Sunday, October 24, 2010

Amasra: Last Road Trip with the FamFam

Before the wedding, when my parents were in Turkey we took the opportunity to see as many parts of Turkey as possible.  We went to Cappadocia and saw the fairy chimneys.  Then we started on our Black Sea tour.  The first stop was Safranbolu, and the next was Amasra. 

Amasra is a small town on the Black Sea,.  The industry is primarily fishing and tourism.  The trip there is pretty amazing.  You have to drive through the mountains, there are one lane bridges and high passes through the mountains when the road ends six inches from a hundred foot sheet drop with no guardrail.  While the driver has to have their eyes glued to the road the passengers can enjoy the troop.  The drive is incredibly scenic.  From the last mountain you drive up and over there is an amazing view of the town of Amasra.  AmasraIt is on a protected cove with two small peninsulas shielding it from the main sea.  Amasra is best known for its delicious fish and the “Amasra Salad” 

Amasra 130

A mix of lettuce, arugula, green onions, green garlic shoots, dill, radishes, parsley, pickled beets, carrots and some other delicious and spicy additions. 


We were there in the off season so it was nice and quiet.  We were just there to enjoy the sights and the fish.  What was interesting was that people were trying to pick us up.  There were some older women waiting on the streets, and when we parked the car they raced up to us, competing over offering us rooms at their pensions or homes. 


We ended up staying in a hotel right on the water.  The pensions offered by the women who were cruising us were well priced and safe, but not on the water.  We were only there for one night and so we wanted to be able to appreciate the sea.


We had a fantastic time and it was a lovely trip with my parents.  We headed back to Ankara the next day to see some of the local sites and get ready for the Turkish wedding. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Better Day

Today was less stressful and the kids were fine.  Also I have tomorrow off. That makes the world a better place in general.  Today I also had a student write something very sweet and profound.  The kind of thing that reminds me why I became a teacher, and why I bother with nagging the brats about doing their homework. 

I managed to save the Craptastic Soup.  It was supposed to be Ezogelin Corba.  The proportions of the recipe were off, the bulgur in the soup soaked up too much of the liquid, and the flavor was flat.  I split it in half, spiced up and revived one half as soup and the other half as a bulgur pilaf.  So Yay!  I hate wasting food, but as we all know, when you try new recipes or experiment with them every once in a while you get a dud.  Thankfully I was able to save mine.   

Tomorrow I will be hitting up the pazar.  I usually go on Sundays, buy my produce and wash and prepare it for the upcoming week.  However, I do not cook much during the week because I get home late.  Then on the weekend, when I actually have time to cook, I run out out of fresh things to cook with before Sunday.*  Our neighborhood pazar is open on Thursdays and Mondays, now that my day off falls on Thursday instead of Wednesday, I can take advantage of this.  Another Yay!


* I could actually go to the grocery store and get what I want and I sometimes do.  However, I prefer to buy my produce and eggs at the pazar.  It is fresher and I feel I am helping support the local economy.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Oh Real Life? Ouch!

Back from the delicious lands of vacation and back to work.  This year I have adjusted my teaching style from Western to Turkish.  If I treated my students in the US this way there would have been a mutiny.  I am serious.  I stopped wearing dangly earring while working in San Diego because I was afraid they would be RIPPED from my earlobes while I broke up fights.  I am not kidding.  One time I thought these girls were going to toss each other from a window (3rd floor.) 

Turkish students are used to authoritarian teaching, they do not respond well to the US style of teaching.  They see it as weakness and walk all over you.  Since I have modified my style the students behave better and learn more.  Class is a little less fun for all of us, but since the learning has improved I will suck it up and be a crazy b*tch.  On the plus side they are much more respectful in general, and are very sweet.

Today was a long hard day. Hall duty and 7 classes which means I have to stand in the hall darning ALL the breaks including lunch and only have one class off all day (40 minutes at 10 am—that’s when I eat my lunch.)

After eight hours of standing on my feet and holding both my bladder (we are not supposed to leave the hall to use the bathroom) and my patience, I went home and started to cook.  Cooking relaxes me.  However I followed a recipe and it was a big fat fail.  I now have to figure out how t salvage all that craptastic soup.  Cooking did not work to relax me this time. 

So now I am having a glass of wine.  And it seems to be hitting the spot.