What Time is it? It’s Salça Time!

I used to say that making salça (paste) with my SIL was the most fun you could have in the Village with your clothes on.  In fact, I even complained a few years back about my SIL’s family taking over my salça making duties and ruining my fun.  I take it back now.  All of it.  Salça making ain’t fun.  In fact, now I think that making salca is the equivalent of giving birth.  It’s long, painful, incredibly messy, it can take weeks of recuperation afterwards before you feel yourself again but, surprisingly, in the end, you’re prepared to go through it all that pain again next year.  And of course you’ve got all that fabulous salça at the end of it all.

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Well that day is here again and I was chomping at the bit to make our kırmızı biber salça.  200kg of kırmızı biber (red capsicum) ready to be transformed into salça by me, my SIL and her mother.  Oh, and My Hurley Dog who assisted by chasing kediler (cats) and rolling in the mess until he was stained red.  He is not happy right now and is well aware that a bath is in his immediate future.

Back to my story.  200kg of kırmızı biber is a lot of biber.  My SIL called me down at 5 am, not to start work but to help make the ekmek (bread) for kahlvatı (breakfast).  To me making the ekmek is more work than its actually worth.  I’m happy to nick to the market and grab a couple of loafs of bread for 1TL each!  After the ekmek we started on the salca and it was just freaking exhausting.  Toiling away (before the real heat of mid-morning hits) with the cutting, cleaning, mulching (is it called mulching) before lugging buckets of biber salca up three flights of stairs and spreading it out in huge bowls to spend the next ten days in the sunshine (I swear if it rains!).  Nine trips up those stairs today with two buckets each trip!  FML!

The stairs are now stained red.  My feet are stained red (blending nicely with my orange nail polish) and my hands are as red as my eyes.  I’m exhausted.  Time for a shower, a glass of red (same colour as my hands, my eyes, my dog and my stairs) and an early night (just like after I had a baby – well I didn’t have the glass of red but the rest stands true).

Quote of the day by my 7-year-old niece – “cok tatl” (“so cute”) upon finding a worm (or maybe a maggot) in one of the biber.  Don’t be horrified by the idea of a worm/maggot in the biber.  Anyone who has ever made salça is well aware that its luck of the draw with those massive bags of biber.  Some are good, some are bad and sadly, some are rotten.  Adds to the taste according to The Turk (although the worm/maggot in question did not form part of my salça I swear to you).

So, when I say next year that I am making salça someone point me to this post – and to the looney bin.

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120 Thoughts I had while watching Ay Lav Yu

A reader recently brought the movie “Ay Lav Yu” to my attention and I cannot believe that I hadn’t seen this Oscar worthy movie before.  It is my everything!  I laughed.  I cried.  I related.  I had a lot of thoughts — 120 thoughts to be exact.

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So here’s what I want you to do.  Grab some ayçiçeği çekirdeği and some çay and sit down to experience this piece of cinematic masterpiece while reading my commentary.  It will be like we are in the room together.

I watched it in Turkish but I have found this link on YouTube with English subtitles so a few of my thoughts may not make absolute sense because of my rubbish Türkçe.

