Dalyan – 7th to 9th January

Dalyan – 7th to 9th January

On Friday 7th January I met Jamie outside Lukka Bar and we drove down to Ann’s house to see Jax & Lee off. I gave Jax a couple of envelopes to post to my family when she got back to the UK, having forgotten to leave them before I came back. I felt really tired after not very much sleep and decided not to join Jamie and Ann on their trip to Fethiye but I did ask Jamie to take me back some trousers I had bought on the 4th December which didn’t fit, in fact they wouldn’t have fit one leg!
I went home and had beans on toast for breakfast with a cup of tea. The white chocolate orange didn’t last long and I polished the rest of it off after hummus, lavaş bread and olives for lunch. That evening I joined Jamie, Ann, Sarah and Katrina for the Lukka bar music bingo night which was Disco themed this week and we got there early enough to have dinner before the fun started. The others had burgers or pasta but I went for the BBQ pizza which I do enjoy.

It was raining very heavily on Saturday 8th January but I had plans that meant I had to venture out in it. I’d decided I did need a mobile phone to use when there was no WiFi, for whatever reason. My Vietnamese Oppo phone was a few years old now and, although still worked, it wasn’t worth the 2732 lira (£150) it would cost to register it. Here in Turkey, it is only permissable to use a foreign phone for up to 120 days and only 1 phone per person every 3 years can be registered. In 2018 it cost just 170 lira to do this but now it is extortionate and, for me, not worth it so I had posted in a local Facebook group to see if anyone had an old Turkish phone I could buy. The most suitable choice for me was from a lady who had a Samsung J4 which she was willing to sell me and I arranged to meet her at Kordon restaurant to do the deal. I was meant to go to do a full supermarket shop, after all I’d not been yet this year, but it was too wet and I couldn’t be bothered to carry much – I just got the ‘essentials’ in Migros and left.

My shopping from Migros Supermarket:

2 onions 0.45
1kg rice 6.50
Mini cheddars 7.50
Fairy washing up liquid 9.75
400g mushrooms 12.90
2 probiotic drinks 13.90
Beef mince 29.61

Total spent 80.61 (£4.41)

On the way home I noticed there were some new recycling bins in the old market square which I would be sure to use from now on. I used my telephone banking to add on my phone credit to the new phone, which was a first for me. I noticed that the LinkedIn app was on my new phone so I decided to join it, I did a speed test, assisted by a friend who I was thinking of buying a Firestick from and was finding out more about it. That evening I messaged Kebapçı Yusuf to order my dinner and arranged to pick it up at 7.30pm, it cost 70 lira (£3.82) for chicken shish, salad and chips and was piping hot when I got it home. It would have served 2 people but I did manage to eat most of it and just save the flatbread and half of the salad for tomorrow. I had a video call with my parents, who were still social distancing from each other, within their own home, so that Dad didn’t catch Mom’s Corona. Ma was still sickly but looking like she had a bit more colour and was feeling a little better too, at last. None of us could believe Dad hadn’t caught it yet and he was obviously made of tougher stuff than us.

On Sunday 9th January I didn’t have any breakfast as I was booked in for a Lukka Sunday dinner at 2pm with Jamie. I spoke very briefly to Captain Caveman who had got back from the cave to find a young pig at the door of the Glass House. He sent me photos and I talked to the pig but it looked like it was trying to find some snacks. Captain Caveman managed to give it a tickle and said he would look after it, if it was still there after he’d been out for dinner. Our Sunday dinner was delicious and plenty of it, it had gone up to 140 lira (£7.67) but was still good value.
I finished watching a series on Netflix, The Innocent, which I thought was one recommended by Jax and Lee but it turned out I’d probably been watching the wrong series! By dinner time I still wasn’t hungry so I just finished off the leftover flatbread and salad from Kebapçı Yusuf followed by a Double Decker chocolate bar. In the evening I started working out how to use LinkedIn and decided I would start to look for a part-time job.

