Dos Amigos

Literally blown away today.  Had Mexican.  My taste buds had an orgasm.  I am happy.

All right let me just calm down for a moment, take a breath and start again.

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Here’s the thing with expats.  Most of us are happy to get down and dirty with the local cuisine.  I’m all over a good kebab.  I’ve accepted the fact that I am more than likely going to have corba (soup) for breakfast and every now and then a neighbour will sacrifice an animal and get busy making enough food to feed the village.   I’m totes good with that.  I swear.  And as an Aussie, I am a big fan of multiculturalism as well as immigration, same-sex marriage and anything else that’s currently political in Oz.  I ain’t no Donald Trump.  I love everyone (well I hate a few bitches that I went to school with but generally I love everyone) and in reference to this post, I love Mexicans.  I don’t want to build no wall.  I love their culture.  I love their food and their music and their fabulous beaches.  I admire their ability to stick it to others and how they support their state and their culture.  Mexicans know their shit (and their food) and I respect them for it.  One of my fondest memories was of a dirty weekend down in Tijuana when I was in my early-20’s that resulted in a hangover that lasted for a week.  Good times.

Anyway as I said up top I had a hella meal today at a little place called Dos Amigos.  Now when an expat gives you the thumbs up on a restaurant or a cafe we swarm like ants.  Expats appear from every direction and rush to said restaurant to enjoy that little bit of home (or Mexico) and that’s just what is happening with this place.

The restaurant is in Pozcu.  I don’t often go to Pozcu as its busy and parking is a bitch so I parked in Forum and wandered over.  The restaurant was cute.  Nice and modern.  Very promising from the get-go.

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I had the meat nachos.  Nachos usually blow here in Mersin.  If you are silly enough to order nachos you will get some Doritos on a plate with some tomato sauce and cheese but not at Dos Amigos.  Today’s nachos had it all.  They were as close as they could be to the nachos I consumed on that crazy weekend back when I was still hotter than feck.  Nacho chips, sour cream, guacamole, refried beans (which were the bomb – I could have eaten a whole plate) and beef perfectly cooked with just enough spice to make me go “Woah!”.  My friends both had burritos (one chicken and one beef) and they were good sized servings.  The only thing missing was a margarita but I guess I can dream of that next time.

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So I’m going to hit you with a “Do Yourself A Favour”.  To those of you living in Mersin get down to Dos Amigos and have your mind blown by a damn tasty feed at a freaking reasonable price.

dos amigos

Photos are my own or courtesy of Dos Amigos

Telephone:  0532 628 46 96

Instagram: Dos Amigos

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Ugly Expat 911

Expats are few and far between in Mersin, and over the years I have met some very *ahem* exciting characters.  Some I see once and then block them from my mind and social media in the hope of never passing paths again, and others are my closest friends and allies here in this crazy city hahaha.

new expat

The thing with having such a small group is that when you do meet that character that you just don’t gel with it can be nearly impossible to escape from them.  You see them at the same events, hanging out at the same restaurants and you bump into them at your local pazar/beautician/dentist – but of course you introduced them to said pazar/beautician/dentist!  You dumb ass!!

This happened to me recently, and I found the whole experience quite exhausting.  I was my usual friendly persona, welcoming said expat with open arms and introducing said expat to other members of the group and beforementioned pazar/beautician/dentist; however, I realised pretty early on that I had nothing in common with said expat.  I found said expat’s behaviour towards others in the group appalling and said expats behaviour to the locals ludicrous at times.  Oh, and I also realised pretty early on that said expat was batshit crazy!

Said expat found themselves in a bit of a jam as well while here in Mersin and when the situation imploded (which of course it did) it was all hands on deck.  However, despite other members of the group giving sound advice and being a listening board said expat decided to do the absolute opposite to the advice that was given and found themselves in an even more precarious position.  I don’t know everything, in fact, I don’t know a lot, but I do know that when a situation is shitty, it’s time to leave.  It’s not the time to include as many people as possible in your personal drama.

I think the thing that frustrated me the most about said expat was the fact that she felt she was so entitled to her opinion and expectations and also expected all of us to drop everything to deal her every problem.  Oh, and said expat never said thank you.  Not even once.  Rudeness!

Said expat has gone now thankfully.  I hope said expat never comes back to Mersin or if she does come back then hopefully she doesn’t contact me again – of course she probably won’t because I have already blocked her on my social media and she was banished from the expat group due to her nastiness.

Ugh, I’m getting too old for this shit.

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Expat.com

I recently did an interview with Expat.com about our life living as an expat here in Mersin.  Of course the interview gives my *cough cough* unique spin on life here.  I am certain that the interviewer thought I was quite mad.   You can have a read of the interview here.

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For those of you who don’t know about Expat.com, they are an exchange network dedicated to providing free information and advice to those expats living or wishing to live overseas.  With forums, handy hints and interviews with other expats it’s a great way of finding someone in your neck of the woods.

