Turkey with Stuff in / A Scumptious Tale of Adventure and Just Deserts by Kim Ciftci
Waking up in hospital, covered in drips and drains, Kym realises that life really is too short. Turning down a great opportunity and saying goodbye to the rat race, she ups sticks with her 18 year old son and throws herself headfirst into pastures new without the slightest bit of research and breaks all the rules by doing the don’ts and ignoring the do’s. When she finds herself freezing, without electricity and the sole inhabitant of a Turkish complex, she wonders if it has all been a very big mistake? Her search for company leads to a fall and in the darkness of night she is taken to a witch doctor whose methods are rather unusual. Surviving that, she finds a job with an ageing lothario and his dancing caterpillar and ends up miles from home and fearful for her sanity. Summer returns breathing life back into the town and she meets a man who may just be her reason to stay. Introduced to his large family and their culture, she wades deeper into his Kurdish village life of subservient females, raw food & sacrifices and much to her surprise feels a sense of belonging. Can she find a balance between this and her expat life or has she really bitten off more than she can chew this time?
Anyone who reads my writing blog knows how much I love Turkey so when I was asked to review this book about a British woman leaving her life here and going to live in Turkey I jumped at the chance.
I was truly shocked at the treatment Kim received at the hands of our NHS and private medicine too. She was in pain for years before they even agreed that something was wrong and an operation was needed. Kim was so happy that something was being done but mistakes were made during the operation causing her even more pain which was not believed by the nursing staff. Eventually after much pleading by Kym this was looked into and the discovery made that her bladder had been nicked and she was bleeding internally. No apology was ever given for the blunder but this was the catalyst that made her want to change her life.
Kim wanted a whitewashed cottage on a beach somewhere hot and looking online she found it in Turkey.
A holiday to see the cottage with her teenage son sealed the deal,she loved it and so moved lock,stock and barrel to Turkey.
The whitewashed cottage was great during the summer months but not practical for winter so Kim moved to Altinkum with more facilities and people around her.
I really enjoyed this memoir. I did think Kim was a bit mad (and I told her) when she went travelling to different towns with her new boss, staying in dingy apartments and wondering if she would get out alive. I found myself shouting at her to get out,instead she kept her clothes on at night and didn't leave the room to go to the loo she was so scared.
Kim eventually finds true love with a Kurdish man, Murat and goes to meet his family who live in a remote village.
I thought she was so brave fitting in so well and trying not to show how she felt about all the strange customs including sleeping on the floor,women in one room, men in another. Witch Doctors, weddings with guns,unusual food and a whole new language well actually two,Turkish and Kurdish. Murat's close family and extended family were so welcoming to a British women and the love they all had for each other just shone.
There are many parts of this book where I found the writing to be just beautiful,Kim has a lovely way with words. The Epilogue had me in tears.
Here is a paragraph for the first chapter.
"On the other side of the world, the sun is rising to shine on someone else's home,someone else's dream,someone else's new beginning.
"How did I get here?" Well I'd like to think destiny had a hand in that.
Before here I was your typical suburban resident; three bed semi, decent car, good job, all the things that make up the rat race and then, I had a life changing experience....waking up covered in drips and drains can do that to a girl."
Kim has a lovely blog and I'm directing you to a post which she has written a very poignant story.
"Two Little Boys" Turkey With Stuff In.
Kim's book is for sale at Amazon.co.uk