver to faint from the odour do we?

The Turk and I then had a little bit of banter that went something like this:

Me:  “You know it’s not that hard to keep the B.O. at bay.  Look at Cameron Diaz.  She doesn’t wear deodorant.  True!  All these people have to do is wipe.  Like your ass but you do it under your arms.  It’s easy.”

Background information – The Turk is completely and utterly in love with Cameron Diaz.  I personally don’t get it but she is on The List.  What is The List?  The list is a free pass to sleep with that person if the opportunity ever arises.  I am pretty sure he will not have a hope in hell of ever sleeping with Cameron Diaz (frankly I think she would have better taste even without deodorant).  His list also includes Sharon Stone – again an unusual choice.  My List is even shorter.  It’s Brad Pitt.  Yep.  I think if he dumped Angelina and somehow found himself wandering down the street in Karaduvar and came knocking on my front door he would discover that I was his perfect match and we would live happily ever after.  Oh and I think he would make a great step-father for Daughter.  Daughter is happy with that arrangement too as it means she can go shopping all the time.

The List

Back to our banter:

Me:  Blah, blah, blah.  Cameron Diaz.

The Turk:  She does not smell.  Her scent would be like a flower or a ray of sunshine.  (No shit, that is what he said).

Me:  Dude.  Everyone stinks.  Feet stink, undies stink, breath stinks.  Cameron Diaz is no different.

The Turk:  You stink!  (Maturity level showing).

Me (voice slightly raised):  Yep and so does every other feking person on this dolmuş and IF Cameron Diaz was on this dolmuş she would be stinking it up too because she doesn’t wear deodorant!

It seems we are both pretty mature because I poked my tongue out at this point and he stuck his finger up at me.  If Cameron Diaz or Brad Pitt do ever turn up on our doorsteps they are both going to be in for a treat!

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Traversing Tarsus

When I was young I watched the movie “Cleopatra” starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.  This movie embedded the idea of wanting to have it all.  Be an amazing woman and have that once in a lifetime romance. 

Fast forward a couple *cough cough* of years and here I am living my life being totally amazing and I got my Marc Antony (of sorts) as well.  So not only did I get my dream I now live my life not far from the city of Tarsus where, according to legend, Cleopatra was reunited with her lover after a separation of many years.  “If the tent is a rocking, don’t bother knocking.”

Tarsus is located smack dab between Mersin and Adana and, over the years, I have passed by the city while on my many travels but I have never stopped to have a look around.  Just before my overseas jaunt I found myself spending the day in Tarsus with The Turk and I can say without question this city is overflowing with historical and theological ruins. 

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My first stop was, of course, Cleopatra Kapisi (Cleopatra’s Gate).  Legend has it that this was the spot where Marc Antony was reunited with Cleopatra.  A romantic notion.  The Gate is pretty much still intact, standing strong just like their love although, of course, she drove Marc Antony to suicide before killing herself but, before that, they had a powerful love for each other.  Very Romeo and Juliet. 

Not all sites are walking distance but from Cleopatra’s Gate do a 180 and pass the Gözlükule Tumulus (mound).  Not an awful lot to see now (it forms part of a park) but this tumulus shows settlement in the Neolithic and ancient age.   Turning back and after passing the Tarsus Museum (we didn’t have time to visit on this trip) before arriving at the Antik Yol (Ancient Road) and Roman city excavation.  This excavation has been going on for some time and is a great example of Roman roads and architecture. 

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 A few more minutes will bring you to Paul of Tarsus Church and Well.  Who is Paul?  Theologians are already rubbing their hands in glee at this point.  Paul or Saul as he was also known is, of course, St Paul or Paul the Apostle and was born in the ancient city of Tarsus.  Now I do not know a lot (read that as anything) about the Bible or St Paul (or Saul) but according to the guide at St Paul’s Church he apparently wrote 13 of the 21 New Testament Epistles.  Along with the Church is St Paul’s Well which is over 100 feet deep with fresh drinking water.  Will it miraculously heal you?  Nah – it’s just a well but you can have a sip.