Fethiye – 4th December

Fethiye – 4th December

Vanessa and I finally got our day trip on Saturday 4th December when we decided to get the bus to Fethiye. We got the bus around 9.30am from Dalyan bus station and it took about 20 minutes for us to arrive at the bus station in Ortaca. There, we waited under shelter as it was very rainy, for our next bus to Fethiye. We had masks on and were wrapped up well so when the driver whacked up the heating we were both feeling a tad too warm and it seemed to take longer than we expected to get there. The bus was fairly busy and we stopped quite a bit to pick up and drop off but we were in Fethiye before 11.30am where it was still raining. We were just glad to get off the hot steamy bus and we decided we would walk in to town, about 2.5km away. It was a good walk and we really enjoyed the fresh air and looking in a couple of shops along the way. Vanessa had been to a place before where they sold pickled onions and chutneys so we decided to have a look for it and we were both also keen to buy some Turkish delight to take back to the UK. Fethiye was busier than our last visit but still not too bustling and we managed to get a few bits and bobs, including a Christmas jumper, before we got slightly lost. When we finally found the Mulberry Tree restaurant, I recalled having been before with Captain Caveman a few years ago. The owner was lovely and welcoming and he and the rest of the staff were working hard in readiness for the Winter Fayre in Çalış tomorrow. We decided to have lunch there and took a seat inside, near the window. Vanessa ordered meatballs, I chose a chicken shish and we got a complimentary lavaş bread starter. The food was excellent and we both bought extra provisions there; pickled onions, mince pies, crumpets and plum jam. We had bought so much stuff that a walk back would have been a bit of a struggle so we got a taxi over to the Erasta shopping centre. We tried to get a wine, I bought a couple of bits and had a new battery put in my watch. Unfortunately we did not find any wine in Fethiye but we did get to practice our Turkish questions of asking establishments if they had wine. We gave up and got the bus back, it had stopped raining but the bus got very busy and went the quick way back to Ortaca. When we arrived it was dark but we decided to go for a drink at a cafe near the bus station. They also didn’t serve alcohol and so we had a lovely hot chocolate and admired the pastries and cakes on offer. In the end we got a taxi back to Dalyan and practised our Turkish directions as the driver didn’t speak English.
I was tired when I got home so I reheated a lasagne for dinner and had it with beetroot and some Turkish delight for afters. Tomorrow I needed to get on with sorting out my trip to England but I was starting to wonder if I would go or not. Even in the Vietnamese news there were reports of potential travel bans and I wondered if the UK would be affected:
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/international/20211201/who-warns-against-blanket-travel-bans-over-omicron-coronavirus-variant/64471.html

Dalyan – 18th & 19th November

Dalyan – 18th & 19th November

I had a bad hangover on Thursday 18th November so decided to go back to bed after my breakfast of buttered toast. On my phone was a photo of the growing bougainvillea bush at Fire Opal, taken at 2.22am, I’d obviously come in a bit drunk and decided to take a photo of the growth (as you do)! In my handbag was a rather large can of fly spray which I had put in there for Debbie (Darling) and forgotten to give it her back. Captain Caveman had sent me a photo of Eric the Bee, who was still visiting him at Elements in Phong Nha, he’s a lovely bee. In the Vietnam news there was a report of one positive case at the Hanoi football stadium but a more concerning article caught my eye. Also in Hanoi, some babies had been vaccinated with Pfizer by mistake, here it is:
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20211117/mistakenly-injected-with-covid19-vaccine-18-hanoi-infants-in-good-health-2-weeks-on/64202.html
In Dalyan there were more Facebook posts and photos of the road being ripped up and how much of a mess they were making was getting people’s goat. I thought of going to the Spice Garden for their curry buffet night later, and was going to see if anyone else fancied joining, but it was no longer on and they were now doing a winter menu which was available every day, plus it was available for delivery too. I shelved that idea and started reading Mike Tyson’s autobiography which I’ve been meaning to read for quite some time. For lunch I just had sandwiches, earl grey tea and some Turkish delight. That night I was tempted to order a takeaway but I decided to use the wraps I bought and make some ‘healthier’ pizzas – it turned out really well. I watched Netflix and started on the Winter Tea that I’d bought in Fethiye – it was a really good recommendation from Vanessa.

