Friday, 31 July 2009
It was agreed that they would pay him on a daily basis...definitely preferable to the "work and wait for money" situation that we normally find ourselves in. And they did indeed do this. However the amount paid was far less than originally promised. An all too familiar story.
He came back after 5 days and handed over some money...a pathetically small amount...but better than nothing. Early the following morning he set off back to work and crashed the car. I did mention this in a previous post. He went to hospital but he wasn't hurt. But the car is off the road. Fortunately the fault lies with another car involved and his insurance will pay for the repairs. This is not straightforward. The insurance claim has been submitted by the driver but has to await approval before the work can be carried out. And a week later ... approval is still in the pipeline...and the car is sitting in a workshop...waiting. Aaargh...the Turkish disease...waiting...waiting for everything...how come they are so patient?
In the meantime, Mr Ayak informed the hotel of his situation, and in view of the fact that they were hardly paying him anything anyway, decided he would have to...yet again...look closer to home for another job.
Through a friend of a friend of a friend, he secured another job. He was a little reluctant to tell me what it involved at first and would just say that it was introducing customers..acting as a go-between as it were. Then when he finally told me that it was in a bar...outside Milas, introducing clients to prostitutes, I realised that whatever you liked to call this job...it is what it is...isn't it?
(Just as a matter of interest Prostitution is legalised in Turkey. Sex workers have to be licensed and they have regular health checks etc. )
Anyway..Mr Ayak was pretty embarrassed about the job and said that he would rather I hadn't known about it. But needs must...and he has to earn money and was prepared to do anything. He was due to start work this evening.
On Wednesday evening he had a call from the boss at the hotel, asking him to come back.....with the promise of more money. So he has rejected the Milas bar job and he set off with his packed bag again yesterday to catch 4 buses. I don't know when he'll manage to get home again. I don't know if the boss talking about more money is just a false promise.
But at least the next time someone asks me what my husband does for a living I won't have to say...well actually he's a pimp!
Wednesday, 29 July 2009
Monday, 27 July 2009
Sunday, 26 July 2009
Friday, 24 July 2009
I've mentioned before how difficult the work situation is with Mr Ayak. The lack of opportunities compared to his siblings, particularly education, has resulted in him having to live largely by his wits. Having to find work within the tourist industry which doesn't always require qualifications, but is both seasonal and unreliable.
We have had years of him working for different people and either being paid far less than was promised, and often not being paid at all, and there is no redress because the employment laws here (such as they are) are not reinforced. There is a minimum wage apparently...but ask any Turk what it is and they have no idea. It's rare to find a job in the tourist industry that gives you a contract of employment or in fact any guarantee of what you will be paid...or if you will be paid at all.
If Mr Ayak could recover today all that is owed to him for work carried out during his lifetime...we would be quite well off...in fact he could probably retire now.
But there's no chance. So many are in the same situation. For example its quite normal for men to work an entire summer season in a restaurant with appalling personnel accommodation and food, with the promise of payment of their accumulated wage at the end of the season. More often than not it doesn't materialise. And there's not a damn thing they can do about it. Of course if Turkey is accepted into the EU...it will have to change.......IF accepted...but that's another story!
So in the past couple of months Mr Ayak has worked for two different bosses, and he is still owed money. ...and all he can do is phone them constantly or keep turning up at their premises to ask.....all of which is costing us money in phone calls and petrol. So in the meantime he has done what he always does...gone off to work somewhere else in the hope that he will be paid. This time, although it's still in our area, it's too far for him to travel back and forth each day because we can't afford the petrol. So since Tuesday he has been staying in personnel accommodation and eating personnel food, and I will see him as soon as he has enough money for petrol and to pay the bills.
I used to get angry but there's no point..it just raises my blood pressure. Mr Ayak gets angry enough for both of us. Sometimes to the extent that he deals with it the "Turkish way" ie if, after a certain amount of time, it's clear that the boss won't pay up, Mr Ayak hits him. It doesn't always make the money materialise (although occasionally it has) , but it makes Mr Ayak feel a little better.
A vicious circle indeed.
Monday, 20 July 2009
Saturday, 18 July 2009
We are beside ourselves. In spite of our having made our garden perimeter as secure as we can, Poppy still manages to find a way out. Always whilst our backs are turned. Short of sitting and watching her 24 hours a day, I don't know how we are going to discover her means of escape.
