Oops I did it again

It has been brought to my attention by you lovely people that I have not burdened you with my most recent exploits here in Mersin.  Honestly life has been busy and between the illegal building work, the constant rain, Daughter morphing into an obstinate teenager and The Turk driving me nuts I haven’t had a moment to sit down and write plus I am trying to concentrate on my novel – yes I am a frustrated (unpublished) author – perhaps the next J.K. Rowling – perhaps not.

In order to give you a quick Janey fix I will tell you about how I ended up (yet again) covered in shit after a night out in the Village.  This time it was cow shit not human shit but shit is shit and I am starting to question how these things happen to me – over and over again.

Last weekend the expats here in Mersin decided a get together was in order and a fish restaurant was chosen here in the Village as the venue.  I was ecstatic.  Not only did this mean that I was a hop, skip and jump from home it meant that I didn’t need to catch a dolmuş or two dolmuş or even three dolmuş (would that translate to dolmuşlar?) to get where I needed to go.  I merely had to walk less than 1 kilometre to the beachfront.  1 kilometre.  That’s all I had to do.  1 kilometre to the lokanta and 1 kilometre to get home.  I mean how hard could it be?

I guess it starts, as all good stories do, with alcohol.  Yes an expat night out means I go all out, so excited to be speaking English to a whole table of English speakers that I let my hair down and am out for a big night.  I was sensible though (in my own way) after all there was Raki (ick) as well as vodka jelly shots (and a vodka desert) but I stuck with my bottle of şarap (wine) that I brought with me.  Sadly though the first bottle was drained as was another … and another … and so by the end of the evening I was feeling very jolly indeed.

Walking home was very pleasant and one of the reasons why I love living here is walking through the village at night.  It is starting to warm up now, the stars were shining brightly and the smells through the village are just so delicious whether it be walking through a farm of freshly cut maydanoz or nane or passing a home where a family are listening to Turkish music as they enjoy the last of their mangal (bar-be-que).  The Turk decided to cut through one of the bahçeler (gardens) to speed up my drunken dawdling (and yes singing) and so we turned into a garden where they had recently tilled the soil for the next crop.

I have cut through this garden many times with My Hurley Dog and I am well aware of the cow shit that is piled high on the side of the grassy track.  In fact I have spent many an hour standing by the pile of cow shit as My Hurley Dog throws himself head first into it every. single. time.  What I did not know or perhaps had plum forgotten that the owners have dug a rather large hole in the grass immediately beside the poop.  On reflection I was bloody lucky I didn’t break my leg to be honest.  Anyway I turned to Daughter (who was feeling very jolly herself as she had enjoyed a sneaky vodka jelly) to watch out for the poop when all of a sudden the entire ground disappeared from under me.  It was as though I was being sucked into the vortex of a demon netherworld (which would make sense) but my fall was a slow one, slow enough for me to call out, “I think I’m falling” and for The Turk and Daughter to watch the collapse with glee.

As I fell I watched the pile of poop moving slowly towards me.  All I could say is, “Oh shit!”.  Yep it happened again although thankfully I am happy it was a dry poopy-poop not the human waste that chased me out of the long drop last time. Someone asked on FB whether Daughter captured this embarrassment on film and I am again happy to say no she did not for she is well aware of the unfortunate events that would occur if she ever crossed me publicly!  She and The Turk merely stood there laughing as I tried to roll out of the poop and the mud and pull myself back up.

hole 3

It took me 24 hours to recover from my night now and today I can examine my bruises that are forming a little more closely.  I am taking My Hurley Dog for a walk to the beach this morning however, honestly, I will not cut through the bahçe as a shortcut home.

Next time on Janey … in Mersin – my appointment with the Governor for my kimlik.  Stayed tuned.


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Rage against the Latrine

Warning – excessive use of Game of Thrones memes following.  Continue at your own risk.

