#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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Daughter’s birthday present

I’m off to Sydney next week so this will probably be my last post for a little while.  I did want to post about my side trip to Tallinn last weekend though.

Estonia collage

First up  – Tallinn – what a beautiful city.  Having been living in Mersin where there is a population of just under 1 million people spending a few days in the relative calm of this Estonian city was a real pleasure.  The people were lovely.  The food was great (yes of course there was bacon) and the traffic was downright pleasant.  I mean people stopped for you on pedestrian crossings!  I know!!!

But why was I in Tallinn?  Yes?  …  Well …

As you all know Daughter is my very spoilt princess and I do tend to give her overly elaborate birthday presents.  You may also recall that Daughter has a love for the band 5 Seconds of Summer and believes, in her heart, that the bass player is the man of her dreams.  I have mentioned to you before as well that I thought George Michael was the man of my dreams and we all know how wrong I was about that.  Anyway as 5SOS (and practically any other band in the world) refuse to come to Istanbul to play a concert I looked for the cheapest alternative and that alternative just so happened to be in Tallinn, Estonia therefore Daughter and I travelled to Tallinn for her birthday present – tickets to 5SOS.

I knew nothing about Tallinn or Estonia.  I assumed it was part of Russia.  I thought it would be cold.  I thought I would have to eat horse or blood sausage (there was blood sausage for breakfast but I did not partake).  One thing I will say is that it was still light at midnight!  Crazy!

Arriving on the Friday morning we immediately walked over to the Old Town to get our tourist on.  Tallinn dates back to the 13th century when a castle was built by the Crusaders and developed into a large city full of opulent public buildings and merchants’ houses.  Today the Old Town forms part of UNESCO World Heritage List as one of the best preserved medieval cities surviving today.  The Old Town is one of those places where you can just get lost wandering through the winding, cobblestone streets … and that’s just what we did.  We also made a visit to Fat Margaret and Kiek in de Kok – seriously who makes these names up – before finding a restaurant and indulging in bacon burgers for the both of us.

Saturday morning came around and Daughter was chomping at the bit to be dropped off at the stadium to meet her friends and line up for sound check so I left her there while I found some similarly bored parental guardian types who were also waiting patiently for their children.  We went on the hunt for a bar where we settled in for a natter and a few bevies.  I arrived back at the stadium at 4 just in time to go inside and watch the band do their warm up before answering a few questions asked by the screaming fans.  I could feel a migraine coming on (perhaps I had had one glass too many).  Daughter had a front row, centre seat during sound check and nearly collapsed when Michael (the lead guitarist) noticed her t-shirt.  He pointed her t-shirt out to Calum (the bass guitarist and the man of her dreams) who laughed but sadly did not speak to her (the t-shirt was of Calum pulling a funny face).

tshirt

The concert itself was not as elaborate compared to the concert at Wembley last year.  I assume that it is too much to bring the whole she-bang with them while travelling around Europe.  They played a mix of their old stuff and a lot off their new album.  I laugh as I write this because of course these kids are fecking 20!  Their old stuff!  Give me a fecking break!  Daughter was happy though and that’s all that matters.

5sos concert

Returning to our hotel I went upstairs but Daughter stayed in the lobby – did I mention that we were staying at the same hotel as 5SOS?  And Adam Lambert.  And Brian May. Wasn’t intentional but it was a definite bonus.  I caught the lift up with Brian May.  I was very cool.  Smiled but didn’t go “Oh My God!  It’s Brian May!!!”  Anyway Brian May (who was also at the 5SOS concert) arrived back there at around 2am and said “don’t hold your breath for the band to come back anytime soon” but she held out.  The concierge rang me at 4 and said that Daughter had fallen asleep in the lobby.  Could I come and get her please.  Poor darling.  She got up again that morning at 8 and went back down to the lobby but, sadly, they didn’t come downstairs to meet any of their fans.  I felt bad for Daughter but at least she was inside.  Outside the weather had taken a turn and it was bloody freezing.  Fans in tiny shorts and t-shirts were jumping up and down and squealing but I am pretty sure it was because they trying to increase their body temperature and not because they were going to catch pneumonia.

So that was my weekend in Tallinn, Estonia.  I would thoroughly recommend a visit to Tallinn if you ever find yourself having a sneaky getaway.  Lovely spot.  And they have bacon.  Lots of bacon.

