Monday, October 29, 2007

Kapadokya pictures.


I had to go in, even in just this little stream.

Sunset

Friends

More cliff dwellings.

We went into this underground city and I decided that this would be my bedroom. =)

Turkish dancing...really it's like traditional Jewish dance.

Merel and me!!

Kapadokya


Dancing Dervishes

A picture of the cliff looking out the window of one of the dwellings. (How is that for framing mom?)

An awesome cat I became friends with!!

Troy and me with the cliff dwellings in the background!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Istanbul by night.

 
 
 
 
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

View of campus and permit!

 
 
 
This permit is like gold!! I think it helped that I was American though because my friend who is Australian did his at exactly the same time and mine was ready and his wasn't. But Turkey's bureaucracy really is a joke, so they might have just lost his...who knows! I am grateful to have mine though!
Posted by Picasa

Turkey and Iraq and the Kurds

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/25/world/europe/25turkey.html?ex=1350964800&en=c29c14c8209c0a96&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

This is a fairly good article for the details of what is going on between Turkey, Iraq, and the Kurdish PKK group.

Monday, October 22, 2007

More mail...

I don't know what happens with the mail here, but I get everything in piles. Today I got two letters from my grandma, two from my mom, and a wedding invitation to my best friend's wedding. =( That I will not be able to attend because I will be in Turkey. Sometimes when I'm away, I never think of home, I just embrace the moment and enjoy every second that I'm in this wonderful country. But then there are times when I get wedding invitations and I long for my dear friends who love me unconditionally. Not just that I want their love, but I want to give them love and support as well. It's nearly impossible to do that from here. Of course we can chat and sometimes even speak on the phone and write letters, but it's not the same as seeing their face and their eyes light up. That's when I wish I had more money and a $1000 plane ticket wasn't an issue. Because I love Rachel and I don't want to miss her wedding. I know she understands, but it's hard. =(

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Unreal!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7055625.stm

Doesn't this article seem fake?? The deputy mayor of Delhi died after being attacked by monkeys.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Longest breakfast of my life....in a good way!


Haley at Mado's.....I love this girl so much it's crazy!

Heart-shaped cheesecake...no joke. Plus, it was for breakfast!!

This is the awesome breakfast that Elif's cousin made for us!! We also ended up staying for dinner...it was like Christmas, I ate so much!!!

I think malls all over the world are the same. This one had a nice ice rink though. These are Elif's cousins and us!

They love soccer here!!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Friends

Since I have been feeling better, I have made a point to not be at my computer. But that also meant not a lot of updates this week.

Classes are fine, midterms are coming up, which means I'll have to start reading for some classes. I have my first Turkish test on Thursday and I am terrified! But I will try my best of course.

This week really has been amazing. I can't count my blessing enough for all the friends I have made here. I feel like they're real friends too, which is even more crazy since I can most likely count my real friends on one hand.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Ortakoy Mosque

 
Sick and everything!! They wouldn't let us in the temple, because they didn't believe I was Jewish and that I wanted to pray...so we went and walked around in the area. It was beautiful really, but I was still pissed they wouldn't let us in!
Posted by Picasa

Something about them Turkish boys...


Look what you get when you're sick!!! Plus the huge pile of letters and postcards I've been unable to mail!!

The first day I was sick, I texted my friend to tell him that I didn't go to the Black Sea. I just didn't want him to think I was somewhere I wasn't. Plus, if I actually did need something, I wanted to make sure someone knew I was sick. But that night he showed up at my door with orange juice and peach juice. It was really sweet and completely unexpected. The next day he was going home for the holidays so he stopped to see me on his way out of town and he brought me flowers for the holiday!

I went to a movie Friday night with my friend Haley, we saw Stardust and I loved it!!! But during intermission (weird, people go out and smoke, it's disgusting) I had a text from my friend who told me if I needed anything because I was sick let him know. Good to know, except I still don't know how he knew I was sick in the first place.

