No one is left behind

Those of you who are long time readers of my little blog may recall my post about Carl Frederiksen.  He was one of the old gentlemen that I would often meet in the village.  He was a kind old fella who unfortunately could not speak but he was always smiling and always so generous.

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I hadn’t seen Carl for a little while, in fact I wondered if he had moved away.

This morning while yelling at Daughter to “hurry the hell up or you’ll be late for school” I saw an ambulance drive past.  Now I’m not proud but I rolled my eyes – another funeral.  Five minutes later the mosque made the announcement – it was Carl.

Tears filled my eyes.  He was near to 90 years old – so he had had a good wicket – but he was one of the most genuine people I had ever met.  I wondered what would happen to him as he had no family but when The Turk and I arrived at his home I was so happy to see that there were hundreds of people there to see him off.  His neighbours washed his body and shrouded him while the village men carried flowers and followed in procession to the mezarlık (cemetery) for him to be buried.  Early tomorrow I will make the trip with the ladies to the mezarlık for the prayer.

I was so proud to be a part of this village today.  Whether you are young or old, with a family or very much alone, no one is left behind.

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My Hurley Dog is an asshole!

The first thing I do in the morning is take My Hurley Dog outside so he can “do his business”.  This should take no more than 5 minutes – 10 minutes tops – but some mornings this Sydney born and bred poodle/bichon frise can get mighty sidetracked by the tiniest thing and his morning poop or wiz can become a battle of wills.

DSC09986.JPGI can damn well assure you that if I had waited for 9 hours to take a wiz the first thing I would want to do once that opportunity was available to me is, well, take that wiz.  Not chase a cat.  Not tease the neighbour’s Rottweiler which I am pretty sure goes a little like this: “you’re on a chain and I’m not.  Nanananana”.  Not minutely examine a random bone that has appeared as if by miracle in your eye sight and certainly not attempt to terminate a passing chicken (I will admit I am responsible for his assassin programming to take out any chicken).  I would wiz!  Or poop!  Or damn it I would do both!!

And even when he does finally go wiz he has the ability to cause me more grief than not.  Wizzing on fresh maydanoz or nane waiting to go to market, wizzing on the abovementioned Rottweiler who chooses to behave above his uncouth neighbour or perhaps walking up as casual as can be to Vito and aiming his wiz right on his foot!

A walk with My Hurley Dog is a pain in the ass too.  It’s the equivalent of letting a drunk toddler out on the street.  Having said that I should point out that I have never seen a drunk toddler on the street although I imagine if I had seen a drunk toddler on the street I would probably call social services.  Anyway like a toddler (drunk or not) My Hurley Dog’s behaviour while on a village walk is borderline bat shit crazy.  There are too many insane things going on around him so the opportunity for sniffing, tasting, regurgitating or just generally checking it out means that a walk can go on much longer than it really should.  He darts here and there.  He pees, like, 8 million times.  He chases random cats, dogs, birds, goats, humans.  He barks at the sky.  He harrasses the guard dogs at a nearby business and then strolls away while they lose their minds.  He has been known to run through the maydanoz or nane with abandon while neighbourhood women are trying to harvest for market which causes lots of squeals and “Yapma!” as he passes by.  And I’ve mentioned before his love of all things shit related.  Horse shit.  Goat shit.  Other dog shit. General shit.  Shit!!!!  Anyway it all comes down to asshole behaviour.

I blame The Turk for My Hurley Dog’s lack of social skills.  Pre-village he was a very well behaved little mutt but since moving half way around the world all of his expensive training seems to have been left on the tarmac at Sydney International Airport while his prima donna behaviour is rewarded by The Turk instead of reprimanded.

One of The Turk ways of rewarding My Hurley Dog is that he has started taking him to the beach for a Daddy/Doggy day.  I swear to God this is a thing they do together.  They wander down the beach together.  They might go on a fishing boat and nab a few fish.  Together.  They stop by the çay evi on the way home for çay.  Together.  He doesn’t take Daughter to the beach.  He doesn’t take me to the beach but he does take the fecking dog to the beach.  Last night The Turk told me I resent My Hurley Dog.  He told me I was jealous of their relationship.  Daughter says that he might be onto something but I think they whole lot of them have lost their freaking minds!

