After The Fall

It wasn’t really a fall, it was more of a complete transformation of a mild mannered *cough, cough* Aussie chick into a fully functioning, homicidal maniac but I must say I felt better getting it off my chest and I want to give all you guys a shout out as well.  So many of you wrote to me and told me your horror stories living here in Türkiye (and elsewhere) making mine seem perhaps a tad absurd but also giving me the strength to face a new day.

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I haven’t always been honest about how I was feeling mostly because I didn’t want to sound like I was complaining.  For many of us there is a romanticism to living in Türkiye.  I get that.  So many people say how lucky we are and how they would love to do it too.  Sure, we are very lucky – we chose this life but it isn’t always easy.

When I self-analyse my meltdown (thank you Google) I think it mostly stems from a depression that snuck up on me, so quietly that I didn’t even realise it until it swallowed me whole.  I had an inkling back in January that there was something askew while I was having a long weekend in London.  I caught up with my bestie who lives there and spent much of the day in tears.

Up front I don’t consider myself someone who gets depressed easily.  I am pretty chill and I think most people who know me would agree however since my knee operation and its very, VERY slow recovery I found myself becoming increasing depressed which has been magnified by the fact that I am living in a country that doesn’t really take its mental health all that seriously (as it fecking should)!

Putting aside Türkiye’nin domestic and regional tensions an expat here is also contending with bureaucratic bungles, visa issues, cultural differences, language barriers – ugh the list goes on – but all of this has the potential to send even the sanest among us kicking and screaming to the looney bin.  The simplest of tasks become untenable and, as an expat, it’s hard to make people understand that you feel lost and need help.

For me personally I find that, despite being surrounded by family ALL THE TIME, I still feel isolated and unsupported and very much alone.  I would lock myself in my bedroom and cry and cry.  I really started to resent the family, not just The Turk and Daughter, but the extended re-mix of family that lives within spitting distance.  I missed my privacy.  I can’t walk around naked (I would never walk around naked but now I don’t even have that option).  Cooking a meal requires every pot and pan in the house and for feck’s sake why do they all have to YELL????  ALL THE TIME???  It rattles me.  A family dinner is exhausting and takes me days to recover.  A bayram is my personal hell with family coming in from other cities to add to the chaos.  I’m getting the sweats just thinking about it.

The Turk isn’t really as supportive or sympathetic as he should be.  I think growing up in the Village he has seen it all and his mindset is to ignore the problem and it will go away.  Daughter is a hormonal teenager off doing her own thing and I often go days getting little more than a grunt from her as she passes me in the hallway.  So it’s just me.  Alone.  And being alone can be scary.

But what I DO know about me is this I am, in fact, one badass bitch!  I am fecking sensational!  I am Sensational Janey (such moniker given to me by an equally sensational Turk) and I am part of a group of Sensational Bad-Ass Bitches who navigate life here in Mersin.

Now I’m taking it one day at a time.  I find something positive and I run with it.  I went to the pazar in Menderes this week (it is seriously the best pazar in Mersin).  I spent much more than I had anticipated (tomatoes were surprisingly expensive with 4kg setting me back 18TL) followed by a delicious yogurt tantuni with one of the Bad-Ass Bitches that live here.  I am really pushing myself to walk again to build strength back in my legs and to improve my health generally and finally, I am back to writing, which I have always found to be very cathartic.

Oh and I have wine.  A LOT of wine!

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#First World Problems

Daughter and I have been in Sydney for the past 6 weeks as well as a sneaky side trip to Bali with a few of my girlfriends so I have been MIA in case you hadn’t noticed (what do you mean you didn’t notice???).

While Down Under I got to spend desperately needed time with many, but not all, of my most beloved peeps (and purchased some desperately needed bras – my boobs are back in the Northern Hemisphere again) and Daughter also got to have a few catch ups, again stalked members of 5SOS and even went to see The 1975 in concert.  Sydney was definitely a win/win sitch for both of us (although Calum from 5SOS is still playing hard to get).

Bali 1Now we are back in my Türkiye and back in the Village I find that things haven’t changed.  At all.

Of course I am aware that Türkiye was on the news while I was away.  As an early riser I had the news on and was watching the ‘incident’ as it happened.  (I will call it an incident however I won’t make any further reference to it due to the current political climate here).

“Holy Shit!” said I.

“Don’t go back!” said most, if not all, of my acquaintances back in Sydney.

