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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I’ve Been Nominated

I am lucky enough to have been nominated for IX16 Top 100 International Exchange and Experience Blogs.  I am feeling quite chuffed right now and am asking for your help.  There are no doubt many, many fantastic and deserving blogs out there but would appreciate if you would take a minute to vote for Janey … In Mersin through this link –

http://en.bab.la/news/top-100-international-exchange-experience-blogs-2016

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It’s a bit of a pain to scroll through but find Janey … In Mersin.  Give it a click and fingers crossed.  The prize isn’t money, its probably better (well in my case anyway).  It’s one year of Turkish lessons with Babbel (which of course I desperately need).

Now if you guys need some encouragement here are a few of my most popular posts –

How about that time I fell down a hole

Or that time I complained for months about the weather

Wordy wisdoms by The Turk or maybe you might like

The Turkish Moustache

You only need to vote once so get cracking!

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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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It’s Not Easy Being Yesil

Following on from yesterday’s post about making sarma I thought I would dwell a little on yet another of my food fears  *deep breath*.

chard 4

When I was a kid I had a prejudice against anything yeşil (green).  It was never going to cross my lips.  It was poison I tell you – POISON!  A lot of my numerous food issues can be put down to the fact that my mum was a terrible cook.  Green beans were always brown.  Peas too.  Broccoli was just gross – who wants to eat miniature (brown) trees anyway?  And spinach?  Puke!  I also had my well known prejudice against domates and patlıcan but as we have already previously discussed my very obvious need for therapy I return to the story at hand.  Yes, a prejudice against anything yeşil.

Being my mother’s Daughter I too am no chef (and certainly not to the standard of a Turkish Housewife) so it was always going to be a trial living here in Mersin where home delivery is just about non-existent (although for some strange reason there is a home delivery service for Burger King and Macca’s).  So with my numerous and varied aversions to pretty much everything and the fact that I am a crap cook leaves my menu choices, well, I am going to say it, pretty limited.

Thankfully The Turk’s family took pity on me and fed us on a regular enough basis so that we didn’t starve as well as giving me a few cooking lessons so that I was self-sufficient (or perhaps because they were sick of feeding us).  Of course living in Mersin many of the meals are green based meaning I had to overcome my prejudices and learn to embrace yeşil.

In the first few months of winter many of the farms here in Mersin have a green leafy vegetable growing, so similar to spinach that I assumed that was what it was.  Naturally with my aversion to the colour of baby poop green I have never grabbed any but while visiting Auntie Muriel recently she gave me a big bunch of the ‘spinach’ to take home and cook for The Turk.  It will make his heart stronger she cries.  It turns out that the spinach was in fact not spinach it was something called pazı (Chard) which of course I had never heard of before but as The Turk is still feeling poorly I thought I should use some of this magical green stuff to help him spring back into health.

On the advice of Songul, SIL extraordinaire, she immediately gave me the secret recipe for chard – Kis sarmasi or stuffed winter greens!  Anything stuffed is delicious to be honest.  Having already mastered the art of the sarma I immediately knew what to do.  Stuff ‘em!

If you want to try your hand at Kis sarmasi let’s go:

20 piece pazı (chard) – cut into two or three size dependent

200gm kıyma (mince meat)

3 cups pirinç (rice)

2 finely diced soğan (onion)

2 grated domates (tomatoes)

2 tablespoon salca (biber paste)

1 bunch finey chopped maydanoz (parsley)

2 teaspoons dried nane (mint)

Cumin, tuz (salt), karabiber (pepper) for taste

Limon tuz (half cay glass mixed with water)

Zeytin yağı (olive oil)

From there it’s pretty simple; mix all the ingredients before slowly adding the olive oil.  You want the oil to cover everything but not get too sloppy.

Sear the chard leaves (or vine leaves) for about 30 seconds until they are semi-soft (soft enough to manipulate).  Then fill and roll.  And fill and roll.  And fill and roll.

Place the little parcel into a large pot and cover with water.  I pour in a little more olive oil and limon tuz (as needed) before placing a heavy plate over the sarma. Leave on medium simmer for 40-50 minutes.