Reading this back I have come to the realisation that My Hurley Dog is a spoilt asshole who needs to learn some manners.  Kinda like The Turk.  On occasion anyway.

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Lemon of Troy

“And, with that, a mighty cheer went up from the heroes of Shelbyville. They had banished the awful lemon tree forever…because it was haunted. Now, let’s all celebrate with a cool glass of turnip juice.”

Strong words from the Shelbyville elder but here in Turkiye a cool glass of şalgam suyu really is just the thing to fix what ails ya!

Simpsons turnip

Let me tell you last night I visited a neighbour’s house and, after some discussion about my recent illness, I found myself being served rakı along with a large glass of şalgam suyu (turnip juice).  The look on The Turk’s face was priceless.  He knew I was going to have difficulty chugging both of these drinks down but chug them down I did because it would be considered rude to not do so.  I can see why they are served together.  The strong anise flavour of the rakı very much complimented the overly salty salgam but for me together or separate both drinks are very much hard for me to swallow.

Turnip Juice?  Seriously?

Yes indeed folks, although it is called şalgam suyu this little concoction is more correctly made with fermented carrots (yes I said that) as well as water, salt and bulgur flour.  Don’t get me wrong there is also turnip in the mix but it is only a very small amount.  During summer there are vendor’s all over Çarşı selling this famous concoction (which actually originates from the Mersin/Adana/Hatay region) and you know they are there before you see them by his unique music made by tapping the ladles to his own beat and singing at the top of his lungs.

In fact Adana even goes so far as to have a festival in honour of the wonderous şalgam.  The Adana Kebap ve Şalgam Festival, emerged from the tradition of enjoying kebab, with liver, şalgam and rakı. Originally it was called the Adana Rakı Festival but organisers had to change the name because of pressure from conservative anti-alcohol groups who wanted the Festival cancelled.

You can practically insert Mrs Lovejoy’s shrieks here, “But what about the children?!”

Oh and for those who want to know.  It is apparently good for you with vitamin B, potassium, calcium and iron.  It will help you lose weight, relieve stress and is an aphrodisiac.

turnip juice

I’m not sure if I will partake in a rakışalgam suyu throwdown again anytime soon but methinks this might be more to the stellar hangover than the freaky taste sensation.

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Playing Catch Up

I just typed “May is finally here” into my Google search engine and it suggested to me to finish that sentence with “and dogs are finally celebrating”.  I have to wonder why dogs are celebrating.  Do they have a full social calendar in May?  Is there some doggy get together I know nothing about where they are free to pee on trees, sniff each other’s butts and drink too much doggy vino from toilet bowls?  Bilmiyorum.

As expected this post has started waayyyy off track so in order to bring it back to Mersin and Türkiye I will start again.

white rainbow

May is finally here in Mersin and the weather has begun to resemble an ‘80’s mix tape.  Those of you who are old enough *cough, cough* to remember the mix tape will no doubt have fond memories of hours sitting by their radio/cassette player waiting patiently for their favourite songs to come on.  For me it was Rick Astley, Toni Basil and, of course, Wham!  *hangs head in shame* so a Janey mix tape would give you a pretty crazy mix of music and that is what the weather is like right now (which was the analogy I was attempting at the outset of this post).  Oh and for you younger generation who are scratching their head at my ridiculous analogy think of an ’80’s mix tape as the equivalent of your iPod on shuffle.  Up to speed?  Okay!

It is deliciously warm though.  Not hot enough to say we’ve finally hit summer but definitely hot enough to hit the beach, well if you are yabancı anyway.  And hitting the beach is great right now because they are practically empty except for that one random Türk who you can never seem to get rid of.  He will infiltrate your group, drink your beer and play with your children before stripping off to his not so tightey whiteys and practically flash his soggy old Johnson in your face.

swimmer

But, like an ‘80’s mix tape or a shuffling iPod (yes like a dealer I am still pushing that old analogy), you just don’t know what’s coming up next and, in the blink of an eye, your sunshiny beach days are gone and you find yourself running for cover and hoping that a freaking house doesn’t fall on you and some smarmly little brunette runs off with your ruby slippers!