Then yesterday, I went to the hospital because I wasn't getting better and I got two IVs of liquids and the doctor gave me four persciptions to kill the bacteria in my stomach. So not only is it Sunday today, but also a week of Christmas-like holidays. There are 4 pharmacies open in this whole city, or so if felt. So I texted my friend and asked him how I could find one of these so called open pharmacies. He just said, "what do you need," and replied, "I need to get medicine taht the doctor gave me last night." Then he said, "What are they." I wrote, "Are you kidding? I can't decipher what the doctor wrote, I can try, but it's okay, I can get the meds tomorrow." At this point, I'm like, this is ridiculous I can't even read what the doctor wrote. Plus in America, you would need the perscription form to get them. I guess that's not the case in Turkey. So I emailed him the perscriptions because there is no way I can text everything. I don't really hear anything from him and I take a shower and get dressed. Then he calls and he's like what's the number of your apartment. Then two minutes later the doorbell rings and he's standing there with all four meds. But it was crazy because he didn't know where I lived. I think these Turkish people have networks of spies or something. I was so grateful...and the best part. He brought me flowers too. =)

So now, I actually am feeling much better. No headaches or dizziness. No stomach twisting pain. Still using the bathroom, but not nearly as much.

Friday, October 12, 2007

and...

and a couple of days ago I spilled scalding hot tea on my hand, so I walked around carrying a can of Coke and trading it out every so often for a colder one. The skin on my hand kind of flaked off and it is fine, but if I was in America I probably could have sued. haha

Medical Update - the following might not be tasteful or appropriate for children under 17

Originally my back was the only problem. After the doctor told me I was anemic, I started taking iron supplements and eating more beans. It really helped, the pain lessened and I didn't feel my back as much, although it was not completely gone. The pain would sneak up every once in a while, but it was very bearable for the short time I felt it. I really think my body used my back to tell me something was wrong, not very medical or scientific, I know, but that's my theory.

Then...I got a yeast infection, which is somewhat normal for me. If you ever come to Turkey, maya is yeast. I've needed the word twice now, I made challah for my friends, so I needed yeast and then when I was trying to explain to the pharmacist what was wrong. Who know the word was used so often.

Then...Tuesday night I didn't sleep more than an hour because I was in the bathroom all night. I had to get up early Wednesday to get my residence permit. My head was pounding and I felt like there was a vice on it. I live down a huge hill from school, and I really thought I was going to faint when I was inching my way up. But I was determined to get this permit taken care of. (It's already been an ordeal.) After the bus ride there, in the first building I was sweating. That's not too abnormal, it's warm still and the buildings don't have AC. But I was sweating a LOT. But 20 minutes later I had goosebumps and was shivering. I was tired, but I blamed that on my lack of sleep. After we waited in line after line from 8 until noon, we finally were successful. The Turkish bureaucracy is incredible. It does create jobs though and Turkey has very high unemployment. Playing the pushy America definitely paid off. (Katie hates when I'm pushing, but it saved me a good 3 to 4 hours today. It wasn't just cutting in line at the Retreat for the Willy Wonka meal.) There was also a point where I refused to refill out my form, so the employee proceed to superglue my paper to the paper she wanted, it was pretty spectacular to see the government use superglue. Personally, I might have used a staple, but this is Turkey. So by the time I got home, I was sweating again and my heart was beating ridiculously hard and fast. So I tried to take a nap, but people kept calling and knocking on the door. I knew I couldn't go to the Black Sea, I was so dizzy and couldn't stay out of the bathroom. It really was painful. I finally did have a two hour rest from 8-10 and I woke up in a pool of sweat although I was freezing when I fell asleep. My friend came over for a little while which was nice, but I was pretty useless. Then another friend brought me juice, which was so sweet. So by 2am I was asleep again.

The next day (yesterday) wasn't as bad. My stomach was still very upset, but I wasn't dizzy and I didn't have a fever. But I was still in the bathroom every ten minutes. Although I don't know how it was possible because there was nothing in my system. I hadn't eaten anything for 18 hours. But I had to get out of my apartment. So I walked to go the pharmacy to get diarrhea medicine. Then went to my friend's place and we ended up at Starbucks (I had green tea, which is suppose to be good for your stomach, but I don't think it did anything.) and then the mall (the second largest one in Europe). Go figure. But this mall had a lot of bathrooms, so it was okay. Then I ate a piece of Sbarro pizza...probably the best I ever had...but anything after about 24 hours of no food so pretty darn delicious.

Now this morning, I'm fairly back to normal. Most of the stomach pains are gone. Nothing is solid yet, but if I'm not in pain, I don't mind. I'm pretty sure it was food poisening, or the 36 hour flu.