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As you wander in this area have a look at all the historic houses.  These are a good example of how Tarsus would have looked in the past, in its glory in the old city.  The markets are also close to the Mosque, both definitely worth visiting if you get the opportunity.

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Before we left Tarsus we stopped by the old Roman bridge before making our way to the Tarsus Waterfalls for cay and cezeryea (caramelised carrots with pistacios and nuts).  The waterfalls were tranquil and very beautiful and the cay and cezeryea was refreshing and tasty.  The waiter who brought us our treat informed me that the cezeryea is thought to be an aphrodisiac.  The Turk laughed and replied, “Don’t tell her that, she won’t eat it!”  Too true Turkey Boy.

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Tarsus packed a great little punch for a tourist and definitely worth stopping by if you are passing through to Adana or westward to the beaches.  We ran out of time to visit the Cave of Seven Sleepers and we also did not see the Prophet Daniel’s grave (of Daniel and the Lion’s fame) which is supposedly located inside Makim Mosque.  so do yourself a favour people.  Visit Tarsus.

I am a Selfish Bitch (apparently)

The heading speaks for itself people.  I am a Selfish Bitch.  Apparently.  The Turk informed me of such this morning so it must be true.  See this is where he and I differ in opinion because I always thought that I was pretty awesome.  I have been known to high-5 myself on occasion for my awesomeness.  I help others.  I give to causes.  I am totally generous.  Selfish bitch?  Nope.  Doesn’t really sound like me.

He didn’t really mean it, The Turk.  He was just a little exasperated with me this morning that’s all.  Let me explain.

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On Tuesday morning I woke at the crack of dawn suffering from the succubus that is jetlag.  It usually takes me days to get over it so there I was feeling like crap and desperately needing a cup of tea to jolt my body awake.  Having successfully made my tea (remember Turkish tea is a drama in itself) I made my way outside onto our terrace intending to watch the sun rise over the village when it happened. 

I looked around and . . . what?  Where the fek is my feking terribly expensive outdoor furniture?  It had disappeared.  Were we robbed?  Doubtful.  Was it there last night?  Dunno.  Like an idiot I looked left and right.  Nope.  I stuck my head back through the door into the living room.  Not there.  I started back inside when my eyes were drawn to Vito’s home next door.  Immediate brain fart!  There’s my feking terribly expensive feking furniture!  What the holy hell?

Living here in Turkey I have learnt that it is not unusual to do a solid and lend something to a neighbour or a relative or even the man that lives on the other side of the village and it will definitely be returned with thanks (well mostly anyway).  I get it and I am totally on board with this arrangement but when I went downstairs to examine my terribly expensive outdoor furniture it was looking more than a little worse for wear with oil splatters on the table, stains on my cushions and even a cigarette burn or two.  Fek! 

I did not lose my temper.  I did not have a fit.  I merely asked The Turk for my terribly expensive outdoor furniture to be returned to its rightful place however it had not appeared before I went to bed on Tuesday evening.  The Turk guaranteed that it would be returned on Wednesday morning as soon as Vito returned home from work.  Wednesday came and went and again despite my request for the return of my terribly expensive outdoor furniture my terrace was still looking bare and sad.  What made it worse was that Vito had some friends over Wednesday (last) night and I watched them stealth-like through my window fuming and spitting fire while they lounged all over my terribly expensive outdoor furniture like they were the feking Queen of England, smoking their cigarettes and no doubt dropping more crap all over it! I was losing my shit people!

This morning I again asked for my terribly expensive outdoor furniture to be returned and that is when The Turk cracked it.  After calling me a selfish bitch he suggested that if I wanted my terribly expensive outdoor furniture back then I should go and ask for it myself!  The thing is that after being married to The Turk for over 12 years I know too well that when he starts throwing around insults it means that he is attempting to deflect an issue that he does not want to deal with.  Ah ha!  He did not want to ask his brother for the return of the terribly expensive outdoor furniture.  He was embarrassed.  We’ll fek it!  I’ll feking ask him! 

