Have a dose of what life is really like living here – from my single-handed destruction of the Turkish language, random arguments with random relatives about everything from apples to vaginas to learning the secrets to making the perfect içli köfte! Highs or lows this is my observations from the melting pot of crazy that is my life in Mersin.
I had an interview with an UK-based blogger recently and he asked me this question. I’m not usually lost for words (in fact you can rarely shut me up), but I was in this case.
How much have I really integrated into Turkish culture?
After over eight years here, I don’t think I’ve integrated that much. I still crave bacon and a variety of different countries food (that usually includes pork). I still struggle with Turkish but I can at least order a bottle of red wine so that’s progress. And Oh.My.God I still roll my eyes at the inconsistency of the bureaucracy here.
However, I respect this country and abide by the laws when I am out. I wear a mask (and at the rate we’re going probably always will), rarely speed (total bollocks but then to be truly Turkish you must speed, am I right?), never litter (why is it so hard for someone to put something in the bin?) and always pay my bills on time.
I may have jumped into my life here in Turkey with blinders on but now that I am truly out in the world with no buffer (aka The Turk) I think I am beginning to really come into my own. It was easy to integrate in the beginning. I was the new plaything for the family and was lovingly introduced to every facet of Turkish life. I worked in the kitchen perfecting my baba ganoush, and learned to accept tomatoes despite a lifetime of hate. I love, love, loved making salca and harvesting the olives, and I loved nothing more than sitting with my mother-in-law drinking Çay and listening to her and her friends make fun of their husbands, but after the breakdown of my marriage I found living in the village stifling. Why after all these years, you might wonder? It was fun, don’t get me wrong. It was a completely different way of life. Definitely a slower way of life and a much healthier lifestyle. But as time went on the dust that never goes away, the constant electric cuts, the non-existent internet, the village dramas, the weddings (or funerals) that I have to attend even if I’d never met him, her or them, and last, but certainly not least, his fecking family who I’m quite certain have a voodoo doll with my name on it squirrelled away somewhere, sent me so far over the edge that I found myself in freefall. Now I’m living in the city and I’m loving every second of it, despite COVID lockdowns and restrictions, despite my sometimes dire financial situation and despite the fact that our swimming pool hasn’t been opened this season (which is the real kick in the pants).
So now I’m going to ask you, how much have you integrated into Turkish (or other) culture? Let me know in the comments below.
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More than a few weeks back My Hurley Dog (who as you can see by his mug shot below, is the epitome of a gentleman’s gentleman) and I were in the garden with my various in-laws making bread when who should appear over the back fence but my nemesis, asshole rooster. For those of you not familiar with my nemesis he is currently a rather handsome black rooster but over the years he has been many shades of asshole and I’m pleased to say that each and every one of those noisy bastards were delicious (and don’t come at me again Karen all BBQ (mangalar) were done with the full knowledge and approval of Crazy Eyes, the owner of said asshole roosters).
One of my favourite things about My Hurley Dog is his willingness to protect his humans, and so, with a flick of my wrist, he took off across the garden after my nemesis who apparently had grown a set since our last alteration and decided to Cobra Kai his ass. Needless to say my precious poodle did NOT expect a fight, and came to a dust-screeching halt when the asshole rooster turned his beady dinosaur eyes on him. At that point, the supposed adult, me, intervened and chased my nemesis back to his side of the fence where he sat and screamed rooster profanities at both My Hurley Dog and me for a good 15 minutes.
Now I may not know many things, but one thing I know for sure is that that asshole rooster took a hit out on My Hurley Dog that day as he has had numerous attempts on his life since then.
The first attempted assassination happened a couple of days later when we passed a flock of sheep while we were on a walk through the village. Anything larger than a fat poodle is generally given a wide berth, and sheep definitely fall into that category. We crossed to the other side of the paddock, but it was too late. They spotted us and decided that My Hurley Dog was either (a) one of their own due to his similar styling; or (b) an infiltrator that needed to be taken out. Suddenly we were surrounded. My Hurley Dog bravely stepped up to his sworn duty and protected me, barking louder than a horny howler monkey until he finally gained the shepherd’s attention who meandered over to round the little bastards up.