She still can't get back in so we can only imagine that she escapes by jumping from a huge height...but that it's too high for her to jump back in.
So last night I attached her lead to a length of rope, tied to the steps and put her bedding under the steps..a cosy and cool place for her to sleep.
All was fine...no warning barks from Beki during the night which usually mean "she's escaped...come quickly".
When I got up this morning..there was Poppy curled up under the steps...quite content....BUT she had company...another one of the little dogs from Poppy's family was in there with her! Well not as small as Poppy. But the worrying thing is that he is a boy and Poppy is in season...so how do I know if they've "done the deed"?
Well I guess I'll find out sooner or later.....groan......
Thursday, 16 July 2009
Naturally I've had plenty of practise at sorting out these things because we have moved so often. It doesn't necessarily get any easier though.
Add to the list...finding a good vet. Not so easy here because most vets deal with working animals and don't specialise in the treatment of dogs...and as far as cats are concerned...forget it.
Anyway Mr Ayak and I set off this morning to find a vet. We left Beki at home and took Poppy with us. We found two vets in Milas, but didn't like the look of the facilities, but the third one seemed fine. The vet was fairly young...in my opinion usually a good sign here as their training is a little more thorough. He also had a small fluffy dog of his own in his office who looked happy and healthy, so I felt quietly confident in his ability.
Now for the shock...he examined Poppy thoroughly and decided she was in fact about 2 or 3 YEARS old...much older than we thought. I had a feeling this morning that she was coming into season and he confirmed this. In his opinion she has been quite badly treated and malnourished, which of course is why she is so small. It's also possible that she may have had pups at some time.
However, he did say that she is very strong and with the TLC that we are able to give there is no reason why she shouldn't thrive and be very happy. She's already very much a lapdog and loves cuddles.
She is still finding ways of getting out of the garden, but doesn't seem able to find a way back in which is causing a bit of a problem. We have arranged for a gate to be built at the top of the steps up to the verandah and this should be ready on Saturday. Mr Ayak built the stone wall a little higher last night but it didn't stop her...she seems able to leap from enormous heights!
Another "must find" in a new area is a decent hairdresser. Fortunately Turkey has more good hairdressers than bad, and they're very cheap...but I still hate having to search for one that suits me.
I was so lucky today. I managed to find a fantastic hairdresser. My roots were badly in need of doing and I needed a cut, wash and blow dry. He did a marvellous job for the total price of 32 lira...the equivalent of aroung 13 pounds sterling. I told you it was cheap...I don't think you could beat that price anywhere. A cut and blow dry without colouring is around 3 pounds sterling!
So that's the vet and the hairdressers sorted...just need to find a dentist and a doctor next...but as you can see I got my priorities right!
Tuesday, 14 July 2009
Monday, 13 July 2009
Distraction No. 1:
Imagine the above terrace covered by a gazebo (a metal and fabric one)...we bought one from Carrefour yesterday for the equivalent of around 25 pounds. It took Mr Ayak hours to erect it..with great difficulty...and the gentle breeze is making it sway a little precariously. But it's still standing...and this is where I am sitting with my laptop...now sheltered from the sun and the heat which at approx 10.45 am is already 89 degrees F. And I am gazing out at that wonderful view.
Distraction No. 2:
The dogs...yes dogs plural.
On Saturday we had a new addition to our family. She is a tiny little thing (about the size of Mr Ayak's shoe) and she arrived looking very timid...very dirty..full of ticks...and quite hungry judging by her protruding ribs. She will remain small..Mr Ayak has seen the family. A man in the village has about of 20 of them. Apparently they are well cared for by Turkish standards...but knowing what this means I am avoiding going to look at them or I will probably want to bring them all home. I've long since learned that I cannot save all the dogs in Turkey. I've rescued a fair number in my time and I have to be satisfied with that.
We showered her, painstakingly removed ticks, brushed her and fed her. As it was quite late on Saturday night when we finished and it was dark she actually looked white and fluffy to me. In fact in daylight she is more a beige colour...although the skin underneath is quite dark.