This recipe made approximately 60 kis sarmasi, devoured by family in no more than 10 minutes.  Yah me!!!  _________________________________________________________________________

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Weddings and Funerals

In my pre-village life I could count the number of weddings that I had been to on one hand (including my own).  I could also count the number of funerals that I had been to on my other hand (including both of my parents).  Now since our move to Türkiye our life is inundated with them both and honestly, enough is enough!

wedding

Thankfully this year’s düğün (wedding) season has started to slow now that we have moved into autumn although I did come home to find yet another invitation on my door step yesterday afternoon.  This one is for The Turk’s second cousin’s daughter (for feck’s sake), yet another person that I have never met in my entire life.  That’s fine although as the yabancı I am usually dragged around the room like a trophy.  Between you and me I think having the yabancı at your wedding is a sign that you have really made it.  A yabancı is a real drawcard.  Regardless a Turkish wedding reception is great fun, whether you know the wedding party or not and usually the whole village turns out for the event.

Here in the village it is not uncommon for a wedding to go for two or three days not including the nikah.  There is the kina gecesi (bridal henna party) where all the bride’s female family members, friends and neighbours get together on the night before the wedding to paint the thick ochre paste on her hands and feet.  Then you have the traditional village reception usually held in the school grounds or on the bride’s street where jeans and t-shirts are acceptable attire and, finally if finances allow, the salon reception where you will find yourself dressed up like a starlet on Oscar night with more sparkle, makeup and hairspray than you thought you could wear in a lifetime.  The latter two nights are jammed packed with earth rattling Turkish müzik coupled with pounding drums, all night dancing, fireworks and tribal yelling  – after all the more noise you make, the happier you are.  The only downside to a Turkish wedding is they are generally alcohol free.  The Turk and I have taken to hiding the little baby bottles of Angora and an opener in my Fossil handbag so if you ever see me lugging around a huge handbag at a wedding don’t shake it too much.  Desperate measures people.

cenaze-islemleri

Although most of the weddings are out of the way for the season a cenaze (funeral) can happen at any time of year; actually here in the Village they seem to happen all the time.  The first funeral I attended here was for my mother in law.  It was heartbreaking.  Since then, however, I seem to find myself constantly attending funerals from people in the village, again usually people that I have never met.  Of course I have to attend.  It is respectful to be seen by the side of The Turk at these events however personally I find funerals highly emotional and, even though I may not have known the person, I hide behind huge sunglasses teary eyed.  A funeral will also go on for days (7 days to be exact) and it is necessary to attend every single day, drink copious amounts of çay and, in my case anyway, burst into tears at every prayer.  Sadly I now know there is a funeral even before The Turk can open his mouth because I spot the dark blue jacket neatly hung over a chair ready to be slipped on.  At that point I usually blurt out, “Oh no!  Who’s died now!” because the dark blue jacket is his funeral jacket.

I’ve got to tell you, you run the whole gauntlet of emotions living here in the Village from the excitement of an over the top wedding, the comedy of a ridiculous family feud or the emotions of a neighbour’s death.  Even with all the drama that goes on around me I am incredibly happy with my life as it is right now – and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

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The Art of Salça

When I first arrived here in Mersin I threw myself into Village life.  I helped harvest the nane and maydanoz from the bahçe.  I helped make the peynir (which was a story in itself) and I helped my mother in law make the salça.

Making salça (paste) is a bit of a pain in the ass to be honest.  It is messy work – so messy – but the end result is rewarding to say the least.

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Since my mother in law passed away making the salça is the one thing I continue to do each year as a bit of a celebration of her life.  I remember how happy she was that first year with me and my SIL sitting together, covered in flies and literally surrounded by kırmızı biber (red capsicum).  I remember my BIL delivering the 100kg of biber that morning and me going “seriously?”.  It was a very long day (and half of a very long night) cutting and cleaning the kırmızı biber before making the paste.  The next three weeks were spent checking my precious biber that had been mulched to ensure that they dried sufficiently to make the paste and finally salting to ensure perfection.

I have continued with the tradition for the past two years since my MIL’s passing.  This year was a little different however.  This year my SIL’s family decided to ‘help’ me and so, without my knowledge, set about preparing the biber for me.  I was devastated.  They don’t get that of course.  They were merely being helpful but to me they ruined the one piece of my mother in law that was something I treasured.

The Turk gets so frustrated with me each year and can usually be heard yelling “why don’t you just buy it at Migros?”.  Yes it is messy and a little smelly.  Yes my clothes are ruined (in fact I have a salça making outfit) which is stained a very attractive red colour and yes the roof top is also stained from an initial overflow of mulched biber but the end result is totally worth the hassle.

