This Post Comes with a Warning Label . . .

The Turk and I went for a BBQ at his cousins this afternoon – late lunch, early dinner, a spring fling, pre-daylight savings, pre-summer when its too hot to BBQ type of BBQ.  There was a lot of food and a lot of neighbours and family enjoying the said food as well as partaking in the home made raki and wine.  This means I have “taste tested” copious amounts of homemade wine and anything that is said in this post cannot be used against me.  I know I am tipsy as I just took My Hurley Dog around the block and walked into a truck.  It was a stationery truck but a truck nevertheless so my warning label will stand.

I am going to take a crack at the Daily Prompt.  I have never done one before (I think) so here we go.

Image

Whatever will be, will be.  The future’s not ours to see.  Que Sera Sera.

I have often wondered about what the future holds for me and for my family.  I have been to psychics many times over the years, mostly as a bit of fun, and usually these psychics were charlatans however I do remember going to one psychic many years ago who told me that I would not marry my Mr Mediocre.  He told me that I would travel back and forwards to a very hot country to visit my husband’s family.  Being half Italian I assumed it would be Italy and I imagined living in Tuscany a la Diane Lane in Under a Tuscan Sun  This psychic also said I would have one child – a girl.  Well I guess he was right on both counts (except that it was Turkey and not Italy), although I was devastated when he told me that Mr Mediocre was not my soul mate.  He explained to me that each soul that we cross does so for a reason, either to support us or to teach us a lesson and that my Mr Mediocre was a lesson that I had to learn and until I learnt it we would cross paths in each life until that life lesson seeped into my teeny, tiny speck of a brain.

I do not know whether I learnt my lesson with Mr Mediocre or whether we will cross paths again in our next lives.  I can say that when I returned from Turkey pregnant with Daughter he was engaged to another woman, the woman that he courted while he was with me, the woman that he went on to marry.  He also made many other presumptuous statements about our non-existent future and relationship but I will not repeat these statements as Mr Mediocre did go onto marry this Jezebel (sorry young lady) and they do have children so I do not wish to disparage their relationship (although I cannot imagine either of them would ever come across this little blog). I am pretty sure that if I did learn a lesson that day it was to never trust Mr Mediocre again!

There are many things I wish I could have changed in my life, things that I wish I had known up front.  Had I had known that my mum was going to pass away I would have asked her more questions, she should have told me more stories about her and about her life.  Had I had known my dad was going to leave me so quickly I would never have left his side.  I would have laughed when he laughed and cried when he cried.  Again if I was to learn a lesson from my parents it was to never let anyone feel forgotten and to treasure each moment as if it was your last moment together.  Finally had I had known that Daughter would grow up so quickly I would have spent more of that precious thing called time with her giving her all the love that I could have.  F*ck work she needs me more.

Right now I will enjoy my time here in Turkey.  It’s a beautiful evening (albeit a little windy) and The Turk has just called me to relax on the balcony.  He is reading his paper.  I have been re-reading Pride and Prejudice and will probably have a giggle at Mr Collins expense as I sit with him.  I will hum a little Que Sera, Sera and I will wait and see whether what will be, will be.

Toilet Humor

I had to laugh when I saw the recent memes doing the rounds regarding the toilet situation in Sochi.  I wonder if any of the journalists who have spent the last few days complaining about the less than stellar facilities have ever been to a country where the pressure in the pipes is not really sufficient to handle your squares.  I mean that wipes (hehe) out at least half of the world so are these journalists on their first overseas assignment?  Have they never been south of the border before?

Image

When The Turk and I first discussed building a home in the Village I questioned the plumbing situation.  It is not like I fill the bowl or anything but I need the necessities here people – “will I be able to flush my toilet paper down the toilet?”  Yes that is all I want and anyone who has holidayed in Turkey or Greece or, well, many eastern European countries, Asian countries, South American countries (again at least half the world) know “DON’T PUT THE TOILET PAPER DOWN THE TOILET!”.

What I have never understood about the technicalities of Turkish plumbing is the fact that you can drop a rather large kaka in your toilet and it will disappear down the s-bend with no difficulties but god help you if you even placed one square of toilet paper in that same toilet.  The little fucker will block up your toilet from now until judgment day.

The Turk tells me I should be thankful that at least my toilet is of the sit down variety because originally the plumber was going to install squat toilets in both the ensuite and main bathroom.  Seriously?  To quote Roger Murtaugh “I’m getting too old for this shit”.  I mean literally my knees would have given out on me by now.

The first night Daughter and I slept in our new home I will tell you I did a kaka and yes I put that toilet paper in the toilet.  It was an exciting moment – not the kaka the flushing of the paper.  A week or so later I had a telephone call from The Turk back home in Australia, “Jane we have a problem.”

“Huh?”  Picture the total confusion in my voice and on my face.  Thankfully we were not circling the moon at the time.

“You blocked up the toilet!”