Were they merely being curious or were they acting on the order of a crazy asshole rooster, I guess we will never know… but then this happened.
We changed our early morning walking route to avoid that particular paddock and instead decided to loop the block. When we stay closer to home, our numerous kediler usually join us. This means it’s me, My Hurley Dog, the dog next door and one, two or three cats. I’m pretty sure the entire village calls me the Pied Piper of Stupid behind my back (or to my face because let’s be honest my Turkish is crap-tastic at best).
There we were enjoying our early morning constitutional when a mama crow swooped down low on us, no doubt warning us to keep away from her nest. The cats were enjoying that game and stayed behind while My Hurley Dog and I continued along. A few minutes later plop… a huge poop landed on My Hurley Dog’s back and then plop… another one, this time on his head. The crow pooped on him with assassin-like precision. He was most unhappy, not because of the pooping but because he knew what would happen next. A bath!
Not long after these first two suspicious incidents, My Hurley Dog joined me on a trip to the ancient city of Uzuncaburç. A few hours from here it’s an archeological site containing the remnants of the ancient town of Diokaisareia, and I wanted to take some photos of him amongst the ruins. They would be Insta-fabulous!
Anyway, the day started off well, despite the oppressive heat, and we travelled up into the mountains. We stopped for strawberries (a steal at 20TL) before exploring an aqueduct at Olba. Finally arriving at Uzuncaburç, we wandered around the theatre where My Hurley Dog sniffed to his heart’s delight before making our way down to the Temple of Zeus.
And that’s when it happened.
We were set upon by a gang of Turks! Well, more correctly we were attacked by turkeys, wild turkeys. Angry, ginormous, ugly as shit, wild turkeys with their bumpy red heads and that hideous fleshy flap of skin. Bleugh! And don’t get me started on their thoroughly unfriendly behaviour (although if I was as ugly as them, I’d probably need an attitude adjustment as well).
Anyway, these nasty, evil, would-be assassins, appeared out of nowhere and chased My Hurley Dog (and me because yikes!) clear back to the car park. We darted left, they darted right and with a wiggle of their waddle they had both of us pinned against the car. There was a lot of yelling by me, My Hurley Dog, and the hapless employee who worked at the ruins as he tried to separate these disgusting, delicious, creatures from my poodle and I. Needless to say my Hurley Dog was in no condition to further explore Uzuncaburç so another trip in the future will be on the cards (for me because I’m certain my dog is not interested in visiting again).
Fast forward to yesterday: my Hurley Dog and I were in the garden with my various in-laws making bread when who should appear over the back fence but my nemesis, asshole rooster. My Hurley Dog and asshole rooster eyed each other off. No doubt threats were made by both parties via growls and clucks, but an unwritten agreement appears to have been reached. Asshole rooster returned to his side of the fence where he could be heard muttering profanities as he rounded up his women. At the same time, My Hurley Dog came and sat beside me, practically in my lap, where he was given a piping hot piece of fresh bread as a reward for being such a good boy.
Daughter has made me vow to not use her for any of my future blog posts as it is an invasion of her privacy. Pfft!
So here’s a story about a person that lives in my home which for the sake of this post is called “She Who Shall Not Be Named”.
She Who Shall Not Be Named is now seventeen years old and living her best teenage life. You already know she is a well-established şımarık and brings along with her all the drama that a şımarık can bring. The never-ending phone calls and text messages that go ALL NIGHT LONG. Ding, ding, ding! The gossip. The chaos. *squeals*
Since we returned from Oz, she has been out socialising every single day – and night. Camping. Beach. Music Festivals. Nightclubbing. Vomiting in gutters. All the usual teenage stuff. It’s exhausting trying to keep track of her. Anyway, school goes back on Monday (thank feck), so I’ve said it’s time to rein back her activities, get home at a reasonable hour and prepare for the new school year.
