I haven’t posted here for over 6 weeks now, I have a lot I want to post and write about but I just haven’t had time.
The main reason for that is that I FINALLY found a full time job! I started 3 weeks ago and I’m enjoying it. I’d been looking for work since December but had no luck, other than a few days for an agency. I had applied for hundreds of jobs and kept getting knocked back, even after going for interviews etc. Finally my luck changed and an agency put me forward for a 3 month placement for a really interesting company who are based inside Canary Wharf – I went for the interview and got the job. It was overwhelming at first, I’m not a ‘people’, so the first few days of travelling to Canary Wharf in rush hour was a bit of a shock, but not quite as overwhelming as the chaos that is lunchtime inside, and around One Canada Square and Canary Wharf. Thousands of people queuing up, buying, sitting and eating their lunch all at the same time – it was really horrible at first. I’ve found ‘my’ spot now where I sit everyday for lunch and read my book (oh, hello Mr Grey 😉 ) , and even though it’s still busy and overwhelming, the initial shock has worn off! This is the view I face everyday whilst eating my sandwich – isn’t it pretty? I work inside that middle building, on the 30 something floor – eeek. I’m actually enjoying the role and it’s such a relief to be back into a routine and earning money – the last 3 weeks have gone very quickly so keeping busy at work certainly makes the days tick by faster.
Berkay is also being kept busy in the army. He’s finding it a lot harder than he anticipated and he can’t wait to get out and have some freedom. He’s still based in Kayseri, although there was a scary moment where he faced the prospect of being moved to a more dangerous area – thankfully he didn’t have to go. He gets a few hours off most weekends so he can go outside and speak to me on skype and he’s made two good friends there who get the same hours off as him so he wanders around the nearby shopping centres with them for hours. He says they are all the ‘oldies’ and people refer to them as such, because they’re mid twenties and most people doing their national service are a lot younger than that. I’m glad he’s made friends. He’s been in there for 5 months this week – another 7 to go, and he’s counting every single day.
I’m still moving the marbles from my ‘days to go’ jar into my ‘days down’ one, and it’s a relief seeing nearly equal amounts in each! Berkay has a little list of days in the shape of ‘365’ that he’s ticking off one by one – bless him.
One of the things I was most worried about when Berkay went in the army was Boncuk, where she’d go and how safe she’d be. Initially she stayed with our friends for the first 2 months – and when I was there in April we took her to Berkay’s family’s village instead. Berkay’s brother promised me he’d look after her, but I was still worried because although they have farm animals and care for them, a dog is different. Turkish people don’t really like dogs like we do. They have their own dog, used to guard the sheep – they don’t feed it proper food, just bread and the occasional sheep/goat hoof when slaughtering time comes around. Needless to say, when we turned up with Boncuk, her bags of food and asked Berkay’s dad to save her a bit of fish from his dinner plate so that we could get her to take her worming pill, they thought we were nuts. Thankfully, Berkay’s brother is lovely and has been looking after her nicely, sending me photo updates and answering all my ‘Boncuk nasil?’ messages! He says she loves him and jumps up him wagging her tail whenever she sees him. He even takes her for walks, which is unheard of in the village, people look at you like you’ve got two heads if you’ve got a dog on a lead but think nothing of someone walking along with a flock of sheep instead. Last week Berkay’s cousin was visiting the village and sent me some photos – I was sat on the train coming home from work when I got them and it made my whole day, Boncuk just looks so happy doesn’t she? Such a relief.
149 days down, 219 days to go!
P.S I’m off camping this weekend, but I hope to have another post up sometime next week – I still have a lot of lovely photos of Fethiye to share. If you’re interested in more photos, join our Facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/TurkishDreams where me and 3 of my friends post daily photo challenges among other Turkey related things! (:
Since the last post I wrote, a lot has changed. I had big decisions to make over bank holiday weekend, and now that I’ve made up my mind and informed everyone in ‘real life’, I can share here! So here it is…..
I’m moving back to Turkey!
… temporarily at least.
Since Berkay came here in April I realised how unhappy I really am here – I don’t know what it was but something just snapped and changed my mind. The plan was to stay here and save until after Berkay has finished his army service, which he’s supposed to be doing in February next year, but now I’ve decided to go out there for the summer to spend as much time with him as possible before he goes. I’m hoping to go at the beginning of June til November.
Last Monday I told my manager I was leaving. I have been working on a 3 month temporary contract, and she told me they were going to extend it, but I told her my plans and explained as I didn’t want her to think I was just giving up my job for a 6 month holiday or that I was unreliable. As it happens she said they were impressed with me and to keep in contact in case they have anything available when I come back – so here’s hoping!
