Moving houses isn’t easy at the best of times. Moving houses in a foreign country… Interesting to say the least! As I wrote before, Mike and I decided to forgo our rent-free apartment in the city in favor of a house up in the hills above Kayseri. The house is technically too big for the two of us, but it’s the only one we`ve been able to find and the rent isn’t much more expensive than an apartment. It also comes with a large fruit garden which looks absolutely gorgeous in the spring when it’s in the full bloom.
The view from the roof. But before I start spamming you with photos of our magnificent garden, let me tell you about the long and laborious process that moving in was. Our rent technically started in April, but we were waiting on the gas company to connect our house to gas, which we needed for heating and hot water. And seeing as how the house is sort of up in the mountains, it gets much cooler there than in the city. A blessing in the summer, where all those tiled floors keep the house cool, not so great when it’s colder outside. Anyway, predictably, the gas installation took forever, which wasn’t a terrible thing because we needed time to buy furniture and other necessities. We bought a number of furniture items from Michael’s co-worker. Her uncle agreed to spare a man with a truck from his business to deliver the said furniture and pick up a few things from our apartment as well. Unfortunately, the moving date wasn’t quite as much fun as I pictured it. When I was asking friends to help us move, I envisioned us effortlessly picking up various household items while engaged in casual banter, followed by pizza and beer in the garden. Instead, there were a few miserable hours waiting for the man with the truck under a drizzling rain, eating soggy cookies and drinking tea from a thermos. Let me just say, you haven’t moved houses until you pulled a washing machine on a dolly down a cobble stone street in a poring rain, or tried to move the said washing machine down into the basement without anyone getting squashed in the process, or removed plastic covers from the white sofas you foolishly agreed to buy and found dozens of dirty hand prints and smudges dotted around it. I was so grateful to the friends who helped us and felt so bad about the terrible weather conditions they had to work under. Then there was the weekend when we hired a cleaner to help us and it turned into a bit of disaster when the cleaner smoked upstairs while cleaning and them tried to steal my bag when she was leaving.
But in the first week of May we finally moved in and I sat about unpacking and arranging things while Mike set about gardening. His gardening efforts didn’t go unnoticed. An elderly Turkish neighbour from a house next to ours promptly arrived to the fence separating our gardens, and, after a short interrogation, started telling Mike all the things he was doing wrong. From the safety of the second-floor window I watched as they made a face at Mike’s brand-new shovel, and brought him their own to use. When I asked him if he wanted to help me unpack, he said that he couldn’t because he had to weed the strawberry patch or ‘that old lady will yell at me again”. The same neighbors will make another appearance in this blog, so watch this space. Also, the neighbor from the house across the street told us to prune our mulberry tree, and not satisfied with our nods of understanding, made us follow him into his garden to show us hot to trim the brunches.
The neighbors dispense gardening advice.
My gardening work was limited to napping under the apple tree in my puff chairs. While the fruit trees were blooming, the garden was a symphony of flowery smells and bees buzzing. After the fruit trees came the lilacs, and after that, the roses. I have never ever a garden with fruit trees, so I still can’t believe the sight of fuzzy peaches slowly turning pink and growing fatter, or the plums, or apricots, or cherries.
Our quiet cobble-stone street
The view of our little village
Having never lived in a house or in the country side, I am fully enjoying the lifestyle that comes with it. I run every morning (or speed-walk with short burst of running) while Mike rides his bike. We grill fish. We have people over for casual BBQs or big parties.
Breakfast in the garden with my girls.
Our big housewarming party
It’s almost perfect. Except for when it’s not. Like the upstairs bathroom ceiling that kept leaking and leaking and is now moldy and keeps dropping flakes of old paint onto our heads. Or continuous water problems – from a a leaky roof to leaking taps.
But when things like these happen I literally remind myself to wake up and smell the roses. And not to complain about first world problems, like having to run up and down the stairs to do the laundry or any sort of cleaning.