Those who work in tourism here are accustomed to having little or no free time during the summer months. They are used to working all the hours under the sun in the vain hope that they will earn enough money to keep them and their familes during the winter when there is no work.
Mr A has been staying in personnel accommodation in Gumbet. He is only about 45 minutes away but if he came home every night it would be costing a fortune in petrol. Personnel accommodation isn't pleasant. Bosses rent cheap, basic apartments for the season and cram as many personnel into them as possible. It's not unusual to find half a dozen men sleeping in one small room designed for one person, in bunk beds or single beds squeezed into every available space.
Occasionally Mr A has popped home, normally late in the evening for an hour or two. Just enough time to get some washing done and have a coffee. He often uses these brief trips to call in at a supermarket on the way to get the shopping for me that is too heavy for me to carry, and of course in the last two weeks, to fill up water containers. Then he goes back to work. New batches of holidaymakers arrive at all times of the day or night, and this is the when Mr A needs to be around, to make himself known in the hope that he will find potential customers.
If you are working on commission only, as he is, it means being on duty for 18 hours a day, 7 days a week. He, like so many others, is exhausted when he gets towards the end of the season.
The night before last, or rather 2 o'clock yesterday morning, he sent me a text message to see if I was awake. I was, and phoned him. He said he was beyond tired and couldn't sleep so had decided to drive home. He came home and fell into bed at 3.30am. He slept through the barking of the dogs, and all the other animal noises and woke up around 10am.
He told me he intended to take the day off...the first in 5 months. He sent a message to his boss, who wasn't best pleased, but then all the bosses think about is money. They have little consideration for the health and welfare of their personnel.
We decided to drive into Milas and pay Mehmet. He also went to the place where he had traded in the car for the truck (oto galeri), and paid the balance of what he owed them. Then we picked up some shopping and headed back to the village where we intended to relax and have a meal together.
On the way, the truck engine became overheated and this gave Mr A cause for concern. He dropped me back at the house and decided to return to the oto galeri in Milas. No time to cook a meal, so hastily made him a sandwich before he set off at around 2pm.
He phoned me 3 hours later to say that he had left the truck in Milas to be fixed and caught the bus back to Gumbet. The truck will have to stay there for 5 days.
So much for having a day off! He is due to finish his job on Monday and I fly off to England on Tuesday. His boss has asked him to work on for a few more weeks, but that means he would have to come home every night to look after the dogs, which would eat up any of his earnings in petrol. The boss is considering paying him petrol money each day. If he does, it's worth Mr A carrying on for a few weeks to earn some more much needed money.
If this happens, he will feed the dogs in the morning and let them out for a run, then when they are back in the garden he will head off, and take Poppy with him. Then he will be back in the evening to do the same. It won't be so busy during October, so he won't have to work such long hours, but all this travelling back and forth along the busy Bodrum to Milas road isn't good. I'm hoping he declines his boss's offer, and just stays put.
And maybe you understand now why I want him out of tourism.