Perking the Pansies
Jack and Liam move to Turkey

Is it possible to work in Turkey?


Work visas for people who are not sponsored by Turkish or international companies are difficult to obtain. However, it is possible for qualified English teachers to work legally. Jack and Liam had no intention of working. They retired early to put their feet up and watch the pansies grow. Follow their adventures in Perking the Pansies, Jack and Liam move to Turkey.

Search result for 'work' in Perking the Pansies

Chapter 1: In the Beginning
"...In the beginning there was work, and work was God. After thirty-five years in the business, the endless predictability made me question the Faith. Liam, on the other hand, was neither bored nor unchallenged but routinely subjected to the demands of a feckless boss, a soft and warm Christmas tree fairy with a soul of ..."
"...Our favourite Soho brasserie was illuminated by flickering antique oil lamps and the occasional beam of light from the kitchen. The restaurant was swollen with rowdy after-hours workers, swapping gossip and feasting on hearsay. We had squeezed into a small recess by the window, dribbles of condensation trickling down the glass and obscuring the view to the street beyond. ..."
"... Liam had spent the last two years working for a cut-and- thrust, slash-and-burn private sector company, vainly trying to coax the unemployable into work. He sought stimulation and challenge and got both in spades, along with a gruelling twelve hour day. I reached over the table and held his hand. ..."
"... de-mist and we caught glimpses of the drab winter coats and scarves scurrying along the icy street outside. “The worker bees of London,” said Liam. “Just look at them.” I got the point. I’d worked in social care for thirty years, gently ascending a career ladder to middle ..."
"...I got the point. I’d worked in social care for thirty years, gently ascending a career ladder to middle management, middle income and a middling suburban terrace; comfortable, secure and passionately dissatisfying. We talked with growing animation through the starter, main course and deliciously calorific death by chocolate dessert, about the evils of work, and ..."
"... not that simple, Liam. If it was, everyone would do it.” “Repeat after me, Jack: work is the root of all evil. Imagine life without the turgid meetings, kiss-my-arse bosses and nose- to-nipple commutes.” “Imagine life without money, Liam. Poverty is the root of all ..."

Chapter 2: Ave Maria
"... moment. This was time for a big bucks moment. Be calm, Jack. Be civilised. Be mercenary. “Sugar, Colin?” “Just milk.” “How’s work?” “Fine. Look Jack, let’s get this sorted.” Then it happened, the first phase of an unstoppable chain reaction. Following a ..."
"...In truth, the speed at which everything happened did throw me off balance. I had worked since the age of eighteen, dodging further education by careering into my first full-time job as a shop boy on Chelsea’s trendy King’s Road. It was an easy way to earn an honest crust and pick up tricks on the side. Days on the tills and nights on the ..."

"...We had slipped the shackles of the waged and journeyed to Turkey in search of the perfect idyll to rest our work-weary bones. Bodrum itself was quickly ruled out: too hot, too busy and too damn expensive. We were sold on the idea of space to breathe and a room with a view; the frenetic town had neither within our price range. We spent a sticky week exploring the surrounding towns ..."
"...noon at Bodrum’s busy otogar (bus station) and the dollies scurried about the cracked tarmac like random ants. As usual, the modern day kervanseray was bursting with life: purveyors of rapid kebabs and sweet-baked simits, lemon- scenting cut-throat barbers, pantaloon’d grannies on the make, weary country boys looking for work, sallow sightseers melting in the heat and tea-sipping cabbies dropping off in the midday sun. The place was a magnificent, chaotic and typically Turkish entrepôt. Liam had already begun his transformation into a bone fide plastic Turk. He stubbornly refused to let anything pass his lips unless it was ..."

