Bars & Restaurants, Beach, Bodrum, Bodrum Belles, Emigreys, Expats, Family & Friends, Flying, Food & Drink, Holidays, Hotels, Norwich, Parties, Turkey & Turkish, Turkey Street, Vetpats, VOMITs

Perking the Pansies

Our hobbling tour of Bodrum was something of a boozy whirlwind and confirmed I can’t do multiple piss-ups anymore. It was season’s end with flight prices to match, but the interminable limp through Stansted was a brutalising experience when compared to our little local airport. Working to a slum-it budget, we bagged ourselves a hotel in Bodrum for eleven quid a night, breakfast included. Nothing much worked in our barrel-scraped digs but the family-run gaff was clean and convenient. This was the first time we had set foot on Turkish soil since we called time on our Anatolian adventure in 2012 and we were determined to make hay. Naturally, the wedding of the year was the main event but we also wanted to share a jar or two with some of our old muckers, so we pitched our standard on a Bodrum Beach and waited for battle to commence. The onslaught came in waves and after nine hours of friendly fire, talking ten to the dozen about everything under the moonlit sky, we staggered to the nearest taxi rank. A huge hand to all the Bodrum belles and beaus who really made our day. You know who you are.

These images are as blurred as our vision was by the end of the evening.

Of course, no trip back to Bodrum would have been complete without a reunion of the Sisterhood…

… the antidote to the VOMITing sickness that afflicts the many Shirley Valentines who wash up like driftwood on the beaches of Turkey. Many of the Sisters are reformed VOMITs who’ve been through the ringer, some more than once, but have emerged to tell the tale stronger and wiser. The Sisters stick together (like birds of a feather), because men are rubbish.

Expat Glossary

So after a day trip down memory lane along Turkey Street (more of this later), we joined the Sisterhood in Musto.

Musto was top of our list and sat in a prime location on Marina Boulevard opposite the smart shopping parade. Its handsome young owner, Mustafa the Magnificent, was second cousin to our landlady and a generous and convivial host. The eponymous Mustafa learned his trade at Sünger, his uncle’s legendary pizza parlour, a place that had been dishing up margheritas to the sailing squad since the early seventies. Unlike some of his rivals, Mustafa never resorted to pressganging people in from the street. He courted the emigrey crowd with Italian seasoning, palatable wine, affordable prices and generous yolluks. It was a formula that attracted swarms of discerning diners, even out of season.

Turkey Street

mustoMusto has expanded considerably since our last visit, though I’m pleased to say the menu and ambience remain special. Back in the day, regular meetings of the Sisterhood always kept the pansies perked, particularly during the chilly winter months when Bodrum life was as a slow as pond water. Thank you Doc, Jess and Victoria.

There was a distinct autumnal nip when we got back to Norwich and the heating went on for the first time since the spring. A day or two later, Liam departed for London on family duties so I sank into the sofa to watch an ancient episode of Midsomer Murders on ITV3 with my carcinomic ankle resting on a Swedish pouffe. I was unsettled. We thought our trip back to Bodrum would be our swansong. Now I’m not so sure. Despite challenging political times, Turkey has worked her magic all over again. Blimey.

bodrum-beach

Bodrum, Bodrum Belles, Books, Emigreys, Expats, Family & Friends, Historic Sites, LGBT, Politics, Turkey & Turkish, Turkey Street, Vetpats, VOMITs, Writing

Turkey Street Uncovered

300,000 characters, 65,000 words, 350 pages, near-divorce bust-ups, seconds out sulks down the pub, slammed doors, never-ending re-writes and entire scenes littering the cutting room floor like yesterday’s news. Finally it’s done, dusted and shipped, and only 18 months later than I hoped. Life just got in the way. So it gives me great pleasure to declare that Turkey Street, Jack and Liam move to Bodrum will be published on 18th May in paperback from the usual retailers and digitally from Nook, Kobo and Apple iBooks. And, it’s available to buy on Amazon Kindle right now. No pressure.

Early reviews are in and I’m rather chuffed.

