Thursday, 3 February 2011

Winter and Mr A's adventures

Looking at this photo, taken from my balcony a few days ago, you could be forgiven for thinking it's summer here.  But winter has arrived at last.  It's pleasant outside with the sun shining, but it is cold...very cold in the house.  I was about to switch on the aircon unit yesterday, only to discover that the batteries in the controls were dead, so I spent most of the day in the kitchen cooking.

Since my last update on 21st January we have had very little food.  In fact on Tuesday I was down to 2 eggs in the fridge and enough milk for 2 cups of coffee, which left me praying that Mr A would come home that evening with food.

You may recall from my last update that the car was exchanged for a motorbike, and Mr A was travelling around the villages selling mesır macunu.  A few days later, he realised that doing this on the motorbike was just not working.  So the motorbike has now been exchanged for another car.  OK he still has to pay money for the car, but he doesn't have to do this for a couple of months. 

This travel and sell business is all about supply and demand and Mr A feels that if he constantly changes products, he can continue to supply villages with things that they want or need.  The latest car is a hatchback, with plenty of space, and the latest product is fresh fish.

He has negotiated a good price with the supplier and drives to Güvercinlik every two days to get the fish which has just been caught, and then  packed in ice in polystyrene boxes.  This fish will actually keep for 4 or 5 days, but he is clearing the stock within 2 days because he wants it to be as fresh as possible.    He did try to negotiate with the Belediye (council) for a permanent pitch in Milas, but they are charging much more than we can afford at the moment, so he is travelling the villages.  Although he has been given a free pitch in the industrial estate in Milas on Saturdays.

The Turks are big fish eaters, but people in the villages can't always travel to get it, so Mr A has no problem clearing his stock quickly.  He has to earn enough to re-stock, pay for petrol, and keep us going. It's been less than a week since he started and so far it looks promising.

And the good news is that, after I had eaten the last 2 eggs on Tuesday, he arrived home in the evening with bags of shopping.  Enough food to last us for a couple of weeks.  He also checked my postbox in Milas and there was a parcel for me from a friend in England containing 6 big bars of Cadbury's chocolate....so it was a bit like Christmas!

The downside is that he comes home every evening smelling very fishy and it's not pleasant.  And I certainly have no intention of going anywhere in the car anytime soon!  He did leave a car window open very slightly the night before last, and when he set off yesterday morning, discovered a cat in the car who had managed to squeeze in, was just pushing the lid off one of the boxes and had the tail of a fish in it's  mouth.   Caught in the nick of time.  So fortunately only one fish was touched...and Mr A gave it to the cat...lucky cat!

I assumed that Mr A wouldn't be able to continue selling fish when the weather gets warmer, but apparently there are refrigerated units that can fit into the back of a car, so if this business is profitable enough, he will look into this further.

And so, Mr's adventures continue...watch this space.

17 comments:

  1. I'm glad to hear that things are on the up for you two! I hope this new venture works out. It sounds like it will -- fish can be a lucrative business! Also, my heart melted a bit when you said that Mr A had given the fish to the cat. It was a very sweet thing to do, considering that the cat must be struggling. May that good karma come back to you ten-fold!

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  2. Hi Barbara and welcome. Thanks for your good wishes.
    Of course as you know cats have quite a struggle here. Mr A is also bringing home all the odds and ends of fish that aren't sold so the cats in the neighbourhood are getting spoilt!

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  3. Brilliant Ayak. Delighted with your positive post. And imagining the joy of Cadburys! So very pleased Mr A has found something to sell. How are your fish recipes? or does Mr A never want to eat another fish again. The very very best of luck to him.

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  4. I am so glad things are looking better. Are you not able to work in Turkey?

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  5. Mr A is a very resourceful man and I do admire his sheer determination to put bread on the table.
    So pleased that things are looking up.
    I look forward to the next sequel.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

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  6. Rosie: Thanks for your good wishes. Mr A loves fish. I'm not so keen on the type he is selling which is popular here but has too many bones for my liking

    likeschocolate: Thanks. I can and have worked here, but not since we moved here almost 2 years ago, as we are too far from the tourist area, and there's nothing for me locally. Although I did help Mr A for the last 4 weeks of the hamam business last year..difficult because of the travelling involved. Anyone working in the tourist industry here will tell you what awful hours and conditions are usually to be found. 16-hour days, 7 days a week for little pay. They think our 9 to 5 working hours are part-time!

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  7. Maggie: Thanks. I'm also always waiting for the next chapter in Mr A's book of adventures. I never know what will happen next. Life may be stressful but it's never boring!

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  8. So pleased to hear things are looking up. xxx

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  9. How like Mr. Ayak to give the cat what it wanted!

    With you on the smell of the interior of the car....there is something all pervasive about fish!

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  11. Thankyou auntiegwen xx

    Fly: To be honest, I would have just run the fish under the tap and put it back with the rest, but Mr A didn't think it appropriate...well that's what he says...I think he really just felt sorry for the cat!

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  12. I love Mr. A's resoucefulness! One thing can be said...he is NOT lazy nor not determined. I fear we would be bored should he ever take a 9 to 5 job!

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  13. Both of you are an amazing study on determination, thank you for these inspiring posts and know that we always wish the best for both of you. I love what you have done with the blog settings of late...and your pictures are amazing.

    Please take a peek at my blog when you have a chance as I have something for you.:)

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  14. Mr A sounds as though he's doing well! My son used to work in a butchery factory and came home every evening smelling of raw meat... horrible!

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  15. Charlotte-Ann: I don't think there's much chance of a 9 to 5 job!

    Mr H: what lovely words...thankyou so much. And thanks also for the award xxx

    me: Oh yuk..I'm not sure which is worse? Both pretty awful!

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  16. Congratulations on your award! I'm glad he let the cat have the fish :-) Funny, I have a scene like that in my novel, where the male protagonist sees a fishmonger abusing a cat, bargains him down to a ridiculously cheap price on his fish, and then gives the fish to the cat...

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  17. Deniz: Thankyou. I think the cats and dogs around here are pretty pleased that we moved here..tney get a lot more to eat these days!

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