Simarik

Have you ever found yourself staring into space, daydreaming perhaps, recalling a song that will transport you to a memory, moment in time, of love, happiness, sadness or even fear.

When I travelled to Turkey in 2000 I met The Turk but I also found myself obsessed with a pop song by the Turkish pop sensation by the name of Tarkan.  Tarkan had a hit song that summer called Şimarik (actually Şimarik is a repeated hit for Tarkan every summer and even today will be heard at least twice during a night out – I am sure he could retire on the money made from this song alone).  Şimarik means naughty in Turkish and this song definitely was integral to many people (including myself) doing some very naughty things during the summer of 2000 in Bodrum, Turkey.

When I first heard this song I loved it.  I didn’t know the name, I didn’t know one word from the song but the beat was mesmerizing and I found myself dancing night after night to the tune while holidaying in Turkey.

Returning to real life meant no more dancing on tabletops, no more sunkissed days and hot, sweaty nights and instead I could be found sitting behind my desk, arguing with lawyers and clients day in and day out – depressing really – but then that song, that tune, that beat would enter my mind and I would close my eyes, even if for a moment, and think back to the music, the dancing, the sunshine, food, lifestyle, hell it takes me back to one of the best holidays I had ever had!

In 2002 the a rather bland version of my favourite song appeared on Australian Radio being sung by an Australian actress / singer Holly Valance.  “Kiss Kiss”, was definitely a lot easier to sing along to but did not hold the memories of the original song for me.

Now that Youtube has been reactivated in Turkey I typed Şimarik and watched the film clip for the first time ever.  Yikes!

I thought he was hotter.  Everything gets better when you look back on it but I really thought he was hotter!  I think it’s the nose.  here is a photo of Tarkan with no shirt on.  Much better!

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Oh you wanted one of his face?  Sorry, I didn’t realise 🙂

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Slightly jaded now (really shouldn’t have watched it on Youtube).  I still don’t know the words to Şimarik but when that song comes on the radio I find myself humming along remembering that fateful summer when I first met The Turk and pretty much every summer since.

Do you have a favourite song, a song that takes you back to a special moment?  As long as it is not Celine Dion, I’m all ears, send me a link.

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The First Date (that wasn’t a date)

When we started packing up all of our belongings for our move to Turkey it became quite clear that The Turk is a bit of a hoarder.  The most unnecessary crap was placed in boxes and sent by cargo to Turkey with the idea that it would be useful to us when we arrived.

Fast forward six months and The Turk who is hasta (sick) at the moment has become a general pain in my arse because he is sitting at home and “helping”.  On a good day The Turk cannot sit still.  He always needs to be active and doing things.  This is not a bad thing and over the years I have trained him to “do” the washing or “do” the cleaning but when he is hasta he can be a right royal pain in my arse.  This morning he decided that he was tired of the boxes (that are hidden from the naked eye under the bed) and they had to be cleared away immediately.  Now!  Right now!

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One of the boxes contained a heap of old photos.  Most of these were of my travels but one photo that he pulled out was in a dented old frame.  The glass was missing and the photo itself was damaged and, for some inexplicable reason, has been cut up and pasted back together.  So why is this photo important?  It is, in fact, the very first photo of The Turk (introduced to me as Al Pacino – his moniker) and I together along with his friends “Antonio Banderas” and “Maradona” as well as my girlfriend Ris.

This photo was taken back in September 2000 at Artemis Hotel in Bodrum.  It our first night out – not a date (well I knew it was not a date but perhaps he did not).  It was not a successful night.  In fact it was ghastly with The Turk becoming jealous of another man’s attentions towards me and Ris and I deciding that we were going to escape then and there.  I remember us running through the streets back to our hotel fearful that this strange Turk was going to follow us.  We never went back to visit The Turk after that less than stellar evening and left Turkey happy with the knowledge that I would never have to see “Al Pacino” again.