Coming back home I admit was a little nervous but now that I am here and have been out and about I can say that in the Village and in the city of Mersin nothing has changed.  The sun is still shining, people are going about their business and life goes on oh and The Turk actually didn’t know that the ‘incident’ had taken place.  Slept through the whole thing.  And before you Negative Nelly’s start banging on at me yes I know that Mersin is not Istanbul and that there are continued protests there as well as other cities including Ankara but, just in case you didn’t realise, this is a blog about living in Mersin.

Anyway after staring at the television for hours I realised that something that was so huge in Türkiye and that held such huge ramifications for this country as well as the rest of the world it was merely a ripple in the pond in Australia (and possibly other countries) and was only getting about 7 minutes of airtime with the Australian media.   I should just stress at this point that the home that I was staying at only had free to air television – in fact I didn’t even get to see the finale to Game of Thrones until I got home!  #FirstWorldProblems

Everybody-Loses-Their-Mind-GoTAustralia had a general election during my time Down Under and so I did my civic duty and cast my vote.  I actually received a fine for not voting in the last election although on checking with the Consulate here in Türkiye I found out there was in fact nowhere to cast your vote unless you did it by post.  Have you ever tried to send mail from Türkiye?  Has it ever arrived or did it take 6 months?  I betcha that if I had done the postal vote in the last election my solitary postal vote would have been crucial in stopping that tosser Abbott getting elected!  And did you know that this is like the 50th freaking election since 2010 – not really – but it sure seems like it.  I mean Australia change leaders like others change their undies!  #FirstWorldProblems

I took Daughter to the hairdresser in Sydney.  Now, back in Mersin a trip to the hairdresser including a wash and blow dry will set you back 9TL or AU$5 (the price has gone up in our absence).  In Sydney a wash and blow dry at a suburban hairdresser set us back AU$60 or approximately 120TL!!!  #FirstWorldProblems

I made potato kofte for dinner for a friend and after a quick trip to the local supermarket I realised that Türkiye beats Australia hands down on the cost and the quality of the fresh produce available.  Of course here in Türkiye fruit and vegetables are seasonal but after I paid AU$3 or 6TL for one (rather crummy) bunch of maydanoz (parsley) I realised just how great I really have it here.  I couldn’t even get my hands on any nane (mint) either!  I mean WTF??  It’s mint for feck sake.  Here it’s growing on every freaking street corner.  I think back to when we lived in Sydney and we always had mint on hand.  Of course The Turk would grow his own.  Duh! #FirstWorldProblems

Although Australia did win hand over fist time and time again.  Electricity is abundant as is fresh drinking water.  I had only been home in Mersin a few days when the electricity was cut and the water disappeared from our pipes.  It took 2 days for the water to come back but the electricity did crank up again pretty quickly (and a good thing too with the current temperatures here in Mersin hitting mid-40’s (that’s Celsius to you freaking Americans) on a regular basis.  Sidenote – Daughter just stuck her head out the door and asked me “When’s it winter?”  LMAO! #SydneyoverMersin

The traffic back in Sydney is as always a dream to navigate although peak hour did my head in on more than one occasion.  I love that the speed limit isn’t just a suggestion and I seriously don’t think I heard a car horn during our whole time there!  #SydneyoverMersin

Of course the biggest drawcard and the one thing that I can’t replicate in Mersin is bacon.  Sydney has bacon.  A lot of bacon.  And I ate it all!  #SydneyoverFECKINGMersin

bacon 1So now that I’m back I will probably be back to whinging about all and sundry and hating this and that again but right now I will just say that I’m glad to be home.

Oh and yes I was playing with hashtags.  They are stupid and I hate them.  I vow this day to never use them again!

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What would you do?

The rather morbid question was put to me yesterday which made me stop for a moment and think … just a little bit.  I love it in Mersin.  I really do.  I’ve got some great friends and am surrounded by some great family (*cough, cough*) but … BUT …

“what would I do if (if???) The Turk passed away?”

Interesting.  What would I do?

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I am not talking about legalities and all the rest of it.  Having worked in the legal field for 25+ years I’ve got a pretty good grasp of the law both in Australia and in Türkiye regarding the death of a spouse.  Yes we both have Wills.  Yes, both here and in Australia.  Do you have one?  If not you should.  Also all of our properties here in Türkiye are in both names as are our bank accounts.  Are yours?  If not, they should be.  It is not unusual for a Will to be challenged by family members so better to be safe than sorry.  Of course it won’t happen to you … but just in case.

