Friday, August 26, 2011

Dawn of the geriatrics!

This is a new departure for me. I am handing over my blog to a guest blogger, namely my niece Emma, who is currently in Mahmutlar with her two friends Katie and Dawn. I will let her tell her story in her own words!

Dawn, Katie and Emma

Dawn had an unlucky day yesterday.
First off, the playful kittens who like to tug at towels and sarongs around the pool took a fancy to Dawn's hair, taking her quite by surprise as she lay sunbathing.
Next, as poor Dawn swam lazily around the pool trying to escape the feline attention, she caught the eye of two wrinkly and greasy Russian men. They were not shy in their pursuit and despite Dawn’s efforts to ignore them
with no help from me or Katie, who were far too busy laughing at the 70 year olds’ speedos
 Dawn called it a day and retired to the apartment to get ready for a quiet night out as we had decided we would give the drink a miss and go shopping....
Two fishbowls of cocktails later...
As we sat in Foleys, pretty tipsy and glad we have no willpower, we noticed four young boys of about 13 or 14 run down the steps and frantically set a table complete with origami tablecloths and strewn with rose petals, before they disappeared as quickly as they had appeared.
Now I am not accusing Foleys of having a sweatshop underneath the bar but we have not seen these boys before or since!
We sat stunned as a massive jeep pulled up and a big fat man emerged to more kisses and handshakes than even Noeleen has received in Mahmutlar! He sat down at the special table, ironically ordered a bottle of Kilbeggan whiskey and lit up a cigar as waiters fawned around him.
Then his eyes met Dawns. He exclaimed that she was the most beautiful girl in Mahmutlar and that she was to be his 10th wife. Our table was showered with gifts and we became experts at secretly getting other people to drink the glasses of whiskey that he insisted on sending over. When a little Turkish girl asked Dawn if she would buy a bracelet, the rich man from Gold City waved a 50lira note and bought the little girl's entire stock. Her little eyes lit up as she took the money and when the rich man saw Dawn’s approval, the little girl was asked to stay for coke and chips.
We were invited to stay in one of his 12 villas in Gold City with free and private use of his many spas and gyms. A beautiful woman arrived to his table, who we thought was an escort, but turned out was trying to sell him a new Mercedes.
Now this attention may all seem quite enjoyable, but for Dawn this was the third man over 60 who had tried to chat her up that day. She was not sure how to handle the pressure of his affections and turned to Kilbeggan whiskey to help with her nerves. Unfortunately, this gave her the courage to go over to his table to say thank you and three hours later she had not been able to make her escape.
Then arrived three Irish boys (from where else but Athlone) who recognised our man as a commander of the Lebanese army where they had been serving with the Irish army. Our rich man proceeded to tell Dawn that he has possibly ordered the murder of some Irish soldiers
She took a swig of whiskey
and that he always carried a loaded gun
Another swing of whiskey.
When the time came to pay his 500lira bill, the rich man went to his jeep where he kept his safe. Katie and I hoped that he would pay for the copious amounts of fishbowls we drank while we watched the drama unfold! However as he left the table Dawn saw her exit strategy and legged it back to the apartment.
He told Katie and I that he knew where we lived and that he would like to take Dawn to Gold City that night. We gulped
“Ok. We will send Dawn down in five minutes” and legged it too.
He was still waiting as we raced up the street.

You may have heard about people getting "the fear" after a night drinking. With so much whiskey in her system today poor Dawn was scared to leave the apartment in case he was waiting in his jeep with a sniper rifle!
So Dawn slept it off in the apartment today while Katie and I lay by the pool and as all best friends do, laughed at her misfortune.
However our mocking was cut short when suddenly a shadow was cast upon us as the greasy Russian man from the day before stood over us and said
"Ver is your sister? I like to see her today. Vil she come vit me?"
We decided it’s best not to tell her.

I love it. It could only happen in Mahmutlar!