In the meantime our fruit trees have started to bear fruit and we have nectarine, apricots and peach (please don’t call it piç) in abundance as well as buckets full of mulberries.  The mulberry tree actually belongs to our elderly neighbours (no not Crazy Eyes) who are not so steady on their feet so The Turk and I happily fill bucket after bucket of mulberries for them before wandering around the village offering the berries to anyone who is willing to take them off our hands.  I’m telling you this mulberry tree is a reincarnation of The Magic Pudding and gives a never ending supply!  The Turk and BIL carried 5 buckets of mulberries to the school yesterday and gave them to the kids there.  When I went to the school last night with My Hurley Dog for his evening constitutional there were squashed mulberries everywhere (and I bet many of the kiddies went home with stained mulberry shirts as well).  I suspect The Turk won’t be as welcome with the buckets of fruit next time.

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Speaking of Crazy Eyes my nemesis has been neutralized.  In an operation that was more dangerous than “Neptune Spear” my nemesis was captured and was giving a full Viking funeral aka he became mangal.  Crazy Eyes didn’t really care either.  I think she was probably happy to have a decent night’s sleep too and if I can be honest her eyes seem less crazy today.  No, no, don’t thank me Crazy Eyes.  I’m happy to be of help.

Speaking of mangal The Turk took Vito’s Rottweiler for a walk the other day and they came across a goat herder tending his flock.  The Rottweiler went into launch mode and, well, let’s just say that money had to change hands to sweep this particular incident under the table and leave it at that … oh and we had mangal then as well!

I know I have been particularly slack with updating you on my weekly dramas.  I guess I have become immune to the chaos here now.  I don’t bat an eyelid at my foghorn SIL screaming from her window at someone – anyone – below and I just laugh when I witness what will no doubt become WWIII between The Turk and his brother or The Turk and the neighbours or the neighbours and some random or, well just about anyone and anything.

Until next time …

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My Father In Law

My FIL told me recently that I am not a very good daughter.  I agreed with him wholeheartedly, I mean sheesh my father could have told him that year’s ago and I’m pretty sure my mum used to tell me the same thing every single day.

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Why am I not a very good daughter (this time) you wonder?  Well I totally get it.  I am a bloody disgrace.  I had the audacity to go down to the bakery and buy him some piping hot pide.  I mean this bread is straight out of the oven and it is so soft that it will melt in your mouth and put centimetres onto your ass.  Anyway he didn’t want pide.  Why did I buy him pide?  What a bloody awful DIL I am indeed.

I also do not feed him enough although when I do feed him he declares to all and sundry that my food is not good.  I also do not make Turkish quality cay and I do not bathe him.  I’m just going to make a very public statement here – I will never, ever bathe him!  Never ever!  I bathe myself.  That is it.  I did pull his pants up the other day when he was shuffling down the street and they fell down around his knees – but that is where I draw the line.

My FIL is a stubborn old man.  He is nice enough but only as long as he gets what he wants.  God forbid if shit doesn’t go his way then everyone suffers.  I suspect that The Turk will morph into him when he gets older which worries me a lot.  I don’t want to have to bathe The Turk either.

My FIL likes to sit on the street and yell at people as they go past, in fact in my recent post about Google maps there is a photo of him no doubt yelling at the Google car.  He likes to sit at my front door and yell at me when I go past.  He can often be seen sidling up to a neighbour and complaining about this and that.  “I need a haircut”.  “Nobody feeds me”.   “My family hates me”.  These are a few of his most favoured rants but there are many others that he throws around at all of us and no one is safe from his rages either.

Dede on the street Google maps

He doesn’t, however, yell at people who steal The Turk’s Batman undies off the line.  Something a little off kilter there I think.

Why does a lot of his ranting fall on me you wonder?  Well I am the only one at home.  Everyone else works.  Which shits him too.  Why do the women have to work?  Don’t get me started on that!  Last weekend I went to a picnic in Limonlu and God forbid I did not get home until after 7.30pm.  My FIL informed The Turk that he cannot control me.  The Turk’s reply?  “I wouldn’t even try!”

When I think of my own excellent father I could never imagine him raising his voice or calling me (or The Turk) names but then I guess that this is the way that my FIL has always lived his life.  If one is never told that the behaviour is unwarranted or unacceptable in today’s society then one will never change their ways I guess.

