Monday, 26 August 2013

Getting out of tourism

I talked a bit about tourism in my last post.   It's really not as lucrative for the average seasonal worker as it once was.  Gone are the days when you could earn enough on commission only throughout the season, to survive during the winter months with no work.

All-inclusive holidays encourage people with little money to spend.  They save all year, pay their all inclusive price, and then don't have to worry too much about spending money.  You can't blame them.  They are just not earning enough these days to justify spending more than the bare minimum on their two weeks in the sun.

Mr A's REAL job in tourism is selling carpets.  Apart from the odd few days in Kusadasi when he was offered some work demonstrating and selling to large groups from the cruise ships, for the last two or three years he has had to find other work.  People can't afford carpets.  To be honest there is such a huge amount of commission loaded onto the prices in the carpet centres, you would be better off buying a Turkish carpet from a shop in your own country.

So Mr A has been selling the hamam experience.  The problem here is that these hamams are situated in all-inclusive hotels, and people won't or can't pay extra for a Turkish bath and massage.   And it's commission only, which is really difficult.  This has meant that he really has to be there at the hamam all of the time, or he is worried he will miss a customer.   He is working 16 to 18 hours a day, 7 days a week.   He doesn't come home very often.  It's not far...less than an hour away...but he has to consider the cost of petrol for the round trip, and the fact that if he's not there, he'll miss an opportunity to sell.   Occasionally he comes home..... brings his washing for me to do, and then returns a maximum of two hours later, with his clean clothes (usually still damp).  

We don't have much of a conversation because frankly he is too exhausted to talk, so I just leave him to relax.  He'll stretch out on the sofa and within minutes he will be asleep.

I can't wait until the season finishes.  Mr A's contract ends at the end of September.  We talked earlier this year about this being his last season, and that from this year on he would start to work on the land in the village.  We have walnut trees which will give the most profit, olives and fruit.  There won't be much to be made from it this year because it has been neglected a bit.   Father-in-law no longer comes to stay (one thing to be grateful for!)to work on the land, so there is much to be done.

We'll never make a great deal of money from the land, but hopefully enough to survive without all the stress of ridiculously long hours...and at least I will actually see my husband!

When we actually have chance to talk, I will know whether Mr A is serious about this.  Unfortunately, he finishes on 30th September, and the following day I will be off to England for two weeks.   I think though that the two weeks on his own, may well be the time for him to think long and hard and make a decision.   Fingers crossed it's the right one.

17 comments:

  1. How about a dogs boarding kennel - you have the experience and I'm sure Mr A would make lovely kennels

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    1. We did actually talk about this some time ago BtoB. I'm not sure the neighbours would be too happy though. With the four dogs outside barking most nights, I think adding to it might cause a few problems. It could be a possibility down on the land in the village though. It would need a lot of work and planning.

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  2. Given what you say about how very little Mr A earns from such long hours in tourism, it's hard to see how he could earn less from working on the land, Ayak. At least he wouldn't be spending money on fuel and could live at home, and if you can grow more and more of your own food, that would help too. I do hope the thinking time helps him to come to a decision.

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    1. These are exactly my arguments for the idea Perpetua. I have to be careful not to push my ideas too much. Men, particularly Turkish men, like to think that it's all about their ideas. It's a case of striking a balance...planting the seeds in his mind and letting him think about it!

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  3. Everyone knows that Mr A is a very hard worker. It is such a pity that he has to work so hard for commission only and that so many cannot afford to pay.
    Lets hope better things might come his way. You both definitely deserve it.
    Maggie x
    Nuts in May

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    1. Thankyou Maggie. We could certainly do with a change in circumstances x

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  4. I think you sum it all up in your reply to Perpetua. Planting the seeds is the important bit just now. It does seem such a thankless job he has at the moment - maybe even a trial year or even two to see how it goes staying at home and working the land. I always liked the saying 'Tall oaks from little acorns grow'... I don't think Mr A will grow much in selling just now.
    Fingers crossed for you both.
    Axxx

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  5. As you say. Money is tight, people are not spending. It is a tough time to be in the tourism industry, especially on commission only. Back to the land might be a very good plan.

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  6. I think you are probably best sowing the seed in his mind and then going away to let it germinate I do hope he decides in favour as that way you will be together much more and on reduced expenses which should help to get through the first year when so much work will be necessary to put the land in order.

    Enjoy your time with your daughter and the boys...as if you need telling...

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  7. working in the tourism industry sucks. I dont blame you for wanting him to get away from it now! I bet he works hard, i cant imagine how hard it is never seeing him! Your land sounds lovely and a good idea.
    Berkay is so lucky in summer, 1400tl he currently earns, the most he ever has. In winter he has to walk from hotel to hotel asking if anyone needs him til he finds a job.. they take advantage of him, knowing how desperate we need the money. Last year the place he was working didn't pay him for 2 months, and when they did it was only 750tl :(

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  8. Thankyou Annie, omentide, Helen and Danni. This is a reply to all of you but also a bit of an update.

    Mr A popped home last night for an hour or so. I wasn't expecting him but he was luckily asked by a couple of hotel guests for a lift to the airport, for which they paid of course, and as we are close to the airport, he took the opportunity to come home.

    He has been thinking more and more about giving up tourism and working on the land. He is worried though that he won't have earned enough money at the end of next month and this could prove difficult for us. However, there is a possibility of a job for November and December, January off, then February and March, which means going away again, but it's a temporary position so I think we are heading in the right direction. More on the job later, if it comes off.

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    1. Ayak, I have lots of ideas but to begin with I agree with you on growing your own fruit and veg. I started doing this and to my surprise, it works! I've learned a lot from friends and the internet. I planted potatoes which cost me €5 and have been eating them for almost 3 months. Still another 2 months supply to keep us going. With the heat in Turkey, tomatoes can be grown outside, cucumbers, pumpkins, onions and so much more. I am going to Turkey on 21st September for 8 weeks and I can bring over seeds for you. E-mail me any time and we can meet up. Enjoy your trip back to the UK.

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    2. Hi Noreen. Thankyou. Send me your email address on a comment and I'll get in touch (I won't publish your comment of course) xx

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  9. Fingers crossed for the job...it would be a great back up for a new start.

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  10. I do hope things work out for you both Ayak. If the temp. job works out for these winter months, maybe he will feel more confident about not doing the tourist based work next summer. I have everything crossed for you. Jx

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    1. Thanks Janice. The job is still uncertain. There are never any guarantees here! But keep everything crossed xx

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