Food for thought

It was a glorious morning so I set off on my walk to make the most of my last few mornings of freedom.
Now I know that every person reading this who is not involved in the teaching profession is groaning and saying
"For feck sake. Pity about her. She has been off all summer swanning around Turkey. About time she did a bit of work. No wonder the country is in the state it's in."
And in reply I say
"It doesn't make it any easier and I'll wallow in self pity if I want to. And anyway its corrupt polititans and bankers who are the cause of our collaspe not me!!!"
Ahem! Back to my walk!
I was engrossed in my own thoughts and plans when suddenly my eye was caught by a blaze of colour. There was a bush laden down with red, succelent berries. I have never seen so many or so early in the year.


I stood back and soaked in the beauty for a few moments....and then the pessimistic thoughts began to creep in. Now I am no sage on reading Nature's sign, like that postman up in Donegal who has forecast our arctic winters for the past two years, but I do remember Granda Lynam telling us as children
"If there is an abundance of berries, its a sign of hardship. It is Nature's way of providing food for the birds in the impending harsh winter."
Bloody brilliant.
Now I have to order a refill of heating oil and contact Michael Boyle to fix my wonky radiator in the hall.
Bah. Humbug!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A sign of the times #2

I was out with the Raharney women for a night out tonight. Before we started Lorna said she had to go to the ATM to get money out. She put in her card, waited.....and then she got the message
Service currently unavailable
She said
"For feck sake. I have money in my account. What's the problem?"
We went up the street to another bank. Card in, same story. Theresa, who has the same bank tried her card.
Service currently unavailable.
Beginning to get a little worried at this stage.
We came back down the street and passed a women trying to get money out of the first bank we had tried. She was having no success either. We stopped to explain our story. She said she had tried her card earlier in the petrol station and then the supermarket, but it had been rejected there too.
It was then that major panic set in. Three years ago we wouldn't have batted an eye but have said that the system was down and everything would be sorted in the morning.
In 2011 we are saying
"Oh my god, has the bank folded and left its customers in the lurch? Is all our money gone?"
Onto Google on the iPhone, but no news.
It may be the Irish mentality of burying your head in the sand .......
Off we went on our night out, but in the back of our minds was the thought
"Is the country really gone belly up?"
I am writing this at stupid o'clock, not knowing for sure what caused this lack of money.
We'll know tomorrow!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Going apes**t!


I went to see Rise of the Planet of the Apes. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Well it was about attributing human characteristics to non humans, so of course it was right up my street!
There was one scene that really struck a chord with me.

Will and Kelly were leaving Caesar in the animal shelter. The utter distress at leaving their loved one in someone else's care was tangible. Caesar's little eyes pleaded with them not to abandon him, even for a while. The owner of the shelter then said something along the lines of
"Prolonging the goodbye only makes matters worse. Its much better if you just leave. He'll get over it much quicker and he'll be fine in a few minutes."
It suddenly struck me that those are the exact words that every Junior Infant teacher will be saying to distraught parents on the first of September as they struggle to leave their little offspring in someone else's care!

For all such parents out there I would like to stress that
  • It really is better to say goodbye and leave. Within minutes your child will be happily playing, colouring and making new friends. I know you don't want to hear this, but they will forget all about you til home time
  • Contrary to  popular opinion, Teacher will not use water cannon or Tazer guns to subdue your child if he/she gets unruly.
I swear!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Where the hell am I?



I headed into Mullingar last night for dinner with Fiona and Helen. As taxi fare is too expensive out to Raharney I stayed overnight in Fiona's house.
There is no such thing as "you can pay me next year" here.
She is dogsitting two adorable poodles for her sister.
At some ungodly hour this morning I was awakened by the sound of yapping outside my door. In a sleepy stupor I shot up in the bed with a thumping heart and thought
Oh my god, how are dogs after getting into the apartment? Is Mustafa after leaving the door to the apartment block unlocked?
As my eyes became accustomed to the darkness my heart sank as it suddenly dawned on me.
Noeleen, you are not in Turkey. You are in Mullingar!
Ah feck.
I guess mentally I am still in Mahmutlar.

Friday, August 19, 2011

My last story from Turkey....for this holiday!