I could take it personally.  I could raise my voice or blow my stack at The Turk but I wonder if I would be wasting my energy.  I have realised that I honestly don’t really care what he thinks of me.  I cannot change him but as long as I am true to myself then all is well.  I continue to be respectful.  I was taught that as a child – respect your elders.  I ignore his blabbing and his sulking.  I ignore the fact that my food sucks balls and my cay is weak and tasteless.  Between you and me I totally understand now why my MIL was constantly screaming at him.  I used to think it was cute.  I used to think that she was a feisty old lady and when he would laugh at her it was like how I imagine a couple married for 50+ years would act.  Now I realise that she actually wanted to kill him.  All the time.

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*Deep breaths*

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I am Ankara

On Sunday night a car bomb exploded in Turkey’s capital city of Ankara, killing 32 people and injuring more than 100.

Ankara 1

In February a car bomb exploded in Turkey’s capital city of Ankara, killing 28 and injuring more than 61.

Sound familiar?  Let’s keep going.

January 2016 – Istanbul 12 killed and 14 injured.

October 2015 – again in Ankara 102 killed and over 500 injured.

July 2015 – Suruç with 22 killed and 104 injured.

Enough yet?  Are you surprised by the numbers?

Maybe we should put a few faces to those that have lost their lives.

On the right is Deniz.  Deniz lost his life in the bombing in Ankara last October.  On the left is Ozancan who lost his life in the bombing on Sunday night.  Did they deserve to die at the hands of terrorists?

Ankara bombing

This is Elif.  She was 19 years old and going to University.  Why must her family suffer for the belief of another?

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This is Mehmet Emre.  He was 16 when he died on Sunday night.  Why must his family shed tears for their son who was merely waiting for a bus?

Ankara bombing 3

Sunday night’s attack was on a busy street, at a metro hub filled with people young and old enjoying the springtime evening weather.

I will not point fingers or give opinions on what is right and what is wrong with the world.  I will say merely this – no political, cultural, or religious belief is worth the lives of these kids.  Kids with dreams.  Lives with real meaning to those around them.  Families shattered.  Devastation.

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Wise Words

Sometimes The Turk surprises me and the other morning was one of those days where his genius, usually well hidden, comes shining through.

We have been building an apartment upstairs, which may or may not have approval – and let’s just leave it at that shall we?

light fitting

I have a very clear idea of how I want the apartment to look.  My style is simple, lots of crème and coffee colours complimented with lots of wood.  Simple, modern fixtures and fittings.  Nothing ostentatious.  Dare I say it?  Nothing too Turkish.  On the other hand my builder’s style is literally the opposite of mine.  His idea of style and class is to vomit as many colours as possible into a palate and compliment them with swirls and geometric shapes into every type of putrid combination possible.  He has said to me on more than one occasion that my style is old fashioned and I need to follow his esteemed advice.

Needless to say the builder and I have come to loggerheads more times than I would like to admit to.  The Turk has given up now.  When the doorbell goes he disappears into the bathroom and won’t come out until he is sure that either I have left or the builder has left … taking me with him.

Last week I went into Adana for the day where I enjoyed a few bevvies with friends and came home to pass out on the couch.  A very successful day.  The next morning I went upstairs to check on progress of the apartment and I nearly vomited (and not from the hangover).  The builder, obviously beside himself with glee with the knowledge that Janey was not only out of the Village but out of the damn city, and went ahead to install the ugliest the light fittings I had ever seen.

I said to The Turk, “have you seen what they have done upstairs?” and he, realising that a fight was imminent, denied any knowledge of it.

The next morning he sat me down in front of a can of opened tuna and this happened:

The Turk:  Let me tell you something.  You don’t eat fish right?

Me:            Right.

The Turk: It will kill you right?

Me:            Right.

The Turk: But you should eat fish.  It’s good for you.

Me:            But I’m allergic.

The Turk: No.  Fish is good for you.  You cannot be allergic to fish.

Me:            But I am.

The Turk: You do not know what you are talking about.  You are wrong.  Fish is very healthy.  Good for your heart.  You will eat the fish now.

Me:            I don’t want any fecking fish you fecker!

The Turk: And that is the story of the light fittings!

Me:            Oh an analogy.  Very nice (wait two beats) Get rid of the fecking light fittings for feck’s sake!  And the ceiling rose.  I’m going to vomit all over it!