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Mustang

Daughter recently went to Ankara where she, along with some of her classmates, were chosen to represent their school as members of JMUNESCO (Junior Model United Nationals Educational Scientific Cultural Organisation).  JMUNESCO was designed to model the United Nations and to educate students around the world about issues we currently face today.  One of the topics at this year’s JMUNESCO was women and children’s rights in second world countries and during her research on this topic she came across the 2016 Oscar nominated foreign film “Mustang”.

mustang 4Mustang tells the story of five sisters who are learning about friendship, love and most importantly the unjust lives of some women growing up in rural Turkey.  After an innocent afternoon at the beach with some male classmates, the sisters find themselves being imprisoned in their home by their guardians who are concerned that the girls will be seen as ‘sullied’.  From virginity tests (yes really), the undercurrent of incestual rape, teenage suicide and the very real possibility of being married off to strangers this film is tender, funny, and painful all rolled into a storyline that, as the mother of a thirteen year old girl, terrifies me to think that this behaviour still occurs today.   I watched the movie in Turkish (yes even with my limited knowledge of the language) but I believe it is available with English subtitles.  Spoiler: keep tissues handy because you are going to need them.

Daughter lives on the cusp of traditional Turkey and modern Turkey.  Here in the Village she sees not just how things ‘used’ to be but how they in fact still are.  It is not uncommon for girls to leave school, get married and have children when they are no more than children themselves.  That is their life.  Bitmiş.  Here in the Village Daughter dresses fairly conservatively and although she fights the system (me) she knows that this is just ‘how it is’ but once outside of the Village she will dance all night, wear cute clothes, hang out with friends and, generally speaking, not have fussy adults (again that’s me) always telling her what she can and can’t do.

Daughter knows that her future will include, but is not limited to, finishing her schooling, travelling the world, marrying a certain bass player (in the far, far distant future) and taking every opportunity available to her because that’s precisely how life should be. _________________________________________________________________________

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A Little Bit of Everything – and a lot of Nothing!

I have found it difficult to blog recently.  I didn’t want to jump straight back into my usual humour after the last few posts about the refugee crisis.  It seemed rather insensitive.  So I gave it a little rest and for those of you who ‘like’ my FB page I have just been putting up some political and humorous links about Türkiye.

So I will ease into it and just spit out a few little tit bits to get us started.  Is it ‘tit bits’ or ‘tid bits’?  ‘Tit bits’ sounds wrong.

First up, it is Bayram right now.  For those of you who don’t know what Bayram is here is some lay person information.  Think of it as Bayram for Dummies.  When I was pregnant I brought Pregnancy for Dummies and it was extremely helpful.  Thankfully so far this year it has been a quiet one.  Do you remember when you were kids and you would have one Christmas at home and then the next at some other relo’s house?  This is what appears to have happened so far this year.  Everyone in the family has disappeared – except my father in law.  Never my father in law.  We still have to make the obligatory trips to extended family members and, of course, there are the constant trips to the fecking cemetery, but I think I am going to get through this Bayram stress free!  Finger’s crossed though as I don’t want to jinx myself.  Iyi Bayramlar!

baby goat

Next up on my list is this – I don’t think it is every going to rain in Mersin again.  EVER!  There is the potential for a good rain.  There are dark clouds, really ominous clouds.  There is even excitement but, sadly, no follow through.  The sun comes out again and the never ending heat continues to taunt us.  LIKE A BITCH!  And it’s been raining fecking everywhere in Turkey right now.  Bodrum has had flooding.  Marmaris has storms.  Even Adana has had some crazy downpours.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am still a summer girl.  I hate the cold and generally I hate the rain as well but after a rain free zone of some 120+ days I really need a downpour to take the edge off.  I need a fix.  Yes, yes I know we had a storm after that recent earthquake but that was more of an addendum to the earthquake and, anyway, that was more wind than anything else so it doesn’t count.

So I am still waiting.  And it is still motza hot here.  And I am kinda over it.  And of course I will complain about the cold soon enough but right now – I just want a little rain!

