Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Hi All,
Ooh, so raise your hand if you're a math expert (remember, the price is per liter)...then pass out visualizing the price of gas here. Yay. I'm 100% ok with not driving here, as several near-death experiences (though no one else in the car flinched) plus gas prices = dear God. Anyhow, I finally got out of the house today!

White on Rice
That's how close HM has stuck U. (The driver, I know I used F. but that's completely wrong, ignore it...) on me. It's nice to have my own little Turkish buffer (since my pronunciation skills are pathetically useless, despite the fact they have a lot of the same vowels as German), but I felt sorry for the poor guy today. HM took me into her office (after successfully shipping off the kids to school -K declared that it wasn't fair and if G didn't go to school today he wouldn't where I got the goldfish treatment. Everyone got a turn to peek in and show off their English. It was funny, as one ended up asking me why I was going to take Turkish classes. I found this amusing as I would like to have SOME kind of idea of what's happening to me, and at this point any percentage over 0 would be grand. Back to the rice...we took the Metro (subway) to Taksim street. I then bored the guy to death as I meandered the whole length with him.

At some point, U turned to me and gesticulated that we could go in any of the shops (this was essentially a shopping street with some big name designers and some littler ones as well). I explained that I was more interesting in just looking around. He figured that out when we stopped at the Basilica on the street (Random...) St. Anthony. Unfortunately, most of the church was roped off and they didn't allow pictures. But, I'll give you a hint: it looked like a church. Although the picture of the pope above the door was a new twist for me inside. I got a picture of the outside though. Across from it was a beautifully arched wall/window/door structure. (Clear enough..?)

I did end up stopping to get postcards. I feel like it's cheating to get ones of places I haven't seen yet, so I got some depicting some old Turkish art. I also got a good city map in English and eventually some stamps. When we turned around a few minutes later, U. decided to pick up an English/Turkish dictionary. As we'd maybe spoken about 10 words in the hour we'd spent so far together. We sat down for a cold drink (and yes Mom, I was wearing sunscreen : p ) and we managed to discuss family a little (very important). I will be lucky to see a Turkish wedding when I'm here, U. is getting married sometime next summer. He and his fiance make a very cute couple. Then again, his identical twin brother would probably look pretty good with her too, but my Turkish wasn't up to that quip. He has a good sense of humor and was trying very hard to communicate. (Which is fortunate, for the first hour I was dreading sitting down because I thought it would be the only thing possibly more awkward then walking around!) However, just as I was thinking that I wasn't sure I'd have anything interesting for this blog post, a university student protest set up camp just down the street. I asked U. about it, but he just said they were University students, implying that this was just what they do. Maybe it is?

Afterschool Adventure
We survived the rest of the afternoon until we went to pick up the kids. THAT was interesting. We picked up K on time, but G was 10...15..20...30 minutes later, and there was no G. I tried to keep K busy, and U. decided to go search for G. Now, they go to a private school, so the security is awesome and he couldn't have left the premise. I was still very glad that it would (well, couldn't since I didn't have a cell yet - got it tonight) NOT be my job to call HM if we couldn't find him. So U went to go look for G. Of course, as soon as U left, G found us. I implored him to stay put with us, but he insisted of running to look for U. Now, I assume everyone knows how brothers work? If the older does it, by golly, it'll take a cold day to get the younger to not! Luckily, he just wanted to go to the playground, and so U and G were able to find us shortly. As we were about home, I think U got a slightly panicked phonecall from HM, who'd come home early to make dinner since the new live-in housekeeper/cook doesn't start until Monday.

HM was great though, wanting to know how the day went. The only thing I could complain about was that U wouldn't let me buy my own food/drink. It's a nice gesture (and typical I think), but one I can do without. Lunch was an interesting Doener: it had the typical shaved meat and bread, but came topped with tomatoes and the sandwich. Tasty though. HM now knows that I like to try new things, but even I vetoed her lunch suggestion of a traditional dish. I'm afraid my culinary openess doesn't currently extend to grilled sheep intestine. Oh, and I found out that the aqueduct was built in the 16th century (this one, anyways) and is called the Uzun aqueduct. Fun fact of the day. Anyhow, it's off to Hagia Sophia tomorrow and some more historic places.

Hoping all is well,


Mom said...

I was so curious that I had to do the math! The 2.52 Turkish lira converts to $1.71 per liter. There are 3.79 liters per gallon so the cost in US$ per gallon is $6.48!! Ouch!

Keep the posts coming!

Dad said...

Steph..sounds like you are having a gourmet eating experience! Is the yogurt served cold? I would skip the tripe too. Istanbul must be loaded with history and historical sites. Enjoy!