“Me?  No!  It works fine.”  And it did because I had been flushing paper down it all week.

“Darling no paper down the toilet!”

“But . . . but . . . you said it would be fine.  I don’t understand.”

I really didn’t understand but what I subsequently found out that my brother in law (who had been parking his car in our basement at the time) had to call the plumber practically on a daily basis to have our pipes cleaned out as there was an overflow of excrement in the basement that was flowing towards his precious car.  He was too scared (read that as too embarrassed) to tell us so kept paying for the plumber himself!

Five months down the track and I have been conditioned to placing my toilet paper in the bin provided.  I hate it of course.  It is so unhygienic.  I have to scrub my hands like Meredith Grey going into lifesaving surgery after I clean that bin out and then there is the walk of shame to contend with.  What is the walk of shame you wonder?  It is not enough that you have to take your garbage down the street and around the corner to the large industrial bins for collection but when you know you are walking down the street carrying your used toilet paper or other sanitary items and then are stopped by a random on the street with a merry “Gunaydin”, honestly, I just want to die!

Çay Time

It is so fecking hard to make a cup of tea in this place!  There is a reason why I like a teabag.  It is easy.  It is simple and it does not require a damn engineering degree just to complete the task.

DSC05983

Before I go any further I wish to point out that at no stage has The Turk ever taught his yabanci (foreign wife) how to make either traditional Türk çay (tea) or kahve (coffee) so when the inevitable time came for me to attempt either of these two beverages it was going to prove a difficult task.  Earlier today I found myself without electricity but with the desire for a “cuppa”.  I bet you are wondering what I did.  Well I became the perfect yabanci eş and attempted to make some Türk tea – some real Türk tea.

My SIL recently gave me a çaydanlik (Türk teapot) as I suspect she was sick of tea bags when she came for a visit.  She also gave me a show and tell on how to correctly make çay.  There is an art in how to prepare Türk çay, pour Türk çay and even drink Türk çay however when SIL was giving me instruction I was a less than stellar student as I was more interested in the biscuits that she had brought over rather than how to make the tea itself (I mean, really, how hard could it be?).

I just want to remind you (in case you skipped it above) that The Turk has never taught me how to make çay so when you read below I imagine you will rally behind me at the suggestion that he has a little “accident” in the near future.

A çaydanlik consists of two separate pieces.  Crazy you would no doubt say.  The Chinese have been making tea for centuries without the need for two pots and my mother (along with her English ancestors) would have scoffed had I suggested that they had been doing it wrong for all these years but this is Turkey and in Turkey you need two pots.  I delved into my cloudy morning mind to recall Songul’s instructions on how to correctly make cay.

2 heaped spoons of çay – check. Water in the pots – check.  Put it on the stove – check.  Pride people.  I took the challenge and accepted my accolades when pride called my name.  Cok guzel Janey!

After about fifteen minutes the water in the bottom pot was boiling so I thought I should take it off the stove but the water in the top pot was nowhere near warm enough I put it on the cooktop to boil.  The Turk wandered past and stuck his larger than life nose in just as the top pot came to boil, “What are you doing?”

(“Building a rocket ship,” was the bitchy wife comment in my head)  Dutiful yabanci replies, “Making çay.”

“Well you can’t do that.”

The Turk proceeded to lecture me about what I was doing wrong and why I was doing it wrong (apparently you do not let the top pot boil as it will burn the leaves) and then gave me a little speech about “tea dust”.  Bitchy wife was beginning to get quite aggravated at this point but dutiful yabanci was still in complete control of my bodily vessel and set forth to make a fresh pot of çay with a smile.

2 heaped spoons of çay – check.  Rinsed for tea dust – check.  Water in the pots – check.  Put it on the stove – check.

The Turk called from the balcony, “Do you need any help?”

“No!”  Arsehole.

Another fifteen minutes had now passed and to be honest I really didn’t want a cup of tea anymore but I persevered as a good yabanci would.  About this time The Turk decided he should come and check my handiwork.  I mentioned that the water is still not hot in the top pot and out of his arrogant male mouth came this reply, “What?  You really have no idea what you are doing do you?”

Any hope of yabanci continuing to reside in this bodily vessel was just thrown out the window, “What the holy mother of all hell are you talking about?”

The Turk nudges me away from the stove and throws the contents of the top pot into the sink – yet again.

“You can’t use cold water.  You use the water from the bottom pot to heat the leaves.”

“How the feck am I supposed to know that?”  Yep bitchy wife is now in full possession of this vessel.

At this point the idea of pushing The Turk off the balcony came to mind.  He had washed the tiles on the balcony that morning and it was still a little slippery.  I stared at his measly body for a moment – I am certain that I could make this look like an accident.

Another 15 minutes now passes while The Turk’s çay simmers away on the stove.  Let’s just add all this time up.  45 minutes after I got the ridiculous notion in my head to have a cup of fecking tea I finally got a cup of fecking tea and if you are wondering if I can taste the difference between this fancy-smancy Turkish delicacy and a Jiggler-bag?  Nope, they taste the same to me.

