Today’s weather forecast is … crazy!

Oh my fecking God!  Yes it is a little chilly outside but, please, people, calm the feck down. Let’s not lose our head about this.  What is cold anyway?  To those of you visiting from the UK it is in fact rather pleasant in Mersin at the moment.  Yes there is a chill in the air.  There is a fresh layer of snow on the mountain range behind us and yes it was raining earlier in the week but is it cold?  Ummm, I really don’t think so. 

Right now I am wearing short sleeves although I admit you definitely need a cardigan at night.  Around me though people are dressing as if we were dealing with a polar vortex, discussing whether they need to dissect a Tauntaun (sorry nerdy Star Wars reference) and deciding whether to wait it out in the New York library with Jake Gyllenhaal (well alright if you insist).  Sorry folks it is just cold and it is not really all that cold for that matter.

day after tomorrow

You know once the weather changes here Turkish people literally lose their minds.  They verily believe that if it is not 400 degrees then you need to layer.  Actually even if it is 400 degrees you still need to layer but not with the same intensity. Cover your back!  Cover your neck!  Do you need a scarf?  *Sigh*

Flash back – middle of summer and I take Daughter and her cousin to the park.  Daughter is running around in shorts and a singlet and Tatli is wearing  – a singlet.  A t-shirt.  A long sleeve top.  And she is carry a jacket with her.  A jacket!  She must keep her jacket with her at all times.  OMG!  It is literally – literally – 400 degrees in the park and Tatli has a jacket!  Calm the feck down people!  Daughter is drenched in sweat in her singlet and is throwing water on herself at any opportunity yet she’s the crazy one?

Truthfully though right now Daughter is sick.  I am told by my kardeş (sister) that it is my fault because I have allowed Daughter to go outside in 25 degree heat wearing her short sleeve school shirt and without woollen stockings.  Diagnosed with akut bronşit (bronchitis) she has spent the past few days in bed.  Actually that is not accurate.  She has in fact spent the past few days lying around on the couch, surfing the internet and watching old episodes of Pretty Little Liars.  She has been prescribed a butt load of medicine (which she is, of course, taking reluctantly) although the clinic doctor is well aware of how I feel about enjeksiyonlar (injections) so he refrained from prescribing the Turkish equivalent of a headache tablet – the all secretive aşı (vaccine).  This “vaccine” is suggested every single time I go to the clinic.  What is this secret shot?  God only knows but I can assure you I am not pumping Daughter with some unknown aşı by our neighbour whose official title is “village injector”.  Trust me Doc once the antibiyotik kicks in you certainly don’t need the magical aşı pumped into your ass twice a day for a week!

So yes it is a little chilly here. Will Daughter wear a jacket next week?  Probably.  Is there a Snowpocalypse forecast?  No, but if you are coming to Mersin in November, bring a cardigan alright?

Rant over.

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.

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Juicy

A friend on mine is a great artist and prior to leaving Australia I purchased one of her paintings to hang in my new home here in Mersin.  Her painting is called “Juicy” and I do not think she will mind that I re-post it for my blog today.  You might want to check out her amazing work –

http://www.celartworks.com/

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Last weekend was the Mersin Narenciye Festivali  (Citrus Festival) in Mersin.  It seems that Mersin and its surrounding area is well known for its oranges, lemons, grapefruit, apples and any other type of fruit that you can think of.  This is a very popular weekend here in Mersin and what a great way to promote both industry and tourism to the city and yes this really is a festival not some dodgy political meeting like the one I was dragged to a couple of weeks back.

The seafront was full of orange and yellow stalls, flags and balloons.  There were exhibitions, fruit for the tasting, wares to purchase, music to dance to and even a parade.  This Festival had it all including a warm autumn day.  I saw on the internet that it is pouring rain in Sydney yet here we are in November enjoying gorgeous weather.  Nice one.

The Turk has promised me that it will get cold and that I will be whinging “like a bitch” (his words) but right now I will enjoy myself while I can.

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Meet the In-Laws

I am sitting on my balcony listening to the sounds of The Village.  Below me the most prominent sound is that of my in law’s shouting at the top of their lungs.  I wander downstairs to see what today’s issue could be only to find them sitting happily in the sunshine warming their old bones.

My mother in law, Refika calls me over, “Gel. Otur”.  Come and sit.  I sit by them and pour a glass of cay (which, to their constant horror, I put milk in).  It is quite nice in the sun but you can feel that winter is not far away and it was bloody cold this morning when I took Hurley for a walk.  I wonder if Refika invited me over to put an end to their squabble.  No, it was definitely continuing with me right beside them.  I watched them argue back and forth and although I am no expert in the Turkish language I quickly realise that the argument was about who ate the last yumurta (egg).

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The Turk’s parents have been married for over 50 years.  Happily?  I just couldn’t say, they appear resigned to the fact that they are married to each other (I feel that way about The Turk most days as well).  I look at my mother in law’s face.  Deep wrinkles may line her face and cloudy eyes are tired but she still smiles despite her illnesses.  Her scarred and callused hands tell me that she has worked very hard over her years and for probably little reward.  Hursit on the other hand is looking jolly and starts talking animatedly (and loudly due to his deafness) to me despite the fact that I can understand little of what he is saying.  Now retired his day is a repeat of the day before – a trip to the Jokey Club to place a bet on a horse, followed by long (an no doubt philosophical) debates with his friends and neighbours at the local tea house before returning home to his dinner which has been prepared by Refika before removing himself to watch either a horse race or the news on television.  If his horse has won he will sing the night away İyi akşamlar which is no doubt his favourite song.  Give him a few wine or rakı and you will hear that freaking song until dawn!

Watching Refika and Hurşit happily argue has made me realise that The Turk and I are exactly the same!  Every conversation that we have is basically an argument (which is what happens when you mix a Turkish man with an Australian/Italian woman) and I am the first to say that I would divorce him in a heartbeat to anyone who will listen!  Does this mean that The Turk married his mother?

Oh dear!!