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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As easy as “bir, iki, üç”

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.

alfabex

Ummm …

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.

A Smile

Each morning at a little after 7, whether it is rain, or hail, or shine, I watch a little old lady passes by my front door.  I do not know her name, I do not know where she lives, all I know is that our front door forms part of her morning constitutional.

When I see her I always smile and call out, “Gunaydin”.  She has never acknowledged me.  She has never wished me a good morning or even glanced in my direction, she merely makes her way past my front door as part of her usual morning routine.  She walks slowly but with purpose. Some mornings I see she is walking with difficulty but today I noticed she has a new appendage to help her on her constitution – a cane.  She seemed a little more sure of her step this morning but she still did not wish me a good morning when I waved at her from my terrace.

It is difficult to win over the old ladies in the village.  After their initial curiosity of the yabanci amongst them I have generally been ignored.  A few teyzer will say good morning and one or two of them will even ask me to join them for çay but on a whole I am left alone these days.  That suits me fine.  I am happy in my solitude and it gives me more time to write.

I do wonder, however, what I have to do to win this little lady over.  A smile, that is all I am asking for.  Maybe tomorrow.

DSC03407

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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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The Inquisition

I currently have a two tier problem here in Mersin.  My second problem stems from my first problem not being finalised.

Welcome

When The Turk arrived in Mersin late last year we immediately lodged documentation pertaining to my citizenship application.  There was a lot of trips to various Government offices,  more perilous than trekking across the Sahara Desert or more difficult than reaching the summit of Everest.  There was a lot of paperwork including – current passport (easy), medical certificate (bir şey olmaz – no problem), 4 passport photos (heads up peeps you should always have at least a dozen passport photos on hand – you will go through them like tissues), completed application (done), marriage certificate (translated into Turkish of course), confirmation of residency (hello I am here thus I am a resident) and the doozy – Certificate of ability to speak Turkish (WHAT????).  That last one I thought we had gotten away with as The Turk and I had been called in for an interview at the Emniyet a couple of weeks after lodgment of the documents.  The interviewer asked a few very simple questions and I answered with a yes or no (evet / yok).  I was then fingerprinted, they did a police check (they never did find out about that international jewel heist I was involved with – shush) and they arrived unannounced at our home to ensure that The Turk and I were in a real relationship.  They found me sitting out the front on the road in my pajamas waiting for My Hurley Dog to do a poop.  You don’t get any more real than that folks!

Fast forward to last week and I began hassling The Turk that we should chase up my citizenship before he disappears to Sydney next month.  Good idea!  We arrived at the Emniyet to find that nothing had been done to move my application forward since last December!  WTF???  Which brings me to my next problem – the expiration of my residency visa but I am jumping ahead of myself here.  Bir dakika (one minute).

This morning The Turk got a call from the Polis requiring my immediate attendance at their office in Yumuktepe.  Incidentally I had been to the suburb of Yumuktepe before as there is a ruin mound there and as a lover of history I wanted to get a gander at it.  This mound reveals a Neolithic settlement which continued up to the Middle Ages.  Like the Gözlükule Tumulus in Tarsus this one is located in a park and there really is nota lot to see however it has 23 levels of occupation dating from 6300BC which, for the geek in me, is really interesting!  I know I have gotten off topic but as a history buff this is really interesting stuff!

Anyway The Turk and I jumped and after I directed the taksi driver as he had no clue where to go we made it to the meeting out of breath and sweating.  I assumed that this was the final formality to approve my citizenship.  I did not know what it would be but I bet it was going to be simple.  Nope.  It was THE INTERVIEW.

I think this post should actually be re-named The Interview From Hell because that is what it was.  I was seated in a room underneath the Polis station where I could clearly see straight into the cells.  As I waited for the interviewer to arrive I curiously scoped out the two people in the cells opposite.  There was the buxom blonde with waaayyy too much makeup directly opposite me as well as another man to her left who was babbling loudly in a language that was not Turkish but I could not tell you what language it was or even if it was a language.  The woman, we found out, was Russian and had overstayed her visa.  Gulp!

The Turk was asked to wait outside and the interviewer proceeded to ask me a butt load of questions – in Turkish – and then write copious amounts of notes when I could not answer the question correctly.  Tears!  I was welling up and had never wanted The Turk beside me more than I did at that moment.

