With Daughter now back at the village school and with The Turk in the Land Down Under I find that some spare time on my hands. What to do? What to do? I could lie in the sunshine and work on my tan? Or I could go for lunch at the Marina or Forum with friends? Nah. I need to do something constructive with my free time and so I decided on having some private Turkish lessons with Daughter’s Turkish tutor.
Daughter’s tutor is a cousin of a cousin of a cousin or something and is absolutely a delight. She was recommended to us by an English teacher from one of the private schools in Mersin but we seriously hit the payload when we realised that she was related and not just some random teacher. Bonus! Her enthusiasm to teach Daughter has made it a breeze for her to pick up the language and Daughter loves her because she is young, beautiful and funky. She and Daughter bonded over their mutual love of Starbucks and shopping! If only all teachers could be Ipek!
I admit that hang my head in shame knowing that I have been in the country for over a year and my Turkish is still ridiculously bad. I had every intention of enrolling at Mersin University and taking Turkish classes (also a great way to meet other expats) but the idea of making my way on two buses at the crack of dawn 4 days a week did not inspire me to learn. I had also assumed that immersing in the language would mean that I would pick up the skills in no time. Yep. Nope. I just did not realise it was going to be quite so hard.
In just one lesson I have learned that half of what comes out of my mouth is complete gibberish and it explains why Daughter gets so darn embarrassed when I attempt to speak in public. We end up coming to blows most of the time because she is embarrassed by me and I am annoyed at her attitude in return. Last weekend we were on the dolmus and usually I leave it to Daughter to ask them to pull over but I thought I would have a go and ask the driver myself. “Musait bir yer“. I sounded great. Well I thought I sounded great anyway. Daughter said I sounded like I was speaking an Alien language and now, after my first lesson with Ipek, I realise I was speaking an Alien language. I sounded like a dead set goose. Incidentally musait bir yer does not say “stop the bus” or “let me off” it translates literally to “suitable a place”. Can you see why I am having difficulties. Who talks like that (other than Yoda and Google translate).
I survived my first lesson by learning my alfabe (alphabet). “A, B, C’s” although I now know it is not “aye, bee, see” it is in fact “ah, be, je”.
Right, so back to kindergarten for me.