As expected my weekly weigh-in on Friday 19th November went well, but it wasn’t the miracle I could have done with. I lost 0.5kg which was good to see I hadn’t put anything on and it was probably as a result of staying in more now that my parents had been gone for a week already. Although I missed them, I was definitely making the most of having time to myself again and the first half of my day was pretty healthy; cornflakes for breakfast and a chicken, onion, and red pepper wrap (homemade so no fatty or mystery sauces) for my lunch, but it wouldn’t finish that way. In the news it was announced that from the 1st December in the UK there would be no need for fully vaccinated people to isolate for 10 days if they came in to contact with a Corona positive person, but I wasn’t sure how comfortable I was about that – it did mean I wouldn’t have to isolate in London if it happened to me on the weekend of my arrival, though. I’d advertised a rug on Facebook and I was expecting a woman to come and look at it, she said she would call me after her return from a boat trip, Debbie (Darling) and Sarah had invited me to join them at Sofra bar to try out their new upstairs, winterproof restaurant but, as I was waiting for the rug buyer, I missed out on eating dinner with them. When I got there they were with Sue and they had almost finished their spag bol. I joined their table and had a red wine, the place looked really cosy and nice so Sarah and I decided it would be a great place to ‘work from home’ on a Friday afternoon. By the time that I had got outside with Sarah and Sue, Debbie (Darling) had already left for Lukka bar with Sarah’s dogs. Sue was doing her best to insist on a taxi to go less than a kilometer but I helped carry her bags and got her to walk to Lukka where the music bingo was about to start. We all had a rather random evening, I still had not had dinner so I ordered a BBQ chicken pizza which was amazing and I had leftovers to take home too, the bingo song choices for me were great, but this is the only place I’ve ever been out where I’m considered to be young, some of the older clientele objected to the 90s songs which they didn’t know – not that it matters as Mehmet gives the answer after 30 seconds of playing the song, anyway! Due to some of our contingent being rather too drunk, it was an interesting night ending in Sue accidentally throwing her gin and tonic about. While Debbie (Darling) kindly made sure Sue got a taxi home, I got persuaded to have another glass of wine in Jazz Bar with Sarah. I really don’t like to frequent the Jazz Bar on account of me living nearby and me rarely getting any sleep on a weekend due to their music being so loud – I swear it sounds louder in our apartment than it does when I’m in the actual bar! I managed one glass of wine but then it was time for me to go home to bed, I really struggle to make it past midnight these days and the music had surprisingly finished by midnight!

Fethiye and Dalyan – 9th November

Fethiye and Dalyan – 9th November

I was finally going to get tested for food allergies on Tuesday 9th November. I had arranged for Sonuç to accompany Vanessa and I to get the blood tests at the Esnaf hospital in Fethiye. My parents were also coming along and we intended on making it a bit of a day trip, with it being about 1 hour away. We left mine at 9.30am, with Sonuç and Engin our driver, in the comfort of the 6 seater. I was confident that I had eaten enough of the gluten and dairy, which I thought I was intolerant to, for the test to pick those out – I’d only eaten pizza so that I could put it to the test. I also had a dodgy stomach that morning as well as on arrival at the hospital. Sonuç was great as when we got to the international department area there was a big queue so we went to the locals section and got sorted there. I was surprised to see that the hospital was not only big but very busy for a Tuesday morning and I was slightly nervous. Even on the way there and before, Vanessa and I had been trying to predict what the results would say. I’m a fainter so obviously I was worried I might faint but they don’t mess about in the blood taking room. Vanessa was in less than a minute and went first as they shouted her first, then I went in. I shouldn’t have looked at one of the other ‘customers’ because then I saw the needle in him and nearly couldn’t stand up. Sonuç and Vanessa were great and got me out of a side exit before I could faint and then we had to come back at 5pm for the results. The cost of the blood test was 550 lira (about £40 at the time) and we weren’t sure exactly what foods they were testing for. I was still feeling woozy when we got dropped off in the town centre of Fethiye and so we went straight to a cafe for a Turkish tea for me and Vanessa, coffees for my parents.

We had a bit of impromptu shopping in the Turkish delight and tea shop where we all got a bit of something. Next we had a wander down the umbrella precinct area and found it to be almost empty everywhere so decided to go down by the harbour area for a drink. I didn’t fancy wine so I had a beer and, of course, I had a bad stomach so when we decided on having lunch at nearby Address I chose a safe option. Everyone else had pides which looked fantastic but I stuck to a chicken shish because I knew I still had to travel back again after we got the results. After lunch we had wine at a bar, Mom nipped in to Migros for some provisions and then we all walked back to the harbour to meet Sonuç and Engin for a short trip back to the hospital for the results. Vanessa and I were nervous but looking forward to finding out exactly what foods we would have to give up, we even joked about how bad it might be.