Ready …

Let’s go …

  1. Is there a place called Tinne? *Google’s Tinne*  Bilmiyorum.
  2. I’ve jumped ahead of the story.  The village doesn’t exist to the Powers That Be or to Google apparently.
  3. Okay.  It is east of Mardin (probably not the best place to be right now).
  4. Our first glimpse of Romeo.   Excellent moustache.  Thick and well combed.  It is Sermiyan Midyat.  Not loving him here but like a fine wine he has aged well.
  5. Even better we meet Büyük baba. I already anticipate that he will be the real star of this movie.
  6. Are there two mothers?
  7. Ibrahim will be their saviour.
  8. I’m getting real strong Lion King vibes.
  9. That realisation that you live in a shithole.
  10. Ibrahim is in love and she is from Colarado. Colarado?  Colarado?  Yes fecking Colarado!
  11. Büyük babalar are the same everywhere in Turkiye. The exact same!
  12. Steve Guttenberg.
  13. The theme song seems to be the whole story to music. This will save time.
  14. It’s a love triangle and she is devo.  I will call her Bunny boiler.
  15. Her father might be an asshole.
  16. AND there’s a spinster.
  17. I’m ignoring the sheep jokes.
  18. Everyone is ripping everyone else off. Burası Türkiye!
  19. Gossiping villagers. This is my life.
  20. What’s with the crazy kid with glasses?
  21. He just smacked himself in the face!
  22. And again!iloveyou-kid
  23. I’d throw a rock at him too Baba.
  24. The lovebirds met in Adana. At the otobus terminal.  I’ve been to that terminal.  No way anyone would fall in love there.
  25. Cue flashback music.
  26. The Bunny Boiler is his cousin!  Yikes!
  27. Ibrahim’s like “you tripping girl”.
  28. I’m getting very thug.
  29. Here she is.   Of course she is blonde.  All yabancı are blonde.
  30. Her Turkish is worse than mine.  I bet she’s a teacher at the Incirlik base.
  31. Ooh ha! $120US!
  32. Fight! Fight!  Fight!
  33. True love right there folks.
  34. Meanwhile Spinster is clearly desperate to bang the yabancı brother.
  35. Good luck with that visa (especially in today’s political climate).
  36. Bath scene. That’s hot.
  37. “Cesika” LMAO! I so relate.  They call me “Yane”.
  38. The musicians are back giving us an update just in case we stopped to make çay or something.
  39. Büyük baba puts on his good silver teeth for company.
  40. Has Steve Guttenberg done anything since 3 Men and a Baby?
  41. The mother is clearly a Stepford Wife.  Diet Coke  pfftt!
  42. Steve Guttenberg’s acting skills are totes unappreciated. He’s channelling Brando right there!
  43. The priest is Ibrahim’s father? They must have some crazy key parties in Tinne.
  44. Wait!   Oh I see.
  45. I’m pretty sure that The Turk wasn’t that excited when I first came to visit his family.
  46. Did they sacrifice that sheep?
  47. The halı isn’t big enough. Is anyone else laughing at that?
  48. Phew the sheep is still kicking.
  49. Actually no one in The Turk’s family was this excited when I arrived.
  50. Control yourself girlfriend.  The whole village is watching.
  51. Let’s all make you feel welcome by shooting guns in the air.
  52. Two things – the sheep is dead and the yabancı brother is a pussy.
  53. Feck Steve Guttenberg. Büyük baba is the real star of this film.
  54. “Türkçe konuşamıyorlar”.  Clearly.
  55. Where the hell are the lovebirds? Are they off having a quickie?
  56. Yes love is love but watching this is like passing a kidney stone.
  57. Ibrahim speaks even less English than The Turk did when I met him.
  58. He won’t kiss her! Such a gentleman.
  59. Wait he kissed her. She must be a yabancı slut.
  60. The Bunny boiler is scoping them out.
  61. Time for some çekirdeği.
  62. They’re all going to end up with haemorrhoids.iloveyou-steve
  63. Aviator sunglasses makes Büyük baba look cool as feck.
  64. Yes it’s funny, the futbol topu is irregular.
  65. What’s with this crazy kid with the glasses? What metaphor am I missing?
  66. Baba just told the kid to “Siktir git!”. Well done Baba.
  67. Now he called the kid the “child of a prostitute.” Did he?  Feck me!
  68. Ibrahim and Cesika have finally graced us with their presence.
  69. Oh man I’m laughing. The Turk is the same, never explaining the long diatribes and simplifying everything with “good” or “no problem”.
  70. Küçük piç! Steve Guttenberg said a funny.
  71. The sleeping arrangements! I’m dying!
  72. She’s converted.
  73. Steve Guttenberg is truly a master.  How has he been ignored by the Academy for so many years?
  74. Hold up. She knows enough Turkish to have this relationship but she doesn’t know about the Nazar?  Give me a break.
  75. BWAHAHA Cesika’s FACE!!!
  76. Bunny boiler is pissed.
  77. “I am a Muslim but my sin is not.” Someone should put that on a t-shirt.
  78. The yabancı brother is rocking some pale abs. If he sparkled he would be a vampire. danny-abs
  79. The kizlar are going deli for that white boy.
  80. We realise that the freaking futbol topu isn’t round. That joke has been done already.
  81. The bunny boiler just got a slap down! I knew he was an asshole.
  82. Is she dead?
  83. Now people are dancing. That seems harsh.
  84. Open buffet!
  85. They’ve been in the village for two days and this is the first time Steve Guttenberg has gone to the toilet? He must be totally backed up.
  86. Sit and shit! Sidenote: my family here had a sit down toilet installed for me when I first came to the village.  My MIL was so happy she cried!
  87. The bunny boiler has a bun in the oven!
  88. Chinese whispers … and that crazy kid is hitting himself again!
  89. Well that’s that then isn’t it?
  90. Oh bok! 9/11.
  91. They don’t have water and they steal their electricity but DNA testing is a viable solution.
  92. Büyük baba is channeling Einstein.
  93. Ibrahim is not the father. Tebrikler!
  94. This wedding is jinxed.
  95. An immaculate conception.  Seems legit.
  96. It took the US 10 years to track down Osama Bin Laden but Steve Guttenberg did it in 10 minutes.
  97. This is taking a very dark turn.
  98. Spinster is going all Terminator on everyone.
  99. This really is going to be a shotgun wedding.
  100. OMFG they just circumcised the yabancı brother! OMFG!!!
  101. American toilet’s for everyone!
  102. So very confused.
  103. Groundhog Day.
  104. Again nope.
  105. Can anyone tell me why the baby chicks are pink and yellow?
  106. I now realise that the musicians are timed so The Turk can go for a cigarette.
  107. Okay now I just feel bad for Baba. He doesn’t exist.
  108. I am upgrading Bunny boiler’s father to a moose knuckle. Trying to steal the village away from Baba.
  109. Are they waiting at the Devlet Ofisi for an answer? They could be there for two lifetimes.
  110. Moose knuckle got denied.
  111. Blah blah blah. Joke done already.
  112. Seriously it took me 3 years to get my kimlik but in Tinne they are handed out like candy!
  113. Wedding – Take 4.
  114. Steve Guttenberg is all up in the funk.
  115. I am totally shipping Yabancı brother and spinster.
  116. It was the musician! Vindication for Ibrahim!  Does anyone else think it should have been Saito.
  117. 10 years later …
  118. The cow has eaten the whole car.
  119. Ibrahim and Cesika standing on Pride Rock (The Turk called it Fraggle Rock).
  120. My Lion King analogy is not complete without a baby and Elton John.