_______________________________________________________________________

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

 

Forgotten Anniversary

Lying in bed last night I was going over the day’s activities in my head when I realised the date.  2 February.  Crap!  The Turk and I were married 11 years ago today.  The fact that we are still married in itself is a miracle as I have wanted to divorce him or murder him or perhaps break one of his appendages at least once a week since 2 February 2003.  But the more important issue at hand is that both The Turk and I have forgotten our wedding anniversary yet again!

It really should not be that hard to remember an anniversary should it?  After all it happens yearly, that’s the point.  But without fail either I would forget (and am usually reminded by the Accountant at my office who is excellent with dates) or he would forget (maybe it is a cultural thing because anniversaries and birthdays do not seem to be particularly important to anyone in his family) but the fact of the matter is this time we both forgot.

I nudged The Turk a few times until he woke up, “It’s our wedding anniversary today.”

“Huh?”

“2 February.  It’s our wedding anniversary.”

He rolled over and looked at the time on his clock, “It’s after midnight.  Not 2 February anymore.”

And promptly fell back asleep.

A normal wife would probably have exploded or pulled out a voodoo doll with their husband’s DNA attached at this point but I am not a normal wife.  He’s right.  It’s not important.  I have never been one to remember anyway after all I always relied on Bez from the office to remind me (Bez why didn’t you remind me?!).

This morning I woke up and, remembering that I had forgotten my wedding anniversary (huh?), I set forth to make brunch for The Turk and Daughter.  The Turk had already left to go and help his brother deliver maydanoz (parsley) so I had plenty of time to prepare.  Daughter was happy – pancakes are always welcome for a breakfast treat.

10:00 am and my feast is ready to be consumed when there was a knock on the door.

Kim o?” Who is it?

Unknown Turkish voice came from the other side of the door giving me a nonsensical Turkish reply.  Why do I bother asking?

I opened the door to discover a huge man standing in the doorway.  This man was seriously as large as the door itself wearing all black including a big, black, bushy beard.  He was no doubt a murderer or a terrorist or, well, I just did not have a clue but he scared the shit out of me!  I stepped backwards at the sight of him but then focused on what he was holding in his arms.  2 dozen perfect blue roses.  Blue roses!  I do not think I have ever seen a blue rose before!  The giant pushed the roses to me grunting some more nonsensical Turkish words at me and then disappeared down the stairs.  Daughter began squealing and jumping around and I was stood at the front door dumbfounded.

Image

By the time The Turk arrived home fifteen minutes later I had managed to regain my composure and locate/borrow enough vases to arrange my beautiful blue roses around our home.

“Darling.  Did you get my present?  Seni cok seviyorum.  And do you want to know the best part?”

“What?”

“They only cost 20 lira!”

Daughter threw the book that she was reading at The Turk, “Daddy!  Shhh!  How unromantic!  Jeeze!”

That’s my husband – always on the lookout for a bargain.  Happy (belated) Anniversary anyway.

Having a Benjamin Button Moment

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

Benjamin Button aka Brad Pitt aka My Second Husband

Image

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bad Hair Day?

You are not the only one.  Everyone has them.  I have had one practically every day since I have arrived here.  But today is not about me.  It is about my Hurley dog. Hurley is a cross bichon / poodle.  Probably not the best designed dog for the Turkish lifestyle.  Regardless he is part of this family and is given a lot of love and affection from not just us but now his extended family here.

Here is a photo of my Hurley dog on any given day.  Looking a little shaggy, a little dishevelled and a little like he has been lost on a deserted island after a plane crashed and was chased by polar bears.  Wait!  Hold on a minute.  That is Hurley from the TV show Lost (which was who he was named after due to the fact that Daughter watches way too much television).  But they do look remarkably similar do they not?

Image

Before leaving on his journey to Turkey I had Hurley sent to the kuafor for a tidy up – does he not look fantastic!  A doggy day spa in Australia is a pampering for your doggy baby.  He is shampooed, mani/pedi and if you say you want an inch off all over – that is what you get!

Image

But in Turkey it is obviously a little bit different.

I had asked The Turkey (typo but now that it is written I think it should stay) to take Hurley for a tidy up as he spends his days running around in the mud on the roads and farms and, of course, we are having building work done so there is concrete and dust and, well, he just downright smelled!  So after some telephone calls The Turk and Hurley went to Mezitli (the “fancy” part of Mersin) for his doggy day spa. Should I have gone?  Perhaps.  Will I go next time?  For sure!

Here is my Hurley dog having a really bad hair day in all its glory.

Image

My beautiful boy has been butchered!  I should mention that it is getting colder as every day goes by and that of an evening it can get downright chilly.  So Hurley has now taken to jumping into bed with us and grabbing the blanket to make his own “nest” to keep warm.

I might need to buy him a jacket.