Back in Oz I was extremely independent.  I looked after myself and didn’t need to rely on others for assistance but here everything is difficult.  How would I cope with the day to day crap that goes on here?  I may be a Türk citizen but Türkiye is not my original homeland and my Türk language skills are way below par.  But even my lost independence and language issue is not my real concern.  My real concern – my only concern – is Daughter and when it comes down to it, Daughter is happy here.

Would I uproot Daughter again unnecessarily?  Probably not.

Would I move to perhaps a more yabancı friendly area?  Tempting, but no.

Would I date?  Feck no (unless Brad Pitt tossed that skinny, lippy brunette).

Would I move back to Australia after Daughter has grown up (married Calum Hood) and moved on with her own life?  In a heartbeat!

So I guess that’s my answer.  For now.  But here’s hoping that I don’t really need to think about this for a while at least.

When discussed with The Turk last night his reply was akin to the great Mr Bennett (you know how I love to quote Pride and Prejudice):

My dear, do not give way to such gloomy thoughts. Let us hope for better things. Let us flatter ourselves, that I might outlive you.”

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Ho Ho Ho!

It’s just after midnight here in Mersin which means today is Christmas Eve.  Santa has already given me my Christmas present as on Wednesday I was given the all clear from the doctor and could get out of the house and frantically finish (read that as ‘start’) my Christmas shopping.

Thanks to social media I know that back home in Oz friends are indulging in some early celebrations with photos at packed beaches, parties on Sydney Harbour, leisurely lunches and generally having a merry old time.  They are frantically hitting the shops to buy their prawns and oysters, as well as mangoes and avocados all in readiness for their Christmas celebration whether it will be at the beach or by the pool or even a barbie in the backyard.  Ah Sydney – I can dream can’t I?

Christmas in Sydney

Here in Mersin, Christmas has been a pretty low key affair; in fact the last few years have been positively depressing.  On our actual first Christmas Day here I made a huge fuss and arranged a full Christmas lunch for the family with presents for everyone.  Unfortunately none of them came because, well, it was just Wednesday to them (plus most of them work and were unable to take a day off).  Having learned my lesson last year The Turk took Daughter and I out for lunch which was nice but not really special or Christmassy at all.

This year, however, I am excited at the prospect of Christmas Day as I have been invited to a friend’s house for lunch.  I am told, however, that calling tomorrow ‘Christmas lunch’ is not giving justice to the day or the meal for that matter.  This is no mere Christmas lunch; this will be a Christmas extravaganza.  There will be pork, and bacon (Eeekkk!).  There will be turkey (yes haha turkey in Turkey – hilarious).  There will be prawns.  There will be gravy and oodles of vegetables, and sugary biscuits and lots of Gluehwein.  There will be something called an Eton Mess and finally there will also be ox tongue (I’m not really sure what to say about that but it’s apparently a tradition).  This will not be a mere lunch either.  This is an all day, into the night and with the possibility of continuing into Boxing Day spectacular.  I am thinking of wearing my tracksuit pants as they are stretchy enough to sustain themselves throughout what will no doubt be a wonderful day full of great friends, lots of laughter and waaayyy too much food.

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To all of you who follow my ridiculous antics here in Mersin I say thank you and may all your Christmas wishes come true.

See you in 2016!  2016???  Crikey!

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Waiting for the Tulips to Bloom

These days you will find me on my terrace soaking in the last rays of sunshine before the grey of Mersin’s winter takes over.  I will no doubt have a cup of çay (sorry guys it’s not particularly Türk – white with two sugar) and, depending on the time of day, perhaps a biscuit (or two) to tide me over until akşam yemeği (dinner).  Basking in the sunshine is also the perfect time for me to catch up on my reading.

Tulips

As a blogger I am always on the hunt for fellow bloggers and writers that live in Türkiye, telling their own anecdotes of life, love and the numerous catastrophes that befall them living in this crazy country.  One of my favourite’s is fellow Aussie, Lisa Morrow, with her blog insideoutinIstanbul.  Her blog is filled with tales and photographs of her life living in one of the most incredible cities on earth – İstanbul – so when I received a copy of her most recent book, Waiting for the Tulips to Bloom, I knew that I needed to find a comfy spot in the sun where I would no doubt be entrenched until I had finished the very last line.