For those of you who are going to go through this in the coming months the questions were pretty much the following:

Where do you live?  I don’t know the address but I know how to get there.  I know which dolmus.  I can explain it to a taksi driver but right now, with you staring at me like I should be in a cell next to the Russian I cannot answer you and certainly I cannot answer you in Turkish.

Where do you like to go in Mersin (insert your own city or town here)?  Ummm?  Ne???

How is your mother and father? ölü.

Do you have any brothers or sisters?  If so how many?  Do you like your brother or sister?  Jeeze how would I explain the crazy that is my family?  Is adoption even a word in Turkish?  Regardless I cannot answer with the Russian smiling a gummy smile at me through bright pink lips.  Pass.

Does your husband (or wife) have any brothers or sisters?  If so, how many?  Yes but I truly had no idea what you were saying.  Pass.

How is his mother and father?  Pass.  His father doesn’t like my cooking.  In English.

Do you like living in Mersin?  Evet.

How old are you?  44 (using my hands).

How long have you been married?  On iki yil (that one I had).

Do you have any children?  Evet.  Bir.  (I am acing this part of the interview).

How many bedrooms in your house?  Huh?  Oh yes I know this one – üç.

What is your address in (enter your place of birth or last known residence)?  I wrote this as he shook his head in mirth at my attempted answer.

Each of these questions were mixed up so he would ask me a question about my family and then asked how many bedrooms we had in our house.  My brain was still trying to translate the last answer when the next question was being shot at me.  It was horrendeous.  It was the Inquisition.  In fact that should be the name of this post The Inquisition!

I failed.  Miserably.

The interviewer was basically laughing.  The Russian visa over-stayer with too much makeup was watching me from her cell and she was laughing.  She said something in Turkish (much better than me of course) and the interviewer shushed her.  The other man in the cell opposite was giggling but I feel this was more in reply to the dust bunny in the corner of his cell.

This was a disaster.

The Interviewer called The Turk into the room and said that I would have another interview with the Vali (Governor) in 4 weeks.  Hold on!  The Turk is leaving for Australia in 3 weeks!  Can we have it before he leaves?  No.

Feck My Life!

In the interim my residency visa has now expired and I have a mere 15 days before I have to either renew or leave the country.  This was the second part of my problem.

The residency requirements have changed in the past year.  Most people (including myself) was well aware of the changes but to be honest I did not think I would still be waiting for my citizenship 10 months down the track so did not look into the visa issue.  Now it was pressing and I am swiftly running out of time.  Needed for my residency application was the following – translated copy of passport (jeeze really?), valid health insurance for the length of my residency (1 year approximately 1000TL), five passport photos (told you to keep them handy), proof of address (more difficult than you would think as I do not have any correspondence that gives my address and the Nufus will not include me in their documents until I have a kimlik which of course I cannot get until I get citizenship – the epitome of a vicious circle), copy of your tapu or your residential agreement, bank statement ensuring that you have enough funds to cover your stay and your tax number.  Easy right?  Ummm . . .

I did not even have a Turkish bank account!  So after spending the next 3 days running around and not having a breakdown after the Spanish Inquisition took place today I hope to be applying for a further 12 month residency visa tomorrow.

If they give me any grief there is a small possibility that I will go postal.  Keep an eye out on your local news channel.  If they start talking about an Australian going crazy in Mersin, well, that will be me!

Elektrik ve sürprizler

The good people of Icel are not sharing nicely and now it seems we are running out of electricity.  I am not sure how a city (or in this case a province) runs out of electricity but in order to control the said good people of Icel (and maybe to teach them a lesson in sharing) they have all been put in the naughty corner by the local Electric Company who has decided to switch off the electricity to teach everyone a lesson (although they are calling it maintenance).  

Not only are they switching it off in the middle of summer they are switching it off in the middle of the day so for the next week (with the expected weekly average of 35 degree – that’s 90 degrees for readers in the US – in temperature) the electricity will be turned off for a period of 4 hours each day between the hours of 9 to 5.  You don’t know when.  It will be a surprise. 

elektrik

Speaking of surprises I find that my house is a revolving door.  There is always people coming and going.  Family, friends, neighbours.  It can get on your last nerve when you hear the door bell (which is an annoying tune of Greensleeves) constantly blasting.  Last night we had Kemal’s aunt visit and then a cousin.  Then his sister in law, brother and their two kids showed up.  His elder brother popped up to give me some paperwork (for my fiasco of a residency visa application) and finally . . . it was quiet.  When suddenly that damn doorbell rang again!  Enough!

