Vic801

Life Has Its Ups And Downs!

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In 2007 I was stuck in a rut in a nicely paid but stressful job working for a huge American company in France. On the outside things looked good - good pay, stock options, company car, etc. On the inside I was bored, stressed and fed up with EBITA, ROI and quarterly earning reports - money is not everything. To cut a long story short I threw in the job, we sold the house, sold off all of our belongings which wouldn't fit in the car, stuffed everythng into my partner's old Xantia, the dog on top and we set off for a new life in Turkey! My parents were appalled and bewildered when I announced that we had bought an old cave house in Cappadocia and were moving to open a guesthouse (I think they still haven't come to terms with it yet and I do admit it was a wild move but sometimes you have to throw caution to the winds and take risks. And sometimes you get burnt as we found out! But heck, life is short).More in the next thrilling episode (if it interests anybody).

jade, BusyLizzy, Sarah and 1 other like this

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OK you've got me hooked for a start and await with interest for the next chapter.

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:snack[1]:

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I'm sitting on the edge of my seat. :)

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:whistling[1]: the suspense is killing me!!

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Next chapter (all this is catharthis for for me but should anyone find it boring and long-winded which I tend to be, please stop me).We set off for our 5 day drive down through France and Italy to take the ferry at Brindisi to Cesme, then a stop at Ankara and down to Urgup. Having fond memories of driving through Spain in our little Punto with my husband singing all the way in spite of geting lost, no air conditionning and no idea where we would sleep for the the night, I somehow thought it would be the same.I had not quite registered that my new partner (henceforth to be referred to as Mr P) was not the same person. We had been thrown together but he was anguished, paranoid, worried and irritable (Turkey has since done a great deal of good!). So he had insisted on repairing the air-conditionning in his 23 year-old car although I though it was pointless since we knew we would have to give up the car to the customs after 6 months after entering Turkey. Mr P stuck it out that he would not drive through France and Italy in July without A/C and the clinching point was what about my dog, how would he manage? So 1000 EUR was paid to the garage round the corner and we set off.Needless to say the A/C stopped working around 100 km from our home town in France!From that point onwards there was certainly no singing, just muttered comments about how Mr P would wring the neck of the garagiste, how hot it was, how bad the roads were etc. In fact he was also worried though he didn't say so at the time that the Xantia would not make it all the way there - the water guauge would get into the red every time we went up a hill.I was also feeling guilty about putting my dog through all of this and stressed at the idea that the rabies jab had to be valid 5 days before entering Turkey. He'd got his jab on 16th July, we left on the 17th and the ferry was booked for 21st. The ferry was only on Wednesdays and Saturdays so if we missed the ferry we would have to find a vet in Italy to do another jab. Needless to say this meant a journey full of Mr P going on and on about the lack of A/C, sullen moments or suddenly his lashing out at me for things like traffic jams or bad roads. I was miserable.Bref (as we say in France) not a happy journey and I was beginning to think that I have not chosen the right travel companion.Finally we arrive in our village where our good friend Mehmet has his hotel and where we now have our new home. It is dark, we are tired, sweaty and irritable. We arrive and see all the lights lit up in the hotel; Mehmet and his friends are waiting for us, big hugs and tears shed on both sides. We have brought presents and they have too. Candles are out on the terrace and the mangal is ready. They are all excited about our new house which we must visit tomorrow. Mr P who is normally all French and stand-offish lets himself be kissed and hugged and looked happy for the last time in ages. He starts on his story about the A/C and they cut through his story - who cares, you are here now, you are our family.We were home!

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I sympathise with you for having a stressed out journey with a miserable man! Been there, done that, got the T shirt! :hysterical[1]:Hope the dog was alright?

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Hope the dog was alright?