Lisa’s descriptive style captures the sights, sounds and even the smells (remind me to never catch the no. 2 bus with her) of modern day İstanbul, giving me, the reader, not only a personal tour of her favourite haunts but drawing me in with little known stories of what is, without doubt, one of the most amazing cities in the world.  Her anecdotes of language barriers and Government bureaucracy or even her partner’s difficulties with something as simple as his name (Who?) was something that any expat living in İstanbul (or any other city for that matter) will recognise.

To quote the wonderful Molly Meldrum (I am now picturing anyone who is not Australian googling “Molly Meldrum” right now), “Do yourselves a favour”.  With the Christmas season fast approaching this will make an excellent stocking stuffer, in fact, I can think of one particular friend back in Sydney will be receiving it in the mail very soon.

Does anyone else have any recommendations for good Türk inspired reading?  With winter fast approaching it is time for me to hibernate until spring so any suggestions to help pass the time while in my self imposed exile will be greatly appreciated.

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Shiny New Expat

I met a straight off the plane, never taken out of the package, New Expat recently.  So new that she had that new car smell.  Her excitement was palpable but, unlike a case of the measles, it was not contagious and I found myself talking down the same things that I talked up when I first settled here in Mersin.

new expat

New Expat spoke of her love for her husband’s close knit family.  I found myself rolling my eyes and suggesting she should find an apartment as far away as she could get from her new extended family unless she wants them on her doorstep all day, every day.

As New Expat made cay (successfully I might add) she spoke of the more relaxed Turkish way of life.  I laughed and suggested she take a trip to the Emniyet and then let me know how she feels.

For lunch New Expat put out an impressive Turkish spread.  She explained that she had taken Turkish cooking lessons back in the UK so she could impress the in-laws.  I suggested that she might like to join a few of us for lunch at Marina in the coming weeks where we all go for our European food fix.  Her reply?  “I could eat that back at home.  I am here to eat Turkish food.”  Inwardly I groaned.  Every day.  Every day.  Every day.  Here Turkish food is just food.  Every day.

By the time I left New Expat’s shiny new home I felt like a Dementor sucking all the New Expat happiness out of her.  Will I ever see New Expat again?  Doubtful as she is probably still trying to erase my unintentional but still horrid behaviour from her memory.

Yes I have lost that glow of a new expat and what were at first little irritations are now an open sore that needs treatment – STAT!

And it is not just me that feels that stench of a jaded old expat (do we have a stench?).  One of the first people I met here when I arrived in Mersin was a school teacher from Northern Ireland who was working at one of the private schools here.  Her excitement about living in this city synced with mine and we threw ourselves into our new lives, a little scared, quite naïve but ready for a little madness.  Well that school teacher is counting down the days until the end of term.  She has had enough and is leaving Mersin to return home to Northern Ireland, happy to close the door on her time here.  Crazy Mersin has broken her.  Will she come back to Turkiye?  Yes.  Will she come back to Mersin.  Doubtful.

Yet other expats are long termers, going on 15 plus years.  Right now, today, I cannot fathom the idea of being here for another 15 years.  Please God not that long but as The Turk put it – where would you go?  Back to Australia the land of my peeps?  Yes, please, but of course I can no longer afford to live in Sydney and I certainly don’t want to return to 50 hour weeks so I would probably have to move elsewhere.  But where?  And I would be starting again.  House.  Job.  Friends.  I would be an expat in my own country.

So my question to you today is how do you keep that new car freshness living in a city that has more problems than solutions, where your opinion matters little other than perhaps an amusing anecdote to the locals?  Do you have any advice for this miserable expat? Let me know ‘cause I really need some wise words.

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The Turk in Oz

I think being a yabanci, an expat or an immigrant (call it what you will) is extremely bloody hard.  I am not going to whinge and carry on today but rather tell the tale of when The Turk first arrived in Australia all those years ago.  Let me turn the table on my usual yabanci whinge-fest and tell you all about how The Turk coped when he was the yabanci arriving on foreign soil, a stranger in a hostile land, so to speak.

Life in Australia was good for me in 2002.  Daughter was a damn good baby.  I had a job that I loved and I lived in an apartment that was all mine.  I was content and having The Turk arrive should have made my life pretty much perfect.  Shouldn’t it?