I returned to Australia and Ris returned to London but whenever we spoke we would laugh about that night.  Nine months later I returned to Bodrum with a group of friends to spend a month with Ris.  On our first night we hit the bars on the Bodrum beachfront ready for a huge night however jet lag got the better of me and, after a few cocktails, I decided to make my way back to the hotel to sleep it off.  I was tottering down the street when suddenly The Turk was standing in front of me.  Yikes!

“Hey I remember you,” I blabbed.  “It’s Al Pacino.”

“Yes I remember you too Janey.  You left me stranded on the street with a broken heart,” came his reply.  Whatever!

The rest, my friends, is history.

Picking up the photograph The Turk walked into the bedroom and placed it on his bedside table.  “I can now remember this night forever”.

Jeeze.

Having a Benjamin Button Moment

“It’s a funny thing about comin’ home. Looks the same, smells the same, feels the same. You’ll realize what’s changed is you.”

Benjamin Button aka Brad Pitt aka My Second Husband

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Sidenote – I know I am referring to movies a lot at the moment.  Not sure why, have not even had time to watch television.  Bear with me.

The Turk seems to be having a Benjamin Button moment right now.  He has banged on about returning to The Village pretty much since arriving in Sydney 11 years ago but I think being home and knowing that this IS now his home is a hurdle that he is having difficulty traversing.

In the past he has visited.  His family have welcomed him with open arms.  His friends have slapped him on the back and drank cay with him at the local tea house or take him to the new club in the city and there are tears and hugs at the airport before he leaves them (yet again) to return to his life in Australia.  There was always the knowledge that he would return again in the future.

As happy as he is to be back with his family and friends he now has an opportunity to take off the rose coloured glasses and really look at where he now calls home and he has been very opinionated about its misgivings.  He can complain about the blackouts that seem to happen daily.  Thank you Benjamin Franklin.  He has complained about the water not being hot enough or the water pressure not being strong enough.  But today was my favourite.  He has had a hankering for Peking Duck.  Yep that’s right.  Peking Duck.

Now I do not want to sound like an unsupportive wife (really?) but come on sunshine – get over it!  He was born in this village (probably next door), he grew up here, went to school, made friends, loved and lost and, well, then he left, didn’t he?  He was conscripted into the army and after his service he went to Bodrum where he played around until he met me.  Holy shit!  He had no idea what he was getting himself into!  Other than fleeting visits he has not lived in this village since he was 18!  I know I am using a lot of exclamation points but this is an exclamation point kind of epiphany!!

Now I cannot help him with the Peking Duck (ewww) but I have an electrician coming today about our constant blackouts.  We have had an electric hot water service connected (how people live on solar hot water in winter is beyond me). The telephone is now operational (finally).  We’ve had satellite TV installed (because the 2000 Turkish channels that we had were apparently not the right ones).  The balcony is still under renovation (but will be finished shortly) and . . . well I am sure there are other problems that will come up but we can tackle each problem when it presents itself.

What an wonderful, sympathetic, kind, generous and hot wife I am (just go with me on this) and apparently when I sing I sound like Madonna.  I know my Second Husband aka Brad Pitt would show his appreciation.

You’re Moving Where???

I have always detested New Years Eve.  There is such high expectation to revel with other revelers, rejoice in your tomfoolery and have oodles of casual sex as we come together as one to countdown and celebrate a new beginning.  Blah!  Yet every year I would dress up in my finery ready to revel, indulge and make general whoopee  when in fact I would rather be on my couch eating pizza and chatting to my cat about our plans for the coming year (and there would be some epic adventures involved).

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“It’s going to be the best night of your life”, THEY say.  Well who the feck are they because I have always found New Years Eve to be the suckiest night of the year.  Is “suckiest” a word?  If not, it should be.  New Years Eve always sucks balls! And New Years Eve 1999 proved to be exactly the same.

