No one is left behind

Those of you who are long time readers of my little blog may recall my post about Carl Frederiksen.  He was one of the old gentlemen that I would often meet in the village.  He was a kind old fella who unfortunately could not speak but he was always smiling and always so generous.

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I hadn’t seen Carl for a little while, in fact I wondered if he had moved away.

This morning while yelling at Daughter to “hurry the hell up or you’ll be late for school” I saw an ambulance drive past.  Now I’m not proud but I rolled my eyes – another funeral.  Five minutes later the mosque made the announcement – it was Carl.

Tears filled my eyes.  He was near to 90 years old – so he had had a good wicket – but he was one of the most genuine people I had ever met.  I wondered what would happen to him as he had no family but when The Turk and I arrived at his home I was so happy to see that there were hundreds of people there to see him off.  His neighbours washed his body and shrouded him while the village men carried flowers and followed in procession to the mezarlık (cemetery) for him to be buried.  Early tomorrow I will make the trip with the ladies to the mezarlık for the prayer.

I was so proud to be a part of this village today.  Whether you are young or old, with a family or very much alone, no one is left behind.

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A White Flag

Well yesterday was certainly eventful wasn’t it?  My scrap with Mrs Vito was the talk of the town.  After our initial blow up she continued to yell and complain to anyone who would listen to her and I continued to flush my toilet so that water came down the pipe and onto her precious granite below, even splashing her workers a few times.

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But as you can no doubt guess from my GIF – I won.  I won this particular battle.  Thanks to The Turk.  Always The Turk.

While Mrs Vito continued to carry on outside and I continued to flush my toilet inside The Turk did what The Turk always does and stepped in behind the scenes.  After a discreet chat with Prince’s William and Harry (Mrs Vito’s boys) a hush fell over the battleground, shovels were downed and all was quiet.  It was an eerie quiet too.  An uneasy quiet before the battle resumes.  So I flushed … again.

Yes thanks to The Turk a white flag appears to have been raised by Mrs Vito (albeit by William and Harry) when their plumber arrived on the scene and immediately got started on re-routing our pipes (at no cost to us).  So how did The Turk manage to fix this family debacle?  Was the threat of a horse head in someone’s bed necessary?  No, not really.  The Turk merely pointed out that Vito and Harry (who sell maydanoz and nane to restaurants throughout the city) needs water from MY water pump to keep their produce fresh.  The Turk suggested that should our pipes not be returned to their former glory or an appropriate facsimile sorted before dark then MY pump would no longer be available to them.  Within twenty minutes the plumber arrived and within two hours I was able to poop and flush.

I won!

I told The Turk that I wanted an apology from her.  He said I was dreaming but I’m holding out.  There is officially a grudge and officially I get now why my MIL and both of my SIL hate Mrs Vito with a passion.  Last night was spent on my SIL’s terrace drinking vino and listening to them both bitch about the bitch meanwhile Mrs Vito closed all her curtains and slammed her front door a good few times.  We giggled.  I am no longer Switzerland, well maybe I am still Switzerland but this is a darker, edgier Switzerland.  This is the Switzerland of Mrs Vito’s nightmares!  Beware of Switzerland baby.

You have been warned!

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Bad Neighbours

Mrs Vito is a bit of a bitch.  The Turk hates her.  My mother in law hated her and Justin Bieber said it best when he said “my mother doesn’t like you and she likes everyone”.  Never has a truer statement been made.

mymindUp until today I have been relatively laid back when it comes to Mrs Vito.  I have spent the last 3 years (hell that’s not true it’s been the last 15 years) as Switzerland.  Switzerland never took sides.  Switzerland kept a smile on her dial and was always nice and friendly.  Always with a ‘Merhaba’ or a ‘G’day’.  But no more.  It is done.