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Post 9/11 the Australian visa process was daunting but with perseverance and his sponsorship being guaranteed by an amazingly supportive friend, The Turk arrived in Sydney one sunny morning in December 2002.  Not wasting a moment The Turk hit the ground running and by the first week of January 2003 he had procured gainful employment as a storeman and packer.  He was good at his job because he wanted this job.  He didn’t love the work but he wanted this life in this strange new world to be a success.

My friends and family were welcoming and The Turk soon turned my friends into his friends although, as hard as he tried, he just wasn’t fitting in.  I knew it and he knew it.  No one spoke Turkish and Turkish people were as scarce as hen’s teeth where we lived (read that as non-existent).  No one understood what he was going through or where he was from and perhaps I was not as helpful as I could have been.  During those early years Australia was not an easy place for a Muslim and The Turk was racially discriminated against by strangers and even the police on more than one occasion.

The Turk began to drink and gamble.  I knew he liked a drink – still does – but the gambling was a problem as we did not have that much money to start with.  Was I as supportive as I could have been or help him deal with his obvious addictions?  No.  I turned on him and badmouthed him to whoever would listen.  The bright new world was slowly becoming jaded and life was becoming more difficult.

By 2006 The Turk had had enough.  This new home had beaten him and, while Turkey may not have all the bells and whistles that Australia has, he gave me an ultimatum.  Return to Turkey with him and forge a new life there.  I refused to leave and finally he packed his bags and returned to Turkey without us.

After six months in his homeland The Turk returned a new man.  Still gave me a migraine daily but at least he had fresh vigour about his life and what he hoped to achieve in Australia.  He got not just one new job but two, landscaping by day and a sous chef by night.  He was happy.  He was working his ass off, providing for his family and could hold his head up high.

He still had not made any friends however and we really had no family other than my father who had remarried.  The Turk brooded a lot and we fought a lot, until finally, after one particularly explosive argument, he broke down and told me the truth.  The real truth.

He had never really adjusted to his life in Sydney.  To Australia.  As much as he loves Australia and he loves his family and friends living in such a foreign environment was just too damn difficult.  He had no support.  He had no one who understood how he felt and Australia had slowly broken him.  Into tiny, little pieces.

Obviously we got past that dark time in our life and we stayed together.  Sure he drives me crazy but he is my Turk and I do love him.  Sometimes.

The point to my reminiscing is this – moving to a new country has so many hurdles to overcome.  There is a drama at every turn.  Renting an apartment, finding a job, obtaining your visa.  Bloody hell it is hard work.  Doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from this is a fact.

When I first arrived here in Mersin it was difficult and there were a lot of tears.  Two years later it is still difficult (and there are still tears).  So what do I do?  Do I give up?  Run home?

I can now honestly say I understand why The Turk left back in 2006.  I really do.  Mersin is no Sydney and life for me back in Australia would be so much easier.  I would have my friends.  I would return to my fantastic job working with people I adore.  Life would be grand.  So why don’t I run home?  Why is it that I am coping in this chaotic country while The Turk collapsed in the reasonable sanity that is Australia?  Simply put I have met a great group of people who I can truly call friends.  They understand just how crappy a crappy day can be here in Mersin and will laugh right along with me (or pull me back from the abyss if necessary).  This was what The Turk was missing in Australia.

To anyone who is taking the plunge in a foreign land or to those of you who have their partner moving to yours know this one thing.  Find a support system that works for you and surround yourself with people who will lift you up when needs be.  Of course social media makes finding these like-minded people that much easier (man how I wish there was FB back in 2001).  I can thank social media (and this blog) for finding my support network – they are my rock.  Yes!  You guys truly rock!

Sometimes being an Expat Sux!

I can probably count the number of close friends I have had in my life on two hands.  These are the friends that I know will be there for me through thick and thin.  They are the ones with a box of tissues or a bottle of wine and they are the ones that remind me that I can have a dream and turn it into a reality and they will be right beside me to cheer me on.  These friends, these soul mates, these are the people that I miss more than anything living here in Turkey.

Cloud 2 (1)

Sure I have The Turk’s family.  They have welcomed me with open arms but they are not my girlfriends, the ones you tell your deepest secrets to (although I think we can all agree my life is a pretty open book – or blog).  Plus that whole pesky issue of not speaking the language makes it tough to form close bonds.

With The Turk away I have become increasingly lonely and with the Daughter at school during the day I find myself mind numbly bored.  I have come to the realisation that I must actually like him (at least a little bit).  His health scare certainly scared the shit out of me and now I am just waiting for him to get the all-clear from his doctor before he can come home.