There’s a lot to plan before I go – I haven’t even booked a flight yet but can’t because I’m waiting on my passport to arrive – my old one got ripped! We also need to find a house – Berkay has been living in the hotel and we can’t stay there so he’s been wandering the streets door to door to find one. He’s had no luck. Now it’s the summer season it’s proving really difficult to find a house that isn’t charging hundreds daily, we need one in Calis as that’s where Berkay will work, the other issue is that we need one that is furnished as we own nothing of our own, and not forgetting we need somewhere that has a garden so that Boncuk can stay. Our previous apartment was 350tl a month which was amazing, but we’re willing to pay up to 500-600tl now, if anyone knows of anywhere in Calis?! It’s proving difficult.
I’m having mixed emotions about going back- of course I’m really looking forward to it, I miss life there, and I can’t wait to see Berkay and Boncuk everyday, but at the same time, I know it’s not going to be like before, because I won’t be living there for long, I’ll know the days are numbered, and I won’t be in OUR house as it’s been rented to someone else. A part of me just wants back those old days – but I guess those are gone forever. Going back is going to be so strange!
I’m not feeling as excited as I should about going back because of the comments people have been making. Apparently going back for 6 months means I am ‘ruining’ my life and subjecting myself to an ‘existence not a life’. It’s always the people you least expect to make those hurtful comments. Apparently it’s also common knowledge that I am going only ‘to avoid working for a living’ because I think the world owes me something – also not true. I’ve worked, I saved, I’m going with the money I have. I’m not asking for help financially from anyone. Sure, I’ve given up my job which is a silly thing to do the way things are at the moment – but I didn’t do it just to get a holiday. It’s not going to be a holiday at all – I’m just going to spend time with Berkay, in the two and a half years I lived there I never lived like a tourist, and won’t, I don’t want to be judged as one of those girls who just goes for the season to party hard – that’s not me at all. When Berkay goes in the army, I won’t see him for a year unless he gets leave at a time when I’m able to visit for a week. The way I see it is if I don’t go now, I may spend that year regretting it and wishing I’d spent as much time with him as possible. Maybe in a year’s time I may regret going and giving up my job, but I have the rest of my life to do that, I only have one chance to go before he goes into the army, so that’s what I’m doing.
I’m not really sure why I feel like I have to defend my decision, because it is MY decision after all, I’ve made up my mind to go, I shall do my very best to enjoy every minute of my 6 months there and when I come back I shall have to face all the consequences of my decision, which I am absolutely fine with.
3-ish weeks to go!
It’s Sunday evening, and I’m sat in my bedroom utterly depressed. Monday tomorrow, which I’m sure everyone else who works 9-5 Monday to Friday shall agree, sucks. Monday should be a swear word. In fact, from now on I shall star out the letters. Screw you, M****y.
I’ve been at this job a month, and still hate it as much as my first day.
Despite hating every second of it, I was relieved when I was told by my manager that as far as he was concerned, they would keep me on for longer than 3 months, which they have now said isn’t true as there isn’t enough funding for the new role. So it’s back to square one. Spending my days doing a job I hate, and evenings and weekends back looking for a permanent job earning £18k in London. I applied for 200+ between October – January, and only ever got a reply from one, which was a no. I’m hoping this 3 months experience I will now have will help, but in reality, I’m not so sure it will. I’m sick of it all. I’m not passionate about any career in particular, I never have been. When I was 18 I had an unconditional offer for a university place,achieved 2 A’s and a B at A Levels, and was a fully pledged geek. Instead of taking the opportunity to go to university to study psychology, what did I do? Give it all up and worked 20 hours a week at Sainsbury’s. Clearly I don’t have my head screwed on correctly, because who in their right mind would make that choice? It’s a no-brainer isn’t it? The truth is, I only even applied for university to keep other people happy, because that’s what I was supposed to be doing. I never really wanted to. I should have stuck to my guns this time, and never took an office job. The only job I’m passionate about doing, is working with young children, or animals, neither of which pays much money, and neither of which will get me earning enough to get Berkay to the UK, not in the foreseeable future anyway.
People have commented before about doing a TEFL course and being able to teach English in Turkey, possibly allowing me to get a work permit, it’s not as easy as that though, and from people who already have these jobs, most places require CELTA qualifications, which are much much more expensive, and I’m not even remotely confident enough in myself to teach at a foreign school. I do intend to do a TEFL course soon though.
