Wednesday 1 October 2008

Change of Plan

So I'm sitting in the back of this taxi. The driver's arm is in a cast from elbow to fingertips. Between changing gears with his opposite hand (leaving the steering to Allah) he's also reaching across himself to shake his broken arm at other drivers. Under his breath, he's muttering something angrily. I decided to try and directly translate his phrase into English...

"Amina koydugumun pezevengi". Let's break it down.

"am" = "cunt"
"koy" = "put"
"pezevenk" = "pimp"

"Amina". From what I understand, the suffix here creates "to their cunt".
"Koydugumun". This I know. This is the simple past tense form of the verb "put" with a possesive chaser. Thus making "I put".
"Pezevengi". The change in the final letters connects the word to the previous words in the sentence.

Right. So the taxi driver's saying "the pimp whose cunt I put it in". An interesting choice.

I particularly like the use of 'put' here. It's not 'shoved' or 'thrusted', it's 'put' as in "go and put it over there" or "I've just put some mail in your cubbyhole".

He didn't stray from this phrase though. Everyone was tarred with the same pimp brush. He started to complain to me about the state of the country but I was miles away (deliberately. Had I been 'in the moment' I would have been out of that cab).

I sat there thinking about what the hell had just happened in my life. What had I just agreed to?

I know I owe you all an apology. Everyday I'm getting emails asking me what the hell is going on and why I've suddenly taken a break from this series of lessons in the way of the fez. Don't worry, as you can see, I'm still alive.

I got back to Turkey in early September and started pottering around my flat. As I sat there trying to think of a witty status update for FaceBook, I realised that it was probably time to do something with my life. Not that writing pages of information on the techniques of a Hamam Masseur isn't doing something with my life, but it's not going to get the baby a new bonnet (as mum would say ...and no, I haven't become a dad).

I know I promised a full update on the America Tour, it's coming I promise (again). The truth is, in the past month, a bomb went off in my life. I realised that another winter in Kusadasi wasn't going to be the most productive thing I could do. The sensible option would be to move to Izmir (the nearest big city). Where Kusadasi empties in the winter, Izmir fills as the holiday makers return to their day jobs. This was going to be the place for me.

I considered my options. What could I do? How could I afford the rent? Could I survive in Izmir? I remembered the CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) I'd completed at the beginning of the year and wondered if I could finally use this to get some private students. So I called the British Council in Izmir with no real idea what I was going to ask them.

Before I knew it, they'd suggest a vacancy at a very well respected private boarding school. To cut a long story short, an hour later I'd typed my CV, the next morning I had an interview and I started my new job the following day.

I really do believe that sometimes the Universe is looking out for you. When you really have no direction, it'll come and slap you round the face with something that answers all of your problems.

So here's the deal... the school provides me with a house (massive), all my meals, washing and ironing, they are even sorting out my work and residence visas. All I have to provide is my ability to speak English and to stop 9 year olds stabbing each other with retractable pencils for 40 minutes.

I'm in heaven. The motivation and drive I have now is something I thought I'd lost forever after my dog biscuit patent went belly up a few years back. I wake before my alarm at 7am. I'm showered and shaved by 7:30am. Out the door by 8am and drinking tea in the staffroom by 8.01am.

Don't worry, I will continue the blog and I still have and endless list of things to explain/understand about the Turkish culture. However, I wont be focussing on my new job as the school is respectable and my writing clearly isn't.

As I'm still settling into my new flat, job, life, suit, shoes, role etc, please excuse any delays between posts. I will try to use my spare time effectively to see what different elements of Turkish culture the big city throws up.

Thank you all for your patience. I kiss you.