Other Fun Things

Observations On Life Between Husband And Wife

Photographs by Mike Vickers

Feature photo above: We came across this in Selcuk. Was it a crime scene? We didn’t hang around to find out!

The title says it all – here’s a collection of off-hand remarks, one-liners and snatches of conversation between Jan and I in the course of our lives together here in Turkey. I particularly remember these because they made us laugh at the time. I hope they bring a smile to you, too. To finish off the article, I’ve browsed through my photo library once again and picked out a few orphan images that have been struggling to find a home elsewhere.

I’ll be adding to these snippets as and when fresh material becomes available – which I can assure you, it will, so sit back and enjoy. If any of you are married, I have no doubt you’ve had many such conversations yourselves…


‘D’you know, one of the very best things about Turkey is that it’s full of Turks!’

‘Surely that’s not a goat riding a moped?’
‘It is, and I’d appreciate it if you’d stop calling me Shirley.’

‘Parking in Turkey is exactly the same as parking in England. Except it isn’t. There’s no element of deliberate vehicle abandonment in England.’

‘You are, of course, fully entitled to your own entirely wrong opinion!’

‘Not all people are stupid. Some are really stupid to bring down the average!’

‘What the hell’s going on?’ We hear this one a lot. And I mean, a lot!

‘I’m going to have a T-shirt printed: I don’t want a jeep safari. I don’t want a kebap. I don’t want to buy a villa!’

‘Turkish drivers are genetically incapable of two things. Parking their cars parallel to the pavement and parking their cars close to the pavement.’
‘What about the cars actually sprawled all over the pavement?’
‘Um, oh yeah. Forgot about those.’

‘I’ve long given up trying to understand what’s going on!’

‘God, that’s a fantastic view. Skegness is really going to have to up its game!’

On turning up at an empty restaurant, at which point our arrival then begins to attract other customers.
‘It’s a common trait. People don’t like turning up at an empty place,’ observed Jan.
‘Except burglars!’

‘In my experience, essentially, regarding its position on the road, in Turkey there is absolutely no discernible difference between a car that’s waiting at the lights, that’s parked or that’s abandoned.’

While driving alongside the shoreline of gorgeous Lake Bafa.
‘And the award for best lake goes to Lake BAFTA.’

‘Husband, I need to train you how to behave around shoe shops.’

On finding Jan lying on the cloakroom floor and wrapped around the loo after a spontaneous lunchtime drinking session got slightly out of hand.
‘Need a pillow, love?’

‘You can increase your chances of getting a shag by 100% if you go bisexual!’

While pausing to admire a particularly attractive black mummy goat sporting a very nice bead tiara.
‘Hello, darling.’
‘You need to get out more!’

‘Husband, you’re looking remarkably tanned.’
‘Thank you. It’s what you get from lots of low level exposure. Like at Chernobyl!’

‘Come on, when was the last time you actually saw seven people riding on a scooter?’
‘Yesterday.’

‘I genuinely can’t tell whether that car’s been parked or abandoned.’
‘Are you talking about that one over there on its roof?’
‘Yes.’
‘Hmm, tricky. Could still be parked.’

On experiencing a bed that’s suddenly started shaking from side to side.
‘That you?’
‘Nope.’
‘Must be an earthquake, then.’

‘I used to go out with a guy called Terry Kettle.’
‘Good job he wasn’t called Terry Towel. You could have cleaned up with him.’

‘Friends are like underpants – choose the right ones and they’re not only comfortable but also last a long time.’

‘Jan, darling, I don’t know what the hell you’ve been doing, but I found a spoon in the bed this morning.’




I couldn’t figure out if this man was cleaning the cash machine or cleaning it out of money! He was rummaging inside with a hand-held Hoover, so was he vacuuming up the dead spiders or the cash?
Could my dream of one day owning my own personal pair of Johnny Rocket Pants be edging a step closer? These hand-held jets certainly looked punchy enough to get most people airborne, however, I did see these in a decorating shop so may be jumping to entirely the wrong conclusion. Pity.
‘Oi! Who’re you looking at?’
Towers of nuts and dried fruit at Çaliş market. The guy who invented Jenga used to holiday here…
Young cacti being brought on at Köyceğiz Palmiye. There’s a whole greenhouse full of adolescent Daleks next door. ‘Germinate! Germinate!’
Unusual double bellows at an antique emporium in Ortaca. Is it me or can anyone else see an owl?
Ah, yes, the Starry Clover, or trifolium stellatum, for those of you who still prefer to converse in Latin. This plant has an interesting history. One hitched a ride to England in 1804 buried in some ship’s ballast and set up home on the beach at Shoreham, the only place where it can be found. It’s literally one of the rarest plants in the UK – but obviously not so in Turkey, nor quite a few of the other countries bordering the Med. There were loads of these flowering in a forest glade near to Inlice Beach. A truly lovely spot.
Recently crowned European Champions, the little-known Synchronized Acrobatic Gourd Team of Saklikent, now sponsored by Viagra.
‘There’s a cat sitting in my hat!’
‘I sincerely hope that’s “sitting” without the “h”.’
That, my friends, is a chicken!
At first glance, I thought this was just a pair of matching mooring buoys, then, on closer inspection, realized a corpulent lady passenger had fallen overboard and managed to get her arse wedged sideways between these two boats. Not exactly a dignified look…
Here’s the car park pay booth at Kaş bus station. If your employers won’t provide air conditioning, just grow a great big green hat to help you keep cool in summer. I love it!
This is a strange one. We stopped in the forest to pick up cones for kindling and I noticed one of the pines had this tiny book wedged in its bark. The text was Arabic, so I think it was a Koran. Think about it – of all the trees in all the forests across the all the countryside, we pulled in here and the first thing I saw was this Koran…
Here’s a great photo from our friend Adam. We’d spent the morning visiting his new apartment and on leaving, walked down this very road. We couldn’t fail to notice that some pretty extensive roadworks were very obviously in full swing. When I say ‘very obviously’ I mean no road surface, several giant yellow excavators digging trenches, loads of chunky trucks delivering hardcore, great piles of dumped sand, new pipes for laying, workmen in orange hard hats standing around smoking, numerous road closed signs and great cobwebs of red and white zig-zag warning tape draped across just about everything in sight. This road was most definitely closed! But there’s a problem. Turks will not accept that a road is closed. They just won’t. The attitude appears to be, ‘I drove down here yesterday so I’m gonna drive down here today as well,’ and as we walked by, several cars actually tried to get through and all had to turn around. A little later, Adam strolled down the exact same stretch of road and saw this upended Volvo. He’d apparently only just missed witnessing this spectacularly doomed attempt to traverse the trench because driver was still struggling to get out of the car. Good job the police were there to give him a helping hand – and a ticket! One wonders what his wife said. We’re confident it was a man, by the way, because no woman driver on the planet is this stupid!