“Kim o?” (“Who is it?) 

Again.  “Kim o?”

Nothing.  I have had enough.  I put on my shoes and stomp down the stairs to give the visitor the death stare when . . . sürpriz!  A friend and her family visiting from the UK.  Wow!  They are staying in the village with her husband’s family for the next two weeks!  I can honestly say I have never been so happy to see someone.  Not only does it mean I am not the only yabanci in the village it also means there is someone with possibly even less Turkish in the village than me!  Win, win!

They are coming for a BBQ tonight which will be amazing of course but I warned her “Don’t ring the door bell.  Knock on the door!”

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Presidential Election

Today Turkey will be heavily featured in the international news for its historic first Presidential election.  For the first time ordinary people will decide on a post that is normally chosen by parliament.

erdogan

There are three contenders for this position.  Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and Selahattin Demirtas.  Erdogan is, of course, the current Prime Minister of the country and will no doubt win this election today as well.  Why?  Well he is the face that people see every day in newspapers, on television.  The Turk said to me that for him Erdogan is the leader of a cult which has smothered democracy.  A rock star if you will.  He is adored by his followers and his smooth talking can turn even the most hardened head.  Erdogan has allowed religion and politics to mix and that’s not on in The Turk’s mind.  The other two contenders Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and Selahattin Demirtas really do not have the power to pull in the numbers that Erdogan has.  Ihsanoglu was previously the leader of the International Islamic Organisation so really isn’t that well known here in Turkey.  Selahattin Demirtas is a young Kurdish hopeful but, as Turkey was at war with the minority Kurdish only a few years ago, the fact that he is running at all is a milestone for the country I think.

So what will happen from here?  Probably nothing.  Erdogan will move into the presidential position, one of his flunkies will move into the position of Prime Minister and life will go on.  His control will continue, his opinions will be flaunted (Israel and foreign interests) sometimes to the detriment of the country but for me as a yabanci living in Turkey I just hope that Turkey continues to be a safe home for me and my family.  We will see.

The Return

Daughter and I have finally settled back in from our holiday in Australia.  Visiting Australia.  I was a visitor, a tourist if you must, visiting the place of my birth and what I have learnt from this visit?  I learnt that Sydney and Australia is a fecking beaut place to live.

SHB

Mother nature did us a major and the weather was sensational.  It didn’t rain.  It didn’t even think about raining.  Beautiful, albeit cold, winter days.  Every day.  Fresh air.  Lush gardens.  Grass.  GRASS!  We are the only people in the Village with grass in our garden.  Grass is, of course, seen as a luxury item as everyone else utilises every inch of their land.  Deli yabanciler (crazy foreigners).

It was nice to not be on the cusp of a war zone too staying in beachside Collaroy.  Yes I gloss over Syria and its issues but Mersin is approximately 150k from the Syrian border.  We are safe obviously or I would not even think about living here but there is always an underlying threat, the knowledge I guess, that we are not too far from an area of such unrest.  Plus there is the whole Israel-Palestinian issue, the Middle East is a powder keg ready to blow and even Ukraine to the north is a mess.  Bloody hell!

Friends and family of course.  Obviously Australia wins on this front as well.  I am blessed to have some of the best friends in the world.  Friends that are always there with open arms.  What I wouldn’t do for one more boozy lunch or one more hug from my girls.  Of course this is difficult for Daughter as she has her family, her cousins that she adores, in the Village.  She has many friends in the Village but for me Sydney and Australia will win every single time.

friends

Speaking of boozy lunches I don’t think you can beat an Aussie Red.  Australian wines really are some of the best in the world.  I would go so far as saying that Turkish wine is swill at best and really, really expensive!

Medical care wins in Australia over Turkey as well (well duh!).  Australia has Government facilitated Medicare and even though you pay through the tooth for many things (including the dentist) visiting the doctor here is a much easier process (mainly because everyone speaks English).  So I am now drugged up for the next 12 months (my medicine cabinet is overflowing) and I have been poked and prodded and given a clean bill of health.