Our bags were all packed and we were ready to leave Mahmutlar.
The one downside about the area is its distance from the airport. After a two hour taxi drive we arrived at Antalya airport. It cost 60 euro. Both Ger and I only had a 50 euro note. Our taxi driver didn't have any change. We asked if he took coins and he said he did. So Ger and I started searching our depleated purses for another 10 euro. The taxi driver looked at our frantic efforts and said
"No problem. You can pay me next year when you come back."
Yes, you heard me right!
I know I have booked him twice but that is no guarantee that I would ever contact him again. That is one examle of what a generous and trusting people the Turks are.
Ger and I managed to scrape up the balancing 10 euro!
So I am back home in Raharney. I am trying not to get depressed as I look out at the spilling rain.
Think positive, think positive.
My cases lie open in the hallway. I make myself put away 10 items every time I pass by.


How come it is much more fun to pack than unpack?


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I DID IT!

At the start of the holiday I set myself a challenge to keep myself fit and my weight someway in check. I decided to swim the English Channel. Well, not the actual channel but the equiviliant 21 miles in the pool. I figured 80 laps a day is a mile so it would take me three weeks.
I know I didn't have dangers like sharks and bitter coldness to contend with. But I bet very few channel swimmers had been out on the lash in Foleys the night before their swim. Now that's a challenge!
This morning, a few days later than intended due to unforeseen circumstances
See above
I finshed the 21 miles.

There was no one waiting for me at the end of my arduous journey, no trumpets or banners. Just my own private self satisfaction that I HAD DONE IT!

Seán Óg is put into retirement.

I had my last ride on Seán Óg this morning! Then it was time to put himself and Penelope into storage til next year.
As I put them away I did get a little emotional. I know I'm not looking forward to returning to rain drenched Raharney. But I was really getting sad about putting Seán Óg away. I feel as if he was my companion on my little journeys around Mahmutlar.
Cop on Noeleen. Its a feckin' bike, for God's sake.
But then I remebered the scene from Castaway. Tom Hank's faithful companion Wilson/football, gets swept away in the ocean and all you can see is it bobbing up and down, and Tom Hanks shouting after it/him. I cried at that scene as you really felt that he was losing a friend.
Now don't get me wrong. I'm not THAT attached to Seán Óg! But he does kinda epitomise this holiday.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dear Finian and Marese.....

Dear Finian and Marese,
As Ger and I approach the end of our holiday here in Mahmutlar we want to express our gratitude for the use of your apartment. We wish to leave it in the pristine condition in which we got it.
Hey, we will be looking to use it again!
So today I put my Rosario hat on and got house-keeping.
I dusted.....

I mopped.......



I hosed down.....

I squidged........cause I know how particular Marese is about squidging!
I mopped some more.....


I washed down.....


I hung out the laundry.....

I even did the feckin' ironing.....

 
In the end I took a well deserved nap....

So to the girlies, Emma, Katie and Dawn who are taking over from us here at the weekend we wish you all the best and hope you have as much fun as we did!
See you on Thursday,
Love
Noeleen and Ger




Sunday, August 14, 2011

It's a small world.

Six degrees of separation refers to the idea that everyone is on average approximately six steps away from any other person on Earth, so that a chain of "a friend of a friend" statements can be made, on average, to connect any two people in six steps or fewer.
This concept does not apply to Ireland, where you can probably connect people in three steps or fewer.

 Ger and I were in Foleys for the match.
GAA of course, none of this big-girls blouse stuff!
A group of lads walked down the stairs, bedecked in Offaly jerseys. Of course we had to shout
"Come on Offaly."
They stopped in their tracks.
"Howaya girls. Are ye from Offaly?"
"God no. Westmeath."
"Oh where abouts?"
"A small place outside Mullingar. Raharney. You probably never heard of it."
"Raharney? Course I did. Sure my mother is from the Hill-of-Down."
"Really? My niece Lauren married a chap from the Hill."
"What's his name?"
"Glenn Ayres."
"Holy Jayus. He's my first cousin!"