I’ve had conversations with my family this week about the immigration rules requiring me to be earning £18,600. All they kept saying before I moved back here was ‘you’ll walk straight into a job earning that money’, 6 months and 3 jobs later, here I am, unsurprisingly not earning that.Through these conversations, what I have gathered is that they see nothing wrong with these rules at all. It frustrates me. I’m not saying the world and it’s mother should have free rights to jump on a plane to the UK and enter freely, not at all. I’m just saying that it should be assessed in a fairer way, back to the old rules of the spouse having to show an extra £100 a week after outgoings to show they can afford another person living with them. Someone earning £18,600 could have outgoings of £18,600 a year, or be seriously in debt, whilst someone earning £16,000 may have outgoings of £12,000 a year. Who is in the better position then? Who has the right to decide which people deserve to live with their partners and children, based on income alone? Hell, reports have shown 48% of the UK’s population don’t earn £18,600, are you really telling me those 48% don’t have the right to live with who they want?
Away from the job and visa side of things, I have a new worry constantly on my mind. Boncuk. She’s staying with Berkay in the hotel at the moment, as it’s closed for winter and she is able to roam freely around the grounds. In summer, the hotel owner wants her gone as she’ll disturb guests by barking when seeing the lights, people and hearing the noise, which I can’t really argue with because I know she would do exactly that. This leaves us not knowing where she can go. Berkay has always taken care of her and took her with him to the hotel when he had nothing, he fed her before himself, sharing the only fish he’d caught with her so she’d eat well. We love her to pieces, and the thought of having to give her to someone else breaks my heart. Berkay was considering putting her in the kennels at the local vet, until they said they wanted 600tl a month for the privilege. 600tl a month out of his wages would leave him just 150tl a month to live on. Our own rent was only 350tl! I have gone to bed in tears twice this week after looking at the photos of the three of us, me, Berkay and Boncuk, and wishing with all my heart I could go back to those days. Giving Boncuk to a stranger, if we could even find someone to have her, would mean I never saw her again. I just can’t deal with that. We do have a kind of last resort, our friends said she can stay in their garden, but they only rent their apartment, and I’m worried Boncuk will get settled and used to them and then the landlord kick her out. I wish she could come here, I wish I could just fly out and get her and bring her back, but realistically that’s not possible either. £750 to fly or drive her back, and then still the issue of finding her a home here. My parents won’t let her stay here, not a chance in hell, I’ve asked and begged several times. She’s an outside dog, hates being indoors and isn’t even toilet trained, so I’d need to be able to find, afford and rent a ground floor flat or house with a garden to keep her in. What are the chances of that? I need to put her first, but I’ve always been adamant we’ll do everything we can to keep her with us. She’s our dog, we found her, took her in and she trusts us. Never in a million years would I dump her on the street, and finding a new home would be heartbreaking for both her, and us. What do to?
Honestly, life at the moment is just one big mess. I don’t even have anything positive to say. I don’t know what to do, say, feel.
It’s 2.5 weeks until Berkay is here, but that too, is bittersweet. When I’ve published this post I’m off to book his flight back to Turkey for 19th April. He’s not even here yet and I’m already thinking about and dreading him going back.
For now, I’m taking it one day at a time. Making the most of this Sunday evening before the hell of M****y hits.
Have a good week everybody.
Last week was probably the hardest week I’ve had since I came back to England, and I’m not entirely sure why.
I found myself spending more time crying in the office toilets, than actually sat at my desk doing work for the first half of the week, and I’m not even exaggerating.
It would be easier if there was one thing bothering me, but there’s a whole list. New job that I’m not enjoying, not getting along with people, missing Berkay, wondering when I’ll next see him after April, wondering how I’ll afford it and be able to take time off, worrying about where Boncuk is going to stay in summer… The list is endless, but I can’t go into much detail because my blog is public and there are eyes I don’t want reading it.
It’s painfully obvious I’m not happy here anyway.
On the plus side, only 4.5 weeks until Berkay is back here. To be precise, it’s exactly 31 days, 1 hour and 18 mintues til he arrives 😉
It’s been a big week this week.
I finally started back at work, been waiting for 2 months for them to sort out the contract! It’s a full time office job and only a 3 month temporary role, but hopefully they may keep me on afterwards. Not going to lie though, it’s been hard adjusting back to working life!
Starting back at work has made me feel really frustrated. Frustrated about the visa rules keeping us apart. In order to meet the income requirements for Berkay to come to the UK, I need to be earning another £2,600 a year. Without getting a second job and working all weekend also, in order to make up the difference I need over £21,000 in savings. I really don’t know where these rules came from, how does a shortfall of £2,600 equate to anything near £21k? Ironically, If I did earn the required income I’d really be no better off, travelling to 2 jobs would cost more, and the more money I earn, the more I’ll be paying my parents for rent. I’ve been feeling really down about it, I feel like I’m getting nowhere and that every penny I earn is meaningless, I can save it up, sure, but what use is money when you have nobody to spend it with?
