Friday, July 31, 2009

ish--Definition: experiencing trouble or difficulty

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Technology Withdrawal

İ have been without a laptop now for several days. İ am walking around with a semi dazed expression. Life without the internet is a void. What is happening in the world? İ do not have, or PerezHilton informing me of the pulse of the nation. İ have been spending quite a bit of time in İnternet cafes which translates into spending lots of time with tweenie boys who are playing video games and playing the peck and find game with characters and letters that differ on the Turkish keyboard. İ also am helping build college funds for the local children with the amount İ have been spending for my Internet privileges. İ am trying to adapt to my internetless life. To start I have made more phone calls (significant because of the international calling rates.) İ have also started writing postcards instead of emails. So many of you do not be surprised by the deluge of mail coming your way. İ have so much more time now that İ started writing my postcards in alphabetical order, İ am up to K. So if we went to college together and your name is some variation of Kate or Katie (and there are many) you will probably get a post card. But if you do not---it must have gotten lost in the mail or your address was stored on my laptop and now forever lost to me. So ıf you want a postcard, send me your address.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Pissed and Pleased

Hello All. I am writing you from an İnternet cafe in İçmeler. Why would I do that you ask? Well, some ASS stole MY LAPTOP. Bülent´s too. İt was kind of strange. We walked into the house, saw the french door to the 2nd floor patio open and thought `SHIT!! Did we leave that open? Thank goodness we didn´t get robbed!!´

We have to admit--it was ironic and somewhat amusing. We thought that because the flat screen TV was there, nothing had been taken. İ was in the middle of cooking a quiche when İ went to use my laptop to convert Fahrenheit into Celsius when İ realised the laptops were missing. İ thought Bülent must have taken them downstairs. No such luck.

So then I remember--I left my engagement ring at home that day. I hadn´t wanted to lose it when I went swimming. So heart in my mouth I went racing downstairs and looked next to the bed. Thankfully it was there. Though my laptop bag was not. Originally I thought the robbers had left the ring and taken the bag (which contains all of my electronic tidbits plus a BRAND NEW 320 GB external hard drive.) But I put something in the storage closet yesterday and realized they didn´t steal my laptop bag--I had just misplaced it. Which is great news because I just bought the hard drive a week ago and BACKED UP my whole computer!! Which means İ only lost a week of lesson planning!

I have to say, I took the laptops being stolen pretty well. As many people know, I am mildly high strung, and it could have been very unpleasant. However, I think the relief that my engagement ring wasn`t taken that tempered the blow. Obviously there is the emotional value of it, as well as the practical--that it is worth more than the two laptops combined. I have to say, I haven`t taken it off since.

Engagement Night Celebration

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Posts On Hold

I will not be posting frequently for a little while. I realize I have said this again and again in the near past. Well, now I have an excuse. My laptop was stolen. As was Bülent´s laptop, and my laptop bag with the brand new external hard drive in it. I am havıng a little difficulty in postıng as we have gone from 2 laptops to ZERO overnight. Plus this Turkish character keyboard is kiıckiıng my ASS. I keep having to delete and retype. I will blog the saga later. And SAGA it is.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Return of the Profanity

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Fear in My Heart

Yesterday, something horrible happened. Truly frightening. I got up and went to the bathroom, approached the toilet, and realized, the bath mat was soaking. You know, the one that hugs the potty, that one. I was at a severe disadvantage, having already taken out my contacts. It was water—thank goodness. But we had no idea where it was coming from. The wasn’t overflowing, we could see no leaking. So after scrubbing my feet, I ran up stairs to the other bathroom. After I flushed, I heard it. The noise that strikes fear into the heart of any one who appreciates indoor plumbing. “The Gurgle.” There was a gurgle, a loud one. Then water started seeping out from around the bottom of the downstairs toilet. And then the plumber became our BFF. I may or may not have offered him my first born child.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Relocation of the Vicious Beast

There was an uprising in our yard this week. It was loud and disruptive and needed to be dealt with swiftly and harshly. But not too harshly…we were actually the interlopers, and it turned out to be cute and fuzzy.

On Wednesday, I heard an animal in rustling in the high grass. I was a little started, as it sounded large, but eventually it moved away, and the dog stopped barking, and life was good. However, on Thursday, it was a different story. It started moving around about 1 am, and our dog, and all the neighborhood dogs were very perturbed by this. After a couple of hours of intermittent barking we finally saw the Vicious Beast. I had been wondering what types of animals were local to Southwestern Turkey. I really had no idea. I grew up in the woods of New Hampshire, and am fairly relaxed about wild animals. Sometime I’ll tell you the story about when I thought a Bobcat was a housecat because I did not have my glasses on.

