Daughter has fallen victim to the dreaded Grip. It sounds quite ominous doesn’t it? It sounds as though we need to send out a bat signal or Spider Man needs to come to her rescue but in fact the Grip is better known as simply the flu. Yes Daughter has the flu and a little ear infection so I took her to the village doctor for a check-up and perhaps some antibiotics if deemed necessary.
The rest of this story is not about Daughter. She has had a day off school and is on the mend. The rest of this story is a bit of a tantrum by me so if you are not in the mood for my drama then close the page because here we go:
Imagine a doctor’s office or a government office or a bank or a post office or, well imagine bloody well near anywhere in Mersin. Imagine me. Imagine The Turk. Imagine an obnoxious Turkish doctor, government official, office worker or man on the street. And. Action!
“Yes we moved here from Sydney, Australia.” “Sydney, Australia? Why would you come here? There is nothing here.” “We came here to give Daughter a family and for her to learn Turkish.” “You have made a mistake. You should go back to where you are from.”
This is the conversation that The Turk and I have had about 100 times since arriving in Mersin. The confusion and hysteria that we imbibe from the everyday man when we say that we live here makes me want to throw something at them. I find that it is usually the professional Turk that cannot understand our decision to move here the ones who think that they are smarter than we are. The Doctor or Government official. I always roll my eyes and turn away while The Turk goes into the usual speech about family, lifestyle, culture, language, blah, blah, blah.
Frankly it is none of your effing business why we have moved to Mersin, just stamp the document or give me the prescription and we will be on our way. Yes we have moved to a small village. Yes it is extraordinary and yes you can think it is crazy but you need to try and look at it from our side.
We lived in Sydney and believe me I love Sydney. Best city in the best country in the world but Mersin and more specifically the Village has one things that Sydney does not. Aile (family). A huge family that has been so very welcoming to me and to Daughter. Kuzlener (cousins) that want to play with her. Kuzlener that love her (and some that do not). Teyzer and yenge (aunts) that give her hugs when she is sad and yell at her when she is naughty. Amcalar (uncles) that slip her 5 lira or take her to the market for icecream and a Anne and Baba who are at home when she finishes school and can spend quality time with her rather than coming home exhausted and stressed from a day’s work.
I know that not everybody can have this opportunity, it is unique to us, but when Daughter was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata I realised that something had to change. I realised that our lifestyle, running from pillar to post, was damaging her psychologically and if ever an opportunity for a seachange came up I would jump at the chance. Yes we could have moved to Queensland or even to a small town in rural New South Wales but all that would have achieved is that we would have alienated ourselves even more. Moving away from friends, no I do not think this would have been the solution.
Moving to Turkey has taken a big chunk of our savings and frankly has put us under a financial strain (The Turk and I are terrible with a budget) but Daughter is blossoming from a stressed little girl who had lost most of her hair into a wonderful young lady who is doing remarkably well at school even though it is in a second language and has made some great friends along the way.
This is the right decision for our family – for now.