That fateful evening as we held our breath for the Y2K bug to implode our world and as Jennifer Lopez was Waiting for Tonight I was, yet again, breaking up with my “Mr Mediocre”.  Yes I am stealing the idea from S&TC but I think in this case the name given to my ex is insightful and, well, he really was  mediocre at everything that he did (nudge, nudge).  It is clear to me, probably also to you and almost certainly to a psychologist, that I still have some unresolved issues with him but Mr Mediocre is mentioned only briefly so I will now move on with the story.

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Anyway, Mr Mediocre had succeeded in letting me down for the tenth New Year in a row and I found myself sitting harbour side watching the Sydney fireworks alone – again.  Around me merry people applauded the year that had ended and rejoiced with their lovers celebrating the celebration of a new millennium.  A New Millennium!  It was kind of significant wasn’t it?  2000 years ago – or thereabouts – “a child was born”.  Obviously many children were born but this one was kind of important.  As I sat drowning my sorrows I decided that I needed to reconsider precisely what I was doing with my life as, after all, not only did I have issues regarding my relationships, I also was turning the dreaded 30 in eight days time.  Crap!

Within days I had rebounded into Mr Mediocre’s arms (like I said – issues) but had also made the fateful decision to embark on the holiday of a lifetime to find myself.  Perhaps have an epiphany that would change my life forever.  This holiday was going to be outstanding too as I had incorporated good friends with amazing destinations from the birthplace of the abovementioned significant child, camel riding to the Pyramids of Giza and a trip to Petra to re-live the final scenes from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Yes, I know that scene rocked!

Shortly before flying out my girlfriend rang from Londra and suggested a side trip to Türkiye – a chance to unwind.  “An excellent suggestion.” said I.  And by the time I arrived in Türkiye to meet my girlfriend those two weeks would be well earned as I was mentally and physically exhausted from the hieroglyphics and the craziness and the heat and well, I just needed to re-boot my system.Image

On our first night in Türkiye I met who I will forevermore call The Turk.  He suggested that we spend the day on his sailing boat.  He said that we would have a great laugh and enjoy good food and have a wonderful time swimming in the blue sea.  He promised us a day to remember.  Cheesy eh?

Well as cheesy as it was we did spent the next day enjoying his food and laughing out loud at his silly jokes.  We enjoyed swimming in the sea and it was indeed very blue, almost turquoise!  Upon arriving back to the jetty The Turk suggested meeting up again in the evening for drinks however as we had both had too much sunshine and perhaps a few too many beverages throughout the day my girlfriend and I fell asleep in our hotel room before the sun had even set over Bodrum Kalesi.  I didn’t see The Turk again before I left and frankly, didn’t really think about him either.  He was merely an anecdote when recalling my adventure to others.  (I know that my girlfriend will no doubt recall this day quite differently but I don’t really want you all to hate The Turk before you get to know him so this is the story I am going to stick to).

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I returned to Sydney in time for the 2000 Olympics and then it was New Years Eve again.  A full year!  Had I grown?  Had I learnt anything?  Did my life have new meaning?  Not really but I did, finally, end it with Mr Mediocre having finally realised that he would never mature into the man that I deserved.

Fast forward to June 2001 and I find myself with friends ready to indulge in the delight that is Türkiye once again.  Walking down the caddesi on my first night I bump into – wait for it – The Turk.  Kismet?  Destiny?  Inevitability?

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Well whatever it is I now find myself married to The Turk and we have been blessed with our one little darling, my baby, the ever wonderful, always beautiful, Daughter (who is currently morphing into an obstinate teenager) and we are ready for a new adventure.

Today surrounded by boxes we are preparing for the biggest move of our lives from Sydney, Australia to a small village on the outskirts of Mersin in Türkiye.  I don’t know how long we are going to last – could be 3 months or it could be forever.  Whatever happens I will keep you updated with my witty banter and hopefully not too much twaddle.

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Loving this blog? Please help me build my audience and share with like minded people who, like me, loves a new adventure and also loves Türkiye. You can also subscribe or like me on Facebook for all updates.