Friday, 21 January 2011
Mr A has always worked in the tourist industry. It means that like thousands of others, he only has the summer season in which to earn enough money to keep us going through the winter.
When I first moved here almost 13 years ago I remember the season starting in April and going on until around October. The tourist areas were full of foreigners with plenty of money to spend.
How times change. Recession has hit everywhere. Holidays for many people have become a luxury rather than a priority. And it seems like the holiday season now lasts for nearer three months than six.
The introduction of all-inclusive hotels a few years ago, has meant that many tourists just stay put once they arrive. They don't bother, or can't afford, to venture further than their hotel, and as a result local businesses suffer.
In recent years Mr A has found work away from home during the winter...usually in Istanbul. This has not been good for our marriage and we came to the conclusion recently that if our relationship was to survive, then this had to change.
For several months he has attempted different ways to earn money. He's not always successful, he's also accident-prone and very gullible (you can read more about Mr A's adventures here).
At the moment he is still selling mesır macunu products around the villages. This doesn't really make us very much money but it's feeding us, and it keeps Mr A occupied...gives him something to focus on.
I'm feeling a bit guilty though that I have prevented him from going away for several months to earn money. Although he insists this is as much his choice as mine. As a result we are struggling to pay bills and just over a week ago the final instalment for our car was due for payment...1000 lira. There was absolutely no way that we could raise this money, so Mr A had to sell the car. In fact he exchanged it for a motorbike plus 1000 lira, which he paid to the car man to clear the debt. So now he is touring the villages with his stock in a bag strapped to his back. Thank goodness the weather has been good. And I'm hoping we won't have more rain anytime soon.
We have bad days and "not so bad days". He carries a constantly updated shopping list of basic food and household items with him. When he sells his wares, he puts petrol in the motorbike, and brings home as much of the shopping on the list as possible. At the same time we have to try to set aside enough money to buy more stock. On a bad day when he sells nothing, he returns home and becomes quite depressed. It's then my task to try and lift his mood and encourage him to go out again the following day.
He's still looking around for other work, but there's really nothing at the moment. He wants to be out of the tourist industry. It's a young man's game. It's fine for the young boys from the villages who spend the season in the tourist areas. They have no responsibilities. When the season ends they just go back to their families. It's also fine if you have your own business. He tried this last year of course, but it's just no good if you don't have enough capital when you initially start...which we didn't have...because you have to have something to fall back on if you don't get off to a good start...which he didn't. We have discussed what we can do this year...we have several ideas....and are trying to remain positive, and hoping that these ideas can eventually be put into practise.
So that's my update on Mr A's adventures. Now mine:
I am getting very excited about the arrival of my second grandson in April. He will be due around the time of Billy's second birthday, and I am hoping to be there for both events. My daughter has been wihout internet connection since they moved in October, and at last it's on again and I'm now able to talk to her and Billy on webcam. Oh how he's changed in such a short time! Can't wait to see him again!
On the blogging front, I am delighted that the number of followers of my blog is increasing daily. I do tend to ramble a fair bit on here, so am always pleasantly surprised when someone new arrives and takes the trouble to read and comment. I have recently completed an interview for The Sunday Roast on Eddie Bluelights blog. It will appear sometime in the near future. For those of you who don't know about this, it was originally started by a blogger called "authorblog", an author from Australia. When he found himself with no time to continue it, it was handed over to Eddie. You can see some of the previous "roasts" here.
I also had a request for a photo and a few words from Natalie at Turkish Travel Blog who is putting a post together about Turkey seen from the eyes of different people. So I'm hoping that my contribution is interesting enough to be included....we'll see soon enough!
And that's just about it for now...other than to say Poppy has just come into season, which means Beki will follow suit shortly, so I will have several weeks of chasing the street dogs away from the garden...what fun...not!
And the sun is still shining...still no sign of winter!