Things I wish I’d brought, and things I’m glad I brought

Every expat in Turkey can fill an entire evening with the things they miss from home, normally food related, and will wax lyrical about bacon sarnies and PG tips teabags and crumpets and sausages and gammon steaks. I don’t tend to miss the food so much as I’ve learnt to cook most things and regular trips to pork friendly islands in the Aegean keep my freezer as fall as necessary with bits of animal that once went oink.

I do miss certain things though and here are a few

Things I wish I’d brought to Turkey :-

My range cooker, with my wok burner and my double oven and my halogen sauce warmer! Okay it’s an impossible wish but Turkish cookers just don’t have the guts I need, the burners burn butane which isn’t as hot as propane and the ovens are slow and clunky and whilst I know mine well enough to get a good result it still feels antique compared to my beautiful range cooker at home.

My dyson – because they cost an arm and a leg here and normal vacuum cleaners suck in a weak and pathetic way and the filters get clogged every day and given the dust we have here it would have been worth it.

Saucepans – Turkish saucepans are vile and the handles fall off and they cost a fortune. I miss my copper bottomed saucepans, they were brilliant and I’d had them for twenty years and they were still going strong and it grieved me to pack them up and put them in the attic.

A Kindle – although they weren’t invented when I came here and whilst I download books and read them on my computer I don’t like bringing my laptop to bed and wish I had a kindle although it would probably bankrupt me. English books are few and far between here and whilst I can get them shipped from Ebay relatively cheaply (£3.89 including shipping for Always Unreliable, the first three volumes of Clive James’ autobiography) it means I have to wait and when I want to read an old favourite I want it now (two weeks and counting until I get my hands on Clive!).

Easter egg moulds – it’s just because it’s Easter, I want Easter eggs and I can’t get them here and you can’t get the moulds and I don’t feel like engineering something. Maybe I’ll nip over to Samos next week and see if they have any there.

And here are some of the things I’m glad I brought:-

My bedding – high thread count Ralph Lauren and Laura Ashley bedding, wears amazingly well, washes like a dream, irons easily, isn’t in a colour so bright it’s going nuclear and on hot summer nights is cool and smooth and lovely. If it was desert island time I’d be hauling along my duvet!

My snorkel set and my wetsuit boots – snorkel sets here are either really expensive or fall apart in seconds so I’m glad I brought my dive masks and my fins and I’m a happy water baby for days at the Millipark snorkelling for old stuff (and the odd mobile phone). I’m glad I brought my wetsuit boots because they stop me doing the windmill wobble dance trying to get into the water on a rocky beach and I don’t have to spend a week squeezing sea urchin spines out of my feet.

My showers – they are German and easy to clean and look nice and feel nice and have hand attachments and a rainburst head and even if you could have got them here when I was building the house the cost would have been outrageous and the quality poor. Once a year I strip them down and soak them in poz coz to get rid of the limescale and they look as good as new again. They were worth the effort of packing them up and hauling them to Heathrow and the full on flirting with BA check in staff it took to get them on board the flight.

A UK extension lead – I have a four way UK extension lead that is constantly in use. Apart from using it myself when people visit and don’t have an adapter it will handle hairdryers and laptops and phone chargers without the need to rootle around plugging and unplugging things. It is ridiculously useful!