A White Flag

Well yesterday was certainly eventful wasn’t it?  My scrap with The Onion was the talk of the town.  After our initial blow up she continued to yell and complain to anyone who would listen to her and I continued to flush my toilet so that water came down the pipe and onto her precious granite below, even splashing her workers a few times.

breaking-bad-i-won

But as you can no doubt guess from my GIF – I won.  I won this particular battle.  Thanks to The Turk.  Always The Turk.

While The Onion continued to carry on outside and I continued to flush my toilet inside The Turk did what The Turk always does and stepped in behind the scenes.  After a discreet chat with Prince’s William and Harry (The Onion’s boys) a hush fell over the battleground, shovels were downed and all was quiet.  It was an eerie quiet too.  An uneasy quiet before the battle resumes.  So I flushed … again.

Yes thanks to The Turk a white flag appears to have been raised by The Onion (albeit by William and Harry) when their plumber arrived on the scene and immediately got started on re-routing our pipes (at no cost to us).  So how did The Turk manage to fix this family debacle?  Was the threat of a horse head in someone’s bed necessary?  No, not really.  The Turk merely pointed out that Vito and Harry (who sell maydanoz and nane to restaurants throughout the city) needs water from MY water pump to keep their produce fresh.  The Turk suggested that should our pipes not be returned to their former glory or an appropriate facsimile sorted before dark then MY pump would no longer be available to them.  Within twenty minutes the plumber arrived and within two hours I was able to poop and flush.

I won!

I told The Turk that I wanted an apology from The Onion.  He said I was dreaming but I’m holding out.  There is officially a grudge and officially I get now why my MIL and both of my SIL hate The Onion with a passion.  Last night was spent on my SIL’s terrace drinking vino and listening to them both bitch about the bitch meanwhile Mrs Vito closed all her curtains and slammed her front door a good few times.  We giggled.  I am no longer Switzerland, well maybe I am still Switzerland but this is a darker, edgier Switzerland.  This is the Switzerland of The Onion’s nightmares!  Beware of Switzerland baby.

You have been warned!

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Bad Neighbours

My SIL, who is forever known by me as The Onion, is a bit of a bitch.  The Turk hates her.  My mother in law hated her and Justin Bieber said it best when he said “my mother doesn’t like you and she likes everyone”.  Never has a truer statement been made.

mymindUp until today I have been relatively laid back when it comes to The Onion.  I have spent the last 3 years (hell that’s not true it’s been the last 15 years) as Switzerland.  Switzerland never took sides.  Switzerland kept a smile on her dial and was always nice and friendly.  Always with a ‘Merhaba’ or a ‘G’day’.  But no more.  It is done.

Those of you who are long time readers will recall that Vito built a house that is literally attached to our house.  Right on the boundary.  But that’s okay because family is family right?  Well it seems that it was us who originally built right on the boundary but when we built there didn’t seem to be any major problem but, of course, when The Onion built her new house she was pissed about the boundary issue.  Of course, that’s okay because family is family.  But today family ceased to exist and The Onion crossed the line with me.

We have a drainage pipe that runs down the side of our house and into a drainage pit on her land.  There is no easement but, like I have said – over and over – family is family.  No problem.  Well today there is a problem and I lost my shit.

The Onion is putting down some granite in what will be the parking area of her new home (and shop) and she instructed her builder to remove our pipe.  Didn’t ask mind you, just did it.  I went very nicely to her door and asked her (in my limited rubbish Turkish) why she instructed her builder to do it and she said that it was her land.  OMFG it’s been there now for 4 years!  4 fecking years!  She knew it was there.  Everyone knew it was there but she has had it removed.  I asked her “Are we family?”  She replied, “Yes.”  I said “well then it shouldn’t be any problem, it’s a small pipe.”  She then turned to the builder and told him to pour the concrete.  In front of me!  OMFG!!!!!

I did what any good Turkish Housewife would do and rang The Turk who immediately jumped in the car and arrived for the battle.  She told him that we had no right to build on her land (it was in fact the family’s land) and that we are definitely in the wrong.  Before I knew what was happening The Turk was wielding the piece of pipe like a club and was ready to thump her with it.  In the meantime she continued to call him names and that was it.  Usually I don’t need to involve myself in The Turk’s battles.  Usually I sit back to enjoy the show but today I had had enough.  I informed her (again in my usual crappy Turkish) that we were no longer family.  She then called me a name that I will not repeat which starts with an “O” and ends with a “U” but for those of you who do not speak Turkish you would call that person a “lady of the night”.

beyonce-wagging-her-finger-no

Oh no she didn’t! Oh yes she did!  YES SHE DID!!!  I flew at her.  Literally.  Jumped the small concrete fence between our two properties and wound my arm back ready to punch her in the face when The Turk grabbed me and held on tight.  Didn’t stop me though.  I become incredibly strong when I am angry.  I could flip a frigging car if I had to.  Anyway I’m still ready for a smack down so Vito had to grab my other arm and together they hauled me away kicking and screaming.

The neighbours were watching, in fact they had never seen me lose my shit so a few of them came down to watch. Brought popcorn.  And folding chairs.

I then grabbed my garbage bin and threw it on her.  Told her to wear it with pride.  Like the princess that she is.  And I walked away.