Anyway I would love to hear your feedback on the interview.  At least let me know if I sound batshit crazy.  The Turk has been discussing buying me a straightjacket.  I have explained that they probably won’t be able to get one in my size.  Winning!

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Sleepless In Mersin

Insomnia does have its perks, for me at least.  I have been powering through my first novel and am now up to Chapter 22.  It’s a romance with just a little bit of sex (not porno sex just the idea of it).  My friend in Oz who has been my advisor on all things book related has asked me for more sex but The Turk has said that it makes him look dirty by association.  Yeah.  Whatever.

insomnia

Insomnia has also allowed me to make sarma at 3.30 in the morning and, as an added bonus, I saved the salça that been doing its stuff on the roof from the sudden downpour last night (yes it rained but it will, no doubt, return to its usual hellfire today).  So the glass really is half full and all that I guess.

I’m assuming that the insomnia which has gripped me is part of the whole peri-menopausal sitch that I am experiencing now which means I am already a little highly strung, suffering from Sahara Desert-like hot flashes and agitated to the point of taking all of you out but now I’m fecking exhausted on top of everything else.  FML!  Seriously FMFL!

It’s nearly 5am now and I’m staring at My Kedi Cat sleeping on the desk beside me with a mixture of hatred and curiosity.  My Kedi Cat doesn’t experience insomnia.  My Kedi Cat has the skill of falling asleep standing up.  As can The Turk.  And Daughter for that matter.  I hate them all.

cat-sleeping

I start cruising the web typing in the most outlandish things I can think of.  It seems my chance of surviving a zombie apocalypse is on 13%.  Well that sucks.  But I have a stellar knowledge in all things Grey’s Anatomy which will be useful … never.

Daughter has suggested I count sheep but as we killed one yesterday for Bayram my sheep appear in a much more sinister form and scare me senseless.  I’m never going to sleep again.

The Turk has sensibly distanced himself while I externally combust and is merely appearing intermittently with chocolate, wine or some other distraction for my bollocking brain until this bout of insomnia passes.  Like most things he thinks the best cure for insomnia is sex.  The look on my face said it all and he hightailed it out of here.  I haven’t seen him since.  No really.

I step out onto the terrace and wish that I smoked again.  A cigarette would be great about now and if I smoked I would be assisting in my own demise.  I can sleep when I’m dead and all that.  I hear the Muezzin begin the ezan (call to prayer).  At least I’m not the only one up now.  Around the village I can see a few lights flick on as people begin their morning routine.

The sun is beginning to rise in the east and the terrace takes on a pink tone.  I sit on my new (unscarred) terrace furniture watching the sunrise and sip my çay.  It’s light enough now to take My Hurley Dog for his morning walk.  I guess that’s a good enough reason to get my ass going and start the day.

Gunaydin. 

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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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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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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.

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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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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.

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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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What would you do?

The rather morbid question was put to me yesterday which made me stop for a moment and think … just a little bit.  I love it in Mersin.  I really do.  I’ve got some great friends and am surrounded by some great family (*cough, cough*) but … BUT …

“what would I do if (if???) The Turk passed away?”

Interesting.  What would I do?

cenaze-islemleri

I am not talking about legalities and all the rest of it.  Having worked in the legal field for 25+ years I’ve got a pretty good grasp of the law both in Australia and in Türkiye regarding the death of a spouse.  Yes we both have Wills.  Yes, both here and in Australia.  Do you have one?  If not you should.  Also all of our properties here in Türkiye are in both names as are our bank accounts.  Are yours?  If not, they should be.  It is not unusual for a Will to be challenged by family members so better to be safe than sorry.  Of course it won’t happen to you … but just in case.

Back in Oz I was extremely independent.  I looked after myself and didn’t need to rely on others for assistance but here everything is difficult.  How would I cope with the day to day crap that goes on here?  I may be a Türk citizen but Türkiye is not my original homeland and my Türk language skills are way below par.  But even my lost independence and language issue is not my real concern.  My real concern – my only concern – is Daughter and when it comes down to it, Daughter is happy here.

Would I uproot Daughter again unnecessarily?  Probably not.

Would I move to perhaps a more yabancı friendly area?  Tempting, but no.

Would I date?  Feck no (unless Brad Pitt tossed that skinny, lippy brunette).

Would I move back to Australia after Daughter has grown up (married Calum Hood) and moved on with her own life?  In a heartbeat!

So I guess that’s my answer.  For now.  But here’s hoping that I don’t really need to think about this for a while at least.

When discussed with The Turk last night his reply was akin to the great Mr Bennett (you know how I love to quote Pride and Prejudice):

My dear, do not give way to such gloomy thoughts. Let us hope for better things. Let us flatter ourselves, that I might outlive you.”

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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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