I know it’s a long process, and I’m finally on the first step of the ladder, but it’s still frustrating. I’m impatient. Having Berkay so far away and seeing him for a couple of minutes on Skype everyday isn’t enough. How can we cope like this for years? It’s seriously depressing me. ‘Keep positive’ everyone says, but knowing we have another 2 years+, at the very least, of living like this is so frustrating and upsetting.
I’m also feeling jealous of other people, and I know I really shouldn’t. Jealous of people who only spend a few weeks apart at a time. Jealous of people who have their husbands here for months at a time on a visit visa and wondering why that’s just not possible for us. In theory, Berkay could have stayed here for 6 months, that would be wonderful, but then there’s our dog Boncuk to think about, and he needs to be earning money, my parents wouldn’t let him stay with us for free, so we couldn’t afford that either. I find myself becoming more jealous of these people everyday, and more and more frustrated that I can never see us being in the same position as them. Berkay works bloody hard in Turkey, 12-15 hour days for less than £250 a month, yet he’s never in a better position. I don’t know what else he can do?
‘Don’t pay for his flight, make him pay for something and save’ my Dad says. He has no idea. The cost of living in Turkey is cheaper than the UK, yes, but not that much cheaper that makes living on £250 a month possible. Thank God Berkay doesn’t have to pay rent, water, or electricity currently. But he still has phone bills, travel costs, food costs, he still has to eat, and so does Boncuk. He has debt to pay off. He hasn’t even had a full months wages since October. Roll on summer when he’ll be earning more money.
I’m finding myself getting frustrated with people telling me they know how I feel, when they really don’t. All they’ve ever known is seeing their partner once every 3 months for a week, whereas I’ve lived there for 2.5 years, woke up next to him, slept next to him, ate meals with him.. Living 2.5 years of your life seeing each other every single day, then going to see them once every 3 months is just not the same.
People are being supportive, some tell me I should get back on a plane to Turkey…
as if I need any convincing 😉 , others tell me I’m doing the right thing and that we’ll get there eventually. Neither really make me feel better. I just feel stuck. There is no easy way out. No quick fix.
I seem to have caused quite a bit of controversy in the past couple of days by airing my feelings on the internet, but one of the reasons I started this blog was to have a space for my own thoughts, so apologies if It’s not always happy, rainbows and butterflies. I say what I mean, and mean what I say, I try to keep it real, It wouldn’t be a true representation of my life if I only wrote the positive things on here. I welcome all comments, even if it’s not always what I want to hear!
You wait around ages for one then 3 come along at once … quite literally!!
Berkay quit his job mid January, and was struggling to find work with hotels not wanting anyone outside of the tourist season.. His luck changed last week when a hotel in Fethiye called him asking him to start the next day, he said yes, but just before he was due to start, the restuarant he was at before Christmas called him wanting him back, pay was less but they provided his transport so it worked out around the same.. he took that job and was there for 3 days when his summer boss called and asked him to start working in their sister hotel, which is open all year around. Berkay couldn’t believe his luck! He knows this boss well and works with him every summer so he knows he is guaranteed to be paid unlike last winter when he worked for 2 months without a penny being handed over..
So now Berkay is working in Vizon hotel in Fethiye’s main town centre. It’s a very Turkish hotel, it’s rare any other nationalities visit, it’s not touristy at all. He’s happy there and gets along well with the other staff who he’s known for over 7 years. I’m so pleased he finally has a job so he can start earning and saving, the best part is they’re letting him have 3 weeks holiday to come back to the UK in March/April so he has a guaranteed job when he returns too. Phew.
It’s not just Berkay that’s been having luck on the job front, I finally have a start date for the job I’ve been promised since the beginning of January, I’m starting on Monday and pleased that this is the first step of a very, very long journey towards getting Berkay here for good
hopefully.In other news… My little doggy Boncuk has a boyfriend! His name is Maxi and he lives near where Berkay stays. Maxi and Boncuk used to ‘talk’ to each other through the gate, and when Berkay opened it to let him in the other day, they shared a little kiss 😉
Look how happy my fur baby looks ❤
I’m missing Turkey a lot lately, but Berkay is keeping me updated with photos.
7 weeks time and he will be back here! Can’t wait.