Chapter 4: Indian Summer
"...for all the wrong reasons. Chrissy got our number straight away and this appeared to thrill her no end. While the tea brewed and with very little prompting, she and Bernard became the first of many to tell us their sorry tale. Before they migrated to Turkey, Chrissy had worked as a Lancôme beauty-care manager, overseeing the important goings on at a make-up counter in Cardiff. Apparently, she broke the House of Fraser record for her sales of Juicy-Tube Lip Gloss, an achievement she was immensely proud of. Quite rightly, I presumed. ..."
"...maraschino cherry she’d plucked from her Daiquiri. Bernard had been a fat cat for some awfully important French investment firm. He was a hire-and-fire man and specialised in the latter. Bernard was instantly captivated by the nineteen-year-old vision, wasted no time slipping his ring on her finger, retired from work and snapped up a new- build mock-Tudor love nest in South Wales. ..."
"...“Mr Jack? You’re late! Come! Only you.” He hurried me through the door of the Customs House leaving Liam to mingle with a burly gang of overalled workers kicking their heels outside.The rude little man dragged me through the labyrinthine building, ferrying me around various offices to pay various official fees to various sullen officials, obtaining various bits of official paper, all of them officially stamped along the way by various petty autocrats. The staggeringly inefficient and ..."
"... took me by the hand. “Jack, do you think we’ll make friends?” “Dunno. Do we want to?” “I’m not sure the odd goat will stimulate us forever.” “Seems to work for the locals.” We stood in silence until the sun set over the ruins and bathed the stones in a soft orange light. ..."

" the house just in time to rendezvous with a large truck delivering our pre-ordered IKEA house pack. Their no-nonsense ascent put Liam’s wimpish efforts to shame. A gang of boys in matching vests jumped out and began to unpack and assemble. While they worked, we chain smoked, made tea and avoided Clement. Four hours later, our room sets were ready to be dressed and accessorised. As the IKEA crew reversed down Mount Tepe, the phone rang. ..."
"... grateful. “That’s a shit load of empty wine bottles, Jack. What must he think?” “Hell, who cares. And why does he keep staring at us?” “He’s trying to work out who’s Arthur and who’s Martha. Talking of which…” Clement was waving from his terrace. “Afternoon, chaps,” ..."
"...Nancy was a lippy social worker, a shapely sassy lass dressed to impress with enormous breasts and a cavernous cleavage. A genuine Eastender of Cypriot extraction, Nancy spoke both English and Turkish with a Cockney drawl. I liked her instantly. She had abandoned a long loveless marriage for romance and orgasms and soon laid bare ..."
"... snuggled up to me and slipped her hand under my arm. “My son’s gay.” “Okay. That’s alright?” “Course. Love him to bits. works for British Airways.” “Trolley dolly?” “Bullseye. How did ya guess?” “It’s in the job description, Nancy. Hairdressers, Tory MPs, ..."

Chapter 6: The Emigreys
"... You win. And don’t call me Abdullah.” Liam ruffled my hair and smiled the kind of smile that could melt a polar ice cap. I hugged my tone-deaf chanteuse and grinned back at the mirror. Things could be worse. I could be working for a living. Water was still trickling down the drive ..."
"... hand. “Fancy a dance?” A half-hearted moon appeared from behind the burgeoning clouds and slowly revealed two drunken shadows waltzing at the top of Mount Tepe. Liam whispered into my ear. “Keep your pecker up. Good days, bad days. You know how it works.” He was right. The boys from ..."

Chapter 7: Clement's Closet
"... The inexorable rise in my blood pressure had miraculously reverted to normal, despite my continued dependence on booze and fags. This was further proof that work was bad for my health. Not to be outdone, Clement explained that he had a special, ‘untreatable’ blood pressure condition. ..."

"...arm- wrestling contests, English lessons and chain-smoking, we managed to determine that he was from Hatay. More Arab than Turk, his homeland was the little finger of Turkey that poked into Syria. We’d slowly gleaned that five years previously, Tariq had joined the annual exodus of itinerants looking for work. He found gainful employment labouring on Tepe Heights as the villas were being constructed. His hard graft and obliging demeanour endeared him to the site owner who’d asked him to stay on as caretaker. Tariq sent word back to his wife and daughter in Hatay and they’d joined the ..."
"...I complemented our hostess on the immaculate table setting. So, chintz can work. I felt an irresistible urge to shift the pink tea lights from their perfectly symmetrical positions. Bernard emerged from the kitchen carrying his steaming stew. Chrissy used well-rehearsed hand signals to guide her hapless husband. Not a word was spoken. Put it there. Go and get more drinks. Wipe ..."
"...interesting offer misfired on a number of large fronts. Chrissy had bent Liam’s ear about the perils of doing business in Turkey, and how the financial health of so many foreigners had been ruined by dodgy deals and greased palms. Liam had bent Chrissy’s ear about the evils of work and how he was grateful to have escaped the clutches of paid labour. He would never sit behind a desk again, particularly her desk, even if his life depended on it. ..."