Shopping was a bonus too for me in Sydney.  My Rubenesque physique is now adorned in new clothes.  Oodles of new clothes.  I no longer need to wear the same jeans every single day.  My credit card did take a beating and we did have to send home 10 kilos by post but at least I now have an outfit for any occasion which is a good thing as we have at least 4 weddings to go to over the coming weeks.  Daughter’s opinion differs on this front as well as the styles in Turkey are a lot more varied and on trend.  For Daughter clothing in Turkiye is also a LOT cheaper as well.

Bacon.  Ding!  Ding!  Ding!  Winner!!!  Lots of exclamation points here.  Yes.  Bacon.  That is all.

bacon

Sydney did have a few downsides too.  It was so damn expensive.  Food was expensive.  Clothing was expensive.  Petrol was expensive (actually petrol is expensive in Turkey too).  I guess I have had it too cushy here in Turkey with 50 kuruş for 1 kilo of tomatoes (about AU$0.25) while they were AU$4.50 in Sydney (TL9).  Plus the fresh food is not particularly fresh.  Ick!

Peak hour traffic did my head in too.  What a bloody mess.  We had a few early morning starts and fighting my way from the Northern Beaches to the City was diabolical to say the least.  It was nice to be behind the wheel again although my first few attempts at parking were a little less than successful.  Daughter likened my parking skills to a Turkish person so I really have acclimated haven’t I?

traffic

I think I can sum Sydney up as “Real Life”.  My friends are all working.  My family are all busy (some might say too busy to find the time to see me or even call).  The cost of living is high and the stress levels are even higher.  I know that if I too were living in Sydney I would be working.  My stress levels would be off the chart (visiting my old place of work proved that beyond the shadow of a doubt) and Daughter, The Turk and I would be miserable.  Real life sux!

The Village also has another bonus (well along with The Turk).  It has My Hurley Dog.  I love My Hurley Dog.  I missed My Hurley Dog and he missed me!

Hurley

 

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Tale of Two Cities

It seems that I am an expat caught between my two loves, Sydney and Mersin.  I have always felt distinctly at home in Mersin but returning to Sydney, my homeland, has brought back dwindling thoughts, self doubt and mixed feelings.

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I definitely loved my time in Sydney and Daughter and I hit the ground running.  We found ourselves with a frantic social life during our visit and it became increasingly difficult to fit in all my friends when I had to share my precious, precious time with Daughter and all of her social activities.  I swear since stepping off the plane her damn mobile did not stopped beeping, buzzing or ringing with her friends constantly arranging visits, movies, lunches, sleepovers and any other activity that you can think of. The squeals and “Oh. My. God’s” that I have had to endure has been soul numbing.  I guess I don’t really notice the squeals and “Oh. My. God’s” when they are in Turkish.

Fitting everything in required precision timing.  Morning, lunch and evening slots were allocated.  Daughter likened this “holiday” to a business trip with us running from one meeting to another.  I have missed out on catching up with a few friends that I really wanted to see and I quickly realised that 3 weeks in Sydney is just is not enough time.  Friends that live on the other side of Sydney or friends that live just up the coast missed out and I feel incredibly sad.  I am thinking of two of my friends in particular right now but honestly we just ran out of time. Plus I got sick.  I am still sick.  Damn flu. Damn sickness.  Damn it!

Sydney 2

Have I had my bacon?  Yep.  Practically every day.  I think I have put on 4 kilos.  It feels like 8 kilos.  We did have a bacon situation that practically caused an international incident at a restaurant in The Rocks that caused Daughter to update her Facebook status thusly:

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We have also done a few touristy things which is nice.  It reminds me just how wonderful Sydney is.  It reminds me just how much I miss this beautiful city.

Sydney

It has been a frantic few weeks.  It has been a wonderful few weeks.  Early breakfasts, brunches and lunches, dinners and sleepovers.  I could go on.  It has been impossibly fun.  I need to go home to Mersin for a holiday from our holiday.

Now our time in Sydney has just about come to an end.  I am becoming increasingly forlorn and not just because I cannot fit everything into our suitcases.  I just want one more lunch, one more drink, one more chorus.   I am an expat torn between two loves.

 

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