So I see this dark moving shape outside, and try to figure out what the hell it was. Bülent said it was a Kirpi. Oh, great, a kirpi! I hop on my Turkish/English dictionary…It was a hedgehog. Super Vicious. Obviously worthy of being barked at viciously until 4 am, I mean really. Look at this photo—It will strike fear into your heart.

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More like strike the warm fuzzies into your heart.

For all that was good in the world, we wanted to find the beast and strike it from the face of the earth, or at least relocate it from the yard so the dogs would stop torturing us at night. So on Friday, we started searching for the hedgehog, it was pretty easy. When our dog started frothing at the mouth, we knew it was out of its den and out in the yard. The thing about hedgehogs—they aren’t fast and when confronted they roll in a ball and wait it out. So the “capture” involved using a broom to brush what looked like a large dust bunny into a bucket. We drove several miles away and let it go, far away from the road, in the woods. Marmaris June 2009 051

He looks cozy.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Birthday Food

Oh YUM!! Bülent wanted to go to a Kebab house for his birthday, he had heard about a local one that was tasty. The word of mouth was right!!

We had cop sis, and all the accouterment. In a Turkish restaurant, mezes usually come with the meal. In this case, bulgur pilaf, small lahmacuns, roasted onions, peppers and tomatoes, fresh lavash bread, a onion/sumac salad along with arugula and parsley.

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Here is the main deal, cop sis, grilled lamb. It is super delicious, usually pulled off the skewer and eaten wrapped in the lavash with any of the aforementioned accouterments.

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We also ordered eggplant salad, which was amazingly tasty. It was pretty simple, mashed eggplant, garlic, salt and pepper, and just delicious.

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Here is my plate before the meat pops got to the table. As you can see, there is already a bite out of the lahmacun.

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And for dessert, kunefe. Kunefe is a pie of shredded pastry, soaked in a sweet syrup with cheese in the middle. It is amazing, sweet and savory, served warm.

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The food was great, the company wonderful, and it was a good birthday for him, if I do say so myself.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

He Rocks My Socks

We have been together for five years, and every night is still like a slumber party. He still opens doors for me and carries my bags. It is just how he is. In the beginning, I was not old enough to go to bars with him. He bought me my first legal drink. When he learned I was a feminist he took me on a date to see Benazir Bhutto speak. In the grungy student apartment in Cambridge, he braved the kitchen to make me breakfast in bed every Saturday.

When I went back to school at night, and was working full time during the day, he made me breakfast and packed me a lunch and dinner. Every. Day. When I need to cry he hands me a tissue, holds me until I am done and pours me a glass of wine. If we don’t have wine, he will go out and buy it.

Today is his day, and it will be a good one.

Happy Birthday Aşkım, the 5th together so far, with many more to come.


With lots of love, from me, and Butterfinger.

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Some days…

I miss things. Like 4th of July. I really wanted to be at a BBQ eating messy ribs or burned hamburgers, drinking beer and watching fireworks. Normally I would have just thrown my own BBQ, however, circumstances prevented that. But, I think I am going to have one next week. There will be burgers,beer, deviled eggs, potato salad, watermelon, beer, ice cream, beer and maybe some vegetables.

I have been a little nostalgic about the US lately. Last night I went out and did something about it. I watched “Angels and Demons,” there is nothing like Tom Hanks and Ewan McGregor to make you feel at home. Especially when they are saving Vatican City, or destroying it. Or simply standing still so I can look at them.

I have also been craving certain types of food that are more difficult to get here. Like martini olives. I am in mourning over martini olives, I can’t find them anywhere, it is really tragic. Though I did find vermouth, which was exciting.

I have been craving Mexican food and sushi. I miss the Mexican food from San Diego, you know the kind where the restaurant only takes cash, looks like a hole in the wall and has Abuela in the back cooking. You know what I mean, that place people used to think it was a sex shop because of the loud moans, and if it was on fire the patrons would put it out with their bodies lest they could not get an orgasmic burrito in the Burn Ward.

So before Angels and Demons we went out for Mexican food. It was actually “El Toritos” a California Mexican restaurant chain. Not authentic, but close enough to appease the hunger.