I am told that an overwhelming sense of emptiness and loneliness is normal for an expat and the waves of loneliness comes and goes leaving you either gutted or living on a high.  Being so far away from home the onset of depression can occur suddenly, the tiniest thing will set me off and when that happens the most I can hope for is to be left alone in my blackness until clarity re-sets.  I think if I lived in a more expat friendly city I would thrive but living here in Mersin it can be an incredibly hard slog.

It is my own fault you know.  Having this blog has opened up a huge window of contacts but I squandered the opportunities that I had and did not go out of my way to cultivate friendships and relationships with people.  I was always too busy and I know how difficult it can be to form friendships.  It can be a hard slog but do you know what else I have realised?  I realised that if I don’t make the effort then nothing in my life will change.  Deep I know.

So this is what I did.  I got off my ass.  I made contact with people.  Plans were made.  Dates were set and I can happily say that I now have a great little group of friends to play with.  I have learned that I am not the only one that suffers from the blues living so far away from home.  We are all missing our family and our friends.  A support system needs to be in place for us expats.  We need to be each other’s family and to step in and be that shoulder to lean on when needed.  Coffee in Carsi?  Sure.  BBQ in Yenikoy?  Definitely.  Drinks in Viransehir?  Of course!  Also I need to be friends with someone who can get me ham and yes there is such a person here in Mersin – hello Danny Boy!

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Like I said it can bloody difficult living here.

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Where For Art Thou?

As you can see it has been some time since I have blogged.  I have taken a break from me.  Janeyinmersin has had to take a back seat for the moment with real life taking over.

The Turk remains in Sydney and is still quite sick.  Last week he took another turn and ended up back in hospital.  He is feeling a lot better now – thankfully – but there have been a few sleepless nights in the past week with calls from the hospital and from friends.

I am still fluffing around waiting on either my Residence Visa (applied for in August) or my kimlik (applied for last December!).  After trips to both the Emniyet and Nufus it seems that my visa is still “processing” and my kimlik needs The Turk’s signature on something – so that’s now put off until his doctor gives him the all clear to fly.

My days have been full as well with Kurban Bayram meaning we have had a full social calendar for the past 10 days (yes Kurban Bayram may not last that long but this family do not want to stop the party).  Other than a sneaky expat night out my days has been full and my nights even fuller.  I have said it before and I will say it again – “their ain’t no party like a Turkish party ‘cause a Turkish party don’t stop!”

Back to the blog though.

tarsus mountains

Mersin really does shine during October.  Tarsus Mountains now has a light smattering of snow on their peaks and yet the days are still hot here on the plains and the sun is still shining brightly.  Late in the afternoon Mother Nature likes to throw a little crazy at us and we are hit with some magnificent storms that blow in from the sea and dump a massive amount of badly needed rain on the village.  As happy as the farmers are here in the village, I do not love the downpours quite as much.  Why?  Well firstly we lose our electricity for days on end but also due to the ridiculously bad construction of our home when the heaven’s open I find myself spending hours – literally hours – sweeping, mopping, squeegeeing, sponging and scooping the excessive rain water that as accumulated on my roof terrace towards the measly drains at each end.  I just want to add that we are not talking about a smidge of water either, we are talking about water you could bath in (well it is above my ankles in places).

I don’t really mind, I have got to be burning off some calories as I collect my rainwater and I get up there with my i-pod blasting my playlist aptly called “Sweep and Sing”.

So what is in my “Sweep and Sing” playlist.  MC Hammer told me that “You can’t touch this”, Bonnie Tyler told me to “Hold out for a Hero” and there is even some Scandal in there “The Warrior”.  I’m not some old codger either as thanks to Daughter there is a bit of Iggy Azalea telling me to “work, work, work, work, working on my shitz”.  I had a good old laugh the other day as I was up there blasting out my usual Karaoke tune “Like a Prayer” I did not notice my neighbours sitting on their balcony enjoying the show.  They called for an encore so I found myself singing a bit of “Thriller” which included the dance moves to finish off my show.  To show their appreciation my neighbour’s wife brought me a plate of hummus and home-made chilli paste.

Teşekkür ederim!

I promise my blog posts will be a little more regular over the coming weeks.  Life has returned to some form of Turkish normalcy and I am back to my over-opinionated, now brunette self.  For proof of life I can usually be found sitting on my terrace enjoying the late afternoon rays and a glass of red.

