Today is much like any other day and yet it is in so many ways completely different. I am sat here at my usual morning çay spot with my laptop and all of you for company as I do most days. The weather although hot is cooler than it has been. There are few tourists and most of the beachfront bars and restaurants are closed. The aquamarine of the Aegean still sparkles but the beaches and hotels are deserted.
I too have inadvertently become a casualty of summer’s end; I have to return home to the UK owing to financial restraints and for no other reason. Frankly, I cannot expect Ahmed’s family to support me through the lean winter months, when most of the brothers, including Ahmed will be seeking work in the factories in the north to provide for the others. It really is hard for us in the civilized western world to comprehend that the average wage here is so low. Many of the Turkish families I know will actually struggle to pay their electric bills and will spend the winters living in darkness and cold; and in some cases with little or no food. The bar boys will return to their villages and families although some will be drafted into the army.
Back in the UK, many companies will be recruiting staff for the Xmas season so I hope that I can secure a “proper job” upon my return; only if I am very unlucky will I return to work for Poison Pen. However, when I last worked for achy face; I didn’t have my invincible invisible army of blogging friends supporting me! Over the past six months’ we have shared shedloads of laughter, sadness, photographs, recipes and heartfelt advice. We have written and read about each other’s most difficult and joyous times; commiserated with the bad and celebrated the good. And for your generosity of spirit I will always be indebted to you all.
As women we are born people pleasers and for a time I may have lost my way; spending too much time trying to make others happy at the expense of my own hopes and dreams. But this life is too short and way too precious; and I have realised that you are cheating yourself if you waste a single moment feeling wretched. I may have had to travel half way around the world to discover this but it was a lesson well learned.
God willing, the fates will smile upon Ahmed and myself and I will return again in the spring. So for now I am packing away the bikini and my trusty old Turkish phrase book. Bidding a reluctant farewell to all my new-found friends and returning to my other life a little sadder, but ultimately a whole lot wiser.
If I am not destined to return; Turkey will always own a large fragment of my soul. I will be constantly thankful for the amazing memories that I carry in my heart and will recall these happy times without regret; because at the end of the day, that’s all I can do.
I will, of course, be continuing with the “Honeymoon” stories but even I don’t know how it’s going to end! So I hope you’ll continue to join me as I have loved having you along.