Sometimes being an Expat Sux!

I can probably count the number of close friends I have had in my life on two hands.  These are the friends that I know will be there for me through thick and thin.  They are the ones with a box of tissues or a bottle of wine and they are the ones that remind me that I can have a dream and turn it into a reality and they will be right beside me to cheer me on.  These friends, these soul mates, these are the people that I miss more than anything living here in Turkey.

Cloud 2 (1)

Sure I have The Turk’s family.  They have welcomed me with open arms but they are not my girlfriends, the ones you tell your deepest secrets to (although I think we can all agree my life is a pretty open book – or blog).  Plus that whole pesky issue of not speaking the language makes it tough to form close bonds.

With The Turk away I have become increasingly lonely and with the Daughter at school during the day I find myself mind numbly bored.  I have come to the realisation that I must actually like him (at least a little bit).  His health scare certainly scared the shit out of me and now I am just waiting for him to get the all-clear from his doctor before he can come home.

I am told that an overwhelming sense of emptiness and loneliness is normal for an expat and the waves of loneliness comes and goes leaving you either gutted or living on a high.  Being so far away from home the onset of depression can occur suddenly, the tiniest thing will set me off and when that happens the most I can hope for is to be left alone in my blackness until clarity re-sets.  I think if I lived in a more expat friendly city I would thrive but living here in Mersin it can be an incredibly hard slog.

It is my own fault you know.  Having this blog has opened up a huge window of contacts but I squandered the opportunities that I had and did not go out of my way to cultivate friendships and relationships with people.  I was always too busy and I know how difficult it can be to form friendships.  It can be a hard slog but do you know what else I have realised?  I realised that if I don’t make the effort then nothing in my life will change.  Deep I know.

So this is what I did.  I got off my ass.  I made contact with people.  Plans were made.  Dates were set and I can happily say that I now have a great little group of friends to play with.  I have learned that I am not the only one that suffers from the blues living so far away from home.  We are all missing our family and our friends.  A support system needs to be in place for us expats.  We need to be each other’s family and to step in and be that shoulder to lean on when needed.  Coffee in Carsi?  Sure.  BBQ in Yenikoy?  Definitely.  Drinks in Viransehir?  Of course!  Also I need to be friends with someone who can get me ham and yes there is such a person here in Mersin – hello Danny Boy!


Like I said it can bloody difficult living here.


Loving this blog? Please help me build my audience and share with like minded people who, like you, sometimes feels a little bit blue and loves Turkey. You can also subscribe or like me on Facebook for all updates.

Expats Wanted – Apply Within

Being an expat is bloody hard.  You are uprooted from your place of birth (usually voluntarily), drop kicked into a country where possibly no one speaks your native tongue and you spend your first few days completely shell-shocked and shaking while trying to find a place to live, get a job and re-start your life from scratch.  I am sorry to tell you my friend there is something else that you need to do.  You also need to throw yourself into the deep end of social interaction. You find yourself scanning crowds, searching for anyone that may come from your homeland and if you find anyone (and I mean anyone) who has an accent similar to your own you pounce on that person with the hope that they will become your new best friend.

I think I had it pretty easy when I first got here.  I had family.  People who actually like me (well most of them anyway).  I wonder how I would have coped being in Mersin, in Turkey, without family to support me and I shudder at the thought.  I imagine I would probably be holed up in my room, rocking back and forth, mumbling “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie. Oy, oy, oy” while eating the unpacked cardboard boxes at my feet.

Having my blog has helped me meet new people and I think it has been a pretty successful venture.  I often get emails from people via the blog or on Facebook who are expats in Mersin or thinking about moving to Mersin, hopeful of meeting some new people or wanting advice.  I try and get together with all of them too although they have not always been successful meets.


Today I was at the Forum which is a large shopping centre near Pozcu where I caught up with a few expats who I had met through my blog.  A coffee and a chat.  Commiserate at their dramas and laugh at their triumphs.  After coffee I left them to meet Daughter and her cousin at McDonalds.  Living in the Village there is no takeaway.  Wait.  I lie.  You can get a Tantuni delivered (which I love) for 3TL (about $1.50) but your standard burger and chips is just not available so when we go to The Forum Daughter always froths at the mouth in the hope for a greasy fix.  I watched her and her friend order their meal from my nearby table and then noticed Daughter talking to a lady in the queue behind her.  I always maintain a ‘no talk’ rule with Daughter regarding strangers and I was starting to get a little annoyed at her complete disregard to my rule but she was so animated with the conversation that I forgot to be annoyed and was more curious about what they were talking about.  Daughter’s meal arrived but she ignored it and continued to talk to the stranger.  When the stranger’s meal arrived she brought the lady over to our table.

“Mum.  This is Evelyn.  She lives here and I helped her order lunch.”

Evelyn smiled meekly, “Your daughter asked me to join you for lunch.”

Daughter took Evelyn’s tray and set it down beside me, “There you go Mum.  Another one for your little group.”

I had to laugh at the look on Daughter’s face.  She was ecstatic with the thought that she had played matchmaker and that Mum had a potential new friend.  I know she worries about Mum being lonely when she is at school or at a friend’s house.  So Evelyn sat down and we had a long yarn about her move to Mersin from Scotland.  She is in love and hopes to be married before too long.  Hmmm – boy have I heard a few stories recently about this subject.  I say nothing and merely nod enthusiastically when she suggests that The Turk and I come along to her wedding in April (with Daughter as bridesmaid of course).

So there you go.  Another little friend for my expat group.  If there are any more of you out their get in touch – the more the merrier!