It’s been 3 weeks tomorrow since Berkay went back to Turkey, but it seems like so much longer. The day after he returned he found a job, but quit after a week or so because he was only earning £6.40 a day for 13-15 hours work and he was getting frustrated as the greedy boss was taking all of Berkay’s tips off him. When you’re earning so little, tips make all the difference, it could double his wages.
He’s been walking around all the hotels in Calis and in Fethiye trying to find work, but no luck as of yet, nobody needs staff in winter as most of the hotels are closed, and the ones that remain open are quiet enough that they do not need to employ any new people. All I can say is that it is a good job I’m not there this winter as we wouldn’t survive, no way could we find enough money to even pay rent, without even thinking about bills, food and other costs. Berkay is struggling himself, relying on friends to make him dinner and bring him food as he has zero money himself. It’s difficult for people here to understand, my Dad was moaning because I paid for Berkay’s upcoming flight to the UK in March and he thinks he should be paying for it himself, when that’s not even an option. If I don’t pay, I won’t see him, simple. Sure, at the moment Berkay doesn’t have to pay rent or electric bills, but phone, food and general day to day costs, buses, water, dog food… It all adds up, and earning £6.40 a day for a week hardly gave him an opportunity to save. He is doing his best to find work though, and is waiting for one hotel to call him back, it sounded promising!
I’ve got a feeling this summer will be hard too, with the strength of the lira weakening meaning prices in tourist resorts will increase, while wages most definitely will not.
Anyway, the time off work means Berkay has been spending a lot more time with Boncuk, and has been taking her for nice winter walks along the beach, he managed to get food for her on a ‘pay later’ promise, so she’s well fed and happy. She loves staying in the hotel and being free to roam around while its closed, we are unsure where she will be able to stay in Summer though. She’s due her yearly booster vaccinations now, so Berkay is trying to get that sorted too, luckily he has a friend who knows a vet, so no doubt they’ll be on a ‘pay later’ promise too. Getting into debt for Boncuk is worth it, of course. (:
This dog is Boncuk’s friend. It lives near the hotel and comes to the fence to say hello to her, Berkay let it into the hotel grounds today and let them have a little play off the lead together. Bless.
Berkay has also been spending a lot of time with friends, they often go fishing together hoping to catch some dinner! They are a lovely couple, we often went for BBQ’s together when I lived there, I have done a few posts involving them in the past. Their little boy, Çınar , is over a year old now, bless him. Berkay took this little monster dressing gown back for him from the UK after Christmas. Seeing how big he has got really makes me realise how much things are changing and how long I’ve been away. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday I lived there, sometimes it seems like forever.
It’s the 5th of December already, as my advent calendar reminded me this morning, which means only 11 more sleeps until Berkay is here! (:
Still cant quite believe that its December already, or that I have been back for 10 weeks. Its crazy!
I’m still at my job, and have found another temporary job at an office, as of next week I’ll be doing 2 jobs working up to 12 hours a day, going to be bloody hard! Both jobs are temporary until January. The most frustrating part is that any money I earn won’t count for anything towards helping Berkay get his visa to live here, I have to be earning £18,600 a year for 6 months for that, feel like I’m stuck and not getting anywhere fast, but it could be worse…
Berkay has been looking for work since the beginning of November, and has been getting pretty desperate as he had to buy new food for Boncuk, luckily he found a job and started yesterday, working 15+ hours a day, starting at lunchtime and finishing after 4am. All that work and all those hours for just 25tl a day, the equivalent to £7.50 a day. Ridiculous. 😦 It’s mad to think we ever survived on that.
Boncuk is settled in nicely and enjoying her home in the hotel with Berkay, she’ll miss him when he comes here for a few weeks, but our good friend is looking after her so I know she’s going to be well looked after (:
Hopefully I’ll be back with another post again soon, just finding it hard to think of things to write, and struggling to find time to write them.
Happy Christmas shopping everyone 😉
Loooooong time, no speak. Apologies for the lack of posts lately, have been really busy and struggling to find time to think about what to write.
A few new things… number one, I have a job. Nothing exciting, it’s only at Argos and only part-time, but hopefully I’ll get alot more hours in the next few weeks with the Christmas rush! Anything is better than nothing (:
Number two, Berkay has moved out of the apartment we shared 😦 He has moved into a room under the hotel he worked in during summer, and is staying there for the winter. The hotel is all closed up but he’s staying in a little room underneath and has taken Boncuk with him too, hopefully she’ll settle in okay and not miss her home too much 😦 The good news is this means he won’t have to pay rent, and will hopefully be able to save some wages. The bad news is he has no internet there so we won’t be able to Facetime each other, boo.
Here are a few photos of Boncuk checking out the new abode!