Wait.  That’s it?  THAT’S IT??

But … but what about the yabancı brother and spinster???  There had better be an Ay Lav Yu 2 with the yabancı brother and spinster moving to Colarado.  They have five children.  Yabancı brother has chance meeting with ex-girlfriend and embark on a torrid affair.  Spinster goes all deli and kills him.  Meets a TV reality star (maybe a Kardashian) at her hearing.  Gets a boob job and moves to Hollywood where she becomes an actress and meets Steve Guttenberg.  Full circle.

What did you think of Ay Lav Yu (or of my outline for Ay Lav Yu 2)?

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No Winter Blues

When we lived in Oz we always arranged our holiday to Mersin during September.  It was still deliciously warm but there was that cool breeze that soothed the rocking hell-fire that usually descends on the province during August (which has been known to send even me a little deli).  Winters, on the other hand, were a non-starter, no way I was skipping my summer in Sydney for the grey backdrop that would no doubt be Mersin during December or January.

Now that I live here I realise that that was my loss because while Mersin in the heat of summer no doubt rocks, it’s also got some pretty cool moves in the dead of winter as well.

Mersin snow

Falling temperatures sprinkle new magic on the small villages in the mountains and the medieval kalesi (castles) along the Mersin coastline and although I have not done much in the way of exploring thanks to my bung knee this winter I can say that over the years the chill brings a moody new perspective to the province.

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Daughter and I did zip up into the mountains a few times this winter and while the city of Mersin or our little village may be grey the Toros Mountains were gloriously sunshiny.  We took My Hurley Dog for a doggy snow day as Daughter had recently seen a video with dogs having a sensational time frolicking in white stuff but, of course, our asshole dog hated every moment of it.  He did, however, manage to find the carcass of some poor animal in the snow and try to drag it back to the car – I swear that dog disgusts me sometimes.

