Survival Kit for Expat Wives #2

As some of you may know already from my “You know you’re an EXPAT only WHEN” post that I was invited to a reception held by Turkish Embassy in Belgrade for our National Victory Day.

Yesterday, I checked with the “only two Turkish ladies that I know” who also live in Belgrade whether they would attend and received “regret”s. At first hand, I had my doubts to show myself downstairs today learning that my “one-time in total” met Turkish friends were very busy. I was also not sure what in my wardrobe would be appropriate for such kind of an event (yes, I forgot my nice newly bought dress in Istanbul which I believe is the only piece I have that you can wear for almost any occasion) and unluckily that I have quite a bit of shy nature to join an event without companion where there are a full venue of people awaiting that I haven’t met before.

Then the magic has happened! I bought a silky scarf thinking it would make a “senior” effect on my look if I put it around my neck, put my dark blue trousers on and a neat shirt, took out my medium height heels which were staying in their place for the last one year and I was ready!

Ladies, it truly worked! Not the attire, the socialization part!


I was directly and very gently greeted by the Ambassador upon my entrance which gave a real home-like feeling! I started to feel like I know all the people in that venue!!! The first 20 minutes after the greeting was not up to my (excellency) satisfaction due to the two ladies surrounding me whose conversation was not that much interesting on my side: “Wow, do you really live in the hotel?”, “It’s like a dream!”, “You said your husband is a chef, so who is cooking in the house, hihihi!”, “I’m sure he’s not cooking when he’s home”, “Ah, you also eat in the hotel, what a life!”…(Hello there!!! I’m not coming from another planet; I have two eyes, a nose and a mouth like you!!!)

I didn’t want to break their day-dreaming session as they would unfortunately have no clue if I would tell them how it feels as a couple when you go to a super market and dream of your very own kitchen where you can easily get happy even to cook a simple omelette… (This is one of the reasons, everytime we go to Germany & Turkey to visit our moms, we hardly leave the kitchen area, and those moments are priceless for us, and for the curious ones; yes, my husband is cooking at home as well when we find a kitchen in it!)

I know, it’s a great luxury to live in a hotel, but honestly I’m not a big fan of this “dream life”. Especially when I can’t share any of its advantages due to the lack of friends around… I would have loved to have “neighbors” for example! Here, my neighbors are for “quite a short time” whom we have to be “very careful” not to disturb (including the TV volume level while we’re watching an action movie; come on, I also want to feel that excitement of a bombed car explosion like many of you do, with that dolby sound effects vibrating our sensitive areas on the couch!!!) and still try to continue our way of living at the same time… You may be saying now, “What the hell this spoiled lady is talking about!”. Like many other things in this life, I again choose comfort, this time against luxury, that’s it!

Let’s go back to the reception…

After having the “dream” conversation with ladies, I met with some diplomats to whom I was unconsciously pre-occupied until today.

I was thrilled to learn from one of the nice ladies I met that she has a “skype marriage” for the last seven years, one part currently in Canada -the husband unfortunately has the same career- and the other part in Serbia. The countries they were assigned have changed three times until now but never in between the same borders. She said, “My husband has now been assigned to Belgrade so that we can get “re-married” as of next week…”. Wow, I mean WOW!


Another lady, not a diplomat, a Serbian&German origin translator working in the embassy for the last 20 years, told me that as it’s her duty to read all the Serbian newsletters everyday, whenever she’s on a holiday she doesn’t want to see any newspapers, even the ladies magazines offered at her hair dresser sessions anymore. She told me about her recently “punk” influenced son which gave me the opportunity to tell about my “rocker-hippy-punk progression” during teenager times… Then luckily, we somehow found out that we used exactly the same e-forum to quit smoking, which obviously worked good for her that she has not puffed even once for the last seven months. She said, “ is now my new addiction instead of the cigarettes!”. What a small world, who would say that I would have met one of the members of my “previous online community” at a diplomatic reception gathering… Of course, we changed our numbers after that very satisfying one hour chat which I was hungrily in need of and I know today is not the first and the last time with her.

Another promising contact has also been made with one of the counsellors, where the chat has finished with a request of my CV…

I told you ladies, it truly worked today…