Perking the Pansies
Jack and Liam move to Turkey

Epilogue - Belle Époque

This is a preview to the chapter Epilogue - Belle Époque from the book Perking the Pansies by Jack Scott.
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A year in the making and our voyage had barely started. What began as an exhilarating journey into the unknown soon became a raw test of endurance. We survived the fall of the Raj, separated the wheat from the chavs, distanced ourselves from the emigrey closets and cried a river over Adalet. Charlotte and Alan had been hung out to dry and still didn’t know who dished the dirt. The senseless murder of an innocent man came close to capsizing our boat. But the turbulence that swirled around us only served to bring our sainted existence into sharp relief. Through it all, as if fixed at the eye of the storm, Liam and I remained solid, together and optimistic. Lady Fortuna favoured us. It was, beyond question, the best year of our lives.

In twelve concentrated months, our lives had been touched by the good, the bad, the foolhardy and the heart-wrenching. For a while, we wondered which category we fell into, but then the truth slapped us about the face like a wet towel. We could have our place in the sun, but not as fully paid up members of the embittered emigrey imperials. They might dump their unwanted pasts at check-in and blame Blighty for all their woes, but we weren’t about to join them. Nor could we become plastic Turks. Our dismal language skills and very obvious union precluded it. No, we occupied the space in between, neither fish nor fowl. We were content with that. For now.

We had made a decadent choice to retire early, against the advice of many. Our financial health had been compromised but our emotional health had soared. There was no going back. Besides, we were fond of our exotic foster country and her many puzzling paradoxes. Dire warnings of imminent religious zealotry had proved premature but we would keep a watchful eye.

Our move to Bodrum Town had changed us. We were happy in the Bohemian oasis with its progressive vibe and liberal tinge, though we did wonder what the town really made of us. A message from a Turkish-American Bodrum Belle gave us hope.

“There will be envy among your neighbours that there are two very polite gay yabancilar who pay on time and are courteously living in the family’s stone house, both of which have already singled you out from many. Whilst the older generation counts the pesos, you are setting a path of freedom for some of the very trapped sons (and daughters). If it were easy, you would not be doing it.”
Dina Street

Turkey is a magical land graced by a rich culture, gorgeous people and an intrinsic love of the family. A respect for difference won’t destroy that. It’s okay to be queer. It won’t bring down the house, though it might bring in a little more style. At times I think we’re floundering about like idiots but now and then I think we’re making a real difference. Time will be the judge. In the meantime, rising inflation and falling interest rates may yet force us to perk our pansies elsewhere. I hear Bulgaria is nice.

"A really excellent book. Funny and insightful and poignant all at once...."

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