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With a smattering of snow the traditional Turkish villages are so enticing that a trek through the lower hills of the mountain range is something not to be missed.  Oh and for those of you who actually want to attach those silly wooden planks to your feet Kayseri is only 3 hours away with 8 lifts and no doubt more than enough apres-ski nightlife to suit everyone.

The coastline takes on a new role as well.  The beaches are still pristine but now they are empty.  Surprisingly the water isn’t icy either.  I mean I wouldn’t swim to Cyprus or anything but a paddle is pleasant enough.

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One of the bonuses during winter is it is much easier to visit the ruins (without self-combusting in the heat).  I have been known to lose myself for hours while exploring the many castles that dot the coastline and winter allows me to continue my exploration without breaking a sweat.

Winter also has salep, which is a mix of hot mastic milk, sugar, and flour made from orchid tubers, served with cinnamon.  Sold from street carts in the old part of the city you can enjoy your salep alongside a paper bag stuffed with kestane kebap (freshly roasted chestnuts), also purchased from street carts.

Today The Turk and I are off to Sarniç, a village 15 minutes outside of the city.  I’ve visited there so many times that he is beginning to question whether I’m having an affair with a local goat herder so today we will go together for lunch to celebrate our wedding anniversary (see we still adore each other – sometimes).  There is a fantastic lokanta on the main road that serves traditional Turkish food (the sucuk hummus is to die for) while you warm your weary bones by a roaring fire.  Yet another great reason to visit Mersin in winter I think.

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I mean if you really need another reason that is …

Disclaimer: my expat friend who lives up in the Yayla would not agree with anything said in this post.  She has had enough of the snow.  She (and her recently Home Alone kedi) wishes that the snow would feck off!

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No one is left behind

Those of you who are long time readers of my little blog may recall my post about Carl Frederiksen.  He was one of the old gentlemen that I would often meet in the village.  He was a kind old fella who unfortunately could not speak but he was always smiling and always so generous.

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I hadn’t seen Carl for a little while, in fact I wondered if he had moved away.

This morning while yelling at Daughter to “hurry the hell up or you’ll be late for school” I saw an ambulance drive past.  Now I’m not proud but I rolled my eyes – another funeral.  Five minutes later the mosque made the announcement – it was Carl.

Tears filled my eyes.  He was near to 90 years old – so he had had a good wicket – but he was one of the most genuine people I had ever met.  I wondered what would happen to him as he had no family but when The Turk and I arrived at his home I was so happy to see that there were hundreds of people there to see him off.  His neighbours washed his body and shrouded him while the village men carried flowers and followed in procession to the mezarlık (cemetery) for him to be buried.  Early tomorrow I will make the trip with the ladies to the mezarlık for the prayer.

I was so proud to be a part of this village today.  Whether you are young or old, with a family or very much alone, no one is left behind.

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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”.

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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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Playing Catch Up

I just typed “May is finally here” into my Google search engine and it suggested to me to finish that sentence with “and dogs are finally celebrating”.  I have to wonder why dogs are celebrating.  Do they have a full social calendar in May?  Is there some doggy get together I know nothing about where they are free to pee on trees, sniff each other’s butts and drink too much doggy vino from toilet bowls?  Bilmiyorum.

As expected this post has started waayyyy off track so in order to bring it back to Mersin and Türkiye I will start again.

white rainbow

May is finally here in Mersin and the weather has begun to resemble an ‘80’s mix tape.  Those of you who are old enough *cough, cough* to remember the mix tape will no doubt have fond memories of hours sitting by their radio/cassette player waiting patiently for their favourite songs to come on.  For me it was Rick Astley, Toni Basil and, of course, Wham!  *hangs head in shame* so a Janey mix tape would give you a pretty crazy mix of music and that is what the weather is like right now (which was the analogy I was attempting at the outset of this post).  Oh and for you younger generation who are scratching their head at my ridiculous analogy think of an ’80’s mix tape as the equivalent of your iPod on shuffle.  Up to speed?  Okay!

