What’s Mine is now Yours

Now I don’t know what the correct etiquette is in this situation but let me tell you a story and perhaps you, my dear and favoured readers, can give me some advice.

Over the past six months I have been photographing my zeytin ağaci (olive tree) in my garden with the intent of showing my olives growth, change of colour, harvest and finally the curing of my olives.

The past few weeks I have been keeping a close eye on the olives as they were looking pretty good and, in fact, I asked The Turk prior to him leaving for Oz as to when I should harvest.  “Give it two weeks,” was his reply.


So today I went out to my olive tree, my big beautiful olive tree and … my olives have been pilfered!  How is this possible?  How did I not notice that the olives were gone?  I mean I must be pretty oblivious sitting here typing away on the computer and not hearing or seeing what is no doubt going on right under my nose.

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I feel violated.  Robbed of what could potentially be my best blog post.  I had researched the best way to cure olives and also researched some quick solutions for curing (including fast curing in the oven).  I was going to bring you some amazing pieces about my olives but now I have hiçbir şey (nothing at all).

After some nosing around I found out that my sister in law harvested the olives last weekend and has already begun the curing process.  Next year then.

But let’s just look at my olive tree over the months shall we?  April – little tiny buds.  Spring has sprung and the olives are just starting to push through to reach that precious, precious sunshine.  May – I can see it, there will be olives.  They will no doubt be delicious because I am going to cure them and make them my own.  June – yep, keep it coming little olives.  I see you are trying your hardest to be the biggest, juiciest olives ever seen in the Village.  July – I think you WILL be the biggest, juiciest olives ever seen not just in the Village but in all of Turkiye.  Champion olives!  And finally August – you will soon be in my tummy!  Or not!

Don’t fret though gentle readers I still have my biber salçası (pepper sauce) that is currently drying out in the sunshine upstairs.  I will give you a blow by blow account of that soon enough (assuming someone doesn’t swipe my sauce under the cover of night).

So what do you think I should do?  Let it go?  Say something?  I am at an impasse.  I know, I know I will have many opportunities to cure my olives and I appreciate that my sister in law was trying to help but I really wanted to try and do this myself.  Bilmiyorum.

19 thoughts on “What’s Mine is now Yours

  1. Depends how you and your sister in law get on. Could be she didn’t realise you had plans for your own olives and decided not to let them go to waste. However, the tree was in your garden so she should at least (imo) have asked permission.
    Maybe asking her for advice on how to do things next year (and the offer to share??) will get you your crop.
    Wonder what The Turk will make of it.
    Worse case scenario? Build a (pretty) fence round your tree. 🙂


  2. Agree with the above. You’re yabanci and you were obviously going to ignore the crop and let them rot! The other thing is about ownership. My first house was rented with a wonderful fruit and flower garden which I watered and tended only to discover the Ev Sahibi and his wife reaped the benefit of all such when I was away from the house. When I questioned this I was told it “was owner’s rights” Let’s say my first year living here was a learning curve.


  3. not on she could have said are you going to use the olives,its not hard is it,and its polite. she was in the wrong,nomatter what you intended to do with them. nawty. x


  4. I’d just say that you were looking forward to curing the olives yourself this year, and next year would she please let you do it (perhaps with her help?). Or, wait until next year and announce that you wish to learn all about curing olives and will be picking them yourself when they are ready. That way, your SIL will know your intentions. If she picks them AGAIN — then you have an issue.


  5. I agree that next year is the time to do it- share your pics and excitement with her. Buy her her own damned olive tree. Ask her where she’s going to harvest her olives for curing. This year- what’s done is done.


  6. All I would say is, after having harvested olives myself in Greece, it’s darn hard work. If it’s only one tree, not so bad but I had to help with a whole grove which was back breaking. So in some ways she’s saved you hard work. On the other hand I have discovered through my husband that Turks just don’t ask, EVER. Had a stupid argument over him finishing my milk yesterday, he says “well there was only a bit left” I say, it was mine and you have your own. He says I’m being petty, I say he needs to learn to ask he can’t just assume and take things just because he thinks it’s nearly finished/no one else wants it/ it’s there to be taken etc.
    I know a whole tree of olives is a far cry from the last bit of milk but I’m going to be mean here; She didn’t do it to help you, she wanted them for herself and that if she left it to you she’d get a small share whereas doing it herself she controls the share she gets. Oh yes she’ll say she thought you didn’t want them, that it would be too hard work for you, that you wouldn’t know how to cure them, but in reality she just wanted them.


  7. Pingback: How much have you integrated into Turkish culture? – janeyinmersin

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