Sure enough I had found a way-out relation. After a few more questions we discovered that Lauren and Glenn had had Megan's christening in this chap's hostilery only a few months ago. So we had both been at the same function there!
After he had left one of the guys from Foleys, who obviously had been listening in, asked
"Is EVERYONE in Ireland related?"
Pretty much so!


Myself and Adrian Foy, my second cousin once removed through the keyhole......or something like that!

Parenting Skills

We sat ourselves down for dinner in Murat's Place the other night.
I'm talking about the restaurant, not Murat's personal pad, even though Murat is a very nice man and would probably cook you dinner in his own house if you asked him!
There was a table set for twenty beside us. Slowly but surely an extended family of Dublin people began to filter in to it. When it was about half full, a young boy of about ten joined them. Some of the other boys obviously slagged him and he gave the typical reply
"Shu' up!"
His Dad, who was sitting on the opposite side of the table, didn't like that. He chastised him
"Don't say tha."
My teacher-persona reared its ugly head.
Isn't that great to hear. A parent who will reprimand their child, even in public, and set them some proper guidelines and standards.
"Yeah", continued Dad. "Never tell anyone to shu' up.
It's fuckin' rude!"
Oh dear. Is it nearly September yet?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I'm getting help, whether I need it or not!

The Internet is a very, very scary place. I have noticed that whenever I even vaguely mention something in a blog, within seconds ads for related objects appear on the page. And its not just on my blog page. The same ads will appear on my Facebook and Yahoo pages. Our every thought is being monitored and exploited. It doesn't help that I insist on blabbing, I mean blogging about myself!
The other evening I left the laptop open on my Facebook page. Ger took it up to check her account. She took one look and exclaimed
"Jesus. Where I usually have ads for dating agencies, you have one for.......The Samaritans!"
And sure enough, there it was in big, bold lettters



Feeling suicidial? Depressed? You are not alone. Contact us etc. etc. etc

Now I would have considered myself to be quite a happy-go-lucky, laid-back, optimistic sort of person. I am very content with my lot in life, thank you very much. But now I am feeling a little suicidial.

I mean, if The Samaritans feel the urge to cold call you, you must be in dire need of help, right?

Friday, August 12, 2011

A change is gonna come!

I do worry about the amount of damage I am doing to the ozone layer as a result of all the hairspray that is used in the creation of one of my hairstyles. They don't believe in hair clips here. Its all cemented together! And the pain I go through trying to get it out in the morning.
I was getting it done the other evening when I had a Jedward moment! Me being me, had to whip out my ever present camera and take a photo. One thing about the Turks, they are not photo shy. Once a camera appears everyone gathers around to get in on the action.



After the impromtu photo sessuion was over, Private Peter Mark gestured something. I took it that he wanted to see the photo that was taken of us two weeks ago. I went back through all my photos....absolutely mortified, as the four of them were looking over my shoulder and you know yourself! Its at moments like that you begin to wonder
Just what is on my camera???
Anyway after numberous photos of me with my arms wrapped around various Turkish waiters, we got to the photo of Private Peter Mark asking me for my autograph. Everyone burst out laughing and Peter went scarlet! I didn't know what was wrong til Ibrahim said
"Ten days ago. Same shirt!"
Sure enough, he was wearing the same one today.

Flashback to two weeks previous

The ribbing started. We were all in the fits laughing. I have no Turkish but the language of slagging is universal.
Ya gobshite!
What are ya like? The same shirt?
Do ya change once a month or wha?
You're mingin'

Bless him. I have promised to send him a new teeshirt from Ireland when I get home.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Has Seán Óg been playing the field?

Every evening on the way out I give a glance over to the carpark to make sure Seán Óg and Penelope are still locked up safely.
So far so good!
Yesterday we rounded the corner past the swimming pool and were stopped in our tracks! What did we spy only..............
a mini Seán Óg!


Hmm. What does he get up to while we're away????

Lost in Translation

I got this great story from my friend Tony. Just had to share it!