It is deliciously warm though.  Not hot enough to say we’ve finally hit summer but definitely hot enough to hit the beach, well if you are yabancı anyway.  And hitting the beach is great right now because they are practically empty except for that one random Türk who you can never seem to get rid of.  He will infiltrate your group, drink your beer and play with your children before stripping off to his not so tightey whiteys and practically flash his soggy old Johnson in your face.

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But, like an ‘80’s mix tape or a shuffling iPod (yes like a dealer I am still pushing that old analogy), you just don’t know what’s coming up next and, in the blink of an eye, your sunshiny beach days are gone and you find yourself running for cover and hoping that a freaking house doesn’t fall on you and some smarmly little brunette runs off with your ruby slippers!

In the meantime our fruit trees have started to bear fruit and we have nectarine, apricots and peach (please don’t call it piç) in abundance as well as buckets full of mulberries.  The mulberry tree actually belongs to our elderly neighbours (no not Crazy Eyes) who are not so steady on their feet so The Turk and I happily fill bucket after bucket of mulberries for them before wandering around the village offering the berries to anyone who is willing to take them off our hands.  I’m telling you this mulberry tree is a reincarnation of The Magic Pudding and gives a never ending supply!  The Turk and BIL carried 5 buckets of mulberries to the school yesterday and gave them to the kids there.  When I went to the school last night with My Hurley Dog for his evening constitutional there were squashed mulberries everywhere (and I bet many of the kiddies went home with stained mulberry shirts as well).  I suspect The Turk won’t be as welcome with the buckets of fruit next time.

fruit

Speaking of Crazy Eyes my nemesis has been neutralized.  In an operation that was more dangerous than “Neptune Spear” my nemesis was captured and was giving a full Viking funeral aka he became mangal.  Crazy Eyes didn’t really care either.  I think she was probably happy to have a decent night’s sleep too and if I can be honest her eyes seem less crazy today.  No, no, don’t thank me Crazy Eyes.  I’m happy to be of help.

Speaking of mangal The Turk took Vito’s Rottweiler for a walk the other day and they came across a goat herder tending his flock.  The Rottweiler went into launch mode and, well, let’s just say that money had to change hands to sweep this particular incident under the table and leave it at that … oh and we had mangal then as well!

I know I have been particularly slack with updating you on my weekly dramas.  I guess I have become immune to the chaos here now.  I don’t bat an eyelid at my foghorn SIL screaming from her window at someone – anyone – below and I just laugh when I witness what will no doubt become WWIII between The Turk and his brother or The Turk and the neighbours or the neighbours and some random or, well just about anyone and anything.

Until next time …

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Stop! I’m already dead

I am trying to be more present with the blog but, as real life shit gets in the way, my blogging life suffers.

kardashianFor example I had a post for today.  It was a pretty okay post about the usual Kardashian style family debacle that fills my life.  I mean you can’t make this shit up!

It was a story that had it all.  Wit.  Drama.  Sex.  But I deleted it.  Accidently.  And I can’t replicate it because my head isn’t working right now.  Some people might say that my head never really works properly but as I am possibly dying of the plague, or that shit that is running rampant in New Orleans in that new show, Containment.  Have you watched that shit?  Graphic.  Anyway I digress.

So instead of me giving you a story of the most recent drama between two of my four SIL’s (it was epically great and I will write it again when my brain has re-booted) I will have a little whinge-fest instead about health.

I am ill.  Hasta.

Perhaps I won’t die from this particular illness but the headaches are crippling and my only salvation is to lie on the couch and binge watch Game of Thrones in readiness for Monday.  MONDAYYYYYY!!!  If I do happen to die before Monday and I never see what happened to Jon Snow then … well … I guess I may as well be dead.

So I am ill and when one is ill in the Village everybody puts their doctor hats on and comes to your aid.  Regardless of the fact that they do not have any medical background what they do have though is a diagnosis, a treatment plan and a fecking opinion.

Let’s start with my SIL Songul.  She has diagnosed the grip and of course I am ill because I have slept with the window open.  It is clear that letting fresh air in has caused this debilitating disease.