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Here is a shot of my MIL that first year.  She was one happy lady with the end result.

I have been asked for a receipe but I really don’t have a one to provide to you.  Like most of my recipes it relies on knowledge handed down by my MIL (or SIL) to me.  Basically we get a butt-load of bibers (photo 1) which are then cleaned and cut up (keep the seeds in unless they are seriously rotten).  A little old lady will then magically appears with a machine (seriously every year this woman arrives on my doorstep – the biber faerie – as if by magic) and all our bibers (or domates) are put though the machine to mulch them.  We then transfer the liquid up to our roof where it is salted and mixed.  It will stay in the first receptacle (photo 3) which is basically for pieces of wood with covered in plastic.  Once the liquid is partially dried (usually takes about a week) it is swapped into the huge plastic bowls (photo 4) where it stays for 2-3 weeks and is mixed 5 times a day to ensure it doesn’t burn in the sun.  100 kilos of biber make about 15 kilograms of salça which is about 5 containers which, of course, you then give to your numerous family members leaving you with two jars.  These will last me 12 months.

A recent incident with an overturned horse cart filled with domates also enabled me to use my salça skills to make some top notch tomato salça.  Double high fives for me today!  The final salça still to be completed is my hot chillies.  They are still drying (a longer process to ensure that they are as spicy as feck) but should be ready next week (if the weather stays warm – which it will after all it is Mersin).

The memory of my MIL will continue to live on in our meals with her salça – also known by me as Nene Salça.  It didnt matter what she cooked it was always superb – no doubt thanks to her salça.

Quick addition to this post – for those of you wanting to see my salça pants (also known as village pants) this is the only photo I could find.  They are now put away until next year but perhaps a sneaky paparazzi can crack a few shots before my security guards chase them away LMAO!  I did learn that day why I should wear long sleeves AND long pants when cutting up the biber.  I was literally covered in bites so now I’ve got a very attractive top that in no way matches my pants but works just fine.  Thank you to Daughter for showing my how to copy my Instagram photo – I am so computer illiterate.  I put this photo on Instagram because I thought it was hilarious.  The men sit there drinking their cay while the women work their asses off.

biber pants

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Fantasy v Reality

Well it is that time of year again when I hear from those who have fallen head over heels, met their one true love and are looking at moving (or perhaps have already moved) to Türkiye to live the fantasy with their beloved.

Holiday romance

This is the epic love story isn’t it?  This is the love story that The Bard wrote about centuries before, a love more powerful than Napoleon and Josephine and a love that will last through eternity like Jack and Rose.  But just before you go packing your bags and dreaming of a new life in Türkiye with your true love let’s go over what you are getting yourself into – a little bit of a reality check shall we say.

For the sake of this post I am going to assume that you have met your true love in Marmaris or Fethiye or Bodrum (like me).  A holiday romance (like me).  And for the sake of this post I am going to assume that you are female (although no discrimination intended guys).  Finally for the sake of this post I am guessing that your man does not live permanently in Marmaris, Fethiye or Bodrum and instead comes from a small village some 18 hours away (or 12 hours or even 4 hours) where he will return to his family home for the winter months (again like me).

Right – let’s get started.

Can you imagine a life living in a quaint Turkish village?  Would you be happy living with your in-laws, his family, literally surrounded by hundreds of people and yet somehow being incredibly lonely?  Are you ready to immerse yourself entirely into a culture that is incredibly foreign and can be relentlessly unforgiving at times?

Take off the rose coloured glasses people.

Look again at that quaint village?  In daylight what it might really be is a bit of a dump.  If this place was back in your homeland you wouldn’t be caught dead living here.  Right?  Am I right?  I’m right.  Electricity comes and goes.  So does the water.  And speaking of water, is it safe to drink? Maybe.  And those people around you?  Are you merely a slave to wait on them or perhaps you are seen as nothing more than a yabancı and generally get ignored from morning to night.  I am not saying that they are going to treat you like that so don’t start losing your mind and writing me horrid messages, I am saying they might be.  It happens.  You, as the gelin, may be expected to do a lot of running around for the fam bam.  Be prepared for that possibility.

