Saturday, 25 February 2012
Mr A and Suleyman are like chalk and cheese. Mr A is a larger than life kind of man, quite loud and popular with most people. Suleyman is very quiet and reserved. But the two of them get along like a house on fire.
Gwen and I get together as often as possible. Not always easy because they live in Aydin during the winter and in the Bodrum area for work during the summer season. When they have made day trips from Aydin to Bodrum, they pass the road to our village and will take a detour to collect me, so that Gwen and I can spend some time together. Gwen and I do lots of favours for each other. There are things I can help her with because she has only lived here for three years, and she helps me out too. It's a good, well balanced relationship.
They are now in Bitez getting the hotel that they are renting for the summer, ready for the start of the season, so I bus over to Bodrum whenever I can. Other than that we spend a fair amount of time chatting on the phone.
This morning Mr A went into Milas in search of another repairman to fix the washing machine. No luck at all so he phoned the Beko man again and discussed getting our machine repaired. Beko man quoted 250 lira, and Mr A said that he wasn't sure we could afford to get it repaired this month. Beko man said he would repair it this evening and Mr A could pay him at the end of next month. So we settled for that.
I was chatting to Gwen on the phone at lunchtime and was telling her about the machine and the cost of the repair. Her response was that it was ridiculous to think of paying that price when we could get a new machine for around 500 lira. She said why didn't I get a new machine on taksit (monthly payments). Of course this would be the ideal solution. Years ago it was possible to get taksit on goods here very easily. But shops eventually got wise to the fact that many people defaulted on payments, so the system was tightened up. Now it is only possible to get taksit if you have a credit card. That way the monthly payments are taken directly from your bank account.
Unfortunately, as I was explaining to Gwen, neither Mr A nor I have a credit card. Gwen told me to hold on one minute, then she came back to the phone and told me that Suleyman said he would gladly pay with his credit card and I could reimburse him each month.
It was a wonderful gesture of friendship and trust, but my immediate reaction was to thank Suleyman and refuse, because I really don't like owing money. In fact, I have had goods on taksit in the past but always settled the debt in full way before it was due. But Suleyman insisted because it wouldn't cost him anything as I would be paying him each month, and said he would ring Mr A to see if he could arrange for the transaction to be carried out over the phone.
Mr A went to the Beko shop and asked if this could be done, and Beko man said it was impossible to do it over the phone. I was quite pleased because I really wasn't keen to give this man any more business. Mr A then went to a different shop where they were only too happy to oblige. One phone call to Suleyman from the shop at around 3.30pm and it was all arranged.
By 6.00pm my new washing machine was delivered, installed and is now working beautifully.
I phoned Gwen a little while ago to tell her how grateful I was, and although the taksit period is for 12 months, I will be able to pay Suleyman in full within the next couple of months, once Mr A is working again. " No rush at all", she replied, "and it's a pleasure to help and you do so much for me anyway ...that's what friends are for".
Aren't they just lovely?