And ask him I did.  Vito might have ummed and aahhed after I knocked on his door this morning but when I returned from the market I found The Turk on the terrace relaxing comfortably on my terribly expensive, albeit now slightly marked, outdoor furniture.  “Darling, would you like a cup of tea?” he says. 

So there you have it.  I might be a selfish bitch although I really don’t see it that way.  It’s one thing to borrow a book, or a frypan but another thing all together to borrow furniture with little or no intention of returning it.  The Turk is happy though.  My terribly expensive outdoor furniture has been returned and he is not the bad guy.  I am.  I am a selfish bitch but whatever.  I am still awesome though.

The Return

Daughter and I have finally settled back in from our holiday in Australia.  Visiting Australia.  I was a visitor, a tourist if you must, visiting the place of my birth and what I have learnt from this visit?  I learnt that Sydney and Australia is a fecking beaut place to live. 

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Mother nature did us a major and the weather was sensational.  It didn’t rain.  It didn’t even think about raining.  Beautiful, albeit cold, winter days.  Every day.  Fresh air.  Lush gardens.  Grass.  GRASS!  We are the only people in Karaduvar with grass in our garden.  Grass is, of course, seen as a luxury item as everyone else utilises every inch of their land.  Deli yabanciler (crazy foreigners).  

It was nice to not be on the cusp of a war zone too staying in beachside Collaroy.  Yes I gloss over Syria and its issues but Mersin is approximately 150k from the Syrian border.  We are safe obviously or I would not even think about living here but there is always an underlying threat, the knowledge I guess, that we are not too far from an area of such unrest.  Plus there is the whole Israel-Palestinian issue, the Middle East is a powder keg ready to blow and even Ukraine to the north is a mess.  Bloody hell! 

Friends and family of course.  Obviously Australia wins on this front as well.  I am blessed to have some of the best friends in the world.  Friends that are always there with open arms.  What I wouldn’t do for one more boozy lunch or one more hug from my girls.  Of course this is difficult for Daughter as she has her family, her cousins that she adores, in Karaduvar.  She has many friends in Karaduvar but for me Sydney and Australia will win every single time. 

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Speaking of boozy lunches I don’t think you can beat an Aussie Red.  Australian wines really are some of the best in the world.  I would go so far as saying that Turkish wine is swill at best and really, really expensive!

Medical care wins in Australia over Turkey as well (well duh!).  Australia has Government facilitated Medicare and even though you pay through the tooth for many things (including the dentist) visiting the doctor here is a much easier process (mainly because everyone speaks English).  So I am now drugged up for the next 12 months (my medicine cabinet is overflowing) and I have been poked and prodded and given a clean bill of health. 

Shopping was a bonus too for me in Sydney.  My Rubenesque physique is now adorned in new clothes.  Oodles of new clothes.  I no longer need to wear the same jeans every single day.  My credit card did take a beating and we did have to send home 10 kilos by post but at least I now have an outfit for any occasion which is a good thing as we have at least 4 weddings to go to over the coming weeks.  Daughter’s opinion differs on this front as well as the styles in Turkey are a lot more varied and on trend.  For Daughter clothing is also a LOT cheaper as well. 

Bacon.  Ding!  Ding!  Ding!  Winner!!!  Lots of exclamation points here.  Yes.  Bacon.  That is all.

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Sydney did have a few downsides too.  It was so damn expensive.  Food was expensive.  Clothing was expensive.  Petrol was expensive (actually petrol is expensive in Turkey too).  I guess I have had it too cushy here in Turkey with 50 kuruş for 1 kilo of tomatoes (about AU$0.25) while they were AU$4.50 in Sydney (TL9).  Plus the fresh food is not particularly fresh.  Ick!

Peak hour traffic did my head in too.  What a bloody mess.  We had a few early morning starts and fighting my way from the Northern Beaches to the City was diabolical to say the least.  It was nice to be behind the wheel again although my first few attempts at parking were a little less than successful.  Daughter likened my parking skills to a Turkish person so I really have acclimated haven’t I?