Sooooo last night SWSNBN (I had to shorten it otherwise I’d be typing all fecking night) came home early at 8.30. Yah!! With her boyfriend! Sure, okay. That’s fine. Nothing wrong with the boyfriend visiting. My long-term boyfriend used to spend most of his nights on my parent’s sofa. He was never allowed to stay the night, but we got to hang out, watch videos on the old VHS player (how old am I anyway?) and have a pash when we thought my parents weren’t looking. Everyone was pretty happy with that arrangement.
Well, it all went to shit as my BIL, and SWSNBN’s umca Vito was dead-set having a melt-down when he spotted SWSNBN rock up at ours on the back of boyfriend’s motorbike and subsequently TOOK THE BOYFRIEND UPSTAIRS!!! He immediately reported it to the BossMan (the oldest BIL) who scurried over to our apartment.
“There is a guy in your apartment.”
“The Turk is not here.”
“Well he doesn’t live here so nope he’s not here.”
“Would you like me to stay?”
“Hell to the no!”
Have we gone through a time warp? Is it 1948 here in Mersin? Come on, folks! I’m sitting on the fecking sofa across from them while they watch Riverdale. Nothing hard-core happening here!
SWSNBN was mortified. The BF didn’t seem too fussed. I’m sure he’s seen this kind of behaviour before.
As Taylor Swift would say “You Need to Calm Down.”
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It’s been a while since I have mentioned my nemesis. Just to remind you my nemesis has reincarnated a few times over the years but has always taken the form of a rather large and loud cock-a-fecking-doodle-doing rooster.
There was the large red cock that terrorised My Hurley Dog so much that he refused to go into the yard for a good month. That red cock ended up as a fricassee. Then there was the big black cock (what am I writing?) who made it his personal mission to ensure I never slept more than two hours a night. Now I don’t know what happened to him but when he disappeared there was nothing left of him but some feathers and a beak. I’m guessing an alien abduction was the most likely cause of his demise. Then there was a cute little brown cock. He was a sweet-looking little guy but despite his tiny stature, he had a hell of a set of pipes on him! I swear you could hear him in the city. My BIL mangaled his ass and I must say he was delicious.
The owner of all of these reincarnated nemeses in their various forms, previously referred to as Crazy Eyes, had been rather quiet of late. I hadn’t seen her, or her mother or those five unruly boys (no doubt the reason for her crazy eyes), but last weekend she reappeared in a big way and worse still she brought with her yet another big black cock. She has gotten much smarter though. She knew we entered under the cover of darkness and Seal team 6’d her roosters so she has re-housed her new black cock and his six bitches onto the roof of her house. The fecking roof! Now, this new black-feathered evil dinosaur is even closer to my window.
My nemesis started this morning at 3:36AM. Precisely. He hopped to the end of his coop (read that as Crazy Eye’s roof), stared into my opened window and screamed at the top of his lungs “HEY, JANEY? ARE YOU AWAKE? JANEY? HUH? JANEY? WAKE UP! WAKE THE FECK UP!”. I swear to you this is no lie.
As he is now mere feet from my window I
immediately woke, moaned, cried a little, hugged My Hurley Dog and, when this
ugly ass cock-a-doodle-dummy kept this shit up for a straight forty-five
minutes I gave up on sleep and went and watched the news.
So I now have a mission (if I choose to accept it) and that mission is to find myself a big-ass rifle and, if I haven’t accidentally shot off my own head in the interim, I am going to sniper the shit out of that bastard cock-a-doodle-don’t!
My father in law passed away recently. He might have been a colossal pain in my ass but he was also a big part of my life. I will miss him a lot.
There are so many fond memories of my father in law that I could mention but perhaps my earliest memory of him is the best as it sets the tone for our whole relationship.
