New Life Abroad - 3
Hello, I'm Pete. Welcome to New Life Abroad - Episode 3. I've decided it's time I took my turn to tell you about how I'm feeling about our new life abroad, so here goes:
So, I'm gonna tell you about a few of the exciting, frustrating, sad & happy "experiences" we've had. Maybe in another month or two, I'll give you my take on Culture Shock & how to prepare yourself to minimise the effects.
I've gone on far longer than I intended about the phone line so I'll keep this short. There is a water supply problem on the Bodrum Peninsula so most houses have a spare water tank & a pump installed so on the days when the water is turned off, they can still wash. This worked fine for us (once we realised we had such a system & turned the pump on :-) until my Mother came to stay for a couple of weeks. Then we started running out occasionally so realised that the tank was really only enough for 2 people. Don & Elaine our landlords were kind enough to pay to have another tank installed so that problem is now solved. We do however still have to be careful & only use the washing machine & re-fill the leaking swimming pool on days when the mains water is turned on.
The electricity supply itself is not too bad. There are very occasional cuts but they rarely last longer than an hour or so. The voltage however is not too hot - when we turn the kettle on the lights in the house dim. The main problem we have is the wiring in the house. I think the "electrician" who wired the house must have left his white stick at home that day.
Oh, one other thing I nearly forgot, our house is wired to next door so they share our supply. That in itself is not a huge problem as we are friends with the neighbours & they will contribute to the bill. But, the owner of the apartments next to their house decided to run a wire from their meter box so he could join in & share our supply. The plumber also decided to use the water from their storage tank. I was not amused so I went to complain to the Jandarma. They however didn't seem to give a damn. They would only do something about it if the house had insurance. If you don't have insurance, they don't mind people stealing your electricity or water in Turgutreis. There's a bit of culture shock for you!
As we are employing someone to project manage our Property Development in Mumcular, not too much of our time is going to be needed once the construction commences. So, when a couple of business opportunities were presented to me over the last couple of months, I did consider them seriously. I decided in the end to turn them both down though, as I thought I'd need to put too much time into them. One of the main reasons we moved to Turkey was to break away from "living to work" & take the time to smell the roses.
However, I'd began to get frustrated on several occasions at to the lack of quality and customer care of many business services here. After some thoughts about how to improve this, I came up with the germs of an idea. I discussed it with my friend Bob & we did some brainstorming. After several hours of talking we came up with a basis of a business plan. Over the next few weeks we had several meetings to plan the details. Unfortunately after carrying out some market research & talking to Lorraine & Semra, we came to realise that the culture here would prevent the success of our plan. I've deliberately been vague here, as for the time being we've just shelved the idea. We wouldn't want anyone to borrow our idea would we? So watch this space in a couple of years maybe, when Bodrum might be ready for us ;-)
Our Pets - Charlie & Jasmine
As I said, Lorraine was devastated & cried for days. She had wanted a puppy for a long time & had said that she would want one if ever Charlie died. Although I'd never had a dog myself, I had recently thought about it a lot. I knew that a puppy would never be a replacement for Charlie, but thought that it may help Lorraine with her grief so it may be a good idea to get a puppy sooner rather than later.
Not having had a dog before, I spent a few days researching the net to make sure I was making the right decision. Having started our new life abroad we now both have more time on our hands, so looking after a dog would not be a problem. There were many other things to consider though. Anyway, I'd more or less decided at this stage to get a dog so discussed it further with Lorraine.
I found a really great site called Dog Play with a page specifically about finding the right dog. This goes into great detail including ethical considerations about not buying a puppy from pet shops but from a responsible breeder instead. Unfortunately these seem to be few & far between in Turkey, if they exist at all. We would have liked to have had a rescue dog, but having visited a couple of homes could not find a suitable dog. After several days of searching we decided on a puppy located in Ankara we'd found advertised on the net. Semra rang up for us & asked all the questions advised by Dog Play to try to ensure the dog had been bred responsibly. We could not be sure, but it definitely didn't seem to be on of the "puppy factories" we'd heard about. So we took the plunge.
I need to cut the story short as I'm rambling again. Jasmine arrived safe & sound the next morning, although when we took her to the vet he told us he though she was more like 3 to 4 weeks old rather than the 8 weeks we'd been told. We have come to learn that you cannot take anyone's word for anything.
When I started my new life abroad in Turgutreis, I had every intention of leading a healthy life. I planned to swim in the sea most mornings and to eat healthily. I started off well by swimming 3 or 4 days a week or walking in the mountains when it was too windy. I'd also planned to play beach volleyball & persuaded "Nutters", a bar on the beach front, to set up a court. I designed posters & planned to organise a game and play several times a week. Unfortunately it never happened. Now I won't say it's all gone horribly wrong, but I'm a long way away from my intentions. I could give you a list of excuses, like the fact that after 3 weeks we moved from the house 10 metres from the sea to one which is about 15 minutes walk away. But they would be just excuses. I could easily hop on the scooter and get to the beach in a few minutes and I could stop eating those ice creams every day. I even started to learn to windsurf, but I seem to have stalled on that front.
I bought a motorbike (a Suzuki V-Strom 650cc) about 4 months ago & was looking forward to riding it in the sun. Unfortunately I allowed some Turkish drivers to stop my fun riding the bike, as in general they drive with no consideration for other road users. This, combined with the heat making it too uncomfortable to wear protective clothing, made me feel unsafe on the roads and started getting me stressed as I'd get angry at the maniac car drivers. So, I've hardly ridden the bike until this last week or so. The weather has now cooled down a little and there is less traffic on the roads. I've taken three trips to Bodrum in the space of a week & haven't stopped the bike in the middle of the road once to "argue" with some brainless driver, so I guess maybe I'm starting to chill a bit :-)
So, the bike riding is improving and I'm now going to do something about the healthy lifestyle. It'll be getting too cold to swim in the sea soon, but I can wear a wet-suit for the windsurfing. The weather is now ideal for walking in the mountains & in fact last week I did just that by "climbing" up Turgutreis mountain. I got some great pictures. Here are a few:
Now wouldn't you just love to own a house with a view like that? Well, funnily enough, when I clambered up the last few metres onto the top of the mountain, lo & behold there was a digger which was finishing off a road which had been built through the mountains. I really didn't expect to find that at the top. So, I guess they probably are going to build up there.
Quality of Life
I mentioned above that one of the main reasons for our new life abroad was to spend less time working & more time enjoying life. With all this beautiful scenery & great weather here in Turgutreis and the Bodrum Peninsula, it would be a great shame if I didn't take the time to appreciate it along with many other important things in life. Well, over the last couple of years I've learned a lot about myself and about life and consider that I am now on a "journey to enlightenment". I finally realise that life is not about material things and I am now striving to live for the present moment instead of for the past or the future. A couple of major influences for me have been:
Since getting onto this subject, I decided to write another page to share
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