What about that lifestyle you were after?  Do you picture yourself spending your days on the farm, perhaps walking through the quaint village, arm and arm with your love, waving to your neighbours and having time to smell the roses?

That’s not roses you are smelling people – its horse shit, or cow shit, or goat shit, or … well you get the picture … and it is everywhere!

Are you designed to live on a farm or did you grow up in a wing at Buckingham Palace (or in my case Manly Beach).  Trust me when I say the sounds of chickens clucking and cock-a-doodle-dooing is like a jackhammer to my ears and I believe that meat should be purchased from a supermarket and not retrieved from your driveway after Baa Baa was slaughtered before your very eyes.

But you will make allowances after all you will be together with your love.  It will be wonderful.  A happy life.

*Cough, cough*

As long as you realise that he has been working away from home for over six months and, now that he has returned home, he will no doubt need to get another job to continue to support his family (and you) for the next six months until the summer season re-starts.  Work can be scarce for many here in Türkiye.  He will no doubt work extremely long hours leaving you at home with his family or maybe all by yourself.  Perhaps he will disappear for hours to the local cay ev for cards leaving you to stare at the four walls making you feel like your home is your prison cell.  Of course he will need to visit all of his extended family and you will be dragged from home to home like a show pony.  Are you ready for that?

Don’t get me wrong people, I love Türkiye but I arrived here in The Village with my eyes wide open.  I had travelled here every year for a decade before we made the decision to pack up our lives.  I knew what I was getting myself into and I still find it difficult.  Every single day.  Difficult.  If you think that this is going to be your very own Shirley Valentine or Eat, Pray, Love then do yourself a favour and unpack your bag right now, get on the telephone or on Skype or Whatsap and nut out some ground rules for you and your love.

He will need to support you 110%  I don’t mean financially, I mean emotionally.  You have moved here from your comfortable home, from a country that is your mother tongue and you have left your family and your friends behind.  He cannot get angry at you.  He must not get frustrated or ignore you.  You will have questions.  Hundreds of them.  I still do.

You will be lonely.  Thank God for Facebook (don’t diss me I mean it).  Find expats groups.  Find likeminded people.  I know this might be difficult in the small village (I’m the only one in our village) but look in the neighbouring towns.  Some from our expats group here in Mersin come from small villages in the mountains or even from neighbouring cities to spend the day with friends.  Offer to help at the local school.  Your English is a gift to the teachers here.

Really, really do your research.  Find out where you will be living and what it means to live in that area.  If it is a teeny, tiny village you need to throw yourself into that lifestyle wholeheartedly.  Find out what allowances you will need to make – culturally that is.  Will you be living in a conservative area?  Can you do that or do you want to wear your cut-off shorts and to hell with them all?!  Perhaps you will be living with his family.  You will have no privacy.  They will come and re-arrange your drawers or walk into your room unannounced at all hours.  Boundaries.  Draw that line in the sand and make sure he (and his family) abides by it.

Finally a little bit of advice for your partner from me –

This lady is your true love.  She has moved here to be with you.  Don’t make her regret that decision.  Do the right thing.  Treat her with the respect that she deserves.  Treat her like a fecking princess!  She IS a fecking princess!! Spend time with her.  Don’t disappear for hours on end leaving her to your family to entertain.  Help her settle in to her new environment.  Please don’t get agitated at her when she is unsure of herself or of what is going on around her.  Understand the difficulties that she is having with the language barrier or the culture.  Most importantly don’t be a complete douche or you will lose her forever!

Now breathe … and go pack those bags!

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So this just happened …

Daughter had me edit this post as I had originally said there was 312 water balloons.  She explained to me in earnest that I should not lie on the internet.  There is in fact 450 water balloons!  So starting now …

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Daughter just returned from the market with 450 water balloons.  The old bloke at the market must have thought she was quite mad.  450 balloons seems a like a lot of work what with the filling them and then the pesky tying of the knots.  I don’t envy that job!  But she seems intent of arming our house – just in case.

water-balloons

Me:  “Just in case of what?”

Daughter:  “Zombie apocalypse”.

Me:  “In the Village?”

“Daughter:  “Sure.  I mean it makes sense.  Around here I sometimes wonder whether it’s already started.”

I just spat out my mouthful of red!  So wasteful!