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I think I can sum Sydney up as “Real Life”.  My friends are all working.  My family are all busy (some might say too busy to find the time to see me or even call).  The cost of living is high and the stress levels are even higher.  I know that if I too were living in Sydney I would be working.  My stress levels would be off the chart (visiting my old place of work proved that beyond the shadow of a doubt) and Daughter, The Turk and I would be miserable.  Real life sux!

Karaduvar also has another bonus (well along with The Turk).  It has My Hurley Dog.  I love My Hurley Dog.  I missed My Hurley Dog and he missed me!  

Hurley

 

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Tale of Two Cities

It seems that I am an expat caught between my two loves, Sydney and Mersin.  I have always felt distinctly at home in Mersin but returning to Sydney, my homeland, has brought back dwindling thoughts, self doubt and mixed feelings.

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I definitely loved my time in Sydney and Daughter and I hit the ground running.  We found ourselves with a frantic social life during our visit and it became increasingly difficult to fit in all my friends when I had to share my precious, precious time with Daughter and all of her social activities.  I swear since stepping off the plane her damn mobile did not stopped beeping, buzzing or ringing with her friends constantly arranging visits, movies, lunches, sleepovers and any other activity that you can think of. The squeals and “Oh. My. God’s” that I have had to endure has been soul numbing.  I guess I don’t really notice the squeals and “Oh. My. God’s” when they are in Turkish.

Fitting everything in required precision timing.  Morning, lunch and evening slots were allocated.  Daughter likened this “holiday” to a business trip with us running from one meeting to another.  I have missed out on catching up with a few friends that I really wanted to see and I quickly realised that 3 weeks in Sydney is just is not enough time.  Friends that live on the other side of Sydney or friends that live just up the coast missed out and I feel incredibly sad.  I am thinking of two of my friends in particular right now but honestly we just ran out of time. Plus I got sick.  I am still sick.  Damn flu. Damn sickness.  Damn it!

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Have I had my bacon?  Yep.  Practically every day.  I think I have put on 4 kilos.  It feels like 8 kilos.  We did have a bacon situation that practically caused an international incident at a restaurant in The Rocks that caused Daughter to update her Facebook status thusly:

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

We have also done a few touristy things which is nice.  It reminds me just how wonderful Sydney is.  It reminds me just how much I miss this beautiful city.

Sydney

It has been a frantic few weeks.  It has been a wonderful few weeks.  Early breakfasts, brunches and lunches, dinners and sleepovers.  I could go on.  It has been impossibly fun.  I need to go home to Mersin for a holiday from our holiday.

Now our time in Sydney has just about come to an end.  I am becoming increasingly forlorn and not just because I cannot fit everything into our suitcases.  I just want one more lunch, one more drink, one more chorus.   I am an expat torn between two loves.

 

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The Beaches

I grew up on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Australia.  Swimming in the ocean and lying on the sand is imprinted on me so living in a country with coastlines along the Aegean and Mediterranean seas should make me spoilt for choice however in Karaduvar we do not often make our way down to the beach despite the fact that we live no more than 10 minutes walk away.  Why?  Sadly Karaduvar Beach is no Blue Lagoon at Oludeniz and, to be honest, I feel a little uncomfortable swimming down at Karaduvar Beach.  I would much rather hop on a dolmus and travel the 2 hours it would take to get to Kizkalesi or Susanoglu where lying on a sunbed in your bikini is not cause for mirth and gossip.

Right now Daughter and I are staying with friends at Collaroy Beach and I am loving being on the Northern Beaches again.  This morning I wiggled my toes in the sand at Long Reef Beach as Daughter ran along the beach with my friend’s dog which I have named “Nugget”.  The dog really is a big nugget.  It might be the middle of winter but here in Sydney it is warm, the sun is shining and Sydney has put on her best dress for our visit.

