The Lift Is Finally Fixed!

Since I arrived back to my 6th (top) storey flat in June 2003 the lift has not worked. For 9 months I climbed and descended the 100 or so stairs 2 or 3 times a day. My health is very thankful for this!

After work yesterday I entered the building and saw the lift was operational. Workers had spent the previous week installing a new motor. To finance this, all 18 apartment owners paid 50 million per month for the previous 4 months. Once the last payment was completed, the lift was fixed.

The top 9 signs it is Spring in Mersin

I will wrap up the election tomorrow. In the meantime Joe ‘Letterman‘ Taheny will detail the top 9 signs spring has started in the Mersin region:

9) Sunday’s maximum temperature was in the high 20’s.

8) The wattle (an Australian tree) is beginning to bloom.

7) The Kurds celebrated ‘Newroz’ (their new year) on 21 March.

6) For the past week the sparrows opposite my apartment have chirped loudly.

5) At 2 am Sunday morning clocks in Turkey were wound forward 1 hour for daylight saving.

4) Unripe (green) almonds, strawberries and semiz otu (a green salad vegetable) are appearing in the weekly fruit and vegetable bazaars.

3) I have stopped wearing my winter pyjamas.

2) ‘Hello Spring’ is written in English on the window of the Collezione fashion store.

Cue: Drum-roll

And the number 1 reason spring has started:

1) On Sunday in Adana I saw a Turkish man wearing shorts!

Cue: canned applause

Today is the last day before the election

Last (Friday) night at midnight all election campaigning was supposed to stop. However, today several cars and buses from different parties were driving around with their loudspeakers blairing. I wonder if the police have turned a blind eye?

By the way, tomorrow (Sunday) morning at 2 am, clocks in Turkey will be wound forward 1 hour for the start of daylight saving. This move, combined with the end of daylight saving in South Australia (and some other parts of Australia) will reduce the time difference between Mersin and Adelaide from 8.5 to 6.5 hours.

Random Photo of the Moment

This photo was shot Tuesday morning before work whilst wandering the streets of Mersin. I was shooting election photos (I borrowed my boss’s digital camera) for my upcoming special on the Australians Abroad blog when I came across the following scene on a side street.

The stray cats are probably waiting for breakfast to be tossed down from one of the upper level apartments. There are many stray cats in Turkey. Just this morning, two cats were about to enter through the work office front door before they were scared away.

Before you ask…

…no, I don’t know this human trafficker or any of his customers. Although flights from Turkey to Australia are expensive and uncomfortable, I am certain they are much cheaper and easier than via the back of trucks and leaky boats. That some people are willing to try anything to get from Turkey to Australia reflects the poverty apparent in most areas of Turkey, particularly the east.