DSC00802

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The Turkish Moustache

With The Turk currently Down Under having something akin to a heart attack I sit here in Mersin thinking about what could have been.  Not with him – I know how that story goes – but with other, more glorious, men.  I think we have already sufficiently covered my Brad Pitt fantasies.  I also have had similar fantasies with Liam Neeson and, OK look, I am going to admit it, Sean Connery.  I know he is old enough to be my father but damn “Sir” you are still fine!

With all this spare time and taking into account the fact that Brad is newly married to my nemesis, Liam is no doubt still grieving the loss of his gorgeous wife and, well, I think I need to pass on Sir Sean (unless you are reading this Sir Sean then “I’m willing if you are”), I decided to do some research on hot Turkish men.  Actors or musicians, after all I do live in Turkey and need to start being slightly patriotic (although admittedly the men mentioned above are not Aussie).  As an afterthought but certainly no less smashing I shall now mention Hugh Jackman and will also throw my hat into the ring for one of those young, delicious Hemsworth boys.

After making my decision to undertake this important research to bring you, my dear readers, the hard (cough, cough) facts, I set forth on this tough assignment by doing a Google search on “hot Turkish men”.  The search engine gave me 4.8 million results.  Hmm I was no doubt going to be very busy.  I then got side tracked and found myself doing a Google search on Brad Pitt.  This brought up 6.9 million results.  “Stop it Janey!  Back to the task at hand!”

I want to start by saying that I definitely have a type.  I like a man that is dark (well duh!), rocks facial hair and works well with his hands.  I should have an abundance of choice here in Turkey then shouldn’t I?  But I find myself in a bit of a dilemma.  The question that has given me many a sleepless night (not true) is this – what happens when you put a moustache on a hot guy?  I will tell you.  That hottie turns into a nottie!

exhibit a

Meet Ibrahim Celikkol.  Hottie right?  Yes please.  He is an actor who has starred in many television shows over here in Turkey but what happens when you put a moustache on this hottie?  1970’s porn star!  This guy is obviously an amazing actor or is paid a lot of money to sport that particular mo’!

Exhibit B

Burak Özçivit.  Again Wowza!  Young, handsome, great hair!  He reminds me a little of A.C. Slater but put a moustache on that mug and what have you got?  Freddie Mercury’s much younger cousin.

exhibit c

Look at the brooding hotness of Murat Ünalmış.  And then throw not just a mo’ but a full fledged beard on this hottie and he turns into what?  He looks like the guy that I brought my tomatoes from this morning.  Hold on, I think it is the guy I brought my tomatoes from this morning!

Last one I promise

exhibit d

How about Tolga Karel.  I think he is a reality tv star here.  Survivor or something.  Good looking guy.  Then there is his mo’ shot –this is a professional photograph.  He chose to rock that mo’ and undo the buttons on his denim shirt (do people still wear denim shirts?).  His stylist dropped the ball on this one folks.

The list keeps going.  As I said I am a big fan of facial hair but here in Turkey the moustache must be a sign of power, of virility, manly men undertaking manly tasks sporting manly, man hair.  Honestly they are all sporting the whisker here.  Someone please write to Gillette and ask for, like, 10 million free samples of their best blade.  That should be a good start to ridding Turkey of this evil appendix to the hot Turkish man.

Just to prove that it’s not just a Turkish male that cannot pull of the mo’ here are photos of my Brad, Liam and Sean rocking the mo’.  Brad – so wrong it’s not even right, Liam – there were some bad photos but then I can’t do that to my Liam and, finally, Sir Sean – a mo and a turtleneck.  Help me please.

rocking the mo

There are some honourable mentions though in the hot Turkish men Google search.  Starting with Kivanç Tatlitug.  Seriously, I could not find a bad photo of this guy.  Is it just me or does he remind you of a Turkish Brad Pitt.  Building up a sweat with this one.

Honourable mention Kivanç Tatlitug

How about Caglar Ertugrul?  He could be Jake Gyllenhaal’s long lost brother.

honourable mention Caglar Ertugrul

Come on people.  Give me some names.  I am happy to do the research for you guys, to bring you the best of the best to drool over but I am going to need somewhere to start.  But he has to be hotter than Kivanç Tatlitug.

hottie Kivanç Tatlitug package

Just putting that out in the universe.

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