I am well versed in the art of the squat toilet and it is an art form indeed.  I know that the squat toilet can be grosser than gross.  I know there will be a bucket or a hose and I know what to do with it.  I always BYO my own paper, never trip over the step and always remove my mobile before pulling down my jeans.  Hell I even carry my own sanitizer, as it is highly doubtful that there will be any soap – a nightmare for any self-respecting germ-a-phob such as myself.  Yes sir, I know my way around a squatty.  Nothing is going to phase a squatty pro like me but last night my worst nightmare came to life.  A nightmare so terrifying that you, gentle reader, will run, not walk, from the next squat toilet that you come across.  This story proves that there is no rest in a rest room, no dignity in the long drop and nothing but crap in the crapper.  This is my story.

My most recent post discussed the hava (weather).  It has been cold, not polar vortex cold but cold enough for me to go all nerdy and proclaim “Winter Is Coming” a la Game of Thrones.  See what I did there? Throne?  Toilet?  It will become clearer.

cold 2

Last night and despite having succumbed to Daughter’s sickness I found myself at dinner with some Turkish friends at a lokanta down by the sea.  It was really no hardship as we had been without electricity for most of the day and we also had no running water so cooking dinner was going to be a bit of a trial anway.  By the time we got to the restaurant the downpour had become a monsoon and it was colder than Joffrey’s blackened heart so I did what I always do to fight the cold – ordered a bottle of red.  Dinner was excellent and I enjoyed myself immensely forgetting about my sinus headache and the gale that continued to howl outside.

After quite a few glasses of wine it was time for me to visit the iron throne and I toddled off in my high heels to locate the bathroom behind the lokanta.  I opened the door and my first reaction is my normal reaction when I see a squat toilet.  “Ewww”.  My second reaction was to hold my breath as I stepped in and locked the door behind me.  I did what I needed to do, made slightly easier in the high heels funnily enough, and turned to flush.  The hole below me began to groan, a strange groan akin perhaps to Hodor fighting against a Lannister – “HODOR” – and I stepped back to make a break for freedom.  As I took that step in my heels I slipped, whether it was from the rain or the urine soaked tiles I will never know, but I found myself on all fours facing, but thankfully not actually in, the squatty.  Phew.


As I took a moment to regain my composure the toilet gave another groan, this time it was the groan of the dying Oberyn Martell as he took his last breath (I mean honestly his head looked like cantaloupe that had fallen from a horse and cart!).  I stared at the squatty as the groaning intensified and suddenly, to my horror (and taking into account that my head was no more than 30 cm from the gaping hole) my “sacrifice” along with everyone else’s began gurgling up intent on escaping from its excrement stronghold.  It was Mt Etna coming to life!  Dear God in heaven help me!  I scrambled to my feet ignoring the thoughts of the germs that now were embedded in my hands from my fall and I fumbled with the door handle as the slow moving mountain of shit continued to escape from its volcanic dungeon.  Holy shit!  Literally, there was shit everywhere no doubt a casualty of the flooding that was happening outside the lokanta!  The ground became a brown carpet of evil and I threw myself against the door, yelling at the top of my voice “Bok! Bok!”  I ran into the open air gasping for breath and staring at the shit that was now slowly oozing through the doorway and wondered why I never have my camera when I really need it!

game of thrones

The owner came running and it did not take him very long to realise what had happened.  He began to holler at me, at his staff, at Allah and anyone else who would listen.  Not really sure what I could do to help I left him to it and skidded across the courtyard back into the restaurant leaving my shitty foot prints trailing behind me.  I stood in front of my friends completely soaked, freezing cold and partially covered in shit.  Instead of sympathy they reacted in exactly the manner that I would expect all friends to react.  They laughed.

Finally and continuing with the Game of Thrones feel I have going I add one final meme.

cold 3

I thought it was funny.


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Today’s weather forecast is … crazy!

Oh my fecking God!  Yes it is a little chilly outside but, please, people, calm the feck down. Let’s not lose our head about this.  What is cold anyway?  To those of you visiting from the UK it is in fact rather pleasant in Mersin at the moment.  Yes there is a chill in the air.  There is a fresh layer of snow on the mountain range behind us and yes it was raining earlier in the week but is it cold?  Ummm, I really don’t think so. 