 He has been friends with a French woman for many years.She lives in rural Rhone valley and Tony has stayed with her and her husband many times over the past few years.In short he owes them, though they would never see it like that.
Anyway she rang him during the week and gingerly asked if her 23 year old niece, who was visiting Ireland, could stay with him the following week. Tony was only too happy to oblige after all their hospitality to him the years.
Well, so he says. Personally I think it had more to do with the fact that she is a 23 year old French babe!
Plans were made. Tony was to collect her at the airport but as he had never met her or even seen photos this posed a minor problem. Her aunt suggested that although it may be a bit naff  the easiest thing to do might be to hold up one of those signs at arrivals.
"That sounds good", said Tony. "What is your niece's name?"
"Fanny."..............
There was silence at the Irish end of the phone while Tony tried not to choke!
"Em, okay," he stuttered.

Yesterday was pick-up day. He played around with various signs that he could possibly hold up.


 Tony for Fanny
or
Middle aged man looking for young Fanny
or
Irish man looking for French Fanny

Oh the possibilities were endless!
I pleaded with him to take a photo for my blog but he declined! I also suggested that he bring a bus with him just in case he struck it  really lucky.
That was yesterday. So far I have heard nothing back from him!!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Something had to give!

Ger and I went down to Foleys to watch the Dublin-Tyrone match. Seeing as I am here for a month, there is no way my body/liver is able for a seisiún every night, so every few days I have a dry-day ie no alcohol AT ALL.
Very difficult to do on a holiday, especially here.
There I was on a bar stool among all the Dubs when suddenly
Oh, I don't feel very well. I'm kinda light-headed.
I said nothing for a moment hoping it would pass. But it began to get worse. Then I began to panic.
Please God, don't let me faint and fall off a bar stool. No one will believe that I am drinking water.
Ger turned to say something to me and saw that I was slightly distressed.
"Are you okay?"
"No, I think I'm going to faint!"
"Jesus, I'll get you a glass of water."
"But I'm already drinking water."
"I'll bring you out for a breath of fresh air."
"But its stiffling hot outside. Its cooler in here in the air conditioning."
"Oh yeah. Well sit down on a chair and see what happens."
By this time I had managed to get the attention of the whole pub and immediatley I was given loads of advice and offered any type of drug imaginable!
Motillium, Neurophen, Panadol and lots I'd never even heard of! I felt really guilty that I didn't feel sicker to warrant all this attention!
"I'll just go up home and sleep. I think that's the best cure."
Soon I was tucked up in my bed...
well no, not tucked. Its far to warm for that!
I was sprawled out on my bed at 11pm and I slept soundly til 11 the next morning.

Ger gave me a lecture over breakfast.
"Noeleen you are doing far too much. You are getting up at half nine or ten to go swimming, you are heading off on your bike some days and then at night we are out til four, five or six in the morning. Then you are up again at all hours. Something has to give........
I think you should give up that swimming!"
Atta girl, Ger. get your priorities right!
After a good night's rest and recuperation I am as right as rain and ready for the remaining ten days/nights!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Kiss my frog!

I arrived down at the pool for my morning swim. I put out my towel on the sun lounger, threw the keys of the apartment on it and replaced my sunglasses with my goggles. Into the pool with me and I swam up and down, up and down......
Exhausted, I dragged myself out, made my way over to the sun lounger and plonked myself down.
"Aghhhh".
I let out a bloodcurdling scream that rebounded around the pool and I shot up as quickly as I had sat down. A searing pain shot through my right buttock!
I had plonked my arse on the keys, which were red hot from being in the sun. I was literally branded like a maverick in the Wild West.


Great, I now have the imprint of a frog on my arse!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

At one with Mother Earth


This is the view from our back balcony. When I was a child my favourite Ladybird book was Rapunzel. The poor man's pregnant wife used to gaze over the wall into the witch's garden at the rows of fresh green cabbages and pine for one.
Them auld hormones are bitches!
This garden always reminds me of that, though I prefer to pop around to the local greengrocer for my vegetables. Far less hassle!

