Sunday, 9 August 2009

Country Life

It's two and a half months now since I moved to this village. I'm still adapting to country life. It isn't always easy.

Anyone who lives in the country will know that it isn't as peaceful as people imagine. The 2am dawn chorus I mentioned earlier is quite a shock to the system. I've discovered there is a repeat performance at around 5am....the right time of course...but until this morning I hadn't noticed it, having probably slept through it until now.

There's background noise everywhere. When you live in a town or city, it's traffic. Here it's tractors and animals.

Then theres the noise from a woman who lives just down the hill, who I learned has a severe mental health problem/borderline learning disabilities, who collects cats. She is married to a man who has similar problems...but is also deaf. Which is just as well as she shouts and laughs very loudly in between calling out for all the cats in the vicinity to come and be fed. Her's is a sad story. They once had a son who died. I don't know how old he was or how he died, because no-one will talk about it. But this tragic event was the start of her collecting cats as a way of dealing with her loss. I'm much encouraged by the fact that the people of the village take care of this couple, making sure that they never go without anything they need, or doing jobs for them that they can't manage.

You never see young men in this village. As in villages all over Turkey, there's no work for them. They mostly set off at the beginning of the season for the tourist areas...not always a positive thing in my opinion. Their simple lives are affected by a totally different way of life. It's hard for them to settle back into village life in the winter, so they just sit it out until they can get away again the following year.

Mr Ayak is also working away from home at the moment. As I mentioned before it is within driving distance but his car is still out of action, and in any case he earns so little that it's not
sensible to waste money on petrol getting to and from work.

So he has been away for almost two weeks now. He sent me some money via the Post Office which I collected yesterday, and even though it's not a huge amount, it's a relief to be able to buy food and pay some of the bills.

But there are little jobs piling up here which I need him to do, things which I can't manage and there's no-one I can ask to do them for me. I'm struggling with simple things like shopping because I have to get a bus into Milas, make sure I don't buy more than I can carry as I have the difficult walk up the hill to the house once I get off the bus.

But mostly I miss him. Of course I am used to not seeing much of him during the summer months, and he's worked away a fair amount. But it hits me because I feel more isolated here than I did when I lived in towns or seaside resorts. I would normally look forward to his return at the end of the season, but he told me last night that the man he is working for has offered him a job in Istanbul for the winter. Part of me wants to say "please don't take it" but my sensible side says that because he has been out of work for so long, he has no choice, and he is luckier than most to be given the opportunity.

A lottery win would be really welcome right now!

Don't get me wrong. I don't regret moving here. It's beautiful and it is absolutely the right place for me.

But true happiness always comes at a price.


  1. Dear Ayak, what a bittersweet post - life as it really is, I guess.
    Take good care of yourself.

  2. Thanks Astro ((x))

    the fly in the web: Yes it certainly is, although I'm afraid it's very much a way of life here for the wives of Turkish men.

  3. Well Ayak, I can´t even envision moving to the countryside in this country let alone in a foreign country. Perhaps I am little agoraphobic when it comes down to it.

    I think you are very brave nevertheless.

  4. Amagerican...not so much brave..more a risk taker at times I think.


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