The Turk: OK darling.

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Nemesis Update

Upfront a disclosure – I can be a bit of a bitch when I am tired.  Fact.  And today I am tired.  I am tired and I am bitter and I feel that this post is going to be long, boring tirade about my Nemesis and everyone connected with him so feel free to close the page, go back to your knitting or get out and enjoy some fresh air.  Here we go …

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I hate my neighbours, I really do.  Not the Family, although they drive me nuts and there will no doubt be a post dedicated to one particular SIL shortly (I am just waiting for the current drama to implode and then I can take some photos) but no, today’s rant is about the neighbours behind us, the owner of my current Nemesis.

My mum used to have a saying “if you keep making that face it will stay that way forever” well this particular neighbour obviously never listened to her mother because she always – ALWAYS – has a nasty ass look on her face.  She has the crazy eyes and to be honest she freaks me out a little, like I fear retaliation at some point in my future if I say anything against her.  But enough is enough.

crazy eyes 1

This morning my fecking Nemesis started his cock-a-fecking-doodle-doo-ing at 3:20 and he has been cock-a-fecking-doodle-doo-ing constantly every 20 minutes although right now he has returned to snoozeville and I am contemplating going down to his coop and yelling cock-a-fecking-doodle-doo in his fecking face!

I want to tell you sleep deprivation is not fecking funny it’s a serious form of torture.  I bet it was used at Guantanamo Bay and shite because this is the worst thing you can seriously do to someone. It is worse than a papercut and we all know how much they suck!  Let me tell you when my nemesis begins his hellish crow I am dragged kicking and screaming from my dream (no doubt Brad Pitt related) where I awake in darkness, disorientated and with a little bit of the crazy eyes myself.  By the time I have resettled and start to return to my ‘50 Shades of Grey’ inspired dream (I have never actually read 50 Shades of Grey but feel that a colouring book with only the colour available can’t be that great.  Sorry?  What?  It’s not a colouring book?  My bad) the Nemesis starts again like a record player stuck on Britney Spears, or worse still, Iggy Azalea.

A couple of weeks back an expat buddy told me a story of when she lived in Marmaris and had a similar Nemesis situation so she ‘encouraged’ her Nemesis to move down the street and away from her house.  Her Nemesis never returned.  I tried this tactic the other morning with My Hurley Dog and I corralling my Nemesis a couple of blocks from our house but my Nemesis seems to have a homing beacon because he fecking beat me home!

Now before you all tell me to ‘Love Thy Neighbour’ and all that shite I did go and speak to her in my limited Turkish and with a big ass smile on my dial.  My heart wanted me to go over there and scream blue murder but because of my fear of retaliation and, you know, the crazy eyes, I asked very PG nicely if she could move the coop.  In reply I got the crazy eyes, some random yelling that I couldn’t understand and, worse still, she did the ‘tsk’ (you know the ‘tsk’ that awful sound with the head jerk which signifies NO in a uniquely Turkish manner).

I find myself spending my day thinking up ways to punish her and to punish her family and to punish her friends and to punish that fecking cock-a-fecking-doodle-doo rooster of hers.  The next time I speak to her it will go a little something like this:

“if you get rid of the rooster now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you”.

Too much?  I can’t say this today of course as my Turkish still sucks but if someone could translate it into Turkish then I will study it and then at the appropriate time and at an appropriate distance (ever fearful of the crazy eyes) say it menacingly at her Liam Neeson style.

I may never recover from my current psychological break and if you never hear from me again I have no doubt been dragged off to the looney bin or worse still bitch has gone all crazy eyes on me and I’m probably chicken feed.  Ick!

Today The Turk is going to speak to her husband.  He won’t speak to her.  He is also fearful of the crazy eyes coming at him or maybe finding one of our stray’s heads in our bed in retaliation!  Bitch be cray-cray!

Cock-a-doodle-doo motherfecker!

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The Return of the Nemesis

I know I said I wouldn’t be back until 2016 but I just have to have one final bitter rant before the year is at an end.

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Do you remember my nemesis The Rooster?   This post will tell you a similar story.  I still have a nemesis.  He is still a rooster but – this time it’s personal!

