Jack Scott’s Postcards from the Ege

Jack Scott’s Postcards from the Ege

Not much of the news coming out of Turkey these days is positive – refugees, bombs, riots, censorship and the usual rhetoric from the imperious Erdoğan. The western media do so love to stoke up a drama. You could be forgiven for thinking the place is falling apart. Well, it isn’t. But the headlines are putting visitors off. According to some estimates, bookings by Brits are down by over a third. A glance at the travel agent’s window reveals the bargains to be had, reflecting a tourist trade going through lean times. It would be foolish to suggest there aren’t any problems but Turkey remains one of the safest holiday destinations anywhere.

It’s been four years since we returned from Turkey and we’re content with our lot in old Norwich Town. The slowish pace of life suits us well. But, we’re often nostalgic for our easy come, easy go days of Bodrum. During one particularly wistful afternoon in the boozer, Liam and I took a drunken stagger down memory lane. Over the last few years I’ve scribbled a word or two about my best bits of Turkey and I’ve even won writing competitions with my musings. So to cure me of my melancholy, Liam suggested I put them all together. So that’s what I’ve done. And very cathartic it was too. I’ve called it Postcards from the Ege, Jack Scott’s Turkey Trail.

Here’s the blurb:

With such an immense political and cultural heritage, it’s no surprise kaleidoscopic Turkey is such a feast – a prime cut of authenticity, seasoned by the West and spiced by the East. Jack Scott knows a thing or two about the country. He lived there for years and travelled widely – to Istanbul and along its south-western shores from Izmir to Alanya. In Postcards from the Ege, Scott shares some of his must-sees and personal highlights. Follow Scott’s trail. Come to Turkey.

The e-book has just been published on Kindle by Springtime Books. It’s a steal at a couple of quid and if it encourages people to sample the extraordinary land we used to call home then that’s all to the good.

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Türkiye’ye Hoşgeldiniz!

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.

Desperately Seeking Doreen

Desperately_Seeking_Doreen

A cursory glance at my stats shows that Perking the Pansies pops up on the internet in totally unexpected ways. My irreverent ramblings seem to attract the lost, the lustful, the inquisitive and the ignorant – and from the four corners of the world. These are a few of my favourite search terms:

  • Pussy lovers (for feline aficionados, obviously)
  • Gran Canarian Sex (for a bit of bump and grind in the sun)
  • Rent Boys (believe me, my street-walking days are over)
  • Hardon All Day (hit it with a stick)
  • Is Marti Pellow/Gary Lineker/Kate Adie gay (they seem happy enough to me)
  • Gumbet Love Rats (for the ladies who never learn)
  • The Turkish Living Forum (keeping my 2012 rant right up there in the rankings)

And then came:

  • Doreen Dowdall

Doreen Dowdall

Now that one completely threw me.  Dowdall was my old girl’s name before her soldier boy popped his ring on her finger. Who was the mysterious surfer?  I don’t know, but if s/he ever surfs back, do drop me a line and put me out of my curiosity. And yes, that is me in the picture (the one in shorts, not the fabulous Sixties frock). Bless.

P.S. It’s Doreen Dowdall’s 85th birthday tomorrow. Apart from being a bit mutton with a touch of arthritis and a dodgy hip, the old girl’s in fine fettle. I just hope I’ve inherited her genes.

The Bodrum Peninsula Travel Guide

The Bodrum Peninsula on Turkey’s stunning Aegean coast is the summer playground for hundreds of thousands of discerning holiday-makers offering something for everyone – the beach bum, party animal, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie. Described as the ‘San Tropez of Turkey,’ the whitewashed town of Bodrum (ancient Halicarnassus) is the beating heart of the Peninsula where the Turkish elite come to let their hair down. ‘The Bodrum Peninsula Travel Guide: Turkey’s Aegean Gem’ is the definitive book for visitors and expats alike from the marvelous Jay Artale, part-time resident and someone in the know. The book is packed to the rafters with meticulously researched facts and fun, sites and scenes, eats and treats, must-dos and don’t-dos, both on and off the well-beaten track. Need to know how to get about? Want insider knowledge on the best boat trips to hidden coves and where to find ancient sites to tumble over? Looking for the best places to eat for authentic rustic cuisine? Fancy a high-energy water-ski ride around the bay? Dying to know what bars to see and be seen in? It’s all here, and much, much more. Whether dipping in for a hint or two or reading cover-to-cover in one serving, this book should be in everyone’s suitcase.

 

 

Bodrum, A Town of Two Halves

We fancied a few bevvies in the sunshine to talk the afternoon away. Bodrum is a town of two halves divided by the castle. Like London the east end is the rougher, dominated by Bar Street, a procession of cheap and cheerful bars and hassle shops patronised by the foreign tourists who either board in that part of the town or have ventured in from Gümbet. The west end is swanky and obscenely expensive. The exemplar bar is Fink a lavish watering hole dominated by an enormous overhanging sparkly red chandelier suspended from a graceful arched crane. The elegantly carved gate is guarded by a platoon of huge, brooding bouncers. Only the moneyed sort gain entrance. The bar is set above the street enabling the seriously loaded to look down on the plebeians passing by below.

I Fink It’s Fantastic

We prefer the east end by day where totty watching is more fruitful and the drink prices more palatable. We generally frequent Café S Bar, an unrefined little watering hole opposite the town beach. A rainbow flag hangs proudly alongside the ubiquitous Cross of St George, Cross of St Andrew, Irish tricolour and Welsh Dragon. Everyone’s welcome regardless. You may be lucky to watch the owner, Ozzie, strip down to his tight trunks and dive into the shallow waters, weapon in hand, looking to spear the catch of the day. I’m not sure if this is a serious expedition or just done to impress the girls and some of the boys. It certainly impresses me. Unlike the bar, the toilets can be dry so a number two is not recommended.