After meeting the crazy inhabitants of Bodrum town and reading through to the last poignant moments in Turkey Street by Jack Scott, it was really hard to come to the end of this tale and return to normal life. Scott’s portrayal of his life with partner Liam had me longing to sit in the garden with them, drinking wine and eating meze, swapping jokes and creating memories.
Despite having come from the big city bustle of London, Jack and Liam easily adapt to the sunnier, slower shores of the Aegean. Not content to take a wait-and-see approach to getting to know the locals, they dive straight into the social scene, dancing with divas and overfriendly hirsute manga, while upsetting the more staid expat residents who get by on a fixed income and a very stiff British upper lip. Being the only gays in the Bodrum village quickly sees them the talk of the town, and Jack makes good use of the opportunity to mingle with expat women effected by both the Turkish heat and the men. His portraits of women no longer young, led astray by rampant hormones and sex galore are engaging rather than embarrassing, and acknowledge the realities behind the tabloid exposés.
Scott even manages to touch on the tricky subject of living in a foreign country, with a lifestyle you can’t get back home, while still pining for what you’ve left behind. It isn’t always an easy choice to make. It requires sacrifice and for most of us, no matter how much we enjoy living in Turkey, time not spent with family is a major sore point. The idea of family is an underlying theme in this book albeit subtly touched upon. In his description of the people he calls friends, Scott shows the way people who choose to live in another country also form relationships as strong as, if not stronger than those based on blood ties.
If you’ve been to Bodrum or another Turkish seaside resort on holiday and now you’re looking for a step-by-step guide to help you move here, Turkey Street by Jack Scott isn’t for you. As the author points out, Bodrum isn’t Turkey. However, if you’re after a rollicking good laugh occasionally sobered up by a sprinkling of home truths about what it’s like to be an expat in Turkey, this is a must read.
Title: Turkey Street
Publisher: Springtime Books