Maid-i-quette in Turkey
You’ve settled into your Mediterranean villa, overseeing the azure blue of the sea from your living room terrace. You can hear the coffeemaker percolating in the kitchen, wafting with the aroma of freshly brewed espresso beans, and the sweet frothiness of whole milk. There’s fresh bread and simit on the table, and two newly laid, perfect soft-boiled eggs next to the organic farm olives, with garden-ripe tomatoes. Your shirt is freshly ironed and hung.
But wait. What collusion occurred to have this occur so seamlessly?
Your initial best friends in Turkey are your local independent market, and your cleaning lady. Get these two working together and you’ll be living the sheikh’s life in the Aegean / Mediterranean.
Get friendly with the local shop owner (bakkal) who knows your favorite brand of milk, whether you prefer Cola Light or Zero, and who will even use your recyclable bags to deliver to your home before sunrise. They’ll also tell you if your child has put a couple of Cornetto ice creams on your tab. You might pay slightly more a the mini-market, but you’ll save on time, energy and walking through hyper markets.
Your other best friend is your cleaning lady. She may not know organic almond milk from low-fat soy, but once you show her how you like your coffee, her built in auto-pilot will take over and she’ll get it done. These iron-ladies don’t balk at rearranging the entire living room to get at dust bunnies, beating rugs outdoors because vacuum cleaners are evil, and changing bedding with hospital corner results. Windows are always included. Respect her methods and the washing and ironing will get thrown in.
A couple of caveats. Give a generous bonus to them on holidays and remember the names of their spouse and children. Don’t stick around while the housekeeper is working – she’ll brush you out of the way. Order her a three course hot lunch, preferably including a soup and a kebab. Overlook the blaring television with her favorite soap opera and you’ll be very well taken care of indeed.