Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Big, big, big vacation plans!

I haven't been to the US for the last five years. I have been looking forward to a visit for a loooong time. It is an expensive vacation so, I was saving diligently for this goal and now that I have enough to cover this vacation, I communicated with my American friends as to when they will be available and....drumroll please!.... bought my tickets!

I intend to spend a lot of time with my friends this time. I had mom with me last time and my sister and her husband before that so, I could not get to spend as much time as I wished with my friends.

I have met them through work back in early 1990 and during the three years I spent in NY, we became real close friends. Despite the physical distance between us, we kept in touch and I visited them every two-three years. It is more difficult for them to come visit me due to some health issues.

I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed so that I can have a nice vacation. I will be in the NY area and then I will drive down to SC.

I had been dreaming of a long road trip in the US. This will not be it but, hopefully for my 50th birthday, I will give myself the gift of a long road trip from Niagara Falls all the way down to Key West. That will be the next vacation that I will save up for.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Owning more than one needs and sharing...

There is a war going on in the neighboring countries so, thousands of people from Syria and Iraq are fleeing to Turkey. A friend of mine got involved with fleeing Iraqi Turkmens and he started a campaign through Facebook.
Family after family leave their homes, come to various cities and try to live here. They need everything. I try donating food items through an organization but, I also decided to share the stuff I own but, do not truly need.

So, mom and I sorted through my belongings and came up with the following to donate:

Two 100% Wool blankets (I have a centrally heated home and I never need these)
Two twin size sheets and matching pillow cases
One comforter
A curtain
Some old hand towels and some new hand towels I just bought at a very good price (40 towels in total)
Three pillows
Some fabrics for their sewing atelier

I can get very inexpensive fabrics so, I will buy some more to add to the sewing atelier stash. I am also planning to buy toys when I go to Ankara for the kids. I will buy some soap as well. My sister gave me a shoe and closet organizer with fabric covers. They are already in my trunk.

I will have to look in the kitchen and decide what I can give away. I probably have more glasses and dishes than I need. I also decided to give away all the cutlery I currently use. I have a whole set I use only for "company". This is stupid. I never entertain anyone at home. Besides, I think I should use my best stuff for myself. Why wait for company? I do not have kids so, after I die most of my stuff will be given away so what's the point in using old things and keeping nicer stuff in drawers and cupboards?

Now that I will get paid a good salary, I can donate more food on a regular basis.

I also donated some books last weekend to a local library. I will donate some more. As I do this, I will get rid of stuff that no longer work. A printer, old electronics, cables that have no use anymore. Spring was late this year and so was my spring cleaning mood I guess...

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

If it comes at the right price...

A friend of mine asked me what kind of a company car I was getting. When I told him the make and model, he made a face to indicate that he did not like it. I told him that the price was right. That should have set him straight.

They gave me a compact car by American standards. Here it is considered a good sized sedan. It is a 2015 brand new car, automatic w/air conditioning and electric windows. I will be reimbursed for gas. Repairs, insurance and all those things are covered by the company. What more do I want?

My own car is a lot humbler, old and has lots of kilometers on it. So, what is wrong with getting a brand new car at zero cost?

I specifically asked for a standard car even though, I was asked if I had a preference. I do not need to impress anyone.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Carelessness or Accident? Result = Unexpected Expense

This morning I decided to swing by the gas station close to work and get some snacks. (I know, I know bad idea... I should have thought about it earlier and bring something from home or get something from the grocery store over the weekend).

Anyhow, as I was trying to cross the traffic at the roundabout, although I had noticed that there was a sharp pavement edge, I managed to hit it with my right tire... Hard...

I lost the hub cap and the tire hub got dented... Badly... All of a sudden I overreacted just like Matt described few days ago  over at Blogging Away Debt. I got really mad at myself and immediately called up the Nissan spare parts department at a not-so-local dealer and they gave me the pricing for both. Ugh!

Then I started to calm down. I am getting a company car this week so, this is not an immediate expense. If the tire is not badly damaged, I might get away with only buying the hubcap. Usually they can fix dented hubs but. I guess I will find that out on Friday when I go to get my tires switched.

Thankfully the set of tires I have on will be thrown out. They are snow tires and I used them for 4 years. Next winter they will be replaced. I was thinking of switching to regular tires last week and I am glad, I did not.

Soooo, I am much more relaxed at this point.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

New Job = New Home@New Continent?