While we were enjoying our day in Fethiye our blood was being tested for food allergies. Below is a list of all the things that they tested us for (in Turkish and English) so you can do what Vanessa and I were doing – guessing which ones would be the likely culprits!

Yumurta akı – egg white
Yumurta sarısı – egg yolk
İnek sütü – cow’s milk
İnek sütü UHT – UHT milk
Kazein – casein (protein in dairy)
Buğday unu – wheat flour
Gluten – gluten
Pirinç – rice
Soya fasulyesi – soya bean
Susam – sesame
Yer fıstığı – peanut
Fındık – hazlenut
Antep fıstığı – pistachio
Ayçekirdegi – sunflower seed
Kabak çekirdeği – pumpkin seed
Kakao – cocoa
Portakal – orange
Çilek – strawberry
Elma – apple
Muz – banana
Kivi – kiwi
Dut – mulberry
İncir – fig
Domates – tomatoes
Havuç – carrot
Patates – potatoes
Soğan – onion
Şeftali – peach
Kiraz – cherries
Zeytin – olive
Yeşil fasülye – green beans
Balık karışımı – fish (mixed)
Deniz kabukluları – shellfish
Et karışımı – meat (mixed)
Tavuk eti – chicken

I thought it would be eggs, dairy, wheat, gluten and perhaps onion, tomatoes or banana that I was intolerant or allergic to. Captain Caveman thought I was allergic to gluten, dairy/lactose, sulphites, eggs and possibly banana. Vanessa knew there were certain fruits and vegetables that set her off, in addition to custard.


While we were still in Fethiye I got a call to tell me that my residency card was in Dalyan, so that was quicker than expected – I was happy with that as the official timeframe was 8 weeks, the Muğla immigration officer said 4 weeks and it had been 2 weeks and 3 days.
When we arrived back at the Esnaf hospital in Fethiye to collect the results of our food allergy tests it was about 5pm but when Sonuç went in, there was a delay of 10 minutes. Vanessa and I were really nervous but I knew whatever it was that my body was intolerant to, I would have to give it/them up. I was ready to do that (as long as it wasn’t all alcohol) because I was fed up of never knowing when I was going to be ill and I liked going on day trips to places other than a tour of the lavatories. Ever the joker, when Sonuç came out with our results he pretended to give us news that we were allergic to everything on the list, plus a few more besides! But the real results were shocking; as we sat in the back of the taxi, Vanessa’s were revealed first – she was not allergic or intolerant to any of the foods tested! We were taken aback but could understand that due to Vanessa’s recent health issues that perhaps her stomach problems were caused because of her surgery so it could be possible. She also knew she was allergic to apple and had not eaten one for more than 6 weeks so, again, would account for why apple was rated a ‘0’ on the ‘0-5’ scale. I was next and thought I’d at least get a ‘1’ or ‘2’ rating on some things, however we were all flabbergasted to find I had ‘0’ for every single thing on the list, the same as Vanessa. I was so relieved to find I have no food allergies but, of course, this didn’t detract from the fact that there is something wrong with me – or was I just imagining it!?
The ride back to Dalyan was easy going and when we got back to mine Vanessa went home but my parents and I decided to ‘celebrate’ in Lukka bar. I had a red wine, they had beers, Mom was too full to eat but Dad and I decided to order food. As I have no allergies to food, I ordered something I have not had in years; Mac & Cheese, Dad chose a garlic pizza bread. My food didn’t look like a classic Mac & Cheese but it tasted very good, after half of it I was stuffed and so took leftovers home and put it in the freezer.
I was very pleased to say I had no immediate or short term reaction to the food I’d eaten and so I went to bed thinking I could probably eat whatever I wanted from now on. That would be amazing!!! I messaged Captain Caveman to let him know as he’d not asked how I was getting on (he rarely thinks to ask me) but I got no reply, despite not hearing from him since Sunday. I also messaged my sister, who is Coeliac, she didn’t want to worry me but reminded me that it took her years to get an accurate diagnosis. I had been tested a few years ago and wasn’t Coeliac and I could at least rule that out. So, tomorrow I would be back to the drawing board – writing down every food and every reaction to find out what could be wrong.