....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 flight...so 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!