The other afternoon I had to come up from the pool as I was far too warm. I sat on the balcony sipping an ice cold glass of water and gazing over the surrounding countryside. My eye was caught by four women working away in the field.

Women do the work here, the men sit in the shade outside the cafés playing a game like Backgammon.

I was fascinated by them. Firstly their clothes......they were wearing layers upon layers of heavy material. There I was sweltering in my swimsuit and sarong. They painstakingly moved up the rows picking leaves. They were bent over and only occasionally straightened up and rubbed their aching backs. Then two of them got large plastic buckets and gathered what I can only presume was fruit.
 My eyesight is crap at a distance!
Two more got a hose and started to water the plants.
Not once in the hour that I was spying on them did  any of them get a drink of water. I felt really guilty as I was swigging away at my glass as I was watching them. I really should have gone down with a bottle or two of water, but look at what happened in Rapunzel!

Watching them really got me thinking. They spend hours tending and nurturing their little plot of earth. With love, care and damn hard work this soil provides them with the means to sustain them. They take such pride in their task and obviously have an affinity with Mother Earth.
I thought, as I gulped down more water, legs resting on the opposite sunchair.
I hope that fecker David Duffy remembers to mow my lawn while I am away!!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Swim a mile in my shoes.


I am in the pool at around 9.30 every morning to get my swim in before the pool gets too busy. Usually there is no one there at that time. Slowly people trickle in and an hour and a half later I'm swerving to avoid gobsh***s who get in my way.
Can't you see I'm swimming up and down in this narrow strip against the wall? You have ALL of the pool to float around in. I was here first, so MOVE!
The other morning there was already a mother and little girl at the pool when I arrived down bleary-eyed but determined. The little girl was about three years old.
I adjusted my goggles, slid into the water and started my daily task.
One: When I reached the end of my first length the little girl was sitting on the steps leading down into the water.
"Hi", she greeted me.
"Hello", I replied, turned and swam off.
Two: "Hi", she grinned again, looking down on me from the edge of the pool.
"Hi", I replied, grinned and swam off.
Three: "Hi", she squealed at me again.
This is getting old.
"Hi again", and splashed off
Four: Before I even reached the end I could see her little legs waiting for me.
"Hi".
"You again! You're a very fast runner!"
Five: "Hi".

By this stage I was a bit concerned about her running up and down by the edge of the pool. Granted she had her arm bands on, so if she fell in she wouldn't drown. But she could still hurt herself if she fell on the tiles.
Primary School teacher Syndrome! Always on the lookout for potential accidents.
But her mother  had no such concerns as she lay back on her sun lounger, oblivious to her daughter's marathon effort.
Fair enough so.Not my problem. I'm on holiday.
I continued on my swim, and sure enough there she was grinning and waiting for me at each end.
By this stage I was very curious to see how long her little legs could keep it up. There was no way she could do the 80 lengths.
Hell, its a major struggle for me to do it, and my legs have had years more practise.

I can't  believe it, but she stuck with me for twenty five lengths! Eventually her little legs gave way and she copped on that if she just sat on the steps I would eventually return.
"Hi".
"Hi"

A while later she got fed up of this game and toddled off to the paddling pool.
I continued on my way.
Mam continued with her sun worshiping, oblivious to her daughter's potential for the 2032 Olympics!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Further Adventures of Noeleen and Seán Óg

Today myself and Seán Óg decided to leave Mahmutlar and head out the country. Anyone who knows me at all will begin to panic at this stage as they know that I have zero sense of direction and still get lost in Raharney.
Okay, that’s total exaggeration, but you get my drift.
There were many little roads leading off in all directions but I wisely decided to stick to the road that had the big yellow line down the middle of it. At least then all I had to do was follow it back home.
We’re not in Kansas now, Toto.
It was a HOT day, but it was fab whizzing downhill on Seánie.
Not so great going up the blasted hills.
We arrived in the neighbouring village of Kestel. It’s a quaint little place compared to Mahmutlar.


