So here’s the thing. After our semi disastrous trip to Seyhan Baraj and Adana, the next day we packed up the car for a trip to the beach. Heading out towards Kizkalesi, as the beaches there are delightfully sandy with a smooth slow slope into the sea–not the sudden drop you get in much of the Mediterranean coast. So, yay I thought, lovely day trip for us and the kids. Not hard to pack up as I’d already put the stuff in the car earlier in the hope of a swim at Seyhan lake.
Off we all go, picnic in what has to be my second best buy in this country–an electric cool box/mini fridge. All set, all organised. Hmm, yes they were, but for me when we arrived I discovered to my horror that I hadn’t packed my own swimmers. How could I have possibly forgotten myself? Well I am a mum and constantly distracted but even so I’ve never done that before. A decision had to be made, just think ‘ah well’ and go in the sea with my very light dress, bra and pants, or find a shop selling suitable swimwear. Shouldn’t be hard, we’re near the coast, Kizkalesi is a popular tourist area with Turks, lots of shops. Off we all head, much to Fatso’s disgust as he was keen to throw himself straight in the sea.
Ridiculously hot, and a grumbling Fatso going deliberately slowly in protest, we head off to the shops with me having low expectations. Not being a keen fan of revealing my ever blabbing body and various moles, I don’t do bikini’s. Even if I did, over here they still haven’t got the idea of selling top and bottoms separately. As such, tops are directly proportional to bottoms as you go up is size, meaning if you are skinny you have no boobs and if you’re large you must be mahoosive on top. As an American friend once pointed out to me it’s not insignificant that many male designers’ ideal woman is actually a young skinny gay man, with no hips or breasts. So having hips or breasts which aren’t directly proportional has been a hard battle to convince people to recognise and cater for.
Anyway, bikinis were out so to look for what else was on offer. I have a long body, which is another problem meaning that most swimsuits that are my size either cut me in half on the bottom as I haul them up to cover my top, or reveal far too much as I pull them down to cover my backside. Tankini’s were such a great invention because it finally meant I could be released from the assumption that women with out of the ordinary body shapes, or bigger feet, MUST be old biddies and therefore offered the most horrific array of ‘special size’ wear. Except, not a tankini to be found here. In fact they are getting harder to find back in the UK as they must have gone out of fashion.
Having rejected bikinis and tankinis not being an option, there I was left at the mercy of Husband dragging me into shops which may or may not stock suitable swimwear. First stop and the mannequin was sporting the now popular (amongst covered ladies) head to toe, cagool material based swim wear. Erm, that’ll be a no. While I tend to think hats off to the guy (why is it always a guy?) who has made shed loads out of what is basically an adult version of those rain suits you get for your toddler in the UK, they do look rather cumbersome and uncomfortable with various zips etc. Oddly stocked next to the skimpy bikinis, but the covered sales lady told me it was those two or nothing, so off we trotted keeping the boys sweet with promises of 50 Kurus ice lollies if they didn’t fling themselves around in a fit.
The second shop wasn’t much better, and revealed a bizarre two piece swimsuit, that I had seen on some women but even for me was a bit too old fashioned. Though I was oddly tempted as it would certainly cover up a lot of embarrassment. The top was a bit like a mini dress with a flared skirt to mid thigh, the bottoms were knee length leggings. I know someone who loves this as it does cover up so much, and she assures me that there is no need for further items as you come out of the sea such as sarongs. In fact as I got to the beach later I saw some women wearing this along with a head piece, so they must be the covered ladies who don’t mind showing a bit more when on the beach, either that or it was an alternative to a swim hat to keep their hair up and out of the way when swimming. Temptation was momentary, and with the only other option in that shop yet more skimpy bikinis we bid the lady goodbye.
I began to dread how long this was going to take, until we spotted a more promising shop across the road and I persuaded Husband to try there. I have never gone shopping for swim wear, or even clothes with Husband as sometimes I feel he would attempt to wrap me head to toe, but more because men just get in the way and tell you that you look great just to shut you up and end the ordeal of following you round shops. Fortunately I’m an impatient shopper, even so having husband hanging around, plus grumpy kids just wanting ice lollies and the sea, it was never going to have a great outcome. This third shop had a much better set of options but I wasn’t really given time to browse. Husband explained what I was looking for and something was thrust at me, and I was sent off to the cubicle to try it on. In fact on their racks I think they may have had some tankinis, and they did have a one piece swim suit with a short skirt similar to what niece wears. Again that’s old fashioned but the fact that my expanding backside would be covered was an attractive thought.
I ended up being convinced that the above swimsuit was suitable and ‘looked nice’. The material felt rather cheap, and the bottom part styled as shorts was similar to my forgotten tankini bottom. I agreed to buy it just so we could get back to the beach, and just thought, ‘well no one here knows me so why do I really care’. Oh dear, a slippery slope when added to the fact that all I ever seem to do with my hair these days is stick it in a pony tail as trying to style it in this heat and humidity is rather like using a hairdryer while someone drips water over you.
The boys got their ice lollies, fab that for less than 25p you can get a lolly. We all had buz parmaks (frozen fingers). I have no idea why I don’t have them more, Magnum’s with all that chocolate and clarty ice-cream really aren’t very refreshing. So Fatso was appeased and we headed back to the beach. We didn’t go on the main Kizkalesi because because it’s absolutely rammed and noisy. There is a little sandy beach just before the main one, which until last year you had to pay to go on. But this year all that had gone, along with the sun beds and parasols. It backs on to the Koryos castle, and so this year was much quieter–the downside was the lack of shade. While Husband was setting our stuff under one of the date palms Fatso, having gained massive confidence around water, had run off and flung himself into the water. Leaving me with one of those ‘which of the kids do I follow?’ moments. Smelly was dispatched to the sea to be near and keep an eye on Fatso, while I tried to guide Lai Lai towards Baba.
Maybe I was just being paranoid but revealing the delightful new purchase, I did get some stares. I decided that I would just think I was being retro and vintage rather than horribly old fashioned. I also decided that this would be it’s first and last outing. I won’t be forgetting to pack my swimsuit again.