The other food I have been yearning for is sushi. I want it pretty hardcore. I am afraid to go snorkeling in Marmaris--if I see a fish---I just might just take a bite. So if you know any good places to go for sushi in either Ankara or Marmaris, let me know. I really prefer wasabi with my raw sea creatures instead of a la snorkel.

ALONG 101 WITH VOLKAN 10-2008 (1)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Amazing Travels: Santorini

Santorini was amazing! I know I keep saying everything was beautiful, amazing, etc. But it really was great, in a different way. We had been running around seeing “Historical” sites, which was educational and fascinating, however all of our vacationing (and stomach issues) had tuckered us out. Check out our path!

Cities we visited on our Epic Family Vacation

Santorini was just beautiful. Incredibly picturesque and serene. We stayed in these two adjoining houses built into the cliffs of Santorini looking out into the ancient volcano crater.


The island of Santorini is left over from a huge volcanic explosion that created several small islands out of one former larger one. Our house looked out onto the caldera (the depression where the volcano collapsed the land into a caldron-like feature). What I found fascinating what that Santorini sings. It really does. The wind blows in swiftly from the caldera, up the cliff face and into the honeycombs of the cave homes. It is reminiscent of when you blow into the top of an empty glass bottle. Cavehouse We also stayed in the most fabulous place. (Email me if you want the contacts) With the MOST FABULOUS manager, Maria. Maria was SO nice that we extended her a invitation to visit us in Marmaris.

We were supposed to take the night ferry back on the night of the 24th. Maria and her husband dropped us off. He thought that there was only one ferry to Athens that night, but Maria looked at our tickets (which were in Greek) and they looked fine. So we get on the boat, and when the ticket guy took ours Bülent had the wherewithal to make sure it went to Rodos (so we could get to our ultimate destination of Marmaris.) No. The ferry went to Athens. There had been a misunderstanding. Our tickets were for the 24th, but at 12:20 am. We showed up on the 24th, but by the time we boarded it was the 25tah, and the ferry had a different destination. I AM SO GLAD Bülent checked. So we got off the boat, the ONLY taxi driver there at 1:30 am offered us a ride. We made our way back to my parents hotel, thinking we could at least stay there until check out the next day. Wrong! Maria, the kind, amazing person she is told us to just stay the whole day and that night she would drive us back to the ferry port (no charge.) And then, she said if there was a problem with the ferry that night she would pick us up and we could spend the night there again if we needed to. So instead of the whole thing being an inconvenient mess, we had another lovely day in Santorini until the ferry to RODOS that night.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I Saw Jesus In Greece

I really did.   Several times.  In the hospital.  I have never been in the hospital for myself before, never broke a bone or needed stitches or even urgent care.  I chose to break this streak on my parents vacation visiting Turkey and Greece.  Did I do this in Turkey where I had been living for five months and where it would be inexpensive?  NO!

After my parents met Bülent’s parents and stayed in Marmaris for a few days, it was off to the Greek Island of Santorini with a daytrip in Rodos on the way.  I had gotten a stomachache on Wednesday.  It was unpleasant but I thought nothing of it.  (TMI Warning)  I have a gastro-intestinal issue commonly known as IBS.  (Or--You did something horrible in a past life and now have to pay!) Stomachaches are part of the package of eating anything but yogurt, bread and water.  So I got this stomachache on Wednesday and every night honestly believed it would be gone by the next day.  So on Saturday, when we are touring yet another beautiful historical sight, I begged my parents to go on without me.  Because by this time I could not walk without to cry.  I thought I might need an exorcism to kill the demons that had taken up residence in my intestines. 

While we waited for the night ferry to Santorini, instead of touring the Old City of Rodos, we had a lovely excursion to a Greek hospital, which is where I saw Jesus.  In every room.  There was a painting high up on the wall which varied between different themes.  I was glad to see him becuase I thought I might need some prayer after looking at the prices in Euros.  Do you know what the dollar is against the Euro.  If you don’t, please don’t look it up.  It is too depressing.  Unless you are not American and your currency is worth more than toilet paper.  Anyway.  I got a diagnosis (IBS—Shocking!) and some stomach meds and we went on our way.  That is, Bülent and the family went out to dinner, while I rocked in fetal position in the car.  Thankfully the medications helped and I now am absolved of any sins I might have committed in a past life.

I did get to see Old City of Rodos later, because Bülent and I had to go home to Marmaris by way of Rodos on the ferry and it was lovely.  

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