Where was I? Oh yes..setting off on the bus to Milas this morning. Unfortunately I had forgotten that it's Sunday and the buses only run every two hours. When I reached the village bus stop I had just missed one. I walked down to the land where FIL and Mr A were working, and where FIL had parked his car. Also gathered there were the man who owns the land next to ours, along with his wife and children. This is the man who erected the chicken wire in our garden, so I know him and his family quite well. I stopped to chat with them and FIL wandered over and was charm itself to me...clearly for the benefit of the neighbours!
Mr A came over to me and I asked him if there was any chance that his father might let him use his car to take me into Milas. I'd given up on spending a couple of hours there, but I did need some shopping, and mostly heavy stuff like washing powder, and store-cupboard essentials. Mr A suggested I ask him. So I did. He said it wasn't possible as he had no petrol, and he had no money until his salary reached his bank account tomorrow...followed by a somewhat unnecessary remark "you can wait two hours for the bus surely". So Mr A walked back to the house to get the motorbike and I waited.
FIL then proceeded to ask me why we hadn't been down to the land since his last visit to check on the trees etc. Well the reason for this is that he never asked us to because he has been paying the neighbour to take care of the land and water it when necessary. However, he seems to be blaming Mr A and I for the fact that the neighbour and various other villagers have been helping themselves to the fruit and nuts. I just made sympathetic noises but refused to be drawn into an argument, and assured him that Mr A and I would certainly be making regular checks on the land in future.
He then continued to talk about how hard up he is because he has to pay for the upkeep of the land, he has to support his youngest son who is still at Uni, also his elderly parents, and that he has just had to pay for his new car with his credit card (Haha! I had a little chuckle to myself...so it must be true that MIL emptied the bank account!) So I just said, well we all have problems with money and life can be difficult at times. At last Mr A arrived with the motorbike and we set off to Milas with me on the back.
Whilst we were shopping, Mr A told me that he had had strong words with FIL this morning. Apparently FIL said Mr A has not TAUGHT me how to treat Turkish families! Mr A said that his wife knows exactly how to treat people, Turkish or not, and that she does everything to make visitors very welcome, and that his behaviour towards me in September was very rude.
We returned from Milas with Mr A balancing several heavy carrier bags on the handle bars of the motorbike. He stopped for a coffee and sandwich then set off back to the land. Half an hour later he was back. There was no sign of FIL...and no sign of his car.
Mr A did some more work in our garden for a couple of hours, then set off back to the land, where he found FIL, who had...wait for it...driven into Milas...hmmm...with no petrol and no money?
They returned around 7pm and I cooked some chicken fajitas. FIL was sitting outside and Mr A went out to ask him to come in and eat with us. No thankyou, said he, I've already eaten.
I'm not angry or frustrated anymore...if anything I'm actually enjoying the fact that I have continued to be pleasant to FIL, and he is just showing his true colours...and Mr A now firmly believes that I have done nothing to provoke this behaviour.
So Mr A has at last seen the light, and is completely on my side, without my having to do anything to convince him.
Is it OK for me to be feeling a little smug, do you think?