Right now in Turkey it is Bayram, or holiday. It's actually "Sugar Holiday" because it is the end of Ramadan. So people go around and visit their families and when they go the families give them lots of candy and desserts. Pretty great holiday if you ask me. So I bought chocolate for my best friends family because he went home and I got some for the little boy that lives above me who brings me my mail. And I ate a piece because I gave it all away. =)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Great (mail) day!!

Today was great. All around. I made cookies again last night and didn't burn any of them. So today, all my friends got to eat them. I never understood Nelly or my grandma when I was little, but I love baking for people now and watching them eat it! We even gave some to our favorite waiters at our favorite cafe!! They practice their English with me and the other Turkish guys who are fluent. It's so cute.

But even better than that!! I was at home this afternoon and the doorbell rang. Dokan (the 5 year old son of our landlord, who loves me because I give him little things) was standing there holding four pieces of mail for me!! He is adorable. I'll have to take his picture soon. Dad, Katie and Rick, my friend Pat and my friend Ray sent me mail!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I tried to mail postcards today, but the post office was closed again, for no reason. It's so crazy!! I had to return the books for a class I dropped, but they don't let you return them, only exchange, so I bought a Turkish cookbook, a book with some beautiful pictures of Turkey, and a Turkish novel called The White Castle.

PLUS...I emailed my professor to see how I did on my presentation because I had no idea how was knew our grades. All he wrote was, "You did very well." So I think that's a good thing. =)

Monday, October 08, 2007

Merel and I at the Grand Bazaar!

Presentation

Today I gave my presentation in my grad class. My topic was emerging world powers. I talked about China, India, and Russia, the US, and the effects that a shift in power would have on Turkey. It went so well. The professor kept interrupting, but he said he was going to do that. I was the first one to go, of the whole class. It was only suppose to be 50 minutes, but everyone was discussing and bringing up related topics that it lasted an hour and half! Crazy, I know. So I hope I get an A. But I don't know when we find out what we got, we shall see.

But now it's over and I can take it easy in that class, until our 20 page paper is due!!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Warm Turkish Home meal!! (again!!)

 
Volkan!!!
 
Nice spread of food!! Really really good food!
 
The view from their terrace.
 
Posted by Picasa

Grand Bazaar

 
 
 
 
Posted by Picasa

This week.

As already posted, you know I got my haircut. I still don't have a picture of myself, but getting a haircut was definitely an experience. When I went in, I had my dictionary. I didn't know who was going to cut my hair, but I started with the word "thick" and then "thin," in hopes they would know to thin out my thick hair. I think they got the point. One guy gave me a whole haircut and it was really good except it wasn't short enough in the back. But then this other guy who had a higher rank came over and shortened the back, but also shortened the front much more! I was like eeek. But it's only hair and it's a good haircut, just a little shorter than I was expecting. When I was there, everyone who worked there touched my hair. I don't think it was the thickness, because a lot of Turks have really thick hair, but maybe the texture and the color is different. I'm not sure, but everyone was really friendly and I will go back to this little place, maybe with a translator next time. But no matter what, no one is better than Marylin!

I went to the art exhibit to see my professor's work. It was a really interesting set up. It was this old builing with huge bricked arced ceilings. It was Turkish artist from 1930 through the present. So at the beginning of the massive hall was the 30's, then 40's, 50's etc. Then at the end was her work, with other famous Turkish artist from 2007. The progression was quick interesting. Plus I love ceramics so I was very intrigued. My professor is really awesome though. She's very laid back and right when you have no clue what to do, she's there to explain it in Turkish...and hand movements. I love it. =)

I tried to make chocolate chip cookies last night even though I didn't have vanilla. The batter tasted normal and so did the cookies that didn't burn, but we only have this tiny counter top oven and the cookies baked so unevenly that some were black and others were fine. So I saved the rest of the batter and I'll take it to someone's house who has a real oven and attempt to bake the rest. Turkey is always an adventure. =)

Friday, October 05, 2007

Tanju!!!

 
Tanju is, very seriously, reading the future for a friend by looking at the coffee grounds!! He's really good at it! I was convinced!!
Posted by Picasa
 
Other people's art.
 
This is all clay!
 
View
 
On the weekends, huge cruise ships dock all along the Bosporus!
Posted by Picasa
 
View through the window of the exhibit.
 
The page of the book that is for my ceramic's teacher.
 
Her artwork.
 
Posted by Picasa