Those of you who are long time readers will recall that Vito built a house that is literally attached to our house.  Right on the boundary.  But that’s okay because family is family right?  Well it seems that it was us who originally built right on the boundary but when we built there didn’t seem to be any major problem but, of course, when Mrs Vito built her new house she was pissed about the boundary issue.  Of course, that’s okay because family is family.  But today family ceased to exist and Mrs Vito crossed the line with me.

We have a drainage pipe that runs down the side of our house and into a drainage pit on her land.  There is no easement but, like I have said – over and over – family is family.  No problem.  Well today there is a problem and I lost my shit.

Mrs Vito is putting down some granite in what will be the parking area of her new home (and shop) and she instructed her builder to remove our pipe.  Didn’t ask mind you, just did it.  I went very nicely to her door and asked her (in my limited rubbish Turkish) why she instructed her builder to do it and she said that it was her land.  OMFG it’s been there now for 4 years!  4 fecking years!  She knew it was there.  Everyone knew it was there but she has had it removed.  I asked her “Are we family?”  She replied, “Yes.”  I said “well then it shouldn’t be any problem, it’s a small pipe.”  She then turned to the builder and told him to pour the concrete.  In front of me!  OMFG!!!!!

I did what any good Turkish Housewife would do and rang The Turk who immediately jumped in the car and arrived for the battle.  She told him that we had no right to build on her land (it was in fact the family’s land) and that we are definitely in the wrong.  Before I knew what was happening The Turk was wielding the piece of pipe like a club and was ready to thump her with it.  In the meantime she continued to call him names and that was it.  Usually I don’t need to involve myself in The Turk’s battles.  Usually I sit back to enjoy the show but today I had had enough.  I informed her (again in my usual crappy Turkish) that we were no longer family.  She then called me a name that I will not repeat which starts with an “O” and ends with a “U” but for those of you who do not speak Turkish you would call that person a “lady of the night”.

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Oh no she didn’t! Oh yes she did!  YES SHE DID!!!  I flew at her.  Literally.  Jumped the small concrete fence between our two properties and wound my arm back ready to punch her in the face when The Turk grabbed me and held on tight.  Didn’t stop me though.  I become incredibly strong when I am angry.  I could flip a frigging car if I had to.  Anyway I’m still ready for a smack down so Vito had to grab my other arm and together they hauled me away kicking and screaming.

The neighbours were watching, in fact they had never seen me lose my shit so a few of them came down to watch. Brought popcorn.  And folding chairs.

I then grabbed my garbage bin and threw it on her.  Told her to wear it with pride.  Like the princess that she is.  And I walked away.

Mike drop.  BOOM!

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My Hurley Dog is an asshole!

The first thing I do in the morning is take My Hurley Dog outside so he can “do his business”.  This should take no more than 5 minutes – 10 minutes tops – but some mornings this Sydney born and bred poodle/bichon frise can get mighty sidetracked by the tiniest thing and his morning poop or wiz can become a battle of wills.

DSC09986.JPGI can damn well assure you that if I had waited for 9 hours to take a wiz the first thing I would want to do once that opportunity was available to me is, well, take that wiz.  Not chase a cat.  Not tease the neighbour’s Rottweiler which I am pretty sure goes a little like this: “you’re on a chain and I’m not.  Nanananana”.  Not minutely examine a random bone that has appeared as if by miracle in your eye sight and certainly not attempt to terminate a passing chicken (I will admit I am responsible for his assassin programming to take out any chicken).  I would wiz!  Or poop!  Or damn it I would do both!!

And even when he does finally go wiz he has the ability to cause me more grief than not.  Wizzing on fresh maydanoz or nane waiting to go to market, wizzing on the abovementioned Rottweiler who chooses to behave above his uncouth neighbour or perhaps walking up as casual as can be to Vito and aiming his wiz right on his foot!

