New Life Abroad - 2

Hi and welcome to Episode 2 of New Life Abroad

It's now nearly 3 months since we moved to Turkey. It's not been an easy ride but we're having some fun and are still happy in our house. We've had a few minor problems like the swimming pool leaking and some electrical problems but generally it's okay. We've finally found out our address after some running around and form filling.

Buying a Vehicle
Since the last episode of New Life Abroad, we have bought 3 vehicles: A car, a motorbike and a scooter. Pete went to Izmir with a Turkish friend to get the car and had to take 2 trips. The first time he went for another car but they got a little suspicious about the guy he was buying it from. They thought the car was might be stolen & the guy put the price up by 4,000 YTL when he found out Pete was English. They didn't buy it & went on to find a better car. The Turks call motorbikes Devil Machines. Everything they drive over here are devil machines in my opinion as they are the craziest drivers. The bike is nice for long trips out but he hasn't used it much as around town it's easier to use the scooter. Here are pictures of the car and bike. Unfortunately we found out after buying & registering the vehicles, that they can only be driven by immediate family because we are foreigners. This is not a major problem but when we open our company, we will transfer them to the company so we have more flexibility. If you'd like any advice about buying a vehicle in Turkey, we'll be please to give you the benefit of our experience if you drop us a line.



New Life Abroad - Buyers Beware
Lately I've spoken to a few people who have become quite bitter here as they have been ripped off, conned, not been paid for work they have done, lost their home, car etc. I heard about someone who had a water tank put in and the workmen tried to hurry the job so the customer doesn't see that the tank was smaller than they ordered. We've heard several horror stories. One about people buying land and then coming to view their new house and it's been built in a completely different way or not been built at all. Another about strangers living in peoples villa's in the wintertime. Each day you hear how you shouldn't trust anybody here. It gets you down sometimes. There are of course people you can trust but you have to be so careful! We've heard about so many people who get a bad deal that we felt people should be warned about what could happen to them. So, …………… we put our thinking caps on have decided to start a Property Purchase Advice Service for people thinking about buying or building property over here. If you're interested you can click on the link or download Our Brochure here. We'd be grateful for your feedback.

A couple we know, came to stay for two weeks. They found out the house they'd had built was on military land so they can't have it in their name & have to open a company. Their swimming pool leaking too!. It was one problem after another. They could have done with our brochure beforehand!

Not long after, we met our landlords who arrived for a holiday. They are a really nice couple and said at the end of their stay that they were glad we were living in their house to look after it. We are hoping they might consider a second year now ;-) It would be nice as I don't really want to up and move to another place again until we build a house for ourselves. We've also made friends with the a few neighbours who are mainly English and are all within walking distance. One couple, Frank and Sally have lived here 3 years and have the most massive dog I have ever seen. He is an English Mastiff called Barney. It cost them £3,000 to get him over here because he was so heavy! Here is a picture of him.


New Life Abroad - Stray Dogs
Speaking of dogs, they are a problem here as there are quite a few strays around. It's a shame because some are beautiful natured dogs who just need a loving home. Lately they have been increasing in numbers and hang around in packs. It can be a bit frightening walking along the street when you see a pack of dogs walking around. The other night a young Turkish girl who was here for a holiday knocked on our door and tried to explain she was scared of walking back to her house which was only a few metres away. She must have been pretty damn scared to knock on a stranger's door. We tried to re-assure her and walk her home but I started to feel scared too when one of the dogs started growling. I tried not to let her see I was feeling uncomfortable. We turned back and ended up driving her to the house. The local Council did used to come round and collect the strays but it hasn't happened this year. Also they sleep in the sun all day and bark and bark of a night. I've had several bad nights sleep and that's not good for Pete as I get grumpy when i'm tired. Maybe some e-mails or calls to the local Council might do the trick. They don't harm them, just take them to a dog home just outside Turgutreis.

New Life Abroad - New Developments
We've decided to build at the top end of the market as we've seen too many low quality buildings here. People just seem to accept the low standards, but they don't have to. There are some good builders here too & we intend to be high up in their ranks. Brochures are now being printed for our new development in Mumcular. We are also looking at a couple of other potential developments & hope to start one in Bodrum soon. There are still not many tourists here. The waiters and barmen are saying they aren't going to make much money this year. Some people are blaming it on Bird Flu (which incidentally isn't only in Turkey) and the World Cup. Nobody knows the reason for sure but it's still pretty quiet.

New Life Abroad - Horrible Hair
I had my hair done a week ago and then a second time to rectify it. It's a disaster. I hate it and don't even like looking in the mirror. I'd insert a picture of myself but it might frighten you! Girls (and boys) shop around when you get your hair done and before they do it maybe politely say to them if you're not happy with it you're not paying for it. I unfortunately didn't do this as you kind of think a hairdresser should know what they are doing - wrong! I guess it can be rectified but it's who to trust to do it again! They all seem pretty keen to take your money but not too keen on making you look like the picture you've taken in to them in the first place. They all have the trendy Toni and Guy and Wella posters in the window but when you get in there that's about all they have of the stuff and produce colours out of strange packets in Turkish, while smoking fags and singing along to the radio. I've now found out that Bodrum was a better option. I don't know, I'm in despair!

New Life Abroad - Swimming Cat
A couple of weeks ago my cat Charlie had a disaster and fell in the swimming pool. We had bought him an electronic cat flap as other cats kept coming in the house, stealing his food and fighting with him. We put on his new rainbow collar with a magnet hanging off it, to let him in through the cat-flap & he seemed ok with it. But later that night we came back from town and Pete shouted "quick I think Charlie has fallen in the pool". I can't even remember running downstairs and before I knew it I was on the floor outside with a cat that resembled Charlie but looked half the size. He'd got his jaw caught in the collar, tried to get it off and had fallen in the pool. He was very clever though and realised that he had to get to the edge. After about an hour he was dry and purring but that upset me a lot. Thank god we were in when it happened. That's the last collar he will ever wear. Its improved now though as some of the cats have moved house and I've moved his food upstairs.

So, it's not been a bed of roses up to yet but we've not been put off. Reading this article, it must sound to you like its all going wrong here, but its not. We are still smiling and there's a lot of exciting things in the pipeline. I'm trying to keep positive and not let the bitterness of some people get me down. Apart from the odd sleepless night with the dogs it's still a really nice lifestyle & we're having some good times too. I've missed family and friends but they will be out here to see us soon.

New Life Abroad - New Life Abroad - New Life Abroad - New Life Abroad - New Life Abroad -

New Life Abroad - Three Weddings but no funeral
We've been to three different wedding celebrations in the three months we've been here & they've all been a little different. The first one we went to was a Traditional Turkish Wedding, which lasts 5 days. We went on the party day. We first went to the grooms parents place, had food & drink, listened to the music & watched the dancing. The groom had money pinned all over him by the guests as gifts and to wish him luck. After a couple of hours the party moved to the brides parents place at the other side of the village where there was more music & dancing. Here are a couple of pictures. We have many more & I think I might well build a page all about the Traditional Turkish Wedding.

Turkish-Wedding (42K)
New Life Abroad - Turkish Wedding

New Life Abroad - Traditional Turkish Wedding

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Gorusuruz (which is "see you" in Turkish)


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