The intention was to keep her outside...and encourage Beki to stay outside too. They have blankets, shady spots in the garden which are cooler than the house, and as long as they have plenty of water and each other for company they should be OK. The first night Beki was a bit disgruntled about this but Poppy was fine(yes...that's her name...we tried several and she answers to Poppy...so Poppy it is). So Mr Ayak stayed up all night to encourage them to stay outside. He's quite mad when it comes to dogs!
Yesterday we went out for about four hours and left them in the garden. They were fine and it was lovely to have them both running to the gate to greet us when we returned. And last night they stayed outside with no problems at all. So I'm now hopeful of maintaining a permanently dog hair-free house.
They are getting to know each other gradually. When Poppy tries to get out of the garden...Beki barks at her and discourages her from doing so. Poppy eats Beki's food...and Beki just sits and watches with a kind of maternal look on her face. Beki is so gentle and caring. I have no doubt that they will be the best of friends. This tiny mite who just two days ago looked so frightened with her tail between her legs...is so confident already...tail now up in the air and wagging furiously! I haven't any pics of her yet but rest assured as soon as I do, I will post them up.
So....I have lots to do. The house needs a thorough clean to remove the build-up of dogs hairs, the ironing is piling up, and I should do some baking.
But I'm distracted...by the view and by the dogs... What can I do? Well...I'll continue to tell myself that life is short, every day is a bonus...and carry on gazing at the view and watching the dogs!
Friday, 10 July 2009
I've never had green fingers...quite the opposite. All my life I've never been able to grow even the simplest house plant. Plants take one look at my pink fingers and just curl up and die.
When my dear Dad was alive and I lived in England, he used to do our gardening for us. He loved it. He had the greenest fingers I've ever known. Everything grew for him..and I loved to watch him at work in the garden and see the results of his labours.
However...when I came to live in Turkey..things changed. My fingers started to turn green after all. Someone would give me a cutting...some straggly, half-dead looking specimen, and I would smile and thank them but not have a clue what to do with it. So I'd just poke it in a pot of earth..water it...and forget it. And it would grow. Not only grow..but flourish. I was amazed.
We haven't had a garden in Turkey until now. We had a courtyard in Goreme with a grapevine but with my newly discovered talent for growing things, I felt confident enough to grow things in pots.
Now we have this wonderful garden. This evening I have just picked the first of the grapes from the vine. We have pomegrantes growing on one of the two trees, and they should be ready soon. And the figs on the biggest of our fig trees are growing nicely. They should also be ready in a matter of weeks...if not days.
Of course I'm realistic enough to know that it's due more to the climate here than my gardening talents that plants and trees won't die when they see me...but I like to kid myself that I have at long last become an accomplished gardener!
Tuesday, 7 July 2009
Monday, 6 July 2009
I set off this morning on the bus in the sweltering heat, to do essential food shopping in Milas. I arrived at the bus station, walked outside and promptly fell flat on my face in the street. There were loads of people watching...oh the shame!
Feeling a little shaken I shuffled around the supermarket, only picking up a few items without much thought as by this time my ankle was beginning to swell.
I limped to the nearest bus stop..only to see my bus pulling away before I could reach it....leaving me to wait almost another hour in the scorching heat for the next one.
By the time I reached our village, my ankle was very swollen and it was extremely difficult to climb the hill to the house. When I finally reached home I just collapsed in a sweaty heap. The butter I had bought to make a cake had melted and leaked in my shopping bag, the yoghurt was definitely off, and I stupidly bought a bar of chocolate...I daren't tell you what a state that was in!
I am now sitting with my ankle elevated and strapped up and feeling very sorry for myself. Mainly because it's my birthday tomorrow and I had hoped to bus into Bodrum to do some window shopping. Perhaps it's just as well I won't be able to go...I might be tempted to get my credit card out again...and that just won't do...so every cloud has a silver lining I guess.
Should have stayed in bed...........
The second pic is of the old dilapidated house in the garden which we hope to renovate some time in the future.
And the third pic is just a reminder of how the house was before we enclosed the terrace.
Thursday, 2 July 2009
We have a telegraph pole at the bottom of our garden and this is where they decided to put the light.
The light? A normal, for domestic use, fluorescent tube. It is now strapped to the side of the telegraph pole. Oh how I wish I had a camera!
And before they "installed" it...they knocked on my door to ask if they could check to see if it was working. Which they did...by inserting two live wires into one of my sockets.
......only in Turkey ..........