Side chapter about the dog. My dog is a lovely lovely dog! We adopted him from the SPA; he had been beaten and already had had a scar on his head although he was abandonned at 4 months old - how can anybody do that? He than spent 7 months in a cage in the SPA refuge. When we brought him home he would hide under the table if you lifted your hand to scratch your head. We adopted a cat at the same time and he would scrunch up to leave space in his basket although the cat has his own and they would always sleep together. Any child that had been brought up in an abusive environment might be aggressive and bitter but T was always looking out for for somone to love him and for someone to love. He was the first one one to alert me that my husband's constant tiredness was not just missing out on Vitamin B but after tests was in fact terminal cancer. Normally T would sleep outside but at the end my husband wanted him to sleep beside him. He slipped away with his hand on T's head.Bref, after this I found myself as the hard job of being the Alpha wolf. And dragging him thousands of kilometres across a new continent. We looked a the possiblities of flying but after checking forums and websites were appalled at the conditions in which T would have to travel. Mind you, the ferry wasn't the luxury option either. Stuck in a box udner the stairs near the motors we were allowed to take him out on deck once. My vet had prescribed sickness tablets and a mild calming effect tablet but when we had to close the door of his box and we heard him cry like a baby I cried too!Success story : he is not a big dog: 25 kgs, half Labrador, half whataver. When we lived in the village he was up against huge Kangal dogs at least double the size. When things got rough he would just run off and he runs faster than any of of them. Mehmet used to say disdainfully that our dog was not strong that he didn"t fight, I thought it was more intelligent. Now we are in a flat (have just jumped 8 chapters) and T sleeps on one of the balconies. In the morning we open the door downstairs and he runs off. He has found his pack of followers and runs them rund the area for 2 or 3 hours before coming back panting and happy. To my shame he scavenges in the dustbins like the street dogs though he knows darn well that even if our fridge is empty we will always find the money for his dog food. As Mr P say 'Il fait honte ton fiston' (You should be ashamed of your son) as he drags another plastic bag out of the bin and proceeds to rip it open (surrounded by his doggie admirers!)

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After a sad start I'm glad to hear the happy ending. :)

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:crying[1]: that was such a sad story but lucky for T and your cat that they found a loving safe home with you.

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post-4219-0-00988100-1302955886_thumb.jpLife is sad but sometimes there are happy endings. When I watch from the windows and see T now running up to a 80 kg Kangal, sniffing around him and then running off with a "you don't interest me" look, I try to remember the T of 3 years ago who used to jump into my arms if we met a yorkshire terrier that barked! Here T is King of the Castle and happy! He's going onto 9 years old and I'm preparing myself for yet another loss but he is such a lovely creature that I'm so glad he has been part of my life. He knows when I'm sad and will shuffle up to be next to me and try to lick my face in case I might cry, when we argue with Mr P he'll come up and push my hand with his head ("stop being pig-headed and be nice to him for once"). He lets the children in our district pull his ears with a Mahatma Ghandi look combined with "do I really have to sit through this?" God bless T.Such a soppy dog!

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Vic801,Welcome and just to say what a story! l did have a tear in my eye & a lump in my throat.T looks like a dog to be treasured, which you obviously do.Hope you stay happy together.Bev x

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Love the photo of T and the flower in his collar finishes him off a treat. :)

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Vic801,what a breath-taking story! Contrary to what you said before about stopping you if your chapters are boring, I'd say - keep writing them!I totally understand why you ran away from ROI and others to a calmer Turkish land.

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A lovely dog. As Nana says, 'Keep writing'.

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I sympathise with you for having a stressed out journey with a miserable man! Been there, done that, got the T shirt! :hysterical[1]:Hope the dog was alright?

Yes, why is that that women tend to (note : "tend to") grit their snaggled teeth and put up with things and men moan and groan about little things? Can you imagine if men had periods?!

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Oh, don't! I've got someone with 'man flu' here at the moment and the thought of that as well ..............................!!!!! :hypo[1]::hysterical[1]:

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Yes, why is that .............................and men moan and groan about little things? Can you imagine if men had periods?!

We can't win can we? In one breath most(note most) women moan about men not talking to them and not sharing their feelings, then when we do they say why can't we shut up and grin and bear it... Damned if we don't and damned if we do aren't we? :hysterical[1]::hysterical[1]: Mars and Venus!