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Since arriving we have made a point of visiting as many of Sydney’s beautiful beaches as possible.  Starting at Palm Beach and ending at Manly Beach the Northern Beaches of Sydney is definitely God’s Country.

Palm Beach

Do you watch Home and Away?  I still remember the first episode when we met Pippa and Tom Fletcher along with all those kids who lived in picturesque Summer Bay.  Daughter pointed out a few of the more obvious Summer Bay locations before we decided to enjoy the sunshine and hike up to Barrenjoey Lighthouse. It is an easy walk from the car park to the lighthouse and offers a great view from Sydney’s most northern point.

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Whale Beach

I didn’t often go to Whale Beach as it was difficult to get to by public transport when I was young.  When we walked across the sand of this small, protected beach there was not another soul to be found.  The beach was all ours.  If it wasn’t so damn windy it would have been a rather pleasant stop.

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Dee Why Beach

Always my beach.  As a kid I did swimming lessons (badly) at the pool, as a teenager I hung out with my friends down at Dee Why Headland, climbing over the rocks to find somewhere where we could sneak cigarettes (or a kiss) without being caught.

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Manly Beach

Famous.  Gorgeous.  Once my home.  One thing you have to admire about the locals at Manly is that even in the middle of winter, even when it is a mere 20 degrees, they are still out there swimming, surfing and generally enjoying the beauty that is Manly.

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North Head

Spending time on the Northern Beaches of Sydney is not complete without a trip to North Head.  Whether you are visiting from the darkest depths of hell or a Manly local the view is spectacular.  Summer or winter this spot is the epitome of Sydney.  To anyone visiting this beautiful country you need to get up to North Head pronto.  Start your visit on a high note!

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Living in Turkey is amazing.  We are so lucky but waking up each morning and looking over Collaroy Beach is pretty damn good too.

One Day in Istanbul – or Three Things in Istanbul

As you are all aware Daughter and I are in Sydney visiting family and friends.  Currently I am suffering from a nasty bout of the flu and hating just about everything and everyone but I am quite certain I will feel better after a little blogging and a little TLC.  While recuperating I thought I tell you about our day in Istanbul visiting all of our favourite haunts.  I posted Five Things back in March but today as our time was limited we did not get to complete our usual five instead we downsized to Three Things.

Shopping – or where my credit card takes a beating

I was well aware of the fact that we were returning to Sydney and that shopping in this great city is amongst the best in the world but for Daughter shopping at Top Shop on Istiklal Caddesi is amongst the “totally best thing” in the world and I automatically become “an alright mum” as a result.  I accept that lacklustre award.  I don’t really mind that much to be honest as it is cheaper to shop in Turkey for Daughter than it is in Sydney.  Knock yourself out sweetheart.  I did have to remind her though that her suitcase will not magically make the space so desperately needed and once it is full, it is full.

For me I needed to stop at The Grand Bazaar and stock up on Turkish Delight and gifts for my family and friends.  An empty suitcase makes it very easy to buy up big – which I did.

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Basilicia Cistern – or that cool place that was in that James Bond movie back when

Yes again.  Oh how I love coming here.  If you time it just right you can get the place to yourself although there was no chance of that during this visit.  Istanbul always has been a mecca for tourists but during our limited time here it seemed that each and every one of them decided to go to my Basilica Cistern while we were visiting.  After waiting just over an hour to get through the door the normal cool underground respite became a hot and frankly a little on the nose.  Daughter made her way down to Medusa’s Head to make her wish while I stopped and ordered a cay from the elderly man who works at the café.  I recently heard there are a few other cisterns here in Istanbul including the Sultan Sarnici and Nakilbent  Sokak.  We did not have to time to visit them today but on our next stop in Istanbul it will definitely be on the cards.