Probably all of my readers know that a small part (Thrace) of Turkey is on the European Continent and the larger part (Anatolia) is on Asia.

My current home is located on the Anatolian side and I have to cross the Bosphorus each day to get to work. According to this article from The Washington Post, my city is The World's Most Congested City. It takes me more than an hour everyday just to drive 20 miles each way. My total commute time is not less than 3 hours. I have to cross either of the two suspension bridges connecting Asia to Europe or take the car ferry which goes to a farther part of town. The car ferry is not a real option.
So, I started thinking about renting a new apartment very close to work and becoming a landlady for the second time. I already have one tenant living in my Ankara apartment.

My apartment will not generate enough rent to cover the new apartment's rent because, that part of the city is an expensive neighbourhood. However, I think this is still a good idea given that I will be saving tons of time and will be able to keep my sanity. My commute will be down to 15 minutes or so. That is very significant.

I jotted down a quick budget for a move and decided that the best time would be in July. I will be able to save an important sum to cover the move and by July, I will probably know whether I like this job and will be working for quiet a while or not.

So, I think, I am 2-3 months away from a move and I need to purge, purge and purge.

I started by going through my library. Yesterday, I donated about 50 books to the local library and I am sure, I can donate another 50 if not more.

Exciting times...


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

First Day, New Job-3

My first day at my new job was very nice. Everybody is younger than I am so, it is easy for me to introduce myself as an advisor/consultant with significant experience.

I asked for the current contracts and started looking at them to familiarize myself with the business. Noticed some things that can be improved.

I also attended a weekly status meeting of the Sales Department and got quiet a bit of info about the customer and their sales counterparts.

So far so good...

Thanks to all the well-wishers out there!

Monday, April 13, 2015

A Job Offer, New Job-2

I have been working part-time since September 2012. It was not easy to adjust to a fluctuating pay but, I was able to manage it due to my passive income. Recently, I was not feeling very comfortable about working with the team anymore. There has been some issues that affected my motivation. I started questioning my decision to work part-time as a consultant.

I like the flexibility, meeting new people and the work. However, it has certain difficulties such as fluctuating pay and the constant anxiety about new projects. I think I do not have a big enough nest egg to feel very secure. I own two apartments free and clear, have a small passive income and yet I am only 47.

A couple of my old colleagues asked if we could go into consulting business together and suggested we do some brainstorming. Despite my second thoughts about consulting, I decided to give it a shot with my friends. That is something I will continue on the side.

While all these were happening, someone I had done business in the past asked to re-connect. This is a very smart young man who is a sizeable business owner. We had done business in the past and started a habit of having a cup of coffee once or twice a year even our paths diverged. I was happy to re-connect and we chatted for quiet a while few weeks ago over a cup of coffee. He had been diagnosed with a bad illness and have been through some rough patches and he and his wife had a baby boy. So, he started having some anxiety issues about the future. You know my sister has been through some rough time too so, we established a new bond. He asked me my opinion on how to take his business to a new level. We decided to get together once again so that I could get to know his business a little better.

He invited me over to his office a couple of weeks ago and we had another long conversation. He asked me if I would like to work with him. That was quiet unexpected. I said I would consider it but I could start part-time since I still have some consultancy obligations.

When he sent me his offer. I was really surprised at his generosity. So, after I considered it for a couple of hours, I accepted to start working with him for three days a week starting this week. My only request was to take a week off in May for my and mom's yearly check-ups and 3 weeks off in August-September for an already planned vacation in the US.

This is still too good to be true so I am praying, it is not a dream and I will be happy here.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Wish me luck please! New Job-1

I unexpectedly got a job offer from someone I have known for a long time. We used to do business in the past and after we went our separate ways, every once in a while we communicated and had a cup of coffee.

It has been quite some time since I had seen him. We met a couple of times, then he offered me a job. It is an offer that I could not refuse. For the first few months I will work only three days a week just to see if we can work this out. I have been away from the IT industry for a long time so, I do not know how much value I can bring to his business.

So, please please wish me luck! I really would like this to work out and become a full-time job by September and would like to work for a long time.

I am excited!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

One Item off my TO DO LIST

I took care of the shoes. I even cleared out a whole shelf for mom. She can put 6 pairs in there.

Yay me!

May be I will attack the medicine drawer today. It is something I can do while watching TV and chatting with mom.