Right now I am wearing short sleeves although I admit you definitely need a cardigan at night.  Around me though people are dressing as if we were dealing with a polar vortex, discussing whether they need to dissect a Tauntaun (sorry nerdy Star Wars reference) and deciding whether to wait it out in the New York library with Jake Gyllenhaal (well alright if you insist).  Sorry folks it is just cold and it is not really all that cold for that matter.

day after tomorrow

You know once the weather changes here Turkish people literally lose their minds.  They verily believe that if it is not 400 degrees then you need to layer.  Actually even if it is 400 degrees you still need to layer but not with the same intensity. Cover your back!  Cover your neck!  Do you need a scarf?  *Sigh*

Flash back – middle of summer and I take Daughter and her cousin to the park.  Daughter is running around in shorts and a singlet and Tatli is wearing  – a singlet.  A t-shirt.  A long sleeve top.  And she is carry a jacket with her.  A jacket!  She must keep her jacket with her at all times.  OMG!  It is literally – literally – 400 degrees in the park and Tatli has a jacket!  Calm the feck down people!  Daughter is drenched in sweat in her singlet and is throwing water on herself at any opportunity yet she’s the crazy one?

Truthfully though right now Daughter is sick.  I am told by my kardeş (sister) that it is my fault because I have allowed Daughter to go outside in 25 degree heat wearing her short sleeve school shirt and without woollen stockings.  Diagnosed with akut bronşit (bronchitis) she has spent the past few days in bed.  Actually that is not accurate.  She has in fact spent the past few days lying around on the couch, surfing the internet and watching old episodes of Pretty Little Liars.  She has been prescribed a butt load of medicine (which she is, of course, taking reluctantly) although the clinic doctor is well aware of how I feel about enjeksiyonlar (injections) so he refrained from prescribing the Turkish equivalent of a headache tablet – the all secretive aşı (vaccine).  This “vaccine” is suggested every single time I go to the clinic.  What is this secret shot?  God only knows but I can assure you I am not pumping Daughter with some unknown aşı by our neighbour whose official title is “village injector”.  Trust me Doc once the antibiyotik kicks in you certainly don’t need the magical aşı pumped into your ass twice a day for a week!

So yes it is a little chilly here. Will Daughter wear a jacket next week?  Probably.  Is there a Snowpocalypse forecast?  No, but if you are coming to Mersin in November, bring a cardigan alright?

Rant over.

Nighttime snack in Adana

The Turk and I went to Adana recently to watch a band.  I cannot remember the name of the band, it was a pretty OK band, but for the point of this story the band is irrelevant.  As we left The Turk suggested a quick meal before we trek back to Mersin.  I nodded and pictured an Adana Kebab with all the trimmings.  Yummo.  It’s probably the Turkish equivalent to stopping by Harry’s after a big night out in Sydney.

We walked for a couple of minutes before stopping at a likely looking little Esnaf Lokanta.  It was packed.  Ever table in the lokanta was full.  There were people sitting in the gutter eating from plastic containers and people in the park across the street enjoying a little outdoor picnic.  Yes this place definitely looks good plus I was starving so when The Turk pointed out a couple leaving in the corner I raced for a seat.  I was happily perusing the menu when The Turk started to get extremely excited.  He waved over a waiter ordered me a Kebab and then ordered something I had never heard of before – Şirdan

Our meals were placed before us and after one glance of The Turk’s dish I literally wanted to upchuck!  I didn’t have a camera with me so I had to google to get a suitable one (thank you tour gordon).  Get a gander at this.  Şirdan is either sheep or cow stomach stuffed with meat and rice.  Cooked up in a large pot and then served with cumin and pepper it is a delicacy here in Adana.  Had The Turk looked up from his dish of repulsion he would have seen I had turned a wicked shade of green – I had had too many red wines to watch him chow down on this particular meal.  I decided to wait outside breathing in the fresh air rather than the pungent smell of cooked intestine. 


Where is Macca’s when you need it?