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:violin:
Mouse64 likes this

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Well, back on topic, we had our honeymoon time like the love rats victims and like them we should have looked closer at the niggling things and don't anybody say that we were stupid because we know we were.So the days passed, raki and balik and evenings up on the mountains to watch the sun set over our valley and watch our good friend Mehmet and his friends smoke funny cigarettes (been there, done that, doesn't interest me any more). We meet our neighbours Fatmta Teyze and Ibrahim Amca. With our phrasebook Turkish we don't understand much especially as they speak village talk. We later found out that "daas" is actually "tas" : stone.Our wonderful good friend Mehmet (now you've guessed he is the rip-off man) has already started work on our house for us, he's found the right usta and already given him some money and wants to be refunded. "And a little bit money for me". For his commission. Mr P is radiant and euphoric and says OK: I sound like the old shrew - I write his emails for him in English, we work in his hotel wecoming French and Belgian guests and although Mr P is excatcic about Mehmet told me I am his brother, the brother I never had, I am a little more wary. Why doesn't Mehmet go to the notary to get the whole thing written down and sorted out. Whay does Mehmet privelege Mr P - there is no room in the car for me?But we keep blinding our eyes to this and Mehmet is an amazing actor - he nearly sold the house next door to the Belgian people (we now know he sold the same house 3 times).But this is Mr Ps bestest friend and I can't say anything against him.This is maybe catharsis but it it is difficult. I am tired tonight and upset about thinking about it all.

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Well, yesterday was not a good day. Today is fine.Anyway we have a wonderful cave house with tandirs, fireplaces, winepress, dovecots etc. And we even discovered we have 2 rooms more underground that the workers found as they cleared away the rubbish. Life in Cappadocia is wonderful, the people in the village are lovely and welcoming and I'm imagining how it will look when everything is restored and the beautiful travertine flooring put in, the onyx covers put over the tandirs with underground lighting etc.However this is costing a lot more than what we've reckoned on and I am beginning to have the sneaking suspicion that our godd friend Mehmet is not negociating deals for us in our best interest. We are starting to make new friends now and finding better prices (like half price) for materials and workers than what Mehmet is getting for us. The honeymoon is coming to an end. One day we are all supposed to go to the mountain to buy a sheep. Suddenly there is no room in the car for me and Mehmet tells me that I can use my time usefully by beating the carpets, cleaning the kitchen and cleaning the windows. I am boiling with fury as I watch them all drive off.In fact Mr P hadn't heard this and thought I just didn't want to come and we had our first clash the next day when he told Mehmet I was not cheap labour for his hotel. Mehmet sulked and Mr P was unhappy about upsetting him!Frequently people in the village would make comments about Mehmet and our Turkish was not enough to understand "serefsiz" "saytan" but my German was enough to understand "aufpassen, aufpassen, aufpassen" (look out). I did think at the time this was an allusion to the fact he was a ladies man, or his smoking funny cigarettes but the situation was getting more and more worrying. What we had not counted in our calculations was the fact that our house being perched on the mountain (with wonderful views over the lovely valley) meant everything had to be delivered by tractor. The tons of sand, the ciment, the travertine, the tiling - everything was delivered down in the village and we had to pay for it to be tranferred to a small tractor and brought up to the house.Also the fact that we had no written documents was more than niggling me now. We knew that the village had not yet been surveyed by the Kadastro and so nobody had Tapus only senets (village deeds). We knew that as foreigners we couldn't have village deeds which were of little legal value but Mehmet had promised us that the Tapus were coming soon and he would transfer them to our names.As the scales started falling from our eyes we began to get more and more wary and he would sulk more and more until one day he stomped off with a "I don't help you no more and I don't give senets". We were on our own and the money had flooded away, we were down to danger limit on the financials, limited Turksh language skills and in a country where we had not yet worked out all the rules. I hadn't a clue whether the price per day for a tractor was correct - I've never hired a tractor before!

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I've just read your last 2 chapters and can tell the worst bit is yet to come. Just being nosey but just how much did they charge you for the tractor?

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Oh what a nerve racking story. My nails are getting shorter by the minute! :(

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Oh what a nerve racking story. My nails are getting shorter by the minute! :(

Well wait for the next chapter!Yes, things can get worse!

Just being nosey but just how much did they charge you for the tractor?

From down in the village to up to our house (about 80 metres but up a very stony, muddy alley) they charged us 50 TL a time, normal price shoul have been 10 TL and 40 going in Mehmet's pocket!

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Vic801,It has always struck and amazed me, such people as Mehmet and his behaviour as you're describing it. "Serefsiz" stands for a person with no honour... BUT please keep in mind that generally Turkish people are helpful and friendly. I was once literally ripped off on a taxi in Ist, but I was alone and not very adequate - I didn't feel well, the guy smiled, shook my hand and spoke good English, still I ended up without a noticeable bunch of money in my pocket. Sad. Stupid of me. But nevertheless, I keep coming to TC when I can, just don't use taxis alone in Ist anymore.All the best to you and Mr P!!! Keep us informed!Cheers,Nana

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