Sunday, June 20, 2010

Visit to Eskişehir

A few weeks ago, before my life was consumed with correcting exams, processing grades and nailing down details for my upcoming wedding, we took a trip to Eskişehir.   It is about an hour an a half on the fast train.  The train was great.  It ran frequently all day, was clean and convenient.

  The city itself is fun, but certainly a day trip—no need to stay overnight.  We walked around all day and were able to see most of the city.  Eskişehir has a university and was considered to be a supporter of Ataturk as the city sacrificed itself during the Independence war, holding off the invasion of the British.  The city was razed then later rebuilt.  I was very surprised considering it liberal past, that there was such a conservative religious community.  While religious people aren’t against Ataturk, and those who support Ataturk don’t deign religion, there tends to be a correlation between liberalism and Ataturk supporters.  Most of the women I saw in Eskişehir wore headscarves, a few did not, but they were the minority.  Though the closer we walked to the university the fewer “covered” women we saw. 

The first stop was the creek that runs through town.  Now it is touristic and cute however, twenty years ago the creek apparently was rancid and stank and the cafes by the waterfront were ramshackle.  The current mayor has done an enormous amount of renovations in town and it has made a huge difference. 


The next stop was boza, a fermented (nonalcoholic) wheat drink.


  It was slightly sweet, and very thick.  You could eat it with a spoon.  The shop sold only boza, and you could sprinkle cinnamon on top if you wished.  It apparently has a lot of protein and vitamins and is healthy—though caloric. 

FIRST WITH BOZA ESKISEHIR, MAY10 I was not nesaccarily a fan, though I could see the appeal. 

Later we went to visit the city’s real attraction.  The restored Ottoman Style houses.  P5010037

The Ottoman style houses have been preserved and restored.  The neighborhood has turned into a tourist area with cafes and chai houses, though many locals still live in the houses, above the businesses. 


From Ankara it was a fun, inexpensive, quick day trip.  The fast train takes only an hour an a half to reach the city.  Everything in within walking distance from the train station so there is no need to tax about.  The round trip train tickets are 32 liras for one person.  It was a very lovely trip and a fun weekend activity.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Epic Cuteness

Bulent picked me up from the Servis bus the other day and told me he had a surprise for me.  He could not keep from smiling.  I kept trying to guess but was no where near close.  We drove around the neighborhood and finally ended up a nearby park.  I thought maybe he had set up a romantic picnic.  

Until I saw the fuzzy wriggling bodies.  Spring 2010 Ankara 152

To be precise, seven of them. 

A neighborhood street dog had puppies and the den is in the park nearby.  The mother is part German Sheppard and from her behavior she may have been an (abused) pet.  She is very shy and non confrontational.  If you speak to her she wags her tail but if you get get close she runs away.

The puppies are absolutely adorable.  They loved to be petted and cuddled. Unlike the last puppies we found.

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They hate to be ignored.  If they want attention they will clearly state their needs.

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They are NOT shy.

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If we owned a house with a yard I know Bulent would have wanted to adopt at least two of them.

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However, since that is not an option we have been bringing them, and their mother, food and water, as is a teenage boy who lives in the neighborhood.  The mother is quite thin – she has been nursing seven pups and has been scavenging for food.  Bulent posted photos on a Craigslist-ish type site advertising the puppies.  There are many people with large homes who want guard dogs.  This would be better than if the dogs were left to scavenge.  They would eventually be picked up by the city and vaccinated and be spayed/neutered, but then released back on to the street.   The problem is that in Turkey dog-ownership outside of villages is new and dogs are a status symbol. People want purebreds not mutts. 

So… if you are in the Ankara area and want a FREE PUPPY who is sweet and trainable, leave a comment.  We would love to hook you up with one of these darlings.  They need a home. 

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Look!  He likes you already!