A great rattlingly paced read which also provides a snapshot of a Turkey that is changing in ways none of us, as yet, fully understand.

Barbara Nadel, author

Cutting wit, giggles and sadness – Jack and Liam’s dalliances with the expat world make for compelling reading.

Julia Power, Turkey’s for Life

A book that removes Turkey’s headscarf and tousles the hair a little – with comical and touching consequences. I loved it.

Jay Artale, author, the Bodrum Peninsula Travel Guide and Gümüşlük Travel Guide

A beautifully presented tale that segues cleverly from hilarious and irreverent to heartbreakingly poignant, told with insight and innovative language.

Kay McMahon, British Expat

Once again, Jack Scott expertly blends wit and humour in an accurate portrayal of daily Turkish life, warts and all!

Natalie Sayin, the Turkish Travel Blog

Turkey Street

Order the paperback on Amazon and Waterstones | Buy the Kindle on Amazon | Other buying options

Six months into their Turkish affair, Jack and Liam, a gay couple from London, took lodgings in the oldest ward of Bodrum Town. If they wanted to shy away from the curtain-twitchers, they couldn’t have chosen a worse position. Their terrace overlooked Turkey Street like the balcony of Buckingham Palace and the middle-aged infidels stuck out like a couple of drunks at a temperance meeting. Against all the odds, the boys from the Smoke were welcomed into the fold by a feisty mix of eccentric locals and a select group of trailblazing expats, irresistible ladies with racy pasts and plucky presents.

Hop aboard Jack’s rainbow gulet as he navigates the choppy waters of a town on the march and a national resurgence not seen since Suleiman the Magnificent was at the gates of Vienna. Grab your deckchair for a whirlwind tour of love and duty, passion and betrayal, broken hearts and broken bones, dirty politics and the dawn of a new Ottoman era.

Books, Expats, Sexpats, Turkey & Turkish, Turkey Street, Turkish Men, VOMITs

The World Through Expat Eyes

InterNations

Hot of the press from the splendid people at InterNations is Expat Insider 2014, one of the largest global surveys of everyday life and personal happiness in the expat forest. As Turkey features in the top twenty destinations, it gets its own country profile. As well as the usual reasons for settling in Turkey (climate, low crime rate, family friendly environment, blah, blah), 13% of survey respondents moved there for love. Here we go again, all those Shirley Valentines being laid at low tide. It’s a bit of pet subject here at Pansy HQ and, unsurprisingly, is a recurrent theme in my new book, Turkey Street. Just in case you think it’s just me being smug as usual, fear not, I get my comeuppance and there’s a glimmer of redemption at the end.

Plucked, banged then blown out when the cash dried up, the orchestra of ladies kept on coming anyway, scouting Turkey’s resorts for love and orgasms.

Chapter 3 – Home Alone

‘Look, when your boat’s holed beneath the waterline, head for dry land. It’s no use bobbing about in the water like flotsam just because the sea is warm…’

Chapter 8 – The Sisterhood

As we supped our cocktails and nibbled the cheesy balls, the tragedy of Deborah’s tale was concluded in all its tawdry detail. With her husband scattered over the playing fields of Eton, Deborah sold the bistro, moved to Turkey and drowned her sorrows by jumping on top of any would-be gigolo who sailed past her patio. The boys got younger as she got older and she clung to the VOMIT lifeboat until her nails bled.

Chapter 15 – Happy Birthday Uncle Sam

‘Anyway, I’ve got a bone to pick with you, Jack Scott. About the VOMIT thing on your blog. You’ve got us wrong. We’re not all victims or washed up old slappers. And we don’t all chase pretty boys and drop our drawers at the first smile.’

And finally…

‘The Sisterhood, Jack?’ asked Doc.

‘Ex-VOMITs. Ladies who learn.’

‘That works for me.’

Chapter 31 – The Ringing of the Belles

I’m relieved to write that Turkey Street has finally gone off to my publisher for knocking into shape. Expect an early 2015 release. Life just gets in the way.