Mike drop.  BOOM!

This post is in response to daily prompt: Neighbours

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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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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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Why I blog

Over the course of my life I have embraced a number of different hobbies.  When I was younger my life revolved around sports.  I played netball.  I ran (and I was good at it … until I got boobs that is).  I was an active SOB but as I have gotten older and due to various injuries I gave up sport which, in hindsight, was a huge mistake (or so says my ass) but that is neither here nor there.  I also loved to travel (of course), loved spending time with my friends and family and when I had some down time I could be found buried in a book but like most things your life changes, I had Daughter, got married to The Turk and real life took over.

seni_seviyorum

The one thing that has remained constant since childhood is my love of writing.  I always have written tomes about magical adventures, or a memoir about my overly dramatic life or even a fanfic or two (before they became a thing of course).  I have knocked out tens of novels (all discarded) and today I write about my new home in a land filled with crazy Turks.

As you know I started blogging as a personal tool to journal the changes that my family was making but as I developed my style I found that before too long there were people reading what I wrote, and not just my 3 friends back home, but real people – you guys!  Some days had huge jumps in readers and follows and others days I just plodded along, happy as always.  I don’t need numbers.  I don’t need accolades … although …

I do want to thank each and every one of you who voted for me in the “Top 100 International Exchange and Expats Blogs 2016” because –

Janey in Mersin was voted among the top 10 (no 9 in fact) in the Top 100 International Exchange and Expats Blogs inIX16 on bab.la!  And yes I got a prize – 3 months language lessons.  I was thinking of taking French lessons but The Turk has suggested otherwise.

Thank you all so much for believing in me and my writing.

Yah you guys!! Teşekkür ederim.

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I’ve Been Nominated

I am lucky enough to have been nominated for IX16 Top 100 International Exchange and Experience Blogs.  I am feeling quite chuffed right now and am asking for your help.  There are no doubt many, many fantastic and deserving blogs out there but would appreciate if you would take a minute to vote for Janey … In Mersin through this link –

http://en.bab.la/news/top-100-international-exchange-experience-blogs-2016

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It’s a bit of a pain to scroll through but find Janey … In Mersin.  Give it a click and fingers crossed.  The prize isn’t money, its probably better (well in my case anyway).  It’s one year of Turkish lessons with Babbel (which of course I desperately need).

Now if you guys need some encouragement here are a few of my most popular posts –

How about that time I fell down a hole

Or that time I complained for months about the weather

Wordy wisdoms by The Turk or maybe you might like

The Turkish Moustache

You only need to vote once so get cracking!

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Köln

I just got back from a sneaky girlie weekend in Köln (Cologne), Almanya (Germany).  I had the grip the whole time I was there which certainly put a bit of a dampener on things but still as it was my first time visiting I tried to get out and see as much as I could.

Cologne

So because I like my lists today’s list is 10 things I have learned about Almanya over my girlie weekend:

1. Alcohol is an acceptable bevy at any time of day. No shit.  I stepped out at 7 in the morning to go buy Starbucks and watched 4 well suited young men wandering down the street with a briefcase in one hand and a bier in the other.  I can only assume they worked in the financial district … or maybe they were lawyers.

2. Pork worship. Upfront I am ok with this type of worship.  Hallelujah and all that.  Bacon.  Ham.  Salami.  Jerky.  OMG – crackling!  Again any time of day is a good time for domuz (pork).  Why not start your day with a plate of bacon with crackling on the side before snacking on some jerky to tide you over until holy hell – just look at what they serve up for dinner!  Yikes.

Cologne 163. Köln Christmas markets are the place to be. Where else can you wear dancing tree hats or a Santa suit while drinking glühwein (red wine heated with spices) before munching down a sausage sanga and finishing it off with the more festive feuerzangenbowle (red wine infused with rum)?  It is all about Christmas and the more Christmassy you are the better!  If you are not into Christmas get the hell out of dodge ‘cause you are going to be the odd man (or woman) out!

4. Germans are tall! I mean freakishly tall.  How tall are these people?  I’m like a tiny little oompa loompa next to most of them.

5. The Gothic styled Cathedral in Koln is a treat to view and is monumental in stature. It can seat 40,000 people and took nearly 700 years to build.  That’s a really long time considering it was built by Germans who are renowned for their efficiency.  If it was built by the Turks we would still be arguing over the right paperwork before the first foundation could be laid.

cathedral

6. Back to food.  Sauerkraut and lahana (cabbage) are again an any time of day food.

7. More food. Deep fried camembert and maydanoz (parsley)!  Why is it deep fried?  Bilmiyorum but damn it was delicious!

8. Still on food. Ekmek (bread).  Did you know there are over 300 different types of bread in Germany?  That is all.

9. Everything is closed on a Sunday. Well not churches and probably not the brothels either (prostitution is legal in Germany) but shops are which kind of sucks.  Sundays are also known as a quiet day so no mowing of the lawns either.  I guess it’s so you can get over that monumental hangover that you have from all the bier and feuerzangenbowle that you have consumed.

10. David Hasslehoff! I already knew he was a thing over in Germany but to hear his music blasting through the speakers at our hostel on a constant loop was a little hard to handle.  Well done though David.  Well done.

hasslehoff

Prost!

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