Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Shop cheaply...make do and mend.

I go into Milas a couple of times a week to get food shopping, when I'm on my own. I have to make more than one journey as it's impossible to carry too much up the steep hill once I get off the dolmuş.  I do have a shopping trolley and in normal circumstances this would be the ideal solution.  However, my one attempt at using it along these steep and uneven lanes, caused one wheel to drop I don't bother with it now.

To avoid spending too much time browsing around the shops and being tempted to spend more money than I can afford, I set myself a time limit.  I usually catch the dolmuş at 10.00 am, which takes 15 to 20 minutes into Milas, then I make sure I get the return bus at 11.15am.  An hour is usually sufficient.

Yesterday I rummaged through my wardrobe to sort out cooler clothes as summer seems to be here now, and came to the conclusion that my body-shape keeps changing.  Maybe some of you of a certain me...will have noticed how one's top half becomes more rounded and one's hips seem to become narrower? So my tops are fine because they are mostly loose anyway, but some of my trousers and skirts don't seem to fit properly anymore.  We are lucky to have loads of tailors and dressmakers here in Turkey and I've mentioned before how inexpensive it is to have clothes altered.  So I decided that I will take one item at a time to be altered to fit, so I won't need to buy anything new. 

This morning I took my favourite cut-off linen trousers to the terze (tailor) I usually use, and thought I may have to leave them and collect another day.  She said to come back in an hour, but I mentioned that I had a bus to catch at 11.15 and I would return on Friday.  No problem she said...come back in 20 minutes.

I went off to do my shopping at my regular supermarket, and to my pleasant surprise there were offers on almost all the items on my list.  When I returned to the terze 20 minutes later, my trousers were not only taken in both sides, but beautifully pressed as well.  She did a wonderful job and it cost me just 5 lira (about 2 pounds).  Much cheaper than having to buy new ones.

When I returned home, I picked some of the leaves from my grapevine.  Most people here pick them later when they are bigger, but I prefer them at this stage. Even though they are smaller they are much more tender.   I made up some stuffing mix, which I've used before here and stuffed the leaves, along with some bell peppers and large tomatoes.   I also bought some green beans at the market on Monday and cooked up some green beans in olive oil.   I found a small red cabbage in the market and made up a big bowl of coleslaw with the cabbage, chopped onions, peppers, grated carrot and mayonnaise.  

These recipes cost almost nothing.  I probably have enough to last me for a week and as they are dishes which I love, I won't get fed up with eating the same thing every day.

Mr Ayak phoned today and suggested I catch the bus tomorrow over to the hotel where his business is situated.  He thinks it's about time I had a look at the place and even though customers are not due until the end of this week, he seems a lot more cheerful and optimistic. 

I'm looking forward to seeing it and I'll let you know all about it when I return.


  1. The meal sounds delicious. I do stir fry type meals which I make out of nothing.
    So pleased that the hotel is going to be booked up this weekend and that things are looking up.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  2. That's just one of the things I love about Turkey, they do fix things rather than just throwing away, I'm so looking forward to going to the market for my fruit and veg rather than Sainsbury's like I do here! Only 8 weeks to go :)

  3. Ayak, things are getting better for you, I can just feel it, you sound happier as well, anyway I know you are ha!.

    Can you imagine trying to get trousers taken in over here, for a start it would be, come back in a week, which you would, and they would still not be ready, then they would charge you a fortune.
    I know I have already mentioned it to you, pictures of Billy, oh he is just gorgeous, and I love the picnic.

    You will see him soon.

    Hope you are getting on the bus today to see Mr Ayak.

  4. Getting something altered out in the wilds of this place would take a couple of weeks, it wouldn't be ready when stated, thus a further journey, it would cost an arm and a leg and there's a good chance it would be done badly.
    I'm lucky to have a friend who used to be a dressmaker, or I'd be stuffed.

  5. Dolmus? I'm going to have to Google that and I'm so happy to read your descriptions about your daily life. It's so different from here and I love that about where you live!
    Your grandson is gorgeous.

  6. I will let Ayak describe the dolmus system. It is nearly universally loved by foreigners and many people wish there was a way to adapt to their home countries.

    While I hate getting on last (I am just beyond the comfortable height for standing and it kills my neck) I do like the social aspect of it.
    Passing the money back and forth etc. It was the first phrase I learned in Turkish, "Musait bir yeri." or the booming "Inecek VAR!" It pleased me no end to have that rewarding cause and effect sequence when speaking the new language. Better than dirty words even.

    There used to be children who worked with the driver. Although this was frowned upon my child labor people, it was probably a good deal safer for the passengers. Counting out change, adjusting the radio, chatting about the football match and trying to navigate in Turkish traffic is really about three things too many to expect from your average driver.

  7. Is there anywhere where you can get pictures of Milas. There seem to be lots of Milas on Google and not sure which is which?

  8. I love that you can have your clothes mended so quickly, that could never happen where I far as I know there is no one who does such work. Your meal sounds delicious.:)

  9. I've definitely changed shape as I've got older. Trousers still fit me, but the fat seems to have moved from my rear and hips round to my tummy, not a good look!

  10. Good meal, great taylor! I may have missed a posting or 2, but has Mr. A's terrorist suspect partner turned in the meantime or is he still being questioned?

  11. I wish we could do that all here .... I need some stuff altered and probably will cost loads and a few weeks to do it!! The food sounds lovely I love green beans and I will be trying the lentil receipe u put as well xx

  12. Maggie. I love stir-frys too. I'm doing a post soon about the hotel and business.

    Auntygwen: 8 weeks will be gone in a flash..yes I bet you're looking forward to it!

    Ann: Thankyou..I am feeling a bit happier..I did see Mr A today and will post about it soon.

    Fly: Yes it's probably one of the things I'm most grateful for in this country. It would cost a fortune in the UK. You're lucky you've found yourself a dressmaker.

    Charlotte Ann: Thankyou. I did do a post about the dolmuş some time ago and here's the link
    although I think you may have to copy and paste it into your browser.

    Nomad...I think you've described the dolmuş pretty least you give a feel of the atmosphere. Musait bir yeri was one of my first phrases! I always think Inecek var sounds a bit rude so I don't shout it unless the driver didn't hear me the first time and carries on driving.
    I remember young boys working with drivers. I have to admit I preferred it then. It gave the driver more of a chance to concentrate on the driving!

    Rosie: I'll try to take some pics of Milas when I next go in and I'll post them up for you.

    Mr H: I've only known such speedy service like this in Turkey.
    The meal was delicious..yesterday and today...and tomorrow!

    Jan: Snap! That's exactly what has happened to my shape

    Bomb: Some of the cheapest and simplest recipes are often the best. Hope you enjoy making and eating them.

    Heiko: Yes he did turn up. He was held longer because some distant relative of his was connected to the PKK I believe...but Mehmet is sound.


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