In the past my nemesis (or nemesi – plural?) seems to have had a pretty short life span.  If it wasn’t one of the stray cats or My Hurley Dog that terminated my nemesis then I guess he usually ended up fricasseed or something because they never lasted long enough for me to want to go nuclear at the neighbour.  Until now.  This time around the neighbour seems to have replaced those early model nemesis with a crazy ass, psycho ninja nemesis that seems to be quite prepared to feck shit up!  This little bastard has turned the table so to speak.

He spends his days terrorising the strays, stealthly appearing and disappearing before trying to peck out their eyes.  He cornered My Hurley Dog in our garden and attempted to dismember him piece by piece before finally, he turned his evil ninja sights on me, stalking me in a manner that made me feel like my life was in real peril.  He did.  I swear!  Thinking he’s all Sylvester Stallone and puffing his chest out stomping around, again in our garden, flapping his wings and squawking at me all offensively while I was grabbing lemons off my lemon tree.

You might be wondering (and rightly so) why this fecking crazy ass ninja nemesis is in our garden?

Well let me tell you – the neighbour’s fecking chicken coop backs onto our fence (incidentally the fence is about 10 metres from my bedroom window) and my nemesis seems to not only be some crazy ninja he is also pretty good at escaping said chicken coop.  He is everything that a nemesis should be!

Did I also mention that my nemesis seems to have a cock-a-fecking-doodle-doo crow that sounds like an angle grinder had shacked up with nails on a blackboard resulting in this crapfest of a rooster?  And did I mention that this shitty angle grinder, nails on a blackboard asshole starts his incessant crowing at 4am?  Ugh!  Now I don’t want to sound like a bitch (I actually do want to sound like a bitch) but it’s not like we live in a rural area.  We might live in a village but honestly it’s more of a distant suburb of Mersin and we are packed in here pretty tightly.  Buy your fecking eggs from the fecking shop!  In fact if you get rid of your fecking shitty angle grinder, nails on a blackboard asshole crapfest nemesis rooster I will fecking buy you the fecking eggs!!!

I have just read that roosters can live to be 10 years old!  This brought tears to my eyes!  Actual tears!!

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Ho Ho Ho!

It’s just after midnight here in Mersin which means today is Christmas Eve.  Santa has already given me my Christmas present as on Wednesday I was given the all clear from the doctor and could get out of the house and frantically finish (read that as ‘start’) my Christmas shopping.

Thanks to social media I know that back home in Oz friends are indulging in some early celebrations with photos at packed beaches, parties on Sydney Harbour, leisurely lunches and generally having a merry old time.  They are frantically hitting the shops to buy their prawns and oysters, as well as mangoes and avocados all in readiness for their Christmas celebration whether it will be at the beach or by the pool or even a barbie in the backyard.  Ah Sydney – I can dream can’t I?

Christmas in Sydney

Here in Mersin, Christmas has been a pretty low key affair; in fact the last few years have been positively depressing.  On our actual first Christmas Day here I made a huge fuss and arranged a full Christmas lunch for the family with presents for everyone.  Unfortunately none of them came because, well, it was just Wednesday to them (plus most of them work and were unable to take a day off).  Having learned my lesson last year The Turk took Daughter and I out for lunch which was nice but not really special or Christmassy at all.

This year, however, I am excited at the prospect of Christmas Day as I have been invited to a friend’s house for lunch.  I am told, however, that calling tomorrow ‘Christmas lunch’ is not giving justice to the day or the meal for that matter.  This is no mere Christmas lunch; this will be a Christmas extravaganza.  There will be pork, and bacon (Eeekkk!).  There will be turkey (yes haha turkey in Turkey – hilarious).  There will be prawns.  There will be gravy and oodles of vegetables, and sugary biscuits and lots of Gluehwein.  There will be something called an Eton Mess and finally there will also be ox tongue (I’m not really sure what to say about that but it’s apparently a tradition).  This will not be a mere lunch either.  This is an all day, into the night and with the possibility of continuing into Boxing Day spectacular.  I am thinking of wearing my tracksuit pants as they are stretchy enough to sustain themselves throughout what will no doubt be a wonderful day full of great friends, lots of laughter and waaayyy too much food.

ChristmasDinner

To all of you who follow my ridiculous antics here in Mersin I say thank you and may all your Christmas wishes come true.

See you in 2016!  2016???  Crikey!

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