About Me

Thursday, July 19, 2018

I held a kitten!

I am an ailurophobe, deadly afraid of cats regardless of the cat being a Bengal Tiger or a small domestic kitten.

Recently, someone brought a small kitten to work and everybody started petting it and feeding it. Ehem... I meant her.

For some reason I felt like I wanted to touch and pet the kitten. I did that while other people held her last week.

People at work insisted that I should hold her even once to experience what a warm feeling that is. I had doubts about that but today, I held her! I could feel her little heart beating and she was warm and soft and for the first time, she meowed!

I am amazed at my courage. This by no means is a sign that I am not afraid of cats anymore. Their sudden movements still make me jump. But, I have also learnt that, cats do not scratch or bite people for no reason. That was today's lesson.

How many pairs of socks does one need?

My sock drawer is so full that I have difficulty closing it. It looks like socks are coming out of my ears. How did that even happen? I have to sit down and put that in order. It is driving me insane.

Why do people do this to themselves? Honestly how many pairs of socks are enough?

I also found that I have way more nightgowns and pajamas than I need. I always keep a couple unworn ones just in case I need to be in a hospital. Other than that, how many do I really need? There are two drawers full of them. Yikes!

Every time I sort through them, I end up keeping most because they are broken in and comfortable. I must confess I still wear a couple with holes in them. So, the new rule is: If one does not go away, another one is not coming in.

I do need to check out all my clothing items and donate and get rid of all that I do not need. Someone else may be in need of them and it is not right to keep them.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Cleaning out my desk at work

Before the company changed hands, I had cleaned out my work area and carried some stuff home. Couple of weeks ago, I did another round, getting rid of junk. I now have only a few things that I will need to take home. My replacement will have to share my work area for four weeks while I walk her through what she has to do.

I cleaned out my desk completely today. I will just take my fountain pen, my notebook, and my laptop when I finally walk out this place.

They will be leaving this current office by the end of August, moving to a plaza. This place is very nice with a large garden, fruit trees and picnic tables but, it has many infrastructure problems too. Also, it will not be sufficient for more people to be hired.

It will be the end of an era completely by then.

When my replacement starts working, I will cut down on the time I spend at work gradually so, she can be more comfortable.

I will also take her to meet the team in Ankara early August. The plan is, to take my mom back to her home to Ankara on the 11th, do her shopping. Most likely my uncle will come to Ankara to spend time with mom while I am away. Then he will drive her to Antalya where he spends most of his time. On Monday the 13th my replacement will fly to Ankara in the morning, meet me and the team at the office and later in the afternoon I will drive us back.

That will be my last week. I am getting pretty excited and finding it really weird because I am usually very cool. When I was being sent to the US for the first time at the ripe age of 22, to live on my own for the first time, to go abroad for the first time, to be on a plane for the first time, I did not feel any excitement whatsoever. I was cool as a cucumber. It must be about aging.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Tick tock! to Retirement

I have 24 work days to go and I am starting to feel excited. I am making a list of things that I want to do more of when I retire so that, I have a new purpose in life. There are business related subjects and personal and health related things I want to do more of. I need structure and discipline in my life, otherwise, I may become a couch potato very easily.

Yesterday, the car was ready for me to pick-up. So, I left work around 2:30 p.m., called mom to see if she wanted to go with me to pick up the car. She agreed. I parked my company car in the gated parking area in my apartment complex. Since, it is a small place, every apartment is allowed to park only one car in that space and it is not even sufficient for all apartments. So, we park on the street which is not busy.

The friend who helped me buy the car came to give us a ride to the dealer's. As we were waiting for the last few things taken care of, we were offered coffee and mom was able to sip her coffee looking at the nice, shiny black Mustang GT that she loved. Lol!

I had my insurance broker issue the insurance policy before I took the car out of the dealer's. Then I drove to the nearest bank where they have the easy-pass stickers. It will be on auto-pay tied to my credit card. So, I am all set.

When I came back, I parked my new car in the gated parking lot and drove the other one out just to be nice to my neighbors. Needless to say, not all of them are as considerate as I am.

I want to go through all my clothing items and donate all that I am not going to use, leaving only a handful of work clothes and jackets for part-time work.

I have to do this after I take my mom to her home because if I start, she will want me to finish on the same day whereas I like to take my time. It will also be a good exercise since, I will know exactly what I need to buy while I am in the US. I do not see myself needing much.

I have gone through my shoes once but, I think I should do that one more time.