It was back in the autumn of 2001. The world had gone to shit and I was in a Muslim country wondering whether I should high-tail it back to the relative normalcy of Australia. Instead, I travelled from Bodrum to the Village to meet The Turk’s extended family. It was a long twenty-four hours by bus and I was beyond exhausted. The last thing I wanted to do was to be dragged into a room spilling over with people all staring and shouting and smiling, waiting to meet the yabancı gelin. I was so nervous that I nearly threw up (which is more likely because I was also pregnant at the time). There, in the centre of the room was a tall, thin and extremely loud man who was the spitting image of The Turk. Definitely his dad! The Turk introduced me. “This is Hurşit.”
“What did you say?”
“That’s exactly what I
Once The Turk translated my lousy attempt at his mother’s tongue for the rest of the family my father in law roared with laughter and pulled me in for a hug. The man definitely had an excellent sense of humour but sensibly it was suggested that from that moment on I should call him Dede.
This was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Dede was a constant source of entertainment (and more often than not bewilderment) for me. He was crabby and very bloody opinionated, but he could be swayed pretty easily with a glass of wine or slipping him a few lira so he could have a flutter on the horses. He was practically deaf and spent his days shouting at the television or yelling at the family (or at anyone who happened to pass by for that matter) but when he wasn’t bellowing about the state of the world he would be singing and loved nothing more than an appreciative audience as he sang Turkish love songs in an effort to make us smile. Time passed and dementia reared its ugly head but that didn’t sway Dede’s smile or laughter, although now he spoke mostly in Arabic which made it impossible for me to understand him or to tend to his needs. Dede hated my cooking but he still ate with gusto. He could swear like a sailor and very much appreciated when I swore back at him because it meant that at least I was practising my abysmal Turkish. He was at his happiest sitting beside a mangal (bbq) in the sunshine surrounded by his family.
Over the years we had all been on the receiving end of Dede’s scathing humour. I never really mind because most of the time I totally deserved it, in fact one of my final memories was of him making me look like a bit of a galah … again.
On a recent shopping trip I had totally splurged and brought myself the most fabulous leopard print jacket along with a pair of knee-high boots. After an outing wearing my spiffy new outfit (and feeling like bir milyar dollar I might add), I returned home to find The Turk and Dede partaking in a glass of çay at my front door. He took one look at me and nearly busted a gut laughing. I knew I was just about to become the butt of one of his jokes.
“Neye gülüyorsun?” (“What are you laughing at?”)
He pointed at me. “Salak!” (“Idiot!”)
I gave him the finger. “Sen salaksin”. (You’re the idiot.”)
He laughed even harder and hit me with his cane as I passed. “Siktir git ya!” (“Fuck off!”).
The Turk watched on with glee before he too started laughing. I stormed off tossing swear words back at them as I left (mostly in English but with a few choice Turkish words thrown in for good measure). I could still hear Dede’s raucous laughter as I stomped off up the stairs.
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I used to say that making salça (paste) with my SIL was the most fun you could have in the Village with your clothes on. In fact, I even complained a few years back about my SIL’s family taking over my salça making duties and ruining my fun. I take it back now. All of it. Salça making ain’t fun. In fact, now I think that making salca is the equivalent of giving birth. It’s long, painful, incredibly messy, it can take weeks of recuperation afterwards before you feel yourself again but, surprisingly, in the end, you’re prepared to go through it all that pain again next year. And of course you’ve got all that fabulous salça at the end of it all.
Well that day is here again and I was chomping at the bit to make our kırmızı biber salça. 200kg of kırmızı biber (red capsicum) ready to be transformed into salça by me, my SIL and her mother. Oh, and My Hurley Dog who assisted by chasing kediler (cats) and rolling in the mess until he was stained red. He is not happy right now and is well aware that a bath is in his immediate future.
Back to my story. 200kg of kırmızı biber is a lot of biber. My SIL called me down at 5 am, not to start work but to help make the ekmek (bread) for kahlvatı (breakfast). To me making the ekmek is more work than its actually worth. I’m happy to nick to the market and grab a couple of loafs of bread for 1TL each! After the ekmek we started on the salca and it was just freaking exhausting. Toiling away (before the real heat of mid-morning hits) with the cutting, cleaning, mulching (is it called mulching) before lugging buckets of bibersalca up three flights of stairs and spreading it out in huge bowls to spend the next ten days in the sunshine (I swear if it rains!). Nine trips up those stairs today with two buckets each trip! FML!
