It started last Saturday. My gas bottle ran out. I only have one which is used for my cooker.They are huge and very heavy here, and everywhere else I've lived you have them delivered to your door, then the man takes the empty one away. Not here in this village however. They have them down the steep hill in the village shop, but there's no way I could manage to get one without a tractor.
Only one thing for it...play the helpless female. I hate doing it but it's the only thing that works. So after a lengthy conversation with the shopkeeper, with much wringing of hands and sighs of despair on my part, he accepted an extra 5 lira to get a man with a tractor to deliver it for me.
The water has been off every day for nearly two weeks. Whilst I was down in the shop sorting out the gas bottle, it came back on again. When I returned home, my kitchen was flooded. I had inadvertently left the kitchen tap on full blast, with a bowl in the sink blocking the plughole, so it had overflowed and had almost reached the sitting-room carpet.
My laptop battery decided to stop working. It had been on the blink for a week or so...it just kept clicking on and off, accompanied by that irritating bleep from the laptop every time it disconnected. By Sunday night it had given up completely. So on Monday morning I set off to Milas to get it repaired, which took 2 hours.
And on Monday afternoon after arriving home and using my repaired adaptor for a couple of hours, I completely lost my internet connection. A couple of hours later I started with the phone calls to TTNet in Istanbul...and I won't bore you with the details, other than to say I lost count of the number of calls I made from Monday evening till Tuesday evening. It cost me a small fortune in credit on my mobile phone, but the matter was not resolved. I was promised a visit by an engineer on Tuesday, but he didn't show.
Because my landline tariff is for outgoing local calls only (to avoid the temptation on my part to ring England on a regular basis, and to stop Mr A ringing his friends' mobile phones), I decided that now was the time to change tariffs and opt for all outgoing calls.
So I caught the 8.00am bus into Milas yesterday morning and went to the Turk Telekom office. After about half an hour I managed to locate a man who spoke as much English as my Turkish (which leaves a lot to be desired) but he was very helpful and between us we managed to change my tariff, which was to take immediate effect. It's now more than 24 hours later and it hasn't happened. I also managed to arrange for an engineer to come out today to check my ADSL. He arrived at 1.30pm and was here for two hours. He managed to get me connected to the internet, but not without using the usb cable attached to the modem. He says it's a problem with my laptop...the modem is fine, the wireless service is fine. So I've left a message for my brother-in-law in Ankara to contact me to take control of my laptop and sort it out for me. OK it's a bit of a nuisance being attached to this short cable...but it's better than nothing!
The real climax of this problematic week happened yesterday afternoon.
I went straight from Milas to Mr A's hotel yesterday morning. I caught up briefly on his laptop. Then we had lunch. Not in the restaurant as we have before, but we had "personnel" food. Anyone who lives in Turkey will know that personnel food is crap. It's very very basic...really just to fill you up. As personnel food goes yesterday's meal wasn't too bad. It tasted pretty good in fact. Unfortunately half an hour later I started throwing up. I felt pretty awful and was keen to get home as soon as possible. Mr A took me to Bodrum on the motorbike...any further and I would have thrown up again. Fortunately the Bodrum to Milas bus is comfortable and has aircon, so I managed the 45 minute journey without throwing up again.
When I reached the bus stop from the main road to the village, I thought I had a wait of about 10 minutes for the village bus. I was wrong...no bus. Almost an hour later I was feeling very sick, when a car came onto the village road from the main road. It's pretty much normal here, particularly in villages where buses are so infrequent, for people with cars in the village to stop and offer you a lift. If a man is driving alone he wouldn't stop to give a lift to a lone female...it's not the done thing.
The car that pulled up to offer me a lift contained 4 young boys, around 18 years old. I recognised all of them, and they know me. One is the shopkeeper's son, and two of them are sons of one of Mr Ayak's friends. For a second I hesitated. I suppose if I was in England, there's no way I'd get into a car with 4 young boys whether I knew them or not...after all at that age their driving is a bit reckless.
However, not knowing how much longer I would have to wait for the bus, and feeling much sicker by the minute, I decided to accept their offer of a lift.
We set off at quite a slow pace really, mainly because they were all busy chatting to each other about their day spent at the beach. I started to feel a little anxious because the driver didn't seem to be concentrating as much as he should. We had probably only travelled about 200 metres and I was just about to tell him to be careful and concentrate, but before I could get the words out, he seemed to lose concentration and the car veered off the road, down the bank, and landed on it's side in a ditch.
I know people say that their lives flash before their eyes when they think they are going to die. Mine didn't...maybe I've lived too long and there's just too much stuff to flash in a couple of seconds! But it did all seem to happen in slow motion.
The side that landed in the ditch was the side where I was sitting. I wasn't hurt. The boys were also unhurt and all clambered out of the car, one of them helping me to climb out and up the bank. I think I must have been in a state of shock, because all I could say was...OK I'm going to walk now! So off I went. I just wanted to get as far away from the car as possible.
About 5 minutes later a bus came along, but it turned off to another village. So I carried on walking. Somehow a 5km walk didn't seem so bad as being in that car.
After another 5 minutes, a middle-aged man and his wife who I recognised stopped in their car and gave me a lift.
I seemed to be fine...until I arrived home. Then I just burst into tears and couldn't stop shaking. I phoned Mr Ayak and he said he would come over and take me to the hospital, but I wasn't injured and felt sure I'd be OK. He phoned his friend, father of two of the boys, and discovered that the boys had in fact been drinking! I have to say I didn't smell alcohol in the car, but it does explain the erratic driving.
I was left feeling quite angry. Angry at them for putting my life at risk...but also angry with myself for not realising that they had been drinking, and feeling pretty determined that I would never make such a foolish mistake again.
Mr Ayak actually came home at 2am this morning. I didn't ask him to, but he wanted to see for himself that I was OK. He was cross with me for accepting a lift with them. But I think it was more like the way we sometimes shout at our kids in anger when they do something that puts themselves at risk...anger out of concern really.
Anyway it was nice to have him home. Just a short visit. But he got up very early and got shot of 90% of those blasted weeds in the garden before setting off back to work!