Thursday, 18 March 2010

We have a visitor

It's's not father-in-law...yet!

Yesterday, Mr Ayak's new business partner, Mehmet, arrived.

They spent the best part of the day out on the terrace with lots of paperwork, making plans for the new business.

As you know, we don't have any money at the moment, so there's not much in the way of food for us, let alone guests.

I decided to make toasted sandwiches for lunch, with cheese, salami and tomato.  My Turkish toasted sandwich maker takes half of one of our normal Turkish loaves, which is quite a substantial lunch for one person.  It works better with day-old bread so it's a good way of making sure leftovers are used.   I put the first of the prepared sandwiches into the machine, closed the lid and secured it...and the whole machine just snapped into pieces.  It's completely beyond repair.

I had nothing else to offer but the un-toasted sandwiches.  Not very appetising with old bread.  I was a bit embarrassed but I needn't have worried.   What a charming man Mehmet is...he just sympathised about the broken machine, and happily ate the sandwich...thanking me, and saying it was delicious (it wasn't!).  Mr Ayak of course ate his...because, in our present circumstances, he'll eat anything!

I baked a cake in the afternoon, and made mercimek (lentil) soup for supper.  Again it was graciously accepted by our guest who said it was the best mercimek he had ever tasted.  So he has stayed the night, and I think he will be leaving today.  I just have enough eggs to make menemen (Turkish scambled egg) for breakfast. I may not have provided elaborate meals, but he won't leave here hungry.

I've decided to talk a bit about the business.  Although I'm a little anxious about discussing it,  I have to admit to being  more hopeful at the moment.   They have rented part of a large hotel/holiday village, which contains a hamam (Turkish bath), sauna, massage rooms, etc.  Also as part of the deal, there are a few small shops, which will include a hairdressing salon, amongst other things, and these will be operated on a franchise far as I understand it.  The main part of the business will be the Hamam.  Mehmet is a qualified masseur, and he will be responsible for employing staff and running it.  Mr Ayak will have overall responsibility for the business, and will also be bringing in customers.

The hotel is run on an all-inclusive basis, so there will be plenty of customers on site, but they can also bring customers in from outside.  Mr Ayak has lots of contacts who are tour operators, so this will generate business.  His cousin has a tour agency in the same road, and he and his wife also help to run a hotel owned by her parents, and he has promised to send customers to Mr Ayak.

Mr Ayak's son from his first marriage will come down from Ankara to work for the summer, whilst on holiday from university.   There is also a tiny shop which will sell pashminas, and this can be mine if I want it.  Having worked in a souvenir shop in Goreme, I know this is something I would really enjoy.  However, I have to be certain that the dogs will be ok on their own every day, before deciding to do it.

Oh....and FIL phoned Mr Ayak yesterday to say that he will be arriving on Saturday afternoon.  Frankly I couldn't care less.  Having such a pleasant visitor here for the past 24 hours has lifted my spirits.  I can face anything now.


  1. Oh I can just imagine how you felt at the moment the machine broke - but what a lovely man ate your sandwiches (well, two lovely men really) and I know that things are going to be getting better for you this year.

    The business venture sounds like it could really take off and I'm sure the dogs would soon get into a new routine if you decided to run the shop. They probably sleep most of the day anyway.

    Good luck to you and Mr A

  2. Thanks FF...fingers crossed!

    Yes the dogs sleep most of the time..I just need to make sure the garden is secure because Poppy seems to find a way out whatever we do!

  3. I was so sorry about the sandwich maker. I think you handled the whole thing so well.
    When the money comes pouring in from the businesses you will be able to replace the sandwich maker.
    I have my fingers & toes crossed for you and also for the Saturday visit.
    Lets hope FIL brings some supplies of food or hands out a bit of cash.
    Hope all goes well.

    Nuts in May

  4. Thanks Maggie. I remember Heiko talking about the best way to handle difficult being nice to them. I know he's right and I should make an effort when FIL arrives..I'm not sure I can manage it but I ought to try.

  5. The business venture sounds good, so I have all my fingers and toes crossed!

  6. The new business sounds exciting, hope it goes well for you both.
    Don't forget to set up a website and everyone who reads your blog can see it.

  7. Deffo the business sounds great and u will be able to buy loads of toastmakers hehe. Perhaps the hairdressers will have a nail place too so it can be a sort of 'One stop shop' they were always so popular in Spain. Selling pashminas sounds good I would love my own little shop. Hav everything crossed for you xx

  8. Can just imagine your face when the sandwich maker broke. What a nice appreciative man Mehmet is,sounds like he will make a considerate business partner too. All the very best with all the plans. I'm so glad you feel more positive.

  9. Jan, Monalisa, Bomb and Rosie...Thank you all for your encouraging comments and good wishes. I'm just hoping I haven't jinxed the business now by talking about it.

  10. Watched "Coach Trip" on Channel 4 this evening - don't know if you've seen it.
    Anyway, the visitors were in Turkey, in a Haman having a full wash and massage. It looked great fun...

  11. Monalisa..yes I did see it. Although I wasn't too impressed by that particular hamam. I think most of them are usually a bit more luxurious...and the changing rooms generally more discreet! But yes it is good fun!

  12. Well, one really nice visitor and lots of positive things happening.

    Are you going to have a go at the website? I think that's a super marketing idea.

    I suppose you could always do a before and after thingy

    Before - FIL...after - Ayak with her new hairdo!

    Fingers ansd toes crossed for you and Mr. Ayak.

  13. Thanks Fly!

    Ooh I don't know about a website..maybe I'll get you to help me with that ;-)

  14. I think the business venture just might fly! It's a really good idea, and however few or many people come to Turkey this year WILL want a "safe" but real Turkish experience. This sounds just the ticket.

    Bummer about the sandwich maker. I had one of those for a very short time when it too gave up the ghost. now i just make them in a pan on the stove (of course I DO use some butter to fry them in...)

    Wishing you well on the food front. A little scary that! Wish I was closer so I could lend an hand.

    The dogs should be Ok. Is there a youngster or a lady in the village you trust who could maybe come and pet them or talk to them a couple of times a day? Maybe there's a solution somewhere.

    BIG Hugs. Don't worry about FIL like Heiko says, just smile at everything he says and be nice to him. (it'll drive him crazy!)


  15. Yes, I also saw Coach Trip yesterday and thought how lovely and exotic it looked there. I did think some of those trippers were very rude though, eating lots of free samples of the turkish delight and then not even buying any.

  16. probably remember what the Turks are like about dogs...they won't go near them! We'll sort something out I'm sure!

    FF: It's actually perfectly acceptable to taste everything with no obligation to buy. In fact on market day, you can go around tasting all the cheese, olives, fruit, nuts, etc,so you don't need to bother about eating breakfast first! I only half watch Coach Trip whilst I'm doing something else, but when they reached Edirne, it had my full attention. They will be in Istanbul today.


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