Saturday, 19 June 2010
Keeping up Appearances
Mr Ayak's business is slowly picking up. There is money coming in at last, but it's going out at a pretty rapid rate. There are lots of bills to be paid in connection with the business, and it's going to be some time before there's actually anything for us.
I've been living very frugally...much more than I usually do. I know that there isn't any spare money available to buy food for me and the dogs or to pay the bills at home, but I've accepted that we can't run before we can walk.
Mr A also can't get home much, because it is his role to find customers, which means tht he has to be there 24/7. I decided this week that I wouldn't make any more trips over to the hotel, because of the cost of the busfare and the time involved in getting there and back. Mr A said that he would come over as often as possible.
Yesterday he phoned me to say that his cousin Derya and her husband were visiting. They are staying with Mr A's cousin Habib, who runs the hotel opposite Mr A's business, and was there any chance I could get over there to see them. It wasn't possible because I didn't actually have enough money for the busfare. I also mentioned to Mr A that the vacuum cleaner had packed up. This was my very old one, which I cleaned up a few weeks ago, because the new one I bought last year is broken. It's still under guarantee and it's the attachments that are broken, but Mr A would have to take the whole thing back to Milas to get it sorted...something I can't manage to do on the bus.
He must have mentioned something to his cousin, because late last evening, Mr A phoned me to say that he was coming over with Derya and her husband today, and that they had bought me a new vacuum cleaner as a house-warming present. Of course I'm very grateful, but I hate the thought of them wasting their money, when my existing cleaner could have been repaired or replaced under guarantee.
But what is really annoying me is that Mr A then said that he would get food shopping for me on the way, and what did I need. Well...I laughed and said everything...which is true. But I know he doesn't have spare money for this, and he is only doing it to impress his cousin. They will no doubt stay for the day....and Saturday is Mr A's busiest day, so I also know he can't afford to be away from the business for too long.
You may wonder why I'm annoyed. It's simply because Turks just won't be honest about their financial situation. They have to pretend that everything is far better than it is. And I'll be expected to keep up the pretense and make out that life is just wonderful and we're rolling in money.
I hate it because in my culture, in families, we tell it as it is. We are accepted for what we are rather than what we own. We don't have the need to impress those people in our lives that we are closest to.
So Mr A will turn up with an extravagant amount of shopping which I know he can't afford, and which I don't need, and spend time here today that he really can't spare ...all for the sake of keeping up appearances.