My parents and I had a very important appointment at 10.30am on Sunday 29th May. Nusret and Gonca had invited us to Retro bar and Smyrna hotel to have breakfast with them and Yaşar. It was a hot day and I noticed that Phong Nha, where I would be in a couple of weeks, was hotter by about 5°C. I’d already cycled to the bakery to buy some baklava to take with us as a small gift. We sat outside under a parasol as Yaşar and Gonca brought so much delicious food to the table. It was really kind of them to invite us, they were very generous with the food and their time. I found myself lacking in Turkish vocabulary somewhat and we had to rely on Yaşar to translate my basic Turkish or Google translate.
The food was phenomenal and plentiful, my parents loved it too and we were made to feel like part of their family. I would miss them when I had to leave and we promised to keep in touch. We also got invited to another event for Gonca’s birthday in a few days.

Back home I had a whole chicken in the slow cooker which smelled lovely and was meant to be for dinner. I’d invited my parents over, they didn’t fancy chicken but would meet me later for a drink. We went to Tez bar for a couple and bumped in to Penny and Phil, which was nice as I’d not been out drinking with them for a while. I invited them to share my chicken dinner too but they had other ideas. I had another drink and then Penny, Phil and I got a taxi to their place where Penny and I got in the pool to cool down.
Penny and Phil were the perfect hosts, we had a couple of gins and a curry. I had a rather tasty chicken korma and they had a delicious jalfrezi. It was so good but they wouldn’t tell me where they got it from as it was top secret. I had a great night and I was going to miss Penny and Phil, they are a really good laugh and have been really kind friends to me. In a few days Bluey2 would be making her way back to their place and I would have to say bye to her too.

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