Treatment plan:  Corba.  Lots of corbaIskende or paca if I can stomach it (no I cannot stomach it) but if not a hearty Eze Gelin.

Verdict:  Tasty.

The Turk of course has his own opinion.  I am, of course, ill because we don’t have enough sex.

His treatment plan:  Sex.  Of course.

Verdict:  Didn’t help.  Ugh!

shocked face 1

The fat teyze that lives opposite us:  Now she is, like, 100 or something so she’s had a pretty good innings.  I think she might be the closest of all of them to an actual doctor (although I suspect she has never set foot in a school).  Her diagnosis of my illness is the same every time I’m under the weather – My Hurley Dog and My Kedi Cat are disease ravaged vermin and should be thrown out with the garbage.

Her treatment plan: Garlic and regular usage of limon kolon (which, of course, no germ can survive).

Verdict:  Piss off!  It’s not my fecking animals.

shocked cat

Another SIL (the loud one) has suggested that I am not dressing appropriately for the weather.  Yesterday was a very pleasant 29 degrees.  No I did not have a jacket on and therefore yes I am going to die.

Her treatment plan:  A jacket (of course) and a strange çay that she concocted herself after wandering around the village to collect ingredients from various gardens.

Verdict:  Tasted like dirt

Aunty Muriel: I love me some Auntie Muriel.  She popped in last night upon hearing that I am close to death’s door.  Her diagnosis was simple. “Sıcak!”  “Soğuk!”  “Sıcak!”  “Soğuk!”  Now she repeated this a few times so I am assuming that she was saying that the weather is to blame for my current debilitating situation.

Her treatment plan:  I believe if anyone can fix what ails me it’s Aunty Muriel.  She made me some Icel köfte and she brought me a little blanket to tuck me in on the couch.  The blanket smells a little funky but that’s okay because it was given to me with love (and The Turk is going to wash it for me today).

Verdict: Still knocking on heaven’s door but damn I felt better with a little motherly love.

If anyone needs me I am on the couch.  With my Icel köfte and my corba and my funky little blanket although right now the school across the street are practicing for their end of year concert.  I have heard Gangnam Style 6 times already today … so far.

psy

Maybe I’m already dead.

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Mustang

Daughter recently went to Ankara where she, along with some of her classmates, were chosen to represent their school as members of JMUNESCO (Junior Model United Nationals Educational Scientific Cultural Organisation).  JMUNESCO was designed to model the United Nations and to educate students around the world about issues we currently face today.  One of the topics at this year’s JMUNESCO was women and children’s rights in second world countries and during her research on this topic she came across the 2016 Oscar nominated foreign film “Mustang”.

mustang 4Mustang tells the story of five sisters who are learning about friendship, love and most importantly the unjust lives of some women growing up in rural Turkey.  After an innocent afternoon at the beach with some male classmates, the sisters find themselves being imprisoned in their home by their guardians who are concerned that the girls will be seen as ‘sullied’.  From virginity tests (yes really), the undercurrent of incestual rape, teenage suicide and the very real possibility of being married off to strangers this film is tender, funny, and painful all rolled into a storyline that, as the mother of a thirteen year old girl, terrifies me to think that this behaviour still occurs today.   I watched the movie in Turkish (yes even with my limited knowledge of the language) but I believe it is available with English subtitles.  Spoiler: keep tissues handy because you are going to need them.

Daughter lives on the cusp of traditional Turkey and modern Turkey.  Here in the Village she sees not just how things ‘used’ to be but how they in fact still are.  It is not uncommon for girls to leave school, get married and have children when they are no more than children themselves.  That is their life.  Bitmiş.  Here in the Village Daughter dresses fairly conservatively and although she fights the system (me) she knows that this is just ‘how it is’ but once outside of the Village she will dance all night, wear cute clothes, hang out with friends and, generally speaking, not have fussy adults (again that’s me) always telling her what she can and can’t do.

Daughter knows that her future will include, but is not limited to, finishing her schooling, travelling the world, marrying a certain bass player (in the far, far distant future) and taking every opportunity available to her because that’s precisely how life should be. _________________________________________________________________________

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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.

crazy eyes 1

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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