Blogging, Emigreys, Expats, Semigreys, Sexpats, Turkey & Turkish, Vetpats, VOMITs

The Sisterhood

Expat GlossaryI first compiled my expat glossary in 2011 as a tongue-in-cheek classification of the various expat types Liam and I encountered during our time in Turkey. The idea started with ‘emigrey’ to describe silver-haired retirees living out their dotage in the sun. It was a play on the English loan word from the French ‘émigré,’ the past participle of ‘émigrer’ – to emigrate. The glossary caused quite a stir at the time, striking a chord with most but hitting a nerve with the humourless. It’s remained a perennial favourite, often quoted and plagiarised, and not always with a credit – naughty, naughty. Over time, the lexicon has grown, with additions by me and suggestions from others. And now, I’ve added a new category. So, ladies and gents, I give you…

Turkey StreetThe Sisterhood

The antidote to the VOMITing sickness that afflicts the Shirley Valentines who wash up like driftwood on the beaches of Turkey. Many of the Sisters are reformed VOMITs who’ve been through the ringer, some more than once, but have emerged to tell the tale stronger and wiser. The Sisters stick together (like birds of a feather), because men are rubbish.

The Bodrum Chapter of the Sisterhood play a central role in Turkey Street, the sequel to Perking the Pansies, Jack and Liam move to Turkey, due out in the Summer of 2014.

Turkey & Turkish, Turkish Men, VOMITs

A Turkish Love Letter

Turkish Men1There’s no doubt about it, if you fancy that swarthy look with a headstrong Mediterranean temperament, Turkish men have it in spades. But beware, my Shirley Valentines, the course of true love does not always run smooth. Having finally emerged from a painful divorce from her hunky Turkish beau sorer but much the wiser, the lovely Natalie from the Turkish Travel Blog is more than a match for the legions of Turkish Lotharios who shamelessly chase Western women with declarations of undying love and promises of unbridled passion. The street-wise scribe has written about it before (as have I here). Now Natalie faces an emotional dilemma, a romantic conundrum. The racy rebound with the come to bed eyes and talented hands who kept her warm during the separation has rather carelessly found himself banged up in a Turkish jail. Not the best move for a fine romance, I would say. Now he’s written her an over-wrought love letter from his overcrowded prison cell.  What is a girl to do? Can you help Natalie steer a steady course through the moral maze?

Find out more in her recent post A Turkish Love Letter

Apologies to subscribers for the ‘ghost post’ yesterday. I inadvertently pressed the wrong key and suffered a bad case of premature publication. Oops.

Anatolia, Arts & Theatre, Books, Emigreys, Expats, LGBT, Norwich, Turkey & Turkish, Vetpats, VOMITs

The Show is Over Now

Time to take down the Anatolian display and pack away the posters. The Pride Without Prejudice Show is done and dusted for another year and what a successful run its been. If you’d told me back in the day when I ebbed and flowed along the nose-to-nipple Victoria Line that, a few years on, I’d be showcasing a book I’d written at a bone fide exhibition I would have told you to where to get off (at the next stop and mind the gap). Did I sell any books from it? Your guess is as good as mine. At the very same time I was mounting the posters, I was featured on WordPress’ Blogger Profile site which has over 10 million subscribers. As soon as their interview was published, it all went a bit crazy for a while. If I did flog a few copies off as a result of the show it was icing on the cake.  Will I exhibit again next year with the Sisterhood? Wild goats won’t keep me away.

Anatolia, Bodrum, Book Stores, Books, Emigreys, Expats, Historic Sites, Istanbul, LGBT, Retirement, Semigreys, Vetpats, VOMITs

The Anatolian Collection

The sequel to Perking the Pansies to tie up the fraying loose ends and bring our Anatolian journey to its crashing conclusion is coming along very nicely. Expect a few surprises. I have a working title of  ‘The Sisterhood,’ so this may give a little clue about the main theme.  In the meantime, a gentle plug for the books already on the virtual and actual shelves. Hey, a boy’s got to sell his soul to bring home the bacon.

Anatolian Collection

The books are widely available in multiple formats. And if you buy direct from me, I get to keep the lion’s share of the take. For more information, check my website.