Loads of folks, and you might be one of them, adore Turkey and return there time and again, but we, on holiday, childless for the first time and out of our European comfort zone, couldn’t adjust.
First off, there’s the issue of not putting the paper down the loo. Don’t they realise that, since you were trained around the age of two that, try as you might, it’s impossible NOT TO? Even if you’re only ten now, you’ve already had eight years’ experience. Try it. Next time you nip for a wee, try to stop your hand automatically transporting your tissue to the toilet. If nothing else, you might remember this and smile.
Anyway, midway through the fortnight, during a heatwave over and above the normally scorching 30 degrees, we were feeling fairly miserable for a myriad of reasons not the least of which because we’d got the trots. Looking back at photos, we’re easily spotted as the ones with skinny chicken legs, fat distended bellies and smiles not reaching our eyes. Not the best look. We’d spent too many days, clenching panic-stricken, bather bottoms at the ready, barging off the beach and dragging anyone who dared to hold up the loo out by the hair.
Anyway, on this particular day, we’d taken a coach trip during which there was a leather store detour which we’d swerved (come on Turks, it’s 37 degrees outside – leather?) preferring instead to stay on the bus. Did our driver have an inkling of events to come when he nonchalantly wapped the coach door firmly shut and nipped off for a swift hashish? Who knows.
There are fifty currently recognized endemic species of mosquito in Turkey and, while we steeped unhappily inside with the relentless sun glaring a ferocious furnace through the window, a good number of them - mozzies the size of kebabs - visited my legs again and again taking bite after bite in a pitiless bloodfest that I couldn’t escape.
Back in the un-airconned room that night, we sweltered our sweaty way through the night as the results of the evil attack set in and I set off walking in ever faster circles in an attempt to outrun the itching, bitching, burning of the enraged molehills, longing for relief. Near to tears and desperate, I foraged my brain for home-made remedies finally remembering a scene from Friends.
And so, standing in the bath around 3am, after begging for help from my husband, far from the gift of a cool stream of relief that I’d insanely imagined flowing over my wounds, I discovered, to my horror, that his wee is warm.
P.S. Just in case you think that’s a handy stand by, I seem to remember now that that’s a salve for jellyfish stings not mozzies.