The ex-pats we’ve met are a select collection of friendlies and freaks. I have christened them the emigreys, retirees serving out their twilight years in the sun, most of whom seem to be just a little to the right of Genghis Khan and who bought a jerry built white box in Turkey because it was cheaper than Spain (well, it was at the time). Everyday emigrey life operates within a parallel universe of neo colonial separateness preoccupied with visa hops to Kos, pork sausages, property prices and Blighty bashing.
Cream of the emigrey crop are the vetpats, veterans who have been living in Turkey for many years. Usually better informed than their peers with a less asinine view of the world, vetpats have taken the trouble to learn Turkish and are better integrated into the wider community.
A little noticed and discrete group of emigreys is the sexpats, grey men of means who are serviced by young Turkish men in return for a stipend. The contract suits both parties well and the trade is conducted in secrecy far removed from prying eyes and tittle-tattlers.
We are trying hard not to get too involved and cultivate a mysterious aloofness – courteous but distant – spectators rather than participants. We prefer to amuse ourselves with the obsequious wintering waiters, most of whom seem both repelled and fascinated by our obvious union.