The stairs are now stained red. My feet are stained red (blending nicely with my orange nail polish) and my hands are as red as my eyes. I’m exhausted. Time for a shower, a glass of red (same colour as my hands, my eyes, my dog and my stairs) and an early night (just like after I had a baby – well I didn’t have the glass of red but the rest stands true).
Quote of the day by my 7-year-old niece – “cok tatl” (“so cute”) upon finding a worm (or maybe a maggot) in one of the biber. Don’t be horrified by the idea of a worm/maggot in the biber. Anyone who has ever made salça is well aware that its luck of the draw with those massive bags of biber. Some are good, some are bad and sadly, some are rotten. Adds to the taste according to The Turk (although the worm/maggot in question did not form part of my salça I swear to you).
So, when I say next year that I am making salça someone point me to this post – and to the looney bin.
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A public toilet in Türkiye can be one of the most feral places on earth. I guess I could say that about any public toilet around the world but as I live in Türkiye and this is a story about Türkiye then I’m going to say Türkiye. Anyway, you would think that in the thousands of years that public toilets have existed, someone would have thought to modernise the ancient art of sıçmak (shitting) amongst strangers. What makes it all the more worse is if you really luck out and find yourself desperate to use the facilities, you follow your helpful host down a funky smelling corridor, praying that you are not about to be sold into slavery, and into a damp, dark room (why is there never any electric?) only to find … a squat toilet in the corner. FML!
Long term readers are already aware that over the years I have had a bit of a love/hate relationship with the squat toilet and, despite a few near misses, I actually consider myself as a pretty knowledgable squatter. I can usually be called on to give helpful advice to any virgin squatter setting them on the righteous path of dryness and some fabulous thigh muscles. I mean in all these years I’ve never had spillage or splash back. I totally have the angle sorted. Yes, of course I bring my own paper and I always have 1TL in my pocket to pay at the door. I can dodge a puddle and unknown entities do not phase me. I have even mastered the skill of blocking out that smell – you know the smell – but since my knee reconstruction it has become abundantly clear that all my past successes adds up to exactly squat (no pun intended).
While visiting Kozan recently to photograph the sunflowers (thus the photo above) I found myself needing to visit the little girls room and I was relatively happy to find a clean-ish public toilet. Yes it was a squat toilet which could’ve potentially caused heart palipations for any lesser yabancı but for me I was happy to see it was a 6.5 on the squatty potty scale of cleanliness. I went in for I am the Squatting Master. I have the skills of an Olympic gymnast and the little matter of a still troublesome knee reconstruction wasn’t going to stop me from my goal. What was going to stop my from my goal was my skin tight jeans on a fecking hot day! Do any of you remember that episode of Friends with Ross and the leather pants? That was me. I was Ross and I was fecked!
I don’t think I actually have to go any further. You all know what happened next. *Sigh* Yes, I had a squatty potty disaster – and it wasnt a little splash back situation, no ma’am, this was a fully fledged guidance system failure thanks to my sweaty skin tight jeans that I could only drag half way down my legs and fecked up knee bent into an unholy angle leaving me in a position that I couldn’t recover from. And as soon as I realised what had happening it was too late and I literally peed all over myself! To add insult to injury and to drag others into my mess a friend came running to my aid only to bend over and rip her own pants! So there we were, two yabancılar in a little town a couple of hours from home, me covered in pee and my friend showing off her blue Primark knickers (I’m not sure if they actually were blue Primark knickers). I am sure the locals had a good old laugh after we left. The words salak yabancılar come to my mind and I’m sure it came to many of theirs as well!
What to do? What to do?
