Coming from Canada, you think I'd be able to handle Fethiye's cold winter weather without much difficulty. Wrong!
For one thing, I don't have any good winter clothes - most were lost in the fire and I left the coat I was wearing that fateful evening (a down MEC parka) with my sister in Ottawa. (Admittedly, the parka would be overkill for the current temperature.)
And for another, the houses along the Mediterranean coast of Turkey are built for withstanding the scorching heat of summer, not the damp cold of winter. No central heating. No insulation. And a few chilly drafts around the doors and windows.
My cozy little apartment is fitted with a multi-purpose air conditioning unit in the kitchen / living room which heats and cools as required. And there's an oil-filled radiator in the bedroom to take the chill off before I climb into bed. Other than that, I rely on layered clothes, lots of blankets and hot drinks to stay comfortable.
Today turned out to be a bitterly cold day in Fethiye
My Canadian friends will laugh and label me a wimp, but it is bitterly cold on the Mediterranean today. High of 4°C this afternoon (with a real feel of -5°C), low of -5°C tonight (with a real feel of -14°C), and winds gusts so strong that my patio furniture tumbled over the side of the balcony.
To add to my misery, the air conditioner / heater unit in the living room / kitchen quit working AND the hot water heater gave up the ghost. Repairmen have been summoned, and promise to be here tomorrow at 9AM. My landlord, a kind old man named Ismail (who calls me Susan Mary because that's what it says on my passport), delivered two large portable heaters to ward off hypothermia until the repairmen arrive.
Tomorrow, the forecast calls for a high of 12°C and promises to return to 17°C early next week. Today, however, I am bundled up in several layers of fleece and regret leaving my parka in Canada.
Update to yesterday's heating issues
Repairman #1 arrived just after 9AM to look at the water heater. It was inconsolable and had to be replaced. The repairman departed for his shop and was back 10 minutes later with a new one. He installed it, then gave me a quick how to tutorial. (Apparently I don't look very smart. Must be my blonde hair!) Hot water - CHECK!
Repairmen #2 and Repairman #3 arrived just after lunch to look at the air conditioning / heating unit. There was a bit of bickering as they determined who would go outside to look at the exterior parts of the unit, and who would stay in the relative warmth of the house to look at the interior parts of the unit. (Old guy went out, young guy stayed inside.)
The exterior part of the unit is also inconsolable and has to be replaced. I'm not sure when these guys will be back. Landlord Ismail said, "maybe today or maybe another time after six". Okay - I take that to mean they'll be back whenever. The good news is that the space heater Ismail delivered yesterday really pumps out the heat. Warm living space - CHECK!
Accuweather is predicting the temperature will drop to -4C tonight, but I'll be cosy in my cute little apartment on the sea . :-)
And another update on Jan. 3, 2014
The recently repaired (replaced???) air conditioning unit just issued a loud screech, followed by an unhappy moan, wrapped up with a little cough, and then went silent. No heat, no cool, no gentle breeze - just blissful silence. (In case I haven't mentioned it before, the A/C unit is LOUD!!!)
I think I'll snuggle-in with a quilt and enjoy the peace and quiet tonight. The forecast is calling for night time temperatures to stay around 10C, so a call to the landlord can wait until morning.
Have you ever experienced unexpected weather challenges on your travels? I'd love to hear your comments and feedback. Feel free to send me an e-mail to connect. And, if you enjoyed this article about Expat Life in Turkey, please consider sharing it on social media!