I’d successfully survived 5 months of being in Turkey without Captain Caveman and my first month of working online. Tuesday 1st March started with the realisation that my internet was off. It needed renewing on the 28th February but I’d overlooked this so I trotted off to the Captain Net office to sort it out. I walked through the roadworks and noticed there was progress but it was still moving slowly. The lady at Captain Net saw I had some English money in my purse and asked if she could buy a £20 and a £10 from me for ‘her piggy bank’ and I agreed. The rate was 18.5 lira to the pound now and looking likely to go up again. Back home, with the internet back on, I read an amusing article on Facebook from Vietnam about having sex during Corona.
I hadn’t eaten breakfast so I had beans on toast for lunch while pondering my choices for dinner. That’s when I got the bad news; today was actually Pancake Day! I was confused, I had no idea why I had thought it was last week but felt pp certain I had read it somewhere. Never one to pass by an opportunity to eat pancakes, I whisked up a mixture and popped it in the fridge. I decided beef stew would go with it for dinner but I just had the one then decided to join friends for a cheeky vino.
I met Mark, Kate, Andy and Kaye at Lukka bar for a drink and Kate had brought me some Thai curry paste from her trip back to England. She worked out it would be easy enough to make here and set about sourcing some of the ingredients, such as lemongrass, from an App called Trendyol which a lot of people use over here. Kate, Kaye and I chatted while Mark and Andy played pool. The consensus with everyone, but Mark, was that it wouldn’t be a late one however, as can often be the case, that didn’t quite pan out. Kaye and Kate decided they were going home, I’d ordered a 2nd glass of wine, the blokes were playing pool and arm wrestling with Appo, the waiter. Mark insisted on Kate staying for another drink as he didn’t want to go home yet. I could see he was being daft so I offered to drink some of the bottle of wine he’d just ordered so they could leave sooner – I’m kind like that! It didn’t work and everyone went home, leaving Mark playing pool with the staff. It was after midnight when I failed to force-feed pancakes to my impromptu house guest, despite my best efforts to help sober him up.
On Wednesday 2nd March I woke up late and got ready for my Turkish class. I met Kate at Lukka, she had brought her blanket to crochet while I had my lesson then I stayed and had lunch while she had her lesson. I tried the chicken and mushroom penne and it was a really tasty and healthy sized portion. I chatted with Katrina and Abi who were having sweet and sour chicken, another dish I needed to try. When Kate finished her class she was heading up to Rehab bar and asked me to join her. The cleaner was at mine so I agreed, despite the heavy rain, the new road was starting to flood and by the time we got there we were soaking wet. I had a Turkish cider while we took off our layers and arranged wet belongings in front of the heater. The blokes were playing pool, as they do on a Saturday afternoon, and there was some banter going on. One bloke was in trouble with his wife because he’d bought cucumbers instead of courgettes and had to traipse back out in the pouring rain to get the right vegetables.
My Sheffield friends, Vanessa and Matt, had flown from England to Antalya and were currently on a coach to Ortaca. We were all looking forward to them being back in Dalyan about 5.30pm so, after pool, we hung about in Rehab bar for them to arrive. When they arrived we all had hugs (get the LFTs at the ready) and it was great to see them. More drinks followed but I still limited it to just the 3 ciders as I didn’t want to go mad. Unfortunately, we experienced a new first in Dalyan and had a bad meal. We ordered a takeaway, to eat in Rehab bar, which was pretty terrible but we were all hungry. Vanessa ordered a pide which looked like burnt cheese on toast, Matt and Mark ate their’s without complaint, Kate and I had a chicken burger each and shared chips – the chicken burgers were grey inside. We still ate it all though, but made a note not to have another takeaway from the burger place next door to Rodrigo’s bar. It was definitely the worst meal I’ve had since I’ve been here. I walked home with Vanessa and Matt and was home by 9pm to a newly cleaned apartment and an early night.
I had cornflakes for breakfast on Thursday 3rd March then did a bit of work before going to meet Ann at Porta Dalya. As I was leaving the house, Penny called but I didn’t answer it because I didn’t want to be late.
When I arrived, Ann had already got a coffee and I ordered a diet coke. When our lunch arrived Ann had underestimated the spicy arrabbiata sauce on her pasta and had to get some yoghurt. I stuck with the chicken and mushroom Alfredo which is always a winner. We had 1 glass of wine each and then we were sensible and went home.
I called Penny back and she was at Lukka bar, my loaned bicycle was ready to pick up, so I went to meet her. When I arrived there was quite a crowd sat drinking in the sun. I ordered a cider but then my phone rang, it was Captain Caveman so I went back to the apartment so we could chat. He had an invitation for me! Vietnam had been promising to open to international arrivals and the date was set for 15th March. He wanted to know if I wanted to come to visit sometime in May or June for a few weeks and, of course, I said yes! His colleague has a wife who was keen to visit too, so Captain Caveman put us in touch to discuss travelling out there together. He sent me his schedule up to July and he’d got some tours back-to-back to accommodate gaps in which I would be able to visit. I went back to the bar feeling delighted that I would be getting to see my other half within the next 3 months. I drank my cider with a big smile on my face, then Penny drove me to her villa to pick up the bicycle. I cycled it back to Lukka not knowing it had gears so found it was like peddling through treacle. It certainly warmed me up and I was once again, mobile! Having got a bit of a sweat on from cycling, I ordered another cider, not realising I had missed an upsetting incident. Debbie (Darling)’s street dogs, Socks and Brin, had gone on a cat chase with a terrible result, Socks was in the dog house and tied up at the bar, Debbie was upset. Sheila arrived next and we got chatting about music and her accordian playing. She is part of a singing group in Dalyan, which Kate and I got invited to and we agreed to give it a try next week. I didn’t stay much longer and went home for a good home cooked dinner of stew, Yorkshire pudding and broccoli.
Before bed, I checked the cost of flights to Vietnam, there were no direct ones as yet but the ones via Singapore Airlines were £581 return. I was so excited to perhaps be able to plan to see Captain Caveman, that it took me a long time to get to sleep!