Saturday, 29 August 2009

It's the weekend.....

.....but it's just another day for me.

I can remember, when I was working in the UK, the anticipation I felt on Fridays of a couple of days away from the grindstone....and feeling a bit deflated on a Sunday evening with Monday morning looming...particularly if it had not been a particularly satisfying weekend.

This was of course towards the end of my career, just before taking early retirement.  I was Deputy Manager (but at the time acting Manager) of a residential home for people with mental health problems, and having worked my fair share of weekends, not to mention Christmases, I was at last responsible for the rotas, so made sure I had a few weekends off.

I have worked since I moved to Turkey...on and off...but soon realised that weekends don't really exist for many working people here.   The hours are's not unusual to be expected to work a 16 hour day, seven days a week for very little pay.  You won't find a part-time job, unless you can do some serious negotiating with the boss, and then part-time is considered to be 8 hours a day, with a day off...if you're lucky.

This year has been a grim one as far as jobs are concerned.  I've mentioned how difficult it has been for Mr Ayak to find work.  He's been working in a hotel for around a month now....approx 16 hours a day...7 days a week....for 10 ytl per day (around 4 pounds).  Even though it's only about an hour's distance from home, his car is still out of action, and  it would cost him about 30 ytl to do the round trip by bus...just for an evening..only to return very early the next morning.  He knows there is no point complaining that what he earns is half the legal minimum wage...because bosses just ignore this fact...and anyone who doesn't accept it will just be asked to leave.  There are always plenty of other men ready to take their place.

So he stays in personnel accommodation, which normally consists of several men sharing a room...and eats personnel food..which is usually pasta, rice or vegetables....pretty basic stuff.

I'm used to him being away for work, he has had to do it many times since we've been married, but I notice his absence more since moving here, because there are so many little jobs to be done at home that I can't manage.  But also because I feel a bit isolated here, and miss the friends I made in other areas.   Although I have to admit, it's early days yet, and I always have had those feelings when moving to new doesn't last because I make friends easily.

The job should finish sometime in September...then he'll be home.  His boss has offered him a job in Istanbul for the winter, but he's very reluctant to take it because he's not happy about me being on my own for so long.  At the moment, if there was some sort of crisis and I needed him here...he could get home quickly...but if he's in Istanbul it would be out of the question.

Well life goes day is much the same as the one before...but for those of you embarking on a weekend that is different from the rest of your week....Have a good one!


  1. I know what you're feeling like. The weekend means nothing to me now adays. I'm up to my eyes with work...

  2. Oh poor you Mel. Still it won't last forever...and it will be worth all the hard work in the long run. xxx

  3. 10 YTL? A dolmus ride from Kusadasi to Selcuk cost´s 5 (albeit petrol is very expensive in Turkey). That really puts things into perspective. 10 YTL for 16 hours work and you would think they could at the very least provide him with food and accommodation.

    I hope at least he gets some tips.

  4. Amag: Yes it does put it into perspective. The accommodation and food are free..but are pretty grim.

    He gets a few tips...not much..just enough to buy his cigarettes each day...everything else he earns he sends to me.

    It's not always easy trying to survive on so little...but we're used to it!

  5. Have I told you lately that your blog is absolutely marvellous?

  6. Ayak, thank you my dear for your comment in my blog. I've got a lot to catch up with your blog too. Moving house has been one of the most stressful things but I have no place to moan about it in front of you who moved 15 times! How did you manage that I often wonder? I heard that people in Turkey work so hard (my tailor told me). People who work over here are often spoilt...they don't want to work hard and they don't realise how lucky they are. I hope that you and your husband would find a quality time soon to spend together. I know what it must be like to feel isolated in a different country. But think of it as an opportunity to make new friends and to welcome and appreciate some changes in life.

  7. Astro: You always say really nice things about my's so appreciated and really makes me feel good. Thankyou xxx

    ASD: Welcome back! Are you still without internet connection? I hate moving, and even though I've done it many times I still find it stressful. I could write a book on moving house!
    So I hope you are settled now and I look forward to more of your posts.
    Thankyou for your very kind words xxx

  8. Ayak, how rotten that you have to be apart.
    All my sympathy...but aren't you resourceful!

  9. Yes, weekends are non-existant here too. Sundays only! It must be hard for you with Mr. Ayak away so much. My husband Yash goes out at 8 am and often doesn't return until midnight as he works in the next city. The quality of our time together is severely depleted and he's formed relationships with colleagues and co-passengers which leave me out sometimes entirely. Now where you and I come from, we would consider this a crisis, but here - people would say he was lucky to have a job and live with his parents too! And they do!

  10. Fly: Yes it is awful sometimes..but there's no choice.

    Gael: Oh people here say the same. They'd actually think I was being selfish if I said I missed him...they are so used to long periods apart from their loved ones. Men here will go anywhere if there's a job at the end of it.


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