I was looking forward to a quiet(ish) week on Monday 17th January as I got on with some chores, including making a bolognese in the slow cooker, ready for dinner later. I had also lined up a few interviews and discussions with various people from my LinkedIn connections about doing some paid work for a spell, just part-time temporary positions until a more permanent opportunity presented itself.
I had leftover Sunday roast for lunch and thoroughly enjoyed it. The pasta bolognese for dinner was so good and it was another day of zero booze.

On Tuesday 18th January I arranged to meet Jamie for lunch so that he could try Kebapçı Yusuf for the first time. This was not before I managed to almost embarrass myself and Captain Caveman in front of the advisor for the Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam, as you do. It was cold so I had on my thermal lounge wear with my fluffy dressing gown on top when Captain Caveman video called. He was at Chay Lap drinking with Vinh and his son, who had just returned from their trip to Son Doong. I was on the video call when Captain Caveman noticed my dressing gown at the same time he wanted to put Vinh on to say hello so he pointed it out. My reaction obviously was to take off my dressing gown, to expose my perfectly decent black top underneath but Captain Caveman didn’t know I had anything underneath and thought I was stripping off! It was nice to see them in Vietnam having a good time, though, but I had to go get ready for my lunch date.
Jamie and I both ordered the Turkish sausage pide which came with complimentary side salad and fresh chillies at Kebapçı Yusuf. Even though I warned Jamie the chillies would be hot he still shoved one in his mouth – he didn’t have a second one. The lunch was lovely and we had a good chat and decided we would have a wander along to Lukka Bar for an afternoon alcoholic beverage. It was a very cold day but inside it was warm and cosy. For dinner I had pasta bolognese with birthday cake for pud and an early night after making a list of things to do in Dalyan for when my friend comes to visit in April.

Another day off the booze was had on Wednesday 19th January and my knuckles were still bruised but my face was less painful now. It was my Turkish class today and I was a bit tired because of not getting to sleep until about 2am due to it being so cold that I had to double up on duvets on the bed.
Turkish class went well and it is helping me progress on Duolingo better but I still can’t hold much of a conversation with a local. In the afternoon the weather had improved, it was cold but dry, so I decided it was time to go shopping, properly this time:

Migros Supermarket

1 loaf 2.50
1 simit 3.50
2 red peppers 3.88
1 pack pasta 3.90
Potatoes 4.08
Mini cheddars 7.50
Cheese spread 9.95
Smoked turkey 10.45
2 Probiotic drinks 13.20
6 eggs 13.30
Salami 15.75
Fabric softener 18.25
2 quark 19.90
Cheese slices 24.50
500g minced beef 32.90
500g diced beef 36.49

Total spent 220.05 lira (£12.19)

A101 supermarket

Onions 1.21
Carrots 1.59
Garlic 5.00
2 Crisps 11.80
3 popcorn kernels 13.50
4 Chicken thighs 23.05
4 Chicken breasts 30.52

Total spent 86.67 lira (£4.80)

I was certainly noticing the difference as prices in Turkey continued to escalate to try to cope with the extreme rates of inflation – I was managing ok but I really didn’t know how the locals were coping.
I’d had no breakfast but I had a simit with beef ham and a cheese spread triangle for lunch, which looks boring but is one of my favourite things. I wasn’t too hungry for dinner so I just had a smoked turkey sandwich with 3 cups of earl grey tea and some birthday cake. Katrina and Abi made a poster for my comedy night as Jacqueline de Plonk, the event was on for this coming Sunday!
By the time I was watching Catfish on my new Firestick TV I had to indulge in some crisps making a note to myself not to buy them as I find it hard to resist eating a whole packet.

On Thursday 20th January I woke up with a sore throat and a cough but I didn’t feel unwell. I lounged in bed a little while reading the news and saw an interesting article from yesterday on how you can now buy Turkish citizenship, given the economic crisis here, more info:
I had a cheese sandwich for breakfast and was slightly expecting a bad stomach from it, as this was the first uncooked cheese I had eaten this year – I was fine! After popping all the ingredients for a beef and ale stew in the slow cooker I decided to have a walk while the weather was decent enough and walked past my parents’ place. I saw a chicken cross the road and it reminded me I had better write my comedy routine when I got home. I did a bit more shopping for the things I was missing at Migros and I was still struggling to find a popcorn bucket or receptacle that didn’t involve buying a 5 litre tub of ice-cream to eat first. Here’s what I did buy:

Migros Supermarket

Ginger 5.60
Bounty 6.95
Apple juice 8.45
Milk 11.75
Mushrooms 12.67
800g Chicken breasts 32.17
6 mini magnums 42.50

Total spent 120.09 lira (£6.65)

It was interesting to see how much the price of meat was increasing so I got a bargain on the chicken while it was on offer, I suspected others were doing the same as there was not much of it left. The fresh milk was much more expensive these days too so I had gone for the skimmed UHT carton which keeps better but isn’t as good for pancake mixture. It was still shocking to see apple juice is cheaper than milk. I got a few treats in and hoped some fresh ginger would help with my sore throat and cough.
Back at home I had a smoked turkey sandwich, crisps and a mini magnum for lunch then finished off half the bottle of Efes beer I’d used in the stew. That night I made Yorkshire puddings to go with the stew but they didn’t rise enough, despite tasting good and me having a very hot oven. The stew was so good and I was glad to have the slow cooker mix from the UK to put in it. For afters I had a chocolate spoon (the ones Ann bought for my birthday) with a couple of glasses of birthday red wine. The red wine made me cough more so I had a ginger tea and a Tylol before bed. Tylol is like an English Lemsip mixed with a Vietnamese Tiffy and it makes my heart palpitate so I have to be careful I don’t have them often. This time I was asleep within seconds of my head hitting the pillow.

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