Moving On Part 03


Moving On Part 3

By this time,some two weeks after my initial purchase I was raring to go. I couldn't see the point in continuing to pay rent in Taşyaka (although he who cannot be named had paid up until the 10th November) was spending more time at the house in Esenköy but I couldn't actually move in until the basic work had been completed. Unfortunately, Ramadan fell during this period and my workmen disappeared for three days.

During my enforced period of rest and no relaxation, I continued packing, making curtains which keş thought was a whole new game for him to enjoy and quite happily put mucky dog prints all over my cream voile! And of course writing my endless lists. I hate to think how many rain forests I destroyed during my move, but lists are very important in my life.

First list, was of workmen required and who would double up and do me two jobs for the price of one! Top of the list was the tiler or Kiremitç, followed by Electrician or Elektrikçi. Following these rules of Turkish grammar does the butcher become a Kasapçi? I also needed to sort the water out and remove the plumbing and sink from the hallway.

Now, anyone who knows me well, will know that I do not 'Do' the big shops or recommended ones. Here in Fethiye, there are many shops offering tiles, bathroom suites, taps and sanitary fittings. Nothing wrong with the shops or the goods but for me it is the price and the same reason that I do not wear clothes branded with Nike or Adidas, unless they are genuine fakes! If it is a bargain you are after then head towards Patlangiç or the industrial area.

Driving around the 'Garage' or 'İndustrial area' (İn Fethiye it is opposite the Oto gar and lays behind the lokantas * Şeckin and Ölü Deniz ), is a very interesting and informative experience. I have also been bribed (with half a bottle of Jack to disclose that this is where Vordemonts shop is located!). I discovered some very useful places , much to Recep's annoyance and my pleasure. Being extremely nosey and forward thinking, it always pays to have a little local knowledge.

I chanced upon a laundry, that would wash my blankets which were too big for the machine and at 7 lira each which I thought very reasonable. A quick nosey and cup of çay here and I was dragged back to the car to find the Tiler. I think he was a friend of Recep's because unlike me who happily flits from place to place with all the time in the world, Recep was looking for somewhere called 'Ege Ceramics' . We did eventually find the place, but not before I had popped into a Tailors to sew a zip into a new pair of Jeans (brand new and never worn) and a Wrought Iron shop where I fluttered my eyelashes, stepped over molten iron and persuaded the nice men to make me a set of fire irons and a fire basket.

Ege Ceramics was nothing more than a wooden shed, set on a corner of a road the area around it dotted with huge sheets of marble. Now, all you experienced Turkeyers will know that first impressions do not count and behind those shabby, dirty facades is more than likely to be jewels in the crown. I got out the car, stepped over a puddle and followed Recep into the shed. From another ramshackle building across the yard, three turkish male heads popped out, then popped back in again.

From behind a chipboard desk, a slighty built Turkish man of vertically challenged proportions stood up to greet us. This was Mehmet the boss and a worker. We exchanged pleasantries, drank çay and explained the work that was required. A nod of agreement and Mehmet climbed into the back of the car to view the work and give us an Estimate.

En-route to Esenköy, we stopped at 'Flash Electricks' in Patlangiç and Recep enticed the electrician to come along with us. His name was Erdal. Whilst this method of recruiting workmen may appear to be unorthodox, it is simply the way things are done here and when in Rome............

Arriving at Esenköy the 'boys' (well everyone is younger than me!) were told what work was required, the time limit and asked for their estimates. Mehmet's price was spot on and never varied, even though he did jobs I never paid for and Erdal's estimate came in at 100 tl under priced, but as he threw in a lovely doorbell that plays the Fenerbahçe march (great, except we are all Galatasaray) and a outside security light, I paid up in full.

The important jobs covered, we all climbed back into the car and headed back to Fethiye. Mehmet had suggested a plumber who he used for contracts and after dropping the two 'boys' off at their respective work places we visited the plumber or Tesisatçi (oooh sounds rather rude that) imagine trying to say that when you are three sheets to the wind! The plumber was situated on the edge of Fethiye, nearly in Patlangiç.

As usual, business was conducted in the Turkish fashion. That is moi plonking myself down and looking seductive and Recep doing most of the talking and leg work with the occasional input from me. It is not that I have no idea what the hell is going on (sometimes they could be talking about nuclear fall out for all I know). I usally have a good idea of what is being said but women (even mad turklish ones!) do not discuss business, money or fotbul.

With my tulip glass in my hand, I left the men to talk shop and wandered around the shop. I Poked into dark corners, pulled dusty dirty plastic bags off shelves and generally made a nuisance of myself. Interrupting the shop talk from time to time with requests for chrome toilet brush holders, a decent loo seat and demanding to know what various odd shaped plastic things were. Eventually they either gave up or came to an agreement. I was then given their full undivided attention and selected a toilet bowl, a sink for the bathroom a shower unit and taps.

The kitchen sink had already been decided earlier at the house. Now, a tap is a tap and as long as I can turn it and produce water, I am not too bothered about what it looks like. Girls a tap is not a tap. They come in all sorts of shapes and styles ranging from basic clod hopper to ultra slim sexy flick of your wrist control. After half an hour of being shown various models I opted for the medium price and everything to matching sexy silver chrome. I was even shown a selection of taps for the washing machine. Now, I like being involved but no-one would ever see the taps behind the machine and quite frankly if they had been black plastic with deely boppers attached, I would have agreed. Why, I chose matching I have no idea because the bathroom is nowhere near the kitchen and if anyone could be bothered to go and check if my taps matched then they most certainly would not be staying in my house. Arranging to collect a gentleman first thing in the morning, to view the work and give an estimate, I paid a deposit on my goods and Recep drove me home to Taşyaka.