Suleymaniye Mosque – or if you don’t visit the Mosque you will hate yourself later

Istanbul is full of the most amazing mosques but as we always stay at Sirkeci Mansion in Sultanamet we usually walk up the third hill of Istanbul to Suleymaniye Mosque.  Morning or night this mosque is quite a commandeering sight and each visit to the Mosque gives me a new experience.  On this visit we spent time walking through the gardens that surround the mosque before making our way to the tombs of Suleiman and Hurrem Sultan.  Though Hurrem Sultan was gossiped about and ostracized she was Suleiman’s true love and they now spend eternity together buried in the grounds of Suleymaniye Mosque.  I have told the story of Suleiman and Hurrem Sultan many times to Daughter over the years and her take on their relationship is thus:

“If you are meant to be then nothing is going to stop you.  Like Edward and Bella (Twilight).”

Alright so it seems that Suleiman and Hurrem Sultan are the Edward and Bella of the 1500’s.

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If you only have 24 hours or 1 day in my Istanbul and even if you only see one or two things this beautiful city has so much to offer.

 

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School Concert

The elementary school across the street had their end of year concert last night.  The concert was actually supposed to take place a week ago however it was cancelled due to a man being stabbed behind the school who subsequently died.  I guess that would make it a murder.  Yep there was a murder across the street so the concert was cancelled as the school (and no doubt the Polis) were concerned that there would be retaliation (as the two boys charged were Kurdish not Turkish).

I have never really experienced any discrimination in my life.  Women have always had rights and there was never really any racial slurring while I was growing up so for me witnessing the anger and blame being placed firmly on a group of people is a new and honestly, slightly terrifying, experience.  The history between the Turkish people and the Kurdish is lengthy and full of acrimony on both sides.  For me I watch the behaviour of levelheaded men in the village become completely irrational calling for the blood of the two boys who were charged with the murder.  I understand from The Turk that Polis attended at the funeral each day to keep everyone in order and to ensure that there was no vigilante justice against the two boys who were charged since they were juveniles and were released on bail.

Surrounded by all this acrimony it was good to see the school press forward with the end of year concert once the mourning period had ended.  Like schools all around the world the concert is a chance for the kids to show off their dancing skills and for raising some much needed funds for the next school year.  The concert itself was a mix of modern music (and by modern I mean the Grease Mega-mix) as well as some traditional Turkish music.  Living across the road from the school I have watched the youngsters practicing their dance steps for months, literally months.  If I have to hear the Grease Mega-mix again I may throw myself off the balcony.  My sister in law laughed and told me they do the same dances every year so no doubt I will be listening to it again over and over next year.

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There was a lot of choice for food with stalls including Gozleme, Icel Kofte and Tantuni.  I particularly like the fact that the Gozleme vendors set up cooking on the floor in the school hallway.  You don’t see that every day for sure.

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A raffle was also drawn with the winners getting a bike.  This was a big drawcard and I understand the school and raised enough money to purchase a new computer and perhaps even to give the school a fresh coat of paint over the three month break.

A fun night was had by all as shown here by Daughter who decided to try her hand at the traditional dancing.  Perhaps not.

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Rebel Mosquito

I have a routine before I go to bed at night.  I have my shower and brush my teeth and then I cover myself in a perfume that I like to call “Eau de D’eet”, nearly poisoning myself in an attempt to keep a certain gentleman from attacking me in my sleep (and I don’t mean The Turk).  Actually I would not call him a gentleman, I call him a cad!  I call him a Rebel!  I call him “No helmet, leather jacket, motorcycle riding Rebel Mosquito”.  Yes that is his name.  He is real and he is mean.

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This cad has begun assaulting me at night.  He attacks at midnight and I am instantly awake from his high pitched buzz.  He ready for a three course meal made from my tasty O-negative blood.  I wave my arms around frantically trying to swat him away but as he is a “no helmet, leather jacket, motorcycle riding Rebel Mosquito” he obviously likes a bit of danger in his life.

I woke this morning to see that this cad, this “no helmet, leather jacket, motorcycle riding Rebel Mosquito”, had a very enjoyable Vegas-style all you can eat buffet meal at my expense and I have spent the last half an hour covering myself in a cream sold to me by the ezcane – Fenistil.  It works.  It stops the itch.  My medicine cabinet has a lot of Fenistil in it.

