Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Language or Culture?

I am a Turkish National with a Vulcan nick name from Star Trek because I do feel like an alien in this world sometimes...

I started learning English when I was 11 at a private school, attending a prep class with 28 hours of English per week and then I moved on to secondary school and high school as they used to call them and I had 12 hour English Language Classes along with Physics, Math, Biology and Chemistry in English. Then I attended Middle East Technical University where the entire education was in English.

I spent a little over three years in the US, back in the early 90's in NY and, that brushed up my language abilities as well. A lot of people Turkish and foreign, say that I do sound like an American although, I personally do not think so. May be a little.

Anyway, I have some blogger friends that I follow regularly and whenever I want to post a comment about certain situations I have a tough time wording my thoughts. I used to think that was a language issue but now I am inclined to think it is more of a culture issue.

Let me explain myself with an example: Someone posts pictures of an adorable baby and I want to say something like "May God give her a long and prosperous life"or "I hope her fortune will be good/nice/clear/happy" or "I wish she never crosses paths with bad people/bad influence" but these are really not things that the English speaking world use. It is mostly in my culture to say things like these.

I feel stupid because I cannot express myself in these situations well enough. Strange...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Just got a new tenant!

The real estate agent called me today to tell me that a couple(both working) decided to rent my apartment. I had to discount the rent a little bit but the important thing is that they pay regularly and on time. Tomorrow I get paid my first rent. Nice!

I am sooooo glad. The whole rent money is going to my retirement account from now on and since the payments on this rental apartment will be gone come next month, I feel very relieved.

A cookie and a cup of tea to celebrate!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Cheap and effective oven cleaner...

I had been ignoring my oven for a very loooong time. Such a loooong time that I am ashamed to tell how long.

Anyway, I decided to look online for an effective cleaning product that would take years of yuck out. It looks like there are pretty good and very chemical alternatives out there. I was searching for a safer and environmentally better alternative and  I found this on YouTube Video. Although there is dish washing detergent (which I have by the ton) in it, I think this is a more environmentally sound alternative. I even took the oven door out just like she shows. Yay me! Thanks to the lady who posted this.

During the last few months, whenever I put something in the oven a bad fume was coming out and I was thinking of getting a new oven. I checked the prices and they are nowhere near my budget. Besides, I am thinking of renovating my kitchen in a few years.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Next time I am using my brain

I have mentioned that I like deals and that I hoard TP but moving the detergent around and grouping them showed me that I was probably scoring "dealls" without thinking or planning. Thus, without the use of my gray matter.

Here is what I have:

Fabric softener: Got enough to last at least 18 months. I do not use it for every load.
Dish washing Liquid: Got enough to last at least 2 years!? What was I thinking?
Liquid Detergent for colors, All Purpose Cleaner, Dish washing tablets, Shower Gel: Got enough to last at least 1 full year if not more.

Detergent shopping freeze is in effect until further notice! And THIS IS AN ORDER T'POL!

Friday, April 11, 2014

One place for everything

Before my business trip, as I was looking for something at home, I have realized that I have too much detergent of certain kinds. I probably have more than a year's worth of stain remover. Same thing goes for color safe detergent. The problem is that I store these things in three different places and whenever I score a real deal, I buy this stuff without checking my inventory.

I am thinking of moving all laundry detergent to the balcony and the dish washing detergents and other cleaners  under the sink. Gotta go and do that right away...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Heading Home

After an intensive 3-day work week, I am headed home tonight. I need lots of rest. I also know that there are quite a few house chores to take care of. Sigh...

I still can't fly and these trips are tiring me down and jeopardizing my sleep patterns. I am not complaining though because I need the money.

In May, I am having a 5-day vacation with Mom, Sis and BIL all paid way back in January. Breakfasts are included bu,t the lunches and dinners have to be out of pocket along with gas money. I have already budgeted for these and set aside the required money.

I am also going to my 30th High School re-union in May in Antalya. It is a very expensive two-day trip but, it is an important celebration and I have fond memories of High School. The cost is already budgeted as well.

I rarely splurge large amounts on a whim. I carefully plan my vacations, take advantage of early reservation promotions and opt for reasonable accommodations.

I do not have much planned for the summer because summer is the best time in Istanbul. Many people go on vacations and the city becomes somewhat more livable. I may take mom to Chios for a few days. I enjoyed the island very much last year and would like to spend more time to explore it further.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Once debt is gone...

My rental property debt will be gone come May 5th. I will be literally debt free but that does not mean that money is not going to be tight this year. Unfortunately my part-time work will be decreasing as I am told. There has not been a new proposal given to a prospective customer since the beginning of the year. All we have are the current customers and that may not be enough. So, I have tweaked my budget carefully and things do not look terrible, however, I will be extra careful and try to sock away the same amount of money each month as if I will still be paying the debt on the rental property.

I still do not have a new tenant. Once a new tenant moves in, I will be diverting that income to my retirement income.

I am looking at different types of saving accounts offered by my bank. I think, I will set up a 5 year saving account in USDs. I must set it up with a minimum of USD 500 and I must add a minimum of USD 50 per month. The interest rate is 2.60. I do have a USD savings account but this one will force me to put aside some money every month as if I am paying down debt. The question is how much money should I put in that account every month.

I will put the remaining amount that I will be saving in a savings account for easy access in case of an emergency or in case I need to supplement a given month's income.

I am also contemplating to look around for a new job. May be I should network a little bit to see what may be out there. In another post I will discuss my current arrangement and how it is tying me down in some respects so, that may be you guys can suggest a different approach.