The following morning, Recep arrived bright and early at 8am. Our mission to purchase çimento and gunk for the tiling. Mehmet and his workers had been busy ripping my house apart since 6.30. Unlike England where the workmen usually provide the necessary basics, here I purchased çimento, gunge and tile grout myself. Naturally this was not included in the estimates. The car now sagging under the weight of six bags of çimento and some nasty Grey stuff which was used to level out the floor, not to mention my good self we rounded up our plumbing guy (Mr testicles was the name I gave him) and drove to Esenköy.

My god! Three hours into the first day of work and the place looked like a bomb had exploded. The outside was now littered with pieces of blue tile from the bathroom, the sink from the hallway was dumped ceremoniously in the back garden and rubble was everywhere like confetti. Apart from the building litter, there was an assortment of cigarette butts and packets, empty plastic drink bottles, biscuit wrappers and an polystyrene take away box. My first thought was to say what the hell is going on here, then I thought better of it and shut it.

Gingerly stepping over a pool of cement which was being mixed on my driveway, I walked up the stairs. Now if I thought the outside was bad, it was nothing compared to the interior. Five or six men, I never do a head count boys :) were stripping the bathroom, the toilet and the kitchen. Dust rose like a sand storm, chips of tiles flew through the air like lethal butterflies, sledge hammers banged and bounced off walls and everyone stopped when I walked in. From the racket that you could hear half way down the road, there was complete silence apart from me going 'Oh for fecks sake!'. I have never seen such a mess in all my life.

Now before you all get the wrong idea, Turkish workmen do a very very good job. Turning up early, often the same day as you have requested a job needing to be done. They are conscientious, hard working, humorous and thrive on glasses of tea, proffered marlboro ciggys and are more than happy to be working, in fact unlike our surly tradesmen, who we pay an arm and a leg to call out,they love it. Like everything, all that glitters is not gold and Turkish workmen do not clear up behind them.

I had planned to start painting. Having purchased 50 litres of white paint, and 25 litres respectively of peach, lilac and jade green, a roller which came without a tray and proved to be a total waste of money, brushes and white spirit. I also bought myself a step ladder of which following an incident two years before, when I slipped whilst painting the ceiling and in my downward flight managed to smash the television, video and Dvd player I was very wary of using. The relief on my sprogs faces when they found me laying flat on my back, moaning pitifully surrounded by broken machinery was unbelievable. It wasn't that their darling mother was uninjured apart from her pride, but that the bloody playstation was totally unharmed. Ok, so if you fall off a horse you get back on again. All very well in theory, but when push comes to shove.......needless to say it took me a week before I could pluck up courage to climb those steps.

Taking one look at my now destroyed house I decided to have a change of plan and set out with Recep to purchase the tiles. I thought it would be a stroll in the park. How difficult can it be to purchase white tiles for the wall and blue ones for the floor? How long is a piece of string?
We would descend upon a tile shop, ask for 'Beyaz' (white) tiles and be given a look which clearly said 'white tiles? You must be joking mate.' Various shades of beige,honey,champagne and cream would be produced with a flourish and I would give my 'bored, been there' smile and say very slowly, with the noddy dog flourish No!

I was once lured from my original choice and picked out a jade blue/green marbled tile for the walls. These were spaced with a strip of seashells and starfish. The feeling was eureka and asked how much? Shaking his head, the tile seller placed my prized selection against the wall, added four more different ones and slowly intoned finished. Ranting to Recep about the stupidity of displaying tiles that they obviously had not got, I was ushered away to reapeat my performance elsewhere.

In the next shop, I decided to work at this elusive tile purchase from a different angle. I choose a spacer, confirmed with the salesman that they had the spacer in stock and the amount I required and feeling that I was on a roll, attempted to match the spacer to a tile. White was my first choice and yes, they had white but only with a raised pattern. Never being one to know when she is beaten, I ploughed on picking out two colours in the spacer. I found the right colours but the problem was the spacer was two inches shorter than the tile. I walked the length and breadth of that shop, upstairs and down and still walked away empty handed.

By this time a small hitch had snowballed into an international crisis. I lost count of how many shops we were in and out of .Far too many to drink çay in everyone and after a while I forgot what the hell I was doing in Fethiye in the first place. Calling it a day, we turned the car round and by luck (we stopped in a traffic jam) I spotted out of the corner of my eye a fair sized shop we had missed completely. Telling Recep to stop, we pulled over and rushed inside. Lo and behold, there glued haphazardly to a piece of hardboard was my elusive tile. It was white, glossy and the right size. Now came the crunch, the shop was about to close and could we please come back the next day! Aaaargh, so near yet so far.

Shrugging our shoulders (it is habit forming) we returned to the car. En-route for Esenköy, we decided to call it a day and by the time Recep dropped me off in Taşyaka the lights of Fethiye were shinning brightly in the dark Another day gone and another day nearer living my dream.

mkc 15/03/06
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Re: Moving On Part 3

Bryan....... :lol:

You can sleep easy. I signed the lease for ten years at the fixed rent :) I shall not be purchasing a new sink unless by some sheer fluke something happens to the two I have, but if you want to build me one out of corned beef cans, then I will happily accept it :w00t:

Eileen are you my long lost sister? Thank god I am not the only one and we share a kindred spirit :crazy: I don't go looking for trouble and I am always surprized when it does happen......I also have a habit of giving people electric shocks by touching them. Do you have this? :der:

Thank you everyone for your lovely comments.