Today, now, we have been living in Selçuk for one year. It has been a very interesting and a very good year. We have been fortunate; the local expat community (as it is) has been welcoming, polite and helpful. Our neighbours are pleasant. The officials we have dealt with have been polite and helpful, and largely forgiving of our limited but growing Turkish. The house purchase and everything associated with it went smoothly and as per agreements. We guess partly good fortune and partly doing our homework.
Some things we have learnt.
● We have masses of free hot water in summer – when we don’t need or want it, and less for free when it is cold and wet.
● Cheap firewood is just that. Cheap. It usually requires more chopping and is often damp. The effort required to chop it in the cold damp of winter is really not worth it – unless part of some keep fit regime.
● Wood stoves are awesome but the chimney needs to be regularly cleaned and a carbon monoxide alarm is a very good investment. Don’t clean the chimney and the alarm will go off at the most inconvenient time possible. Still – better than the alternative.
● Handmade bespoke furniture from the local sanayi (industrial area) costs much the same as decent stuff from IKEA. There is still IKEA for some things. Get curtains made locally, they will be precisely the size wanted, extremely well made, and relatively inexpensive. Koçtaş (B&Q) is good for tools, especially power tools, not kitchens, bathrooms etc. For all else there is local hardware store.
● Bureaucracy can be painfully slow – same as anywhere else in the world. Don’t take it personally, it isn’t. Most (if not all) officials want to be helpful, it is not their fault if you cannot understand what they are saying. If taking on something complex research it first, get some idea of what is involved. Consider taking someone who can translate.
● It will come at 6pm, tomorrow morning, next Thursday…. Is akin to mañana. It will arrive when it does – get on with your life.
● Don’t throw it away – it can probably be mended. If not, your neighbours might want it. This applies to everything except clothes. If you must throw it away, don’t worry about putting metal, plastic, glass or anything else into the bin. It will get recycled. This beats those dreaded colour coded bins and boxes.
We probably could add some more but we are off to celebrate our first year here.