Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Running out of steam....

....well petrol actually.

I can't remember the number of times Mr Ayak thinks he has enough petrol to get to wherever he is going...and then he runs out before he gets there.

I recall one of the many times this has happened...we had a car on this particular occasion.  He had just collected me from Izmir airport after I had arrived from a long and exhausting journey from England, which included a long wait at Istanbul for my connecting I was anxious to get home.   In fact it's become a habit of mine to ask him every time we set out together whether he has enough petrol.  He always says he has.   We were half way along the motorway and at a section where there were no petrol stations for miles, and it was late in the evening.   All of a sudden he says "oh no...we're nearly out of petrol".   So we took the next exit off the motorway and searched for a petrol station....and searched...and searched..until the car shuddered to a halt.   So he had to continue his search on foot, and not wanting to be left in the car in a strange place in the dark, I went with him.  Eventually, we found a petrol station, filled an empty water bottle with petrol and walked back to the car.   Then we drove to the petrol station to fill the car with enough petrol to get home.

Recently, because of the shortage of money, Mr Ayak only buys small quantities of petrol.  The journey to Milas consists of a roughly 5km long straight road out of the village, then a further 7 or 8km along a dual carriageway, the start of which is uphıll for a couple of km, then its more or less downhill from then on.  If I go with him, I am now quite used to the coughing and spluttering of the motorbike as it climbs the hill with little petrol in the tank, and know that once we reach the top, he can just glide down into Milas...whether there's enough in the tank or not.

Yesterday, however,  we didn't quite make it to the top of the hill before the bike gave up.  Because of the barrier in the centre of the road, it isn't possible to cross over the road with the bike and glide back down the hill, so Mr A decided to glide back down (the wrong way) on the hard shoulder.  Now before anyone holds up their hands in horror...I'm afraid this is a very common occurrence with Turkish drivers..going the wrong way down a road usually as a shortcut to wherever they are going.  No-one bats an eyelid...but if you're driving you really have to have your wits about you...always be prepared to swerve if you see a vehicle travelling in the wrong direction!

We were actually going to Milas to get some money for shopping, so we emptied Mr Ayak's pockets and my purse and came up with 4.75 lira.  Most petrol stations won't accept less than 10 lira for petrol, but Mr A, determined as ever, decided to try.  I couldn't hop on the next passing bus, because that would have cost 3 lira, so I had no choice but to wait while he set off (there is no way I will travel on the back of the bike on the wrong side of the road!). 

Almost an hour later he returned, having managed to glide down the hill...cross the road at the junction at the bottom, and push the motorbike to the nearest petrol station, and persuaded the petrol attendant to accept 4.75 lira.

I used to get really irritated by this but I don't anymore, the reason being that we are so short of money that I know Mr Ayak is trying to economise with petrol, the way I do with food.  So there's no point in getting angry with him.

However...when the money does eventually start rolling in..Insallah...God help him if he then runs out of petrol while I'm with him!


  1. Ayak, can you imagine doing something like this in Britain.

    The coming back from the airport has to be the worst, when travelling all we want to do is go home,( by the way, this wasn't last time when they put you up in a five star hotel and you were raiding the wee bar was it, sitting about in luxurious towels, pampering yourself ha!) I cannot even imagine how annoying that must have been, walking about in the dark looking for a petrol station, but you did it Ayak, and you have a beautiful place in Turkey, and the lovely Mr Ayak.

  2. This wouldn't be for everyone, Ayak and I probably would have driven Mr A away now by ranting on with various moans. Still, as you say, you are both cutting corners until things look up and sometimes stuff like this happens.

    The more I hear about Turkey the more I know that the people are lovely but every day life can be very difficult.

  3. Ann: No it wasn't the time I was put up by Turkish Airlines in a lovely hotel...that was most enjoyable. In fact I'm on the same flight on a Sunday when I return on 2nd May, so I won't make a dash across the airport at Istanbul if the flight's delayed this time as I won't object to another night in that hotel!

    FF: Well of course I did moan at the time, but recently there seems little point. Yes life can be difficult here sometimes, but there are so many more here much worse off than we are so I should be thankful for what we do have.

  4. I see little point in moaning full stop. First, all it does is make YOU feel good, it certainly doesn't make whoever you're moaning at happy, in fact, it probably makes them resentful. Second, if you moan about something, it must mean you know better, so, let's see it! (I'd rather not be put in the 'put up or shut up' position myself.)

    No thanks. If anything, I moan to myself, or to my Blog (or used to, that is, now I moan on others' blogs ;) ...) All of us are simply struggling through life as it is and we either accept other's foibles as *them* or we decide not to be around them. Why be considered a screaming harpy?

    As for me, I have had to do both, of late (let live and ignore,) since a couple people in particular were just getting on my nut. One, I just don't bother even communicating with anymore, and you know what? They have yet to notice!

    The others I have to constantly remind myself that they are adults, choose to live/act/behave this way and I'm not their Mother. So, I've stopped nagging/suggesting/warning and now stay stump. None of them have noticed either. Except for the remark from one woman who saw me recently, "Oh my! Have you lost weight?" "Yes I have, since I can't afford to eat, actually." "Wow! Great! Keep up the good work, sweetheart, you're looking fabulous!" (I mean, seriously, am I missing something or was she just not even listening?)

    As for running out of petrol/diesel, maybe consider buying enough to fill a two-litre water bottle, when you can afford to do so, and have that hidden in case of emergency? Just a thought.

    Warm hugs and kisses from Kitty xo

  5. Kitty...I am with you totally...absolutely know what you're talking about...before I even received your email!!
    Much love xxx

  6. Oh this sort of thing happens to us all the time. Currently the car is (and has been parked for the last 3 weeks) quarter of a mile from the village, with no petrol. As we also live on top of a hill it quite often happens that the car doesn't quite make it. I should be earning some money next week, trouble is I need petrol to get there...

  7. Oh Heiko...I so understand and sympathise with your predicament. We are still wondering how on earth we will find the money for Mr Ayak to go to the other side of Bodrum in a few weeks time to start on his business...which unfortunately coincides with my being in England...which then means that he will need to travel back every evening for the dogs.

    Lets hope you and I can find this money from somewhere very soon!

    Mr A is out today trying to sell some of out stuff that we no longer need...that's one solution. Is there any way you can do the same?

  8. I stopped by your blog because of its name, Turkish Delight. My father used to give it to me but he called it “loukoum” and I liked it a lot – it’s hard to find around here (I live near Atlanta, Georgia.) The driving habits in your area sound so scary to me, you must have a lot of courage. I’ll come back to read more of your blog.

  9. Hi Vagabonde and welcome to my blog. I love turkish delight too which was what prompted me to use it for the name of my blog. In Turkish it's called lokum which is pretty close to what your father called it.
    Oh...the driving...yes it is scary but I'm quite used to it now. If I'm a passenger I tend to close my eyes at times!


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