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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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Pride and Prejudice – Turkish Style

For the sake of this post the character of Miss Elizabeth Bennett will be portrayed by Daughter.  Mr Darcy is The Boyfriend and Wickham is The Bad Boy/Stalker.

It was a pretty exciting evening at ours on Friday night.  I made Spaghetti and meatballs.  No that was not the exciting part of our evening.

I am well aware that Miss Bennett has a “boyfriend” whom I have named Mr Darcy.  Sidenote: for illustration purposes I have included this photo of Colin Firth as Mr Darcy (definitely the best Mr Darcy).  I still remember seeing this BBC show the first time and going “Woah” when he climbed out of the pond at Pemberley.  Anyway Mr Darcy in this little post goes to the same school as Miss Bennett.  They call each other boyfriend and girlfriend and she has updated her social status appropriately as “In a Relationship”.  Help me please!

Mr Darcy

So Mr Darcy and Miss Bennett continue to flaunt their relationship at school with wistful glances and perhaps a little hand holding as they walk the corridors between class.  While true love blossoms there is a thorn – a thorn who also has love for Miss Bennett but whose affections are not coveted.  Yes. We have a Wickham to our Mr Darcy (so to speak).

Miss Bennett calls him “The Stalker” but let’s stay in character and call him Wickham.  Wickham is in her class and since school started in September he has attempted to gain her favour with bunches of wildflowers on her desk, the occasional chocolate and, yes, even love letters hidden in her school bag.  Miss Bennett does not covert this attention and, in fact, has told Wickham in no uncertain terms to go and get f*cked (definitely not very ladylike) but Wickham perseveres with his unwanted affections.  He sits behind her in class and draws on her school shirt with a permanent marker – “I love you” in English.  His eyes watch her as she is in the school yard with her friends (or with Mr Darcy) and has recently started following her home from school of an evening.  Very stalker-esque yeah?

Miss Bennett has mentioned Wickham to me before.  She told me that she dislikes Wickham immensely and even told me about an altercation a few weeks back between Wickham and Mr Darcy.  I warned Miss Bennett that she should keep away from Wickham and that perhaps he is not a very good friend.  On a serious note as a parent when do you say that a child has crossed the line, that the child’s intense need for friendship has become too unwanted by your child or that his behaviour makes your child feel scared or feel like a victim?  In Turkey children are not taught the same boundaries that are taught at school in Australia.  Is it considered cute when a boy harasses a little girl and follows her home each day? At what point do you say to your daughter – this kid is a psychopath! Run, don’t walk!?!

Anyway on Friday night Wickham followed Miss Bennett home yet again.  Miss Bennett yelled at him to leave her alone but he continued to follow her.  Miss Bennett proceeded to run the last couple of hundred metres passing her Uncle Vito on the way home.  Vito (being Vito) stopped Miss Bennett and, after learning what had happened, chased after Wickham giving him a piece of his mind followed by a fast whooping.  Wickham ran into the darkness in tears while Miss Bennett rushed home yelling about the embarrassment she has suffered.

After a couple of deep breaths we sat down to our spaghetti and meatballs when we had a knock at the door.  The polis had arrived.  It seemed that the whooping Vito gave Wickham had understandably upset his family who also arrived on our doorstep shortly after the polis.  Wickham began yelling about his love for Miss Bennett and the fact that Mr Darcy had stolen Miss Bennett’s heart.  He explained that he had in fact had dibs on Miss Bennett and Mr Darcy should be reprimanded for his behaviour.  Miss Bennett reply was a fast “F-you” (much to my embarrassment and to the shock of the other adults in the room) while Wickham’s parents yelled at Wickham so furiously that I couldn’t even begin to grasp was what being said.  Moments later Vito came running through the door grasping a large stick (no doubt ready to give Wickham another whooping) while the polis tried in vain to calm the whole crazy down.

After a lot of accusations and finger pointing Wickham has agreed to not follow Miss Bennett as she walks home anymore.  The Turk, in his wisdom, has decided to go to the school (yet again) to ensure that Wickham is appropriately dealt with and Vito has promised to not attack children for no good reason (yes I think it was for good reason).

The Turk and I are hopeful that Wickham has learned his lesson.  He will become merely a blip in our memories as Darcy and Miss Bennett continue their fledgling friendship (should I say relationship(?)) into the future.  Finally we are all hopeful that Vito refrains from chasing children with sticks.

Never a dull moment in our house – for sure.