Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Adventure in the village no. 1

Today was a landmark day for me... finally, after six months living here, I walked into the village and had a look at the shops by myself. It's not a long walk. I have done it with the kids, I have driven through repeatedly. I have occasionally been pulled into one store or another by my husband, whose style of shopping is to hustle me into a place as fast as he can, show me what he has found, half listen to my opinion on it, and then hustle me out again. I have only been in the village grocery store once, and that was with both boys and my husband, all hell-bent on running in different directions and all wanting to hold my hand as they did so - if only I had three hands, detachable ones would be perfect.

I have actually been putting this experience off for a long while. Empty shops intimidate me. Overly helpful shop assistants intimidate me. People looking, staring, and whispering about me makes me cringe. And they do, point and whisper that is. I am the foreignist foreigner around - six feet tall, blonde, lacking in a headscarf, lacking baggy floral trousers, I'm not from round here!

Whatever, that's the back story, the point is I did it, and I was mightily rewarded - turns out that because there are a high number of foreigners in our area (at least in the summer months) there are also lots of foreign goodies in the very rural looking shops. I found vicks vapour rub! For the uninitiated vicks is a weird menthol concoction that you rub on your chest when you have a cold. I actually can't remember missing vicks vapour rub even once over the last decade, but now I have a pot, and if I get a cold I can clean my sinuses in no time. Go me! I also found safety pins, which I never have enough of, elastic bands, birthday cake candles (you can get them anywhere, but these were really really cheap and came with a 'happy birthday' cake sign,) not-crazily-expensive roll on deodorant named after various random states of being - I really wanted 'Crazy' but the smell was such that you would have to be crazy to buy it, so in the end settled for 'Pretty' and 'Happy,' the second of which I was definitely feeling and the first I think my armpits will appreciate.

However, all these fabulous items paled into significance once I got to the DIY shop. Man that place is awesome. It doesn't have a great range of stock, but to make up for that they have made a shop window mannequin out of pipe and dressed it in their uniform (t-shirt, baseball cap.) The shop assistant is totally unconcerned, he offers to help you, then if you say no, he makes himself vanish. I don't know how he did that. The guy in the "cheap" (yes I mean those inverted commas, with spades on) shop was insane, he just never stopped talking, I don't know what he was saying. I can speak Turkish, I just can't speak speeding blur. Anyway, awesome-DIY-guy was there at the checkout but somehow he wasn't. He didn't seem to be watching me, or doing any kind of activity, or anything, but he was miraculously present when I wanted to know the price of my one fabulous purchase, which was.... wait for it...

In case this is not common vernacular where you are from, in the UK a muff is how teenage boys might refer to the hair between a woman's legs. Or at least they used to. No idea now, I don't know any teenage boys. As mine are both at school in Turkey I guess they'll learn some random Turkish word to describe in, check back in 5 years time and I'll let you know.

More exciting than the name alone, are the 'using places...

...that's right this little baby will keep lobster from coming out your drains. I cant tell you the number of lobsters we've had in our bathroom. And I hate those bastard, snappy, blue, crustaceans bleugh, never again, the muff matic and I will take you down. Ha. Best three lira I've ever spent.

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