And my cell phone now plays "It's my life!" by Bon Jovi each time someone calls me :)

Monday, July 16, 2018


I have doubts about drinking tap water in this giant city with very questionable bureaucrats. So, I always get my water delivered and use that even for boiling spaghetti.

Whenever I am out and about and when I get thirsty, I grab a bottle of 0.5 lt bottle from any small place, gas station or even Starbucks.

Just recently it hit me how much I am spending on those small bottles.

Last time I was in Starbucks, I grabbed a bottle at 2.50 TL. What!? I get 19 lt. bottles from the guys who deliver my water for 12.50 TL. So, today I asked them whether they also deliver 0.5 lt. bottles. In fact they do. The 24 pack 0.5 lt. bottles cost 16 TL. I ordered my usual two big bottles and a 24 pack.

Then it hit me again that I could just fill up stainless steel water bottles at home and save even more. 2,5 TL vs 0.66 TL vs 0.33 TL!

I am sure I will forget to do this or grab a small bottle when leaving home but, that's OK. I know I will eventually get into the habit before I leave home.

May be I should just stick a note on the door that says "Water and resuable grocery bags!" to remind myself.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

A partnership not meant to be...

I have not talked about this here before but, a friend of mine and I was wondering if we could get into form of partnership with an American company. We would use their methodology to provide consultancy services here. I had lined up two meetings with the company during my US visit. My friend would split my travel expenses with me.

Lo and behold, she backed out and I cannot do this on my own. Too much initial investment. I am not upset with my friend because she has solid reasons and I completely understand her.

Now, I have two weeks visiting my friend in NY. I looked up plane tickets to SC to plan a visit with my other friend too but with the TL having depreciated against USD significantly,my friend no longer splitting the travel costs and buying a car, it would not be wise. So, I sent her an e-mail explaining the situation with a promise to make it up to her. Thankfully, she understands.

I am hoping to see her next year and I will plan a much longer visit.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Why an SUV? The Decision Process

I never thought I would buy an SUV in my entire life. So, what got into me? Linda asked me my criteria and since it took me a lot of research and quite some time, I decided to share my decision process.

First of all I started looking for small cars on the market. The selling price is a factor but I concentrated on total cost of ownership in the long run. There are many variables affecting that, such as gas per mileage, yearly tax, routine service, cost of spare parts, cost of new tires.

In this country diesel is cheaper than regular gas so, the car needed to be a diesel. The yearly tax is based on the age of the car plus the engine size. I checked the tax table and decided that the car should have a maximum of 1600 cc engine. For Americans that is not even an engine I know, but the gas prices in this country are 3x what they pay.

Then I looked up service charges at 15,000-30,000-45,000-60,000 etc. kms. along with spare part costs. It was such an eye opener to see how small cars were not necessarily inexpensive. Tire costs vary due to size. (My new car is expensive in that respect.)

At that point I became skeptical about small cars especially in the gas/mileage department.

Then I decided that I need an automatic car. I can drive a stick shift but as I age, it is so much easier. At that point I realized that there are not many automatic small cars with diesel engines. Then mom said she hates to get in and out of cars because they are so damn low. She even brought a thick pillow to the VW Passat, my company car that I am driving. She sits on it. I do not think it works well because after all, it is a pillow.

Mom is 75 and is getting old. So, the travel we can do together is somewhat limited to perhaps the next 10 years, may be less. I want her to be comfortable.

This way,, I started looking at crossovers and SUVs. I do not need a 4x4 since they tend to consume more gas. However, all the available options were beyond my budget. I decided that I could buy a gently used, new-to-me car below 50,000 Kms.

After looking at used cars every night online for quiet a while, I found that Nissan Qashqai, Renault Kadjar, Jeep Renegade were possible options. I found a couple of cars that were worth looking at and sent the links to a friend of mine who is very knowledgeable and who has quite a network of technicians and car salesmen. He researched the cars and told me that the new Ford Kuga (Escape) has a better 1.5 TDCi PowerShift engine. Since Ford sells many cars in Turkey the spare part industry is pretty good and this engine is fairly new with pretty good gas/mileage. The routine services are very inexpensive compared to most cars.

This way, I added the Ford to my list and started following sales ads. That is how I made my decision.

Due to a change in tax law, since this car was a 2017, the yearly tax is lower than the same exact car that is a 2018. With about 6,250 miles, it is practically new. That was my bonus. It is the simplest version. For instance, it has parking sensors at the back, none in the front. It has a screen and bluetooth but, the screen is not a touch screen. However, all the standart features are pretty good and I will not miss anything.