13:58 Thursday 26th July 2018

This house has three front doors. Demonstrating the dangers of not thinking though your priorities.

I should explain.

Turks are very security conscious. That's "security" as in "feeling protected" rather than "being secure". All the windows have bars - though not all have glass. All the doors are metal - and some have two locks, both opened by the same key. Which is a tiny bit of insanity, all on it's own.

The driveway has a large, sliding metal gate. Nearly impossible to climb over, and you'd need an armoured truck to break through it. But it's too much trouble to keep locking and unlocking the padlock, so you can just slide it open.

Set into the gate is a door. You open it from the inside by pulling on a short horizontal chain, which pulls out the catch, equivalent to turning an ordinary door handle. You open it from the outside by pressing a lever which operates the same mechanism, and you can keep people from letting themselves in by disconnecting the chain, while still letting yourself out by pulling the catch directly.

But they can still slide the gate open if the padlock isn't fastened. Which of course they do because of course it isn't.

Yes, someone put a lot of thought into making sure no one could get in if you don't want them to. And then someone else put a lot of thought into finding ways to let yourself in if you've locked yourself out. And then a third person put a lot of thought into making sure it's only you who can do that. Etc, Etc.

Result: A pointlessly convoluted way to operate a pointless door set into a pointless gate. But wait, there's more.

The front doors can only be opened from the inside, or by someone with a key on the outside. Or more usually, by banging loud enough that someone already inside can let you in. That's the simple part.

The first front door leads into a hallway, and stairs leading to the second and third floors. The second front door is next to the stairs, leading to the main living areas - kitchen, TV room doubling as children's bedroom, downstairs non-children's bedroom, western style bathroom, and traditional arabic style toilet, this last complete with facilities for you to wash yourself at both ends.

And you can't open it from outside without a key. Which it why people are constantly locking themselves out when the wind blows it shut. Which is probably why there's an extra little mechanism which can be used to prop the door open ajar from the inside, or configured a different way, from the outside. Except the first way actually locks the door ajar, and is an absolute bugger to unlock.

So what do you do when you've locked youself out of your own home, and the holder of the single set of keys has driven off on business, incidentally leaving the gate wide open?

Easy. Because there's a third front door, leading into the kitchen. It's barred and covered with metal gauze, and can only be opened from inside. Unless you've made a hole in the gauze specifically for reaching through and turning the key on the inside. Which is precisely what we do.

This is what happens when you need to feel like there's security, but you also need to use doors.

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