I guess I should say I was lucky it was so fecking hot so I dried out pretty quickly and a few squirts of deodorant returned me to my pre-pee fresh scent but after this little disaster I have made an executive decision. There shall be no more pee stories from this little yabancı. I am now on the hunt for one of those P-EZ pee-cups stat. In future I shall stand tall and pee freely!
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.
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.
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I always refer to Türkiye as a woman. Türkiye is strong. She can be a little temperamental at times and has even been known to chuck a wobbly every now and then but usually things return to normal. I mean it’s normal for relationships to have their ups and downs and yes I am aware that in psychology circles I would be called an Enabler. Oh and upfront this is not a political post. I will not make any comments in relation to that ridiculous Referendum and its outcome. Oops. Sorry.
Back to my story.
Yes Türkiye can be a little tempermental but usually I forgive and forget – but not this time. What started as a day became a week and seriously seems to be moving into a month and everything here in the Village, in Mersin and even in Türkiye, is pissing me the hell off. I held out as long as I could but enough is enough and finally, she broke me. Türkiye broke me.
And even as I write this I know I am being a pouting princess and I know how lucky I am living in this beautiful country, but honestly shit should get easier, you know!
Alright let’s rewind and I will vent and then maybe, just maybe, I can move on from her most recent transgression.
It all started last Wednesday. It was a normal Wednesday. The Turk and I had kahvaltı on the terrace while below us Dede was screaming at the passerby (yes this is normal for us). I mentioned to The Turk that we had no internet and no telephone – again. “Sorun değil aşkım” was his reply and he rang TTnet to arrange for a service. I pointed out that I think we needed an electrician but, of course, The Turk knew better (and God forbid he is never wrong). At this point I just want to say that I am also dealing with a temperamental 14 year old who literally HATES THE WORLD so when she realised on Wednesday morning that there was no internet – again – seriously folks don’t worry about North Korea dropping a fecking nuclear bomb on anyone worry about Daughter blowing a fecking gasket!!!
By Friday the internet was still not fixed AND to add to my current woes we also had no electricity. I thought this would be a good time for me to get out of the Village and do the grocery shopping. I hit Migros and I brought up big! Came to the register to pay, handed over my credit card and – declined! WTF??? Of course I didn’t have the cash to pay for my groceries so I had to leave them at the shop and return home empty handed. And that was it. It was that simple. I broke.
By the time I got home I was in tears. I threw myself on the couch and cried for a good few hours before finally putting myself to bed. At 4pm. It was suggested to me that I needed chocolate and red wine – stat – but as my credit card was declined I didn’t even have these simple medicinal necessities to tide me over and so I lay in bed crying my eyes out and wishing I was back in Sydney where this shit just wouldn’t happen.
Sure I know these are all First World Problems, and yes, I know I am being a bit of a şımarık, but seriously no electricity, no internet, no telephone and now no cash! What the feck did I ever do to you Türkiye? Have I ever done anything but love you? Support you? Talk you up to my friends? Yeah that’s right! And you turn on me! Well I’m pissed off and I won’t stand for it anymore! In fact I’m breaking up with you!
Anyhow, TTnet finally arrived on Saturday morning and confirmed that we did, in fact, need an electrician so The Turk called a guy who knew a guy who promised to be at ours by 2pm. At 6.17pm four teenage boys arrived at our house. They were the electricians! Ugh! One of the boys refused to come into the house because of My Hurley Dog so screamed instructions through the door (Çek! Çek!) to the other three as they re-wired our telephone and internet. By 10pm they had finished. We had internet. We had telephone. Yah!!! By 11.15pm? Gone! Again!
It comes and goes now. That’s okay. I guess. And we only lost the electricity once yesterday (although it was for 6 hours).
What I find so incomprehensible is that everyone seems to accept substandard workmanship and bad behaviour. They have all these social niceties but when it comes to service they just accept that the work will be dodgy or the quality of their goods and services will be less than stellar. It is the norm here in Türkiye but it shouldn’t be. People should expect excellent service if they are paying for it. The Turk just shrugs as says “Bu Türkiye!” Nope more like Bu-llshit!!