You know when I first arrived in Mersin last September I was assaulted by another Rebel Mosquito, perhaps a relative of my current cad.  I had so many welts on my body caused by this Rebel Mosquito that my sister in law took pity on me and we toddled down to the local hospital.  The doctor there prescribed a “serum” as I was “allergic” to mosquitos, such serum was to be injected into my ass every day for the next 5 days.  Now I don’t want to put down the Turkish medical system but firstly, is this even a thing?  Can you be allergic to mosquitos?  How is it that I survived living in Australia – Australia the mosquito capital of the world, the Land where every insect is trying to kill you – for all those years and not one doctor tells me that I am allergic to mosquitos?  Yeah.  Nope.  Secondly, there is no way you are going to inject me with some dodgy serum – the serum is going to “cure” me from my “so-called allergy”?  Pffttt!  I don’t think so!

Why do the doctors here prescribe serums for everything?  Daughter had an ear infection last month.  She was prescribed 2 needles a day for 5 days.  Are you serious?  Feck off!  There was no way on earth she was going to have these needles.  She ran from the doctor’s office and we found her at the park across the street half an hour later!  Ear infections require antibiotics (incidentally they also prescribed antibiotics) not “serum”.  Mosquito bites require a bit of cream not a feking needle in my ass for 5 days!

Tonight I am going to set an ambush for my “no helmet, leather jacket, motorcycle riding Rebel Mosquito”.  I will lie in bed clutching a can of insect spray and when he makes a move on me I am going to hit him with Detan.  I am going to condemn this cad to the torments of a fiery hell for all eternity.  I am coming for you “no helmet, leather jacket, motorcycle riding Rebel Mosquito”.  Yes I am.

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Birthday

The most important event that took place in Turkey this past weekend was Daughter’s birthday party.  Her birthday is not actually until next week but as we will be in Sydney it was imperative that we threw her “the party of the season” before we left.

Alright I can do this, after all I have thrown 11 other birthdays for her so one in Karaduvar can’t be that different.  I did, however, give myself a sneaky lesson in Turkish birthday etiquette while recently attending her cousins 10th birthday.  It is clear that birthdays are not huge events here even though Daughter considers it should be “the party of the season”.  Here in the village a birthday is celebrated with family, a cake and maybe a few balloons.  Easy.

Sunday morning I was up early cleaning the house.  Daughter had had a sleepover the night before and they attempted an all-nighter so she was as grumpy as a toothless troll in the morning.  I threw her in the shower to wake her up and sent the girls downstairs for breakfast (there were kids everywhere on Sunday morning so I took advantage of my sister in law who had arrived from Adana the day before to feed the masses).

The Turk and I left to get the cake and a few last minute items and when we returned less than 15 minutes before the party was due to begin we arrived to find Daughter had turned our living room into a balloon pool.  She had blown up every single balloon in my “Mega-bag” of balloons that I recently purchased at Metro for the bargain basement  price of 10TL.  That means close to 200 balloons were blown up.  It was crazy.  There was also music blasting, the Wii was set up and the piñata that I had put away (as I considered that it fell under the heading of “ostentatious”) was now hanging in the garden downstairs.

Cousins arrived.  Friends arrived.  More friends arrived.  Chaos ensued.  Music blasted (I think I heard Adriana Grande’s hit “Problem” about 20 times).  Cake was eaten.  Pinata was destroyed.  Balloons were popped (and one eaten by My Hurley Dog).

Here are a few snaps from the party.  If you are wondering the significance of the “A” it is a reference to Daughter’s favourite television show, “Pretty Little Liars”.  Only 3 days until the Season premiere people – I know this as Daughter has been counting it down for weeks now.  Will we find out who “A” is?  Only time will tell.

birthday collage

Was this considered the “party of the season”?  Yes, yes it was.  I have also fallen into the category of “Coolest Mum Ever” with Daughter’s friends which sits well with me because it is true!

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