Friday, 29 February 2008
Sunday, 24 February 2008
Saturday, 23 February 2008
Thursday, 21 February 2008
Wednesday, 20 February 2008
Have I mentioned yet that we’re going to the big city, Ankara, this weekend? Ankara is the capital of Turkey. We lived there for one year. It’s crowded and busy and dirty and full. We took hour long bus rides regularly to get from one place to another (this is really frustrating when those destinations would only take 5-10 minutes by car.) After only that one year, we were sick of the smog and the business, and ready to leave, but now that we’ve been away for almost 3 years, well I don’t know... maybe absence makes the heart grow fonder? Here’s a list of the things I hope I get to do while we’re in Ankara. These are things that I can’t normally do.
1. Go to Starbucks. This is always on the top of my list. I (like thousands and thousands of other Americans) LOVE Starbucks. I don't drink coffee but I do drink the creamy sweet deliciousness that seems to only come in Starbucks cups. There is a very special reason why I like Starbucks, and why my love for it has grown exponentially since we've been to Turkey, and here it is: everywhere in the entire world Starbucks is the same. It’s decorated the same, has the same yummy drinks, plays the same music. Starbucks feels like America. Starbucks smells like America. Starbucks tastes like America. And that makes me LOVE it. And no matter what country I'm in, if I go to Starbucks when I'm about half way through my caramel macciato I end up standing up in the middle of the restaurant and belting out God Bless America... but I digress, as well as grossly exaggerate.
2. Talk with my fellow Americans. There is an international church in Ankara and it is just chalk full of people who speak English! Do you know how amazingly fun it is to have conversations in your first language? Oh the depth and the breadth in communicating I can have that I just don’t get in Turkish! Oh, to understand - fully - what the people around me are saying!
Tuesday, 19 February 2008
Turkey was hit by a big snow storm, dropping around a foot of fresh snow on top of the snow that was already here.
I think that the country is lacking a bit in snow removal equipment, and so the roads out of our city are all closed, as is the airport. We're able to get around the city just fine in our truck, but there's just something about knowing that we can't leave. Not that we were planning on leaving today, but it's just that we CAN'T. If I think about it, I get a little stir crazy. Not that I really know what that term means, but I think it has something to do with how I feel.
It's kind of like the feeling I get when I'm flying. Knowing that I'm trapped with a whole bunch of strangers inside a giant tin can with wings, high above the earth, going who knows how many hundreds of miles an hour and I can't get out...not even if I really really want to... not even if I try really really hard. It kind of freaks me out. I do my best to avoid thinking about it, because if I think about it, especially while flying, it freaks me out even more. I mean, I don't want to freak out to the point that I end up having some sort of a break down and then have to be pinned down by a stewardess while they call for an emergency landing. People would probably film me on their cell phones and I'd end up being a crazy lady on the 11:00 news. And that would be really embarrassing, ya know. So I try to avoid thinking too deeply on these things. It's not that I'm afraid the plane will crash, it's just that I'm afraid I'll look really really stupid in front of a lot of people. But I digress....
Yesterday morning, in an effort to avoid stir craziness, before the snow had piled too high, I put on boots and went for a walk. I took a few shots of our neighborhood in the falling snow...
Here’s the cars outside our building buried in the snow. Yeah, I know it’s not that exciting but it shows just how much snow there was, and if just kept right on snowin' the whole day.
You see that grey building? The one beside the green and yellow one? That’s ours! We live right smack dab in the middle of it. Sure, from the outside it’s not too pretty, but it’s home.
Here’s the mosque on the corner. This little gazebo thing in front of it is where people do their ritual washings of their hands, feet and faces before they go in for prayers. Brrrr.... hope they find somewhere else to wash in the winter time. Just imagining that makes me shiver...
Oh look! Here’s a handsome man in a truck. I bet he’s nice too.... oh wait! That’s James, the corner of my liver! He’s picking me up to take me to lunch. Apparently he wants to avoid the embarrassment of seeing me going stir crazy too!
Monday, 18 February 2008
Maybe if I serve Cola Turka (especially to myself) I'll stop making cultural blunders.
More to come later about my growing love for the potato and onion guy (he's really really great... think 1950s milk man with a mustache and bushy eyebrows.)
Friday, 15 February 2008
Thursday, 14 February 2008
Wednesday, 13 February 2008
Monday, 11 February 2008
Sunday, 10 February 2008
Here's one of the baker guys. He flattened out some dough and is pileing some pide topping on it. He'll spread it all out then hand it to the oven guy.
Saturday, 9 February 2008
Tuesday, 5 February 2008
Monday, 4 February 2008
Along with these delicious hogie sandwiches we had spinach and artichoke dip, chips and fresh salsa, veggies with blue cheese(!) dressing, and buffalo wings! Mmmmm-mmmm good!
Oh look! This other mayo bottle has a picture of someone dipping their french fries in mayo. Thanks mayonaise bottle for the serving suggestion!
Sunday, 3 February 2008
You came out of my womb and into the world three years ago. You were born 10 time zones away from the place your parents still call home. The first language you heard was Turkish from the doctors and nurses, followed quickly by English. Even though you're an American citizen, you have yet to actually live in the United States. You've flown internationally more times in your short life than I had by the time I was 25! You live in a tall building and ride an elevator to and from your home daily. You usually speak English but throw Turkish in now and then too. The things that we think are crazy about life overseas are simply normalcy to you. You've seen some amazing things in your 3 years... I think you'll turn out to be a very special woman. You're already a unique and special little girl. I'm glad you surprised us by coming when we weren't planning you! Happy Birthday Elise!!!