We were delighted to receive this contribution from Thislife Online follower and snazzy scooter rider Claire Brocklebank, who’s lived in Turkey for five years and finds humour a good way to process even the oddest of expat experiences…

TODAY I HAD a very odd experience at the ear specialist. It started off well, and then I told her that I had tried to unblock my blocked ear with a cotton bud. She gave me a hard look and I said, ‘I know my SA doctor told me not to use cotton buds in my ears either, but I was desperate.’ 

Then she asked me if I she could do to me what she would do to her children or people close to her? I said ‘yes’ without understanding what the implications of my answer would be.

She then slapped me twice across my face, not very hard, but it did sting. My first thought was that this was her way of dealing naturally with blocked ears! But then she said, ‘Don’t ever put a cotton bud in your ear again!’ So I realised the slaps were not to heal, but to prevent repeated cotton bud actions on my part in the future.

compose myself

For a while, I just sat there, my eyes slightly tearful from the sting of the slaps, trying to compose myself and wondering what on earth to do next. I decided to stay as I had already paid, and my ear still needed to be unblocked.

Trying to find a way back to something, I asked her what other things might cause such a reaction from her for her children or people close to her. She looked at me suspiciously and asked, ‘Why?’  I answered so that I would know what things I should lie to her about in the future. She was amused at that for a while, and then she looked at me sternly and said that her children and people close to her would also know that that they should never lie to her.

She then proceeded to clean my ears, prescribed some ear drops and throat spray and hey presto, two days and two slaps later, my ears are doing just fine. When I got home that day, I threw away all my cotton buds.’

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