Raise your Glass

Happy Anniversary.  No.  Not my wedding anniversary.  That was back in February which, of course, both The Turk and I forgot.  No this celebration marks the first year of the rest of my life.  My new life.  In Turkey.  To be honest, I didn’t think we would make it, I mean just buying toilet paper can be difficult at times.  But we have survived unscathed to tell the tale.  Mostly.

collage 1 year

Today is also the day that The Turk leaves for Australia.  Yes one year ago today we arrived in Turkey and now one year later The Turk is leaving.  Just for a short time.  We hope.  I think.  He is tying up some loose ends over there but I suspect he will enjoy the First World lifestyle and I will probably have to go and bring him back (or not).

It has been a year of growth, not just for me but for Daughter too.  Immersing herself in a new language, a new school and new friends.  She has grown too.  She is so tall now.  Those long legs will never quit.  She is more beautiful now if that is at all possible.  The Turk wants to keep a cricket bat at the front door to swat at the boys that will no doubt soon come to call.  I had to remind him that it is doubtful that we will even find a cricket bat here in Mersin (or in Turkey for that matter).  And now she can swear in two languages (actually three as she can swear in Italian too – a proud parent am I).

The challenges of living in Mersin have been real and raw and exhausting.  Dealing with homesickness, Turkish bureaucracy (read that as Turkish bullshit), school struggles, family loss, culture shock and everything else that comes along with moving to the other side of the world has brought me closer to the edge of insanity than I thought I would ever reach.  My first trip by myself to the supermarket is a memory best forgotten.  Or a spider bite that resulted in my needing 12 shots to survive (what the??) and my numerous, read that as hundreds, of trips to the Emniyet and Nufus to try and get visa’s, a kimlik and citizenship.  Holy crap!  Turkey will knock you for a six!

I must say I thank goodness for blogging.  I can get my crazy out here, with you, rather than taking it out on others.  You can either read it or, if you are sick of my rant, you simply close the page (after you “like” it of course).  Easy.

Thank you to each of you who have supported us in our journey so far.  I have made some great friends on here in the blogging world, people that I would never had had the opportunity to get to know unless I did write my blog.  I have also found some real friends here in Mersin, expats like myself thrown into the deep end of hell trying to survive each day.

So let’s raise your glass – Şerefe!



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17 thoughts on “Raise your Glass

  1. Şerefe, indeed! Hey! I have my cricket bat (and a ball) here with me – it’s only available on short-term loan as Janet is from Yorkshire and un-bowlable and I still fantasise that I can turn my arm over!


  2. I love your blog. I devour your stories about everything especially your in laws and your animals. You are a natural story teller. I hope someday you will write a book. I find myself envying your lifestyle because I love Turkey and its people. I have visited so many times. Its the country I feel most safe in. I see myself viewed as a crazy western woman who needs minding. I spent a month travelling the country in 2013. It was the best experience of my life. Keep blogging


  3. Congratulations Jane!

    Well done for sticking at it – have enjoyed reading your stories.

    In some ways you have it easy! When I moved to Mersin in 2001 (wasn’t that a lifetime ago?) there was no reliable internet – only very dodgy dial-up. There was also far less ‘international’ food available. Things like avocados, fresh ginger, rolled oats and instant noodles were luxuries one could only dream of most of the time.

    Then again, in 2001 I also recall buying 2 beers at the Mersin Hilton for 5 million (5 lira) during their happy hour.


    • Hey Joe, yep I did one year, still have a ways to go before I can beat you though. It was 10 years ago that we met in Mersin – many changes here for sure! I went to the market this morning, got myself avocados, then hit Metro and brought taco shells and sour cream. Tonight – mexican fiesta! If only I could make sangria . . . 5TL for a bira at the Hilton? I don’t want to tell you how much they are now, OK I will 10TL each! Its practically Sydney pricing!


    • Metro is crazy big and they have a whole section of imported stuff. Noodles. Soy. etc. I was excited to find the taco shells. Unfortunately they were broken so it became nachos. Still good though and my guac was amazing!


  4. I always enjoy reading your blog, and would like to congratulate you on your first year in a whole different world. Your stories fascinate me and crack me up, and I thank you for having the guts to not only do what you do, but also for sharing the tales on your blog! Cheers!


  5. Well done Janey, I managed 10 years give or take, but only now do we visit Mersin. I hum and I ha but I couldn’t live there like you. We really have to meet up next time I’m there. I love your style, I think it takes a certain brand of crazy to put up with the rubbish 😉


  6. Hi Jane, I have just returned from a two week holidays, i had a mountain of emails….. However yours were the first ones that I opened, as I knew that they would be informative, entertaining, uplifting, funny, eloquent, honest, funny, hilarious at times, and of course you did not disappoint.
    Wishing you heaven in your heart and starlight in your soul.


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