On the bright side school goes back on Monday after 8,765 days off (well it seems like it anyway).  That is 8,765 days of Daughter loving Calum Hood (from 5SOS), dreaming about Calum Hood, talking about Calum Hood and hating absolutely everyone and absolutely everything else.  That means you!  And me!  And definitely The Turk!  When I was 13 I was going to marry George Michael.  I didn’t.  But I am holding out that Daughter gets her dream wedding to her dream man.  I mean they both love Hawaiian Pizza so it looks like they could be a perfect match!  So if any of you happen to know Mr Calum Hood let me know would you.

calum 2

Finally I am still holding onto my dream of becoming the next J.K. Rowling (or more correctly a Turkish-inspired Jackie Collins – ooh la la!) and have been plugging away on completing my first novel.  I start.  I stop.  I delete.  I start again.  But I am pushing myself this time thanks to a little bit of encouragement from a friend here in Mersin.  So if I disappear I will be back.  I should probably keep going while I have the enthusiasm.

Oh and speaking of my blog I was recently contacted by a mainstream news channel to give an opinion on the freedom of press in Türkiye.  Thank you very much but I as I said to them I am merely a little blogger and not nearly as knowledgable as I could be or should be to give an opinion on pretty much anything.  Plus I kind of like being anonymous (I know I am not really anonymous) but I don’t want to get blocked (or worse) so I’ll just keep smiling and writing about kittens and unicorns! I was totally chuffed at being noticed by them though.  For those of you interested in seeing the report the link is here.

So that’s it for now.

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*Knock, knock* Hello?

You might not have noticed but I haven’t posted for a while.  Why have I been so neglectful?  Why, oh why, have I left you, my dear followers and friends, hanging for the next episode of action packed drama that is living in Mersin?  Well to be honest I haven’t been particularly happy recently.

The Turk and I have been fighting – a lot – and not just a little scrap here and there, no, we have been having a few smack down whoopings that a stoned Hulk Hogan atop a wrecking ball could be proud of.

hulk hogan

Yes.  Seriously.  This is the current synopsis of our relationship.  I am not sure if I am Hulk Hogan or perhaps the wrecking ball and I never thought I would see the day that I had to quote Miley Cyrus but over the past weeks and months all The Turk has really achieved is to “wreck me”.

I am not really sure where it all began but since The Turk returned from Australia (after his heart attack) he has had difficulty settling back into the village way of life.  He has found fault in everything and everyone (including me) and has made me feel that our relationship is irretrievably broken.  To add insult to injury, and despite the fact that the first heart attack should have scared him straight, he has not changed his diet or his habits and in early June was admitted into hospital to have a triple by-pass.  Officially he now resembles Frankenstein’s Monster.

Adding to these current woes and health issues is me being diagnosed with “abnormal cervical cells” which has required treatment.  My doctor speaks pretty good English, although when he laughs he sounds a little like a hyena on crack, but I am relatively confident with the treatment that I have had and I go back next week for another check.  Fingers crossed that the treatment destroyed all the cells and nice, happy, non-cancerous cells have grown in their place.

There have been a few moments over these months that I have sat on the couch in tears and a few moments where I have wanted to pack my bags and flee back to Australia but I cannot because Daughter is so happy here (although I need to update you guys on her most recent boy drama when I get a chance).  Being that I am officially (yes it is officially) the Best Mum In The World I also took her to Londra in June for her birthday to a “5SOS” concert.  For those of you who have no clue what a “5SOS” is you should Google them because apparently Daughter is going to marry either the Lead Singer (who I suspect could be a world class tool) or the Bass Player (who reminds me of a dopey puppy).  The concert itself wasn’t too shabby, they reminded me of a very young INXS, although a little more polished than the INXS that played at Manly Vale Hotel back in the 1980’s.  I also got some shopping done in Londra so it was a pretty successful trip for both of us.

5sos

We also chuffed off to Rome for a week which was lovely (although the restoration work on the Trevi Fountain is STILL NOT finished!  How fecking long does it take?) and finally for a break in Istanbul.

As you can see there should be quite a bit to blog about but my sadness and health concerns have unfortunately overtaken my mental functions and writing proved very difficult over the past weeks.  I will be back to writing a little more often and hopefully I will return to a more comedic writing style which is how I would normally feel.  I am also going to re-jiggy the blog a little bit as I have had a lot of requests for more touristic information on Mersin (as there is limited information out there) and its surrounds so if I go off-line in the near future don’t distress it is merely my ridiculous attempts of navigating the web page tools (which will no doubt prove to be a little difficult for my pea-sized intellect).

And in case you are wondering yes The Turk is still smoking!

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