A walk with My Hurley Dog is a pain in the ass too.  It’s the equivalent of letting a drunk toddler out on the street.  Having said that I should point out that I have never seen a drunk toddler on the street although I imagine if I had seen a drunk toddler on the street I would probably call social services.  Anyway like a toddler (drunk or not) My Hurley Dog’s behaviour while on a village walk is borderline bat shit crazy.  There are too many insane things going on around him so the opportunity for sniffing, tasting, regurgitating or just generally checking it out means that a walk can go on much longer than it really should.  He darts here and there.  He pees, like, 8 million times.  He chases random cats, dogs, birds, goats, humans.  He barks at the sky.  He harrasses the guard dogs at a nearby business and then strolls away while they lose their minds.  He has been known to run through the maydanoz or nane with abandon while neighbourhood women are trying to harvest for market which causes lots of squeals and “Yapma!” as he passes by.  And I’ve mentioned before his love of all things shit related.  Horse shit.  Goat shit.  Other dog shit. General shit.  Shit!!!!  Anyway it all comes down to asshole behaviour.

I blame The Turk for My Hurley Dog’s lack of social skills.  Pre-village he was a very well behaved little mutt but since moving half way around the world all of his expensive training seems to have been left on the tarmac at Sydney International Airport while his prima donna behaviour is rewarded by The Turk instead of reprimanded.

One of The Turk ways of rewarding My Hurley Dog is that he has started taking him to the beach for a Daddy/Doggy day.  I swear to God this is a thing they do together.  They wander down the beach together.  They might go on a fishing boat and nab a few fish.  Together.  They stop by the çay evi on the way home for çay.  Together.  He doesn’t take Daughter to the beach.  He doesn’t take me to the beach but he does take the fecking dog to the beach.  Last night The Turk told me I resent My Hurley Dog.  He told me I was jealous of their relationship.  Daughter says that he might be onto something but I think they whole lot of them have lost their freaking minds!

Reading this back I have come to the realisation that My Hurley Dog is a spoilt asshole who needs to learn some manners.  Kinda like The Turk.  On occasion anyway.

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Lemon of Troy

“And, with that, a mighty cheer went up from the heroes of Shelbyville. They had banished the awful lemon tree forever…because it was haunted. Now, let’s all celebrate with a cool glass of turnip juice.”

Strong words from the Shelbyville elder but here in Turkiye a cool glass of şalgam suyu really is just the thing to fix what ails ya!

Simpsons turnip

Let me tell you last night I visited a neighbour’s house and, after some discussion about my recent illness, I found myself being served rakı along with a large glass of şalgam suyu (turnip juice).  The look on The Turk’s face was priceless.  He knew I was going to have difficulty chugging both of these drinks down but chug them down I did because it would be considered rude to not do so.  I can see why they are served together.  The strong anise flavour of the rakı very much complimented the overly salty salgam but for me together or separate both drinks are very much hard for me to swallow.

Turnip Juice?  Seriously?

Yes indeed folks, although it is called şalgam suyu this little concoction is more correctly made with fermented carrots (yes I said that) as well as water, salt and bulgur flour.  Don’t get me wrong there is also turnip in the mix but it is only a very small amount.  During summer there are vendor’s all over Çarşı selling this famous concoction (which actually originates from the Mersin/Adana/Hatay region) and you know they are there before you see them by his unique music made by tapping the ladles to his own beat and singing at the top of his lungs.

In fact Adana even goes so far as to have a festival in honour of the wonderous şalgam.  The Adana Kebap ve Şalgam Festival, emerged from the tradition of enjoying kebab, with liver, şalgam and rakı. Originally it was called the Adana Rakı Festival but organisers had to change the name because of pressure from conservative anti-alcohol groups who wanted the Festival cancelled.

You can practically insert Mrs Lovejoy’s shrieks here, “But what about the children?!”

Oh and for those who want to know.  It is apparently good for you with vitamin B, potassium, calcium and iron.  It will help you lose weight, relieve stress and is an aphrodisiac.