 I espied the sea down a side road and we veered off the main path. There was a lovely beach, if you could ignore the rubbish strewn all over the place.
 I really wanted to walk in the sea, but what was I to do with Seán Óg? I left him handcuffed to a railing and hoped he’d still be there when I got back!

It was invigorating standing in the sea.. The waves were very powerful and nearly dragged me in a couple of times. I almost had a Cinderella moment. There was a pebble caught in my sandal and I had to take it off. A wave came in and swept it away. There was a mad panic to get it back as I didn’t want to have to pedal barefoot back to Mahmutlar.

We headed back home through the village where both Seán Óg and I made new friends!
Two little boys started cycling beside us. I had no Turkish and they had no English but we all instinctively knew that a downhill race was in order! Off we whizzed. Of course I let them win! How cruel do you think I am? I deliberately went slower as the little fella on the back almost did himself irreparable damage as he was practically sitting in the rear mudguard!


At the finishing line I opened my purse and gave them their winnings of a lira each! You should have seen their faces light up. I felt like a cross between Bob Geldof, Mother Theresa and Santa Claus! The two boyos sped off, obviously to tell all the other kids in the village that there was a weird women giving away money. I legged it down the road before I began competing in the juvenile Tour de Turkey!!

Nearer to home I spotted a little shop tucked away at the side of the road. I was in a bucket of sweat by this stage and so I stopped. When the owner slid back the door of the ice-cream freezer I nearly climbed into it! I chose an ice-cream and went to pay for it. Alas I had given my last lira to Lance Armstrong and his brother and all I had was a 20 and a 50 lira note. There was no way that this poor devil would have the change of that. I had a few tiny coins stuck in the bottom of my purse. They were so small that they couldn’t have been worth anything. I prised them out and handed them to him in my open hand. He sifted through them and took a few, indicating that it had enough. There were two coins left (worth about 2 cent, I’d say). I pushed them towards him, indicating for him to take them but he refused. I had paid enough.
He then waved his arms, raced inside and came out with a chair. He placed it in the shade and beckoned for me to sit down and eat my ice-cream in peace.
So there I sat at the side of the road, watching the occasional car or bus as it passed. That’s what I call service.
Seán Óg and I were ready for home. Mr Shopkeeper Man waved us off on our merry way.
To be continued....

Call girl

Everytime Ibrahim comes up with a hairstyle that he likes, he takes a picture of it. Some of them have ended up on his flier. That's me in the red squares.


It was Mam's birthday so I popped into a telephone box to phone home. As I was fumbling about trying to work out how to put the bloody card in properly, something caught my eye.I glanced up.
Nooo...it can't be.
I'm seeing things.
Is that....ME up there???
I don't know about you, but having my photo displayed in a public telephone box was never one of my life's ambitions!


Ah well I suppose it could be worse. It could have
Call 087 ******* for a good time
written underneath it!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Nailbiting experience.

We were having our lunch when in strolled Adem, bearing a war wound. His thumb was tightly bandaged and blood was seeping out the side of it.


Being the caring sort that we are, we exclaimed
"Yeuck. Do you mind? We're trying to eat here!"
We relented and asked what was wrong. He said the top of it was gone! We were horrified but then we discovered that things had gotten lost in translation. It was just his nail that was gone.
So that's okay then Ted.
Lots of possibilities for this amputation raced through my head. But nothing could beat the actual truth.
It seems his friend faints at the sight of blood. During football the previous evening there had been a squirmish that involved blood and .......thud, his friend collasped. But worse than that, his tongue went back down his throat and he began to choke!
Adem, being the good friend that he is, put his fingers in to pull it up.
CRUNCH!
His friend involuntarily clamped down on his thumb, slicing through it. Ouch, ouch, ouch!
"I bet you cried like a girl!"
"No I didn't. I screamed like a baby!"
Friend was revived, but Adem ended up in hospital where they had to remove the nail.
Ger looked across the table at me.
"I know you're a great friend, Lynam. But if you start to choke I'm afraid you're on your own. Amin't I just after getting my Shellac nails done. I'm not risking them even for you!"

Huh. Sweet!