Thursday, 10 October 2013

Turkey Diaries 2013 - Help! There's A Lizard in the Sink!

And a snake in the grass!
I am getting used to being at one with nature,well I'm trying. I don't run screaming when a lizard whizzes past my feet or jump when a long winged wasp comes near. The chickens don't scare me, in fact I quite like them. One morning I even found a lizard in the kitchen sink,okay it was a teenie tiny baby one almost transparent in colour,what did I do? I placed a cloth in the sink like a ladder to the worktop so it could escape. It must have used my escape root as it wasn't there when I returned.

Down by the pool I opened the sun umbrella to find two little bright eyed frogs clinging to the pole enjoying the shade. I closed the umbrella and left them to it. I'm so cool and calm, normally I would be freaking out.
As I lie by the pool reading I stop and watch. The dragonflies seem to prefer one particular corner of the pool and fight over it. Why one particular corner when there are four? It seems they are like past and present governments of countries fighting over the same piece of land, not content to share.
 A red squirrel comes to drink too, it seems our pool is the local watering hole. 
Mustafa told us that during the winter wild pigs come to drink at the pool and he shoots them. He doesn't eat pork which leaves me wondering why bother shooting them?
 Another lizard darts by, he is yellow and black striped with a long tail of brilliant blue. My hubby Jim jokes that the blue tailed ones are deadly, at least I hope he's joking.

I'm reading Valerie Poore's book African Ways about her life on an African farm. Jim has fallen asleep on the sunbed listening to music through headphones. I just get to the part of the book where while out walking with the children and her dogs Val's way is blocked by a snake in the middle of the road. It's a puff adder, I won't give away how the encounter ends but just as I finish reading about this escapade Jim sits up and tells me he has been bitten by a snake. I laugh!" Yes, pull the other one" I say, but at the same time I wonder how he knows what I have just been reading. I can tell by the way the blood has drained from his tanned face leaving it white that he really has been bitten.
While lying face down on the sunbed he fell asleep and his hands were trailing on the ground. He was woken by the sharp pain of the bite just in time to see a black snake with yellow stripes slither into the undergrowth behind us.
This is the first time I haven't brought my emergency first aid kit with me but as it doesn't contain anti-venom it wouldn't have been much use. 
I clean the bite with sterile water and find antiseptic wipes and use them too. Not knowing if the snake was venomous or not we had to act quickly as I don't drive and if he collapsed in a heap what would I do!
We jumped in car with hubby driving (he's brave) and went to the owner's shop to ask him about the snake.

The culprit,garter snake (morgue files)
He seemed surprised and offered to catch the snake and cut it's head off. He said usually the chickens dispose of the snakes. He tried to sell offered mosquito spray but didn't understand we wanted to know if it was venomous. We jumped back in car and went to The Istanbul restaurant two minutes away to consult Google with my ipad. The scary internet told us there are 12 species of venomous snakes in Turkey,just what we didn't want to hear. All this time I'm checking hubby's breathing is okay, there's no swelling and there's no frothing of the mouth and he doesn't feel faint. Luckily the staff in the restaurant speak good English and the young waiter tells us the snake we described and found on google is harmless. We work on the theory that as a boy he has more than likely spent some of his childhood actively looking for snakes as boys do and as Jim has had no effects apart from shock we both breathe a sigh of relief.

Back at the villa I think of the times I have walked through the gardens with only sandals on my feet and shudder. After reading Val's book I gathered that the snake came out from the grass to feel the early morning sun on the tiled poolside. I hope it had a fright too and won't be back. 
It's times like this I'm left wondering......would be have been better booking a five star hotel? 
More from Turkey Diaries soon.


  1. Now I understand, Anne. You said you were going to mention my book :-) But oh dear, poor Jim! And no wonder you were worried! What a coincidence that you were reading my snake story too at the time. It's so hard to know which snakes are dangerous, I know, but I'm so glad this one was harmless. I want to go there even more now - not because of the snake, but because it's so peaceful and rural! This was a lovely diary entry! Looking forward to the next one now!

  2. Yes it was really strange Val. I was immersed in the world of your book and it took me a few minutes to realise what was happening. I have lots more to write about Val.

  3. Wow you are having some adventures!!! I would not like seeing those critters at all though. Sure glad Jim is OK!!

  4. Oh heck - so glad he's ok. These things are fun to write about when you can look back and know everyone is safe and well. But I hope it hasn't put you off staying in little villas - they're much more fun. Though maybe he should try not to fall asleep with hand trailing on the ground next time!

  5. Oh gosh!! Foreign wildlife!! That bites. And you wonder why I don't travel!!! Hahaha. Glad Jim is ok, though.

  6. That's terrifying. It's a good job I'm not planning to go to Turkey or I would have cancelled. So glad he's ok :-)

  7. We have a lot of snakes here too Anne I don't blame you.. I think I would have had his head :)

  8. Yikes! Oh I would have ran like the wind outta I'm no good when things of any discription start moving, especially along the ground. I was already worrying about those long winged Glad hubby is okay!

  9. the title of your blog struck a cord with me Anne, so I thought I would be nosy! So glad I did, and discovered we have friends in common too! I am a firm believer in coincidences but that one was OTT!
    Lovely to meet you...

  10. Oh, do you have lizards in your sink too? What friends do we have in common I'd love to know?

  11. The wasps really didn't come near which is unusual for wasps but we never had food at the pool and they didn't come near the villa . I see you've been on holiday too,I couldn't comment on your blog from my ipad it's tempremental.

  12. Lol! If we had know it wasn't poisonous it would have made a difference,no panic.

  13. Ros,that's the first time we have ever came into contact with a snake in Turkey and we were living in the middle of fields. You'll be ok in a hotel.

  14. Yes he was fine. As I said to Ros we were living surrounded by fields I suppose you can only expect that.

  15. Jo,He'll live off that story for years. My daughter's fiance said Jim's the only person he knows who's been bitten by a snake so that makes him kind of special,lol!

  16. Wow! That would be my worst nightmare! Glad you are both ok. Your villa sounds amazing, but I'm afraid I'm not brave enough to go there, especially after reading about your adventure, it'll have to be hotels for me!


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