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I’m not sure if I will partake in a rakışalgam suyu throwdown again anytime soon but methinks this might be more to the stellar hangover than the freaky taste sensation.

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Playing Catch Up

I just typed “May is finally here” into my Google search engine and it suggested to me to finish that sentence with “and dogs are finally celebrating”.  I have to wonder why dogs are celebrating.  Do they have a full social calendar in May?  Is there some doggy get together I know nothing about where they are free to pee on trees, sniff each other’s butts and drink too much doggy vino from toilet bowls?  Bilmiyorum.

As expected this post has started waayyyy off track so in order to bring it back to Mersin and Türkiye I will start again.

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May is finally here in Mersin and the weather has begun to resemble an ‘80’s mix tape.  Those of you who are old enough *cough, cough* to remember the mix tape will no doubt have fond memories of hours sitting by their radio/cassette player waiting patiently for their favourite songs to come on.  For me it was Rick Astley, Toni Basil and, of course, Wham!  *hangs head in shame* so a Janey mix tape would give you a pretty crazy mix of music and that is what the weather is like right now (which was the analogy I was attempting at the outset of this post).  Oh and for you younger generation who are scratching their head at my ridiculous analogy think of an ’80’s mix tape as the equivalent of your iPod on shuffle.  Up to speed?  Okay!

It is deliciously warm though.  Not hot enough to say we’ve finally hit summer but definitely hot enough to hit the beach, well if you are yabancı anyway.  And hitting the beach is great right now because they are practically empty except for that one random Türk who you can never seem to get rid of.  He will infiltrate your group, drink your beer and play with your children before stripping off to his not so tightey whiteys and practically flash his soggy old Johnson in your face.

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But, like an ‘80’s mix tape or a shuffling iPod (yes like a dealer I am still pushing that old analogy), you just don’t know what’s coming up next and, in the blink of an eye, your sunshiny beach days are gone and you find yourself running for cover and hoping that a freaking house doesn’t fall on you and some smarmly little brunette runs off with your ruby slippers!

In the meantime our fruit trees have started to bear fruit and we have nectarine, apricots and peach (please don’t call it piç) in abundance as well as buckets full of mulberries.  The mulberry tree actually belongs to our elderly neighbours (no not Crazy Eyes) who are not so steady on their feet so The Turk and I happily fill bucket after bucket of mulberries for them before wandering around the village offering the berries to anyone who is willing to take them off our hands.  I’m telling you this mulberry tree is a reincarnation of The Magic Pudding and gives a never ending supply!  The Turk and BIL carried 5 buckets of mulberries to the school yesterday and gave them to the kids there.  When I went to the school last night with My Hurley Dog for his evening constitutional there were squashed mulberries everywhere (and I bet many of the kiddies went home with stained mulberry shirts as well).  I suspect The Turk won’t be as welcome with the buckets of fruit next time.

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Speaking of Crazy Eyes my nemesis has been neutralized.  In an operation that was more dangerous than “Neptune Spear” my nemesis was captured and was giving a full Viking funeral aka he became mangal.  Crazy Eyes didn’t really care either.  I think she was probably happy to have a decent night’s sleep too and if I can be honest her eyes seem less crazy today.  No, no, don’t thank me Crazy Eyes.  I’m happy to be of help.

Speaking of mangal The Turk took Vito’s Rottweiler for a walk the other day and they came across a goat herder tending his flock.  The Rottweiler went into launch mode and, well, let’s just say that money had to change hands to sweep this particular incident under the table and leave it at that … oh and we had mangal then as well!

I know I have been particularly slack with updating you on my weekly dramas.  I guess I have become immune to the chaos here now.  I don’t bat an eyelid at my foghorn SIL screaming from her window at someone – anyone – below and I just laugh when I witness what will no doubt become WWIII between The Turk and his brother or The Turk and the neighbours or the neighbours and some random or, well just about anyone and anything.

Until next time …

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