"... From all of us.” “Get on with it, son. The race starts in ten minutes.” I switched on the TV, pressed play on the DVD player and joined Liam and Maurice at the back of the room. Please let this work. Brennan-Scott Productions Present The Only Virgin in London January 2009 The ..."

"... “They’ll make wonderful parents.” After years of working in British social services, I felt uncomfortable. Privately arranged adoptions were simply impossible. State arranged placements were rigorous, lengthy and intrusive. “We’re not in England now, Jack.” “I know, ..."
"... asked Üzgün. “You free in England.” “We like it here,” said Liam. “You are mad, no?” “No. And you?” “I must work. I must feed family.” Üzgün was resigned to his fate as a covert gay man and was completely bewildered by our choice to live in a country where open ..."

Chapter 11: Fright Night
"...Yalıkavak life was in hibernation mode, and the hatches were well and truly battened down. As a working town, daytime activities went on as they must; by night the village fell silent except for the roving packs of abandoned dogs and a few venues scraping a scanty living from the hardy emigrey perennials. We successfully dodged the skinny strays except for one frisky rover who playfully jammed ..."

Chapter 12: Tales of the City
"... who don’t have a Clarice Cliff to piss in.” “Dolly, you’re rich where it matters. That’s what counts.” All that was missing from life at number ninety-eight was the occasional spliff taped to my bedroom door. I was working on that one. My time in Blighty blossomed into a social ..."

Chapter 13: Come Dine with Me
"... red tail lights disappear into the distance and went back to the living room to examine the wreckage. “It worked,” said Liam. “Operation ‘Get the Expats Rat- Arsed’. It worked.” “Come here, you. You’re a bloody genius.” “I was born that way. You’re a very ..."

Chapter 14: The VOMITs
"...and fast legs. I also found like-minded friends for solace. Birds of a feather flock together and all that. Peter, Clive and I were the dandy musketeers, bravely, but unwittingly, fighting homophobia with outlandish threats. “If you do that again, I’ll kiss you on the lips,” always seemed to work. Lip-synching to the backing vocals of Mott the Hoople’s Roll Away the Stone was another corker. Our ‘sha-la-la-las’ were the stuff of legend. ..."

"...“Hello, John.” I unpacked my instruments of remembrance: a half-bottle of Moet, one plastic glass, six tea lights, a box of matches, an MP3 player and a commemorative poem, laminated by Maurice at work. I placed the tea lights in a row, one for each anniversary, struck a match and lit the six wicks in turn. It was a still day and the candles flickered longer than usual before the breeze snuffed them out. I leant the poem against the lip of the ..."

Chapter 16: Judgement Day
"... keep her happy. “Look at him, Alan. What have I married?” “A big kid. A good kid.” “Any news on the adoption?” “Yeah. A social worker turned up.” “And?” “Just a ton of questions.” “About?” “About us, Adalet, how we found her…” “Checking you ..."
"...We wandered through Yalıkavak on the way home. Village life was in full swing and the hamlet had been draped in a new spring livery. Boys had been bussed in from the East and the eateries and bars were being worked by over-eager country cousins, each one a coiled spring competing for custom of any sort. The beach was replenished with imported grit and dressed with re-varnished sun beds and renovated parasols. Tea houses along the high street were peddling Turkish souvenirs and shop fronts spilled over on to pavements ..."
"...Bernard was bored and began to educate Üzgün on the ways of the British. He and all his fellow Turks needed to pull their bloody socks up. And they wouldn’t last five minutes in the old South Africa either. It was all about hard work. And it was about respect, yes, that was the important thing. How could he earn respect looking like that? He couldn’t even provide a chilled bottle of wine for God’s sake. My hackles started to rise but I let the conversation continue along its fractious path. ..."
"... Bernard considered most Turks to be lazy, money- grabbing fraudsters. We saw hard-working people trying to improve their lot. Liam retreated to the loo for relief and returned spoiling for a fight. The volleys continued. “So, Berni’s trailer trash? A bit like a barmaid who’s won the ..."