And speaking of bullshit let me just tell you one more little story before I get dragged off to the looney bin.
After my second meltdown on Sunday to my BIL (as my television had no signal and our intermittent internet was gone – fecking again) a television service was arranged. The dude arrived yesterday on time (a first) and proceeded to reconfigure our satellite dish for a better service. I only really watch one or two shows on television, I don’t really care if there is service or not because I watch television via the internet (if we have internet that is) BUT there is one English news channel – TRT World – and even though it is a completely bias channel run by the Government (please don’t shut me down “Powers That Be”) it was, at least, in English. Until our little friend serviced my dish that is, now we have lost the channel. FML!
Anyway before he left he asked to use the bathroom. He disappeared behind the door for a good thirty minutes. What on earth did he do in there? Well I certainly found out within moments of him leaving when an entity crossed my path. A shit entity. A smell so foul that it was as though he had smeared shit from one end of the guest bathroom to the other! I literally had to open all the windows and sit on the terrace for an hour before the house had been cleared of the putrid smell! I still haven’t gone in there either. I’m a little scared of what I might find that he left behind for me. I’ll send The Turk in to take the bullet.
Sorry for lumbering all this on you all. I don’t know when I’ll be back. But I will. Eventually.
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A dingo ate my baby. A good story (well not for the baby). Or how about my dog ate my homework. A classic tale.
But this story is better.
This is the story of a goat. A goat that ate my undies!
Kurban Bayram officially gets underway tomorrow and there are a lot of goats and sheep in the village unwillingly ready to be sacrificed. The herder will parade the animals through the village on their way to the kurban kesme yerleri (authorised sacrifice abbatoir) although here in the village it is not unusual for people to purchase an animal as the herder goes by for sacrifice in their garden or a nearby park.
Usually the herder will not go down our street. Between My Hurley Dog and the Rottweiler next door the crazed barking sends the already nervous animals a little deli and they tend to run amok but today the herder had such a large contingent of animals that he was trying to control that a small number did wander into our street and start chewing on the weeds and grass outside my home. Unbeknownst to me I might add. I was still in bed. Having sweet dreams. Maybe about The Hot Groom … or Brad Pitt. Or both. Oh my!
Now to the story about my undies.
I did a load of washing last night. I am a good Turkish Housewife (alright that’s not entirely true). I put the washing on the line and then sat down to watch an episode of Stranger Things (love that show). I then went to bed to have my aforementioned sweet dreams. Of course I woke to the sound of My Hurley Dog barking like a maniac on the terrace so I went out to corral him back inside. I hung over the railing to have a squiz at what he was barking at. It could have been Grey Cat. My Hurley Dog hates Grey Cat. Grey Cat keeps sniffing around my two remaining stray bitch cats trying to have his way with them. It wasn’t Grey Cat. There was, however, a bunch of goats wandering around in our little garden but that wasn’t what caught my attention. No. What caught my attention was one particular goat. It was a ridiculously cute brown goat (seriously how can they kill these darlings) and it was bouncing around below me chewing on something. It seemed quite happy unbeknownst of his forthcoming fate. Wait a minute. What’s that he’s eating? I looked behind me at my clothes line. FML! The line was definitely heavier last night! What’s missing? A t-shirt. Yes, and what else – Oh bugger! My lacy black undies. The expensive ones. The ones I had just brought back from Sydney. The ones that are used for, ahem, special occasions.
I ran down stairs to collect the pieces that had fallen off the line and to try and retrieve my special occasion undies (although I can’t imagine them possibly being salvageable). There was a tustle. The little brown goat won and wandered off to meet his maker happily chewing on the remnants of my undies. His last meal before he becomes Goat Stew.
In the meantime The Turk had woken up and was sitting on the terrace below mine having a çay. And a cigarette. And a laugh.
I turned and gave him the finger, “If I don’t get these undies back you’re never getting laid again!”
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