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.


  1. Dont know what to say really cept that I am sending you huge hugs. Sometimes though we all tend to put on appearances for others or even to make ourselves feel better, not necessarily meaning that we want to keep up the Joneses but sometimes we dont always tell it like it is! Things willimprove soon new businesses take a while and it will make a profit and all the hard work etc will be worth it. Thinking of you xx

  2. It's not easy is it! I'm so sorry your having to go through such a tough time...keep your chin up because, as you say, things are picking up!

    C x

  3. Hi Ayak, just dropping in to say that I have an award for you over at mine at this link-

  4. Awww... You have reason to be baffled. But you know you are right, here in the East it's like culture when somebody visits you, you just have to have things that are kinda ostentatious. Everybody in the East likes to have an upper hand. I know it very well, 'cos it's the same story here in Pakistan.

    Well, I hope things get better for you people soon. Really nice to know that things are picking up!

  5. Good to know that business is picking up though.....

  6. You are wonderful! Here is an award for you:

  7. Bomb: Yes I suppose you're right, maybe I'm just too honest and find it hard to pretend.

    Carol: Yes I am thankful that things show signs of getting better.

    Gaelikaa....thankyou xxx

    Kaibee: It does seem to be an eastern cultural have to impress. I do find it difficult though.
    And thankyou for the award sweetie xx

    Rosie: Yes it is...something to be positive about!

  8. Great that things are picking up, but I know start ups are always a much to recuperate before you see a penny.
    The 'keeping face' thing is dreadful, I know, but we're not immune from it in the rest of Europe.
    I once knew a woman who hated her job and when we were talking one day she said how miserable she was and how she wanted to be at home with the kids...but she couldn't because if they didn't have a new car every year the neighbours would talk...and (my take on this) lose status.

    Teaching friends tell me enough horror stories about kids coming to school on inadequate breakfasts and being delivered by expensive cars.

    Still, it isn't so universal as in Turkish society, I agree.

    It offends all your sense of how things should be...but you're getting a new hoover, there's a bag of shopping coming your, though it shouldn't happen like that, use what comes.

    Such a difficult time for you...I do sympathise.
    Weird how sometimes things feel to be at their worst when - to the outside eye - they're getting better.

  9. Things will soon get better, Ayak. And I'm sending you bigger hugs than what Bombshellicious!

    Your faithful friend and follower,


  10. It must be very difficult for you sometimes but In suppose you just have to go with it. All you can do is make sure that all that food that Mr A buys goes as far as possible!

  11. Fly: I know you're right...Your stories have put it into perspective for me. I really shouldn't be so sensitive about it.
    And yes of course things are getting better...and I should focus on that really.

    Thankyou Mel...I can always rely on you for big hugs xx

    Jan: Yes indeed...whatever can be frozen is now in the will last me for quite a while!

  12. Turks tend to live for the moment and if that means living it up excessively because tomorrow may never come, then that's exactly what they do. Just look at this way, you and Mr. Ayak compliment one another well! You'll just have to be the practical one, the frugal one who has a long term plan.

    It's also a feature of the Mediterranean I suspect. I often wondered how people could continue to live at the bottom of Mt. Vesuvius knowing it could blow them all to kingdom come at any minute. They just don't worry about things that MAY happen someday. I can see the advantages of course. But finding the proper balance between worrying about possibilities and ignoring potential disasters and approaching hardships is a real challenge. I've spent my whole life bouncing between these views. :)

  13. Nomad: You are so right. The Turkish mentality is most certainly a "have later" one...or "live for today...worry about the cost later".
    I'm sure this is why they are so laid back and happy most of the time. I've tried hard to adopt this attitude to life, with great difficulty. I'm sure I'd be much happier and healthier if I could.


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