Cooking the Books

Our local supermarket, Tansaş, is a short stroll from the house along the narrow ancient street that Alexander the Great once minced down in 334 BCE. Like many ancient Anatolian thoroughfares, the road is just wide enough for two camels to pass each other unhindered. It wasn’t built for a speeding motorcade of Nissan tanks flanked by Vespas on amphetamines. It’s a one way street but we look in both directions to keep body and soul together. It’s just as well the Green Cross Code was hard-wired into my brain as a child.

Three or four times a week, we pass a two storey building containing a shop unit on the ground floor. In the short time we’ve lived in Bodrum, the unit has changed hands several times – variously reincarnated as a small market, café, kuaför (hairdressers) and now a market again. The current proprietor is a smiling middle-aged man with a kind face, balding on top with side strands stretched back and fashioned into a trendy pony tail. He spends his days sitting on a plastic patio chair, chain smoking and chatting amiably to passers-by. We’ve not once seen a customer cross his threshold. Alas, like the predecessors, his business seems doomed to fail. It occurs to me that in Blighty, a prospective buyer would check the books before parting with the readies. In Turkey I assume there are no books to cook.

Check out my new book:

Perking the Pansies – Jack and Liam Move to Turkey

7 thoughts on “Cooking the Books

  1. Absolutely right…no books.

    When Mr A took over a hotel hamam last year, there were no books. Although it wouldn’t have occurred to him to ask to seem them anyway. Naturally when the business failed, there were no books for him to show to anyone else wanting to take over the business. I did try, endlessly, to encourage him to do everything by the book. Waste of my time and energy. He wouldn’t listen when I suggested that the rent being charged
    was way too high and that it was highly unlikely that he would make any money. Turkish men in general do not have business brains. I despair!


  2. Yes, Jack, there do seem to be locales that are just Blighted (no relation to Blighty, of course). We have one downstairs which makes our entrance portal really ugly. Love the Alexander the Great mincing comment… but did he or was he butch and soldierly? Read a lovely Italian biography which talked a lot about his famous horse but excluded his sexual “preferences”. (Give us a lecture sometime on the hard-wired/acquired debate would you?) Soooo, YOUR BOOK is going to be, not only a joy, but pull no punches in that direction. Will get it, can´t wait and am jealous, not only of that but of your ability to get WordPress to snow! Also love the fact that kuaför sounds like coiffure – Turkey seems a wee bit closer now! Keep on looking in both directions … especially the one leading to fame!!! Mwah mwah!


    1. Kuafor is a word borrowed from French. There are quite a few in Turkish. I’m sure young Alex was the hardest man on the field of battle and didn’t mince at all! It’s funny how many historians leave his gay encounters out of their books. Sexuality was defined very differently back then. In fact, it wasn’t defined at all, at least not in the way we would understand it. I really hope you like the book. It’s got some great reviews so I haven’t disgraced myself. Hey, it won’t make the Booker Prize list but maybe I’ll make a few pennies out of it. The snow affect is good isn’t it? Someone remarked that they thought they had a virus. It’s a feature of the template I use in WordPress. No fancy techie stuff from me.


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