"...Clement was ‘emotionally and spiritually drawn’ to the ‘real’ Turkey. He wanted to live alongside the ‘simple folk’. He wanted majestic, time-honoured traditions and strong family values. He wanted the Turkey where women worked the fields, men drank tea and boys practiced adultery. He was tired of suburbia and the “ghastly, tiny-minded little people that populated it.” So, Clement would become an emiköy, one of those rare hardy emigreys who roughed it in the country. He’d found a semi-derelict cottage at the heart ..."

Chapter 18: Paradise Lost
"... dragged us into a small doorway of a familiar meyhane, tucked away in a small side street lined with master race oleanders. “No work, Üzgün?” I asked. “Finished.” “What’s in here?” “Good things.” “What good things?” “Bad good things.” The smoky ..."

Chapter 20: Empty Nest
"... Where’s Adalet?” “She’s gone.” “Gone where?” “They took her this morning.” “Who took her?” “The police. And the social workers. They took her.” Liam went to check on Charlotte. Part of him didn’t want to believe what Alan was saying. He would find Adalet ..."
"...Alan filled me in on the bizarre news. A judge had dismissed their adoption application, without ceremony and without explanation. Early the next morning, a team of social workers came to the house. They were flanked by a detachment of armed police waving an order from the provincial governor. Charlotte swept Adalet up into her arms. Alan stood between her and the police and refused to budge. Charlotte screamed at the social workers, demanding an explanation and hugging ..."
"...was no penetration involved.” This curious tale was volunteered with absolutely no prompting. As he screwed our pan rack to the kitchen ceiling he reminisced about a tailor- made love seat he constructed in his marital bedroom. “To spice up the sex life with my wife.” Apparently, it didn’t work. She filed for divorce a week later. ..."

Chapter 21: Love Thy Neighbour
"...not afraid to ask questions; indeed, it would have been rude not to. We were quizzed about our age, our relationship, our bank balance, our families, the Queen, our attitude to Kurds, our taste in clothes and the reason we were in Turkey (“What do you mean you don’t work?”). Hanife, our tiny but formidable landlady and the matriarch of an old moneyed Bodrum family, often dropped by with produce from her prodigious garden. She taught us an old and noble Turkish tradition; something along the lines of one good turn deserves another. When presented with a plate of ..."

"...After a simple lunch of sea bass, pasta and salad, Liam decided to liven things up by breaking out the booze. We had to get some perspective. Nobody had died. Here we were, healthy, solvent and free of work, cruising the Aegean with good friends. We would support each other. We would survive, and we would have fun. Irfan hit the rakı and flicked on the tunes. Liam leapt to his feet to join him in an unrehearsed belly dance, writhing around the deck ..."

Chapter 25: Home Alone
"...advantage of yet another blessed, balmy evening. Liam’s gastronomic ambitions had reached such a pinnacle that we had less and less reason to eat out. The courtyard was a perfect setting. We reminisced about the days when, at the slightest hint of fine weather, we would rush home from work and grab the opportunity to eat in the garden. ..."
"...the company of boys turn to animals.” But he surely had in mind English public schools, Welsh sheep farmers and American convicts. Not Turkey, where sexual ambiguity was an art form. Maybe I should have worked things out by now; I had visited the shores of Asia Minor for fifteen years. But my gaydar malfunctioned as soon as I entered Turkish airspace. It was as if the entire country was encased in lead. I was left in a continuous state of disarray, thrown by the ..."
"...Before the summer rush, whole caravans of young men with locked-down libidos and any-hole-is-the-goal mentality began their annual migration to the coast looking for casual work and casual sex. Some of these poor fellas were like coiled springs. The frustration was palpable. And why give it away when there was a little profit to be made? Even the nicest of them joined the gay-for-pay brigade: doing it for cash, not pleasure, was the best way ..."
"...fear or regret. I came out when no one came out. I wasn’t ashamed. I rarely waved a flag. I didn’t need to. I was uncompromisingly out to everyone. Take it or leave it. As a pretty young thing I was offered money. I never took it. I always worked and the coppers in my pocket were honestly earned. I’d learned self-reliance, I’d learned real pride, and I’d learned both at my father’s knee. I had the love and support of my family when so many didn’t and I endured when so many around me dropped like flies. I ..."

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Is it possible to work in Turkey?

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