Friday, October 16, 2009

Things I Wouldn't Recommend...

Hi all,
Today was very long, but not terrible. However, it was rather quirky...

Yup, That's a Toilet
And, I might add, it's about 100x nicer than the public toilets here (think lots of rust, prior use goodies and overflowing water from the corner of the filthy floor : ). I mean, I wish I would've had my camera. First of all, it was pouring, so the floor was wet, and covered with newspaper. I gave the man in the box my 75 cents (I was desperate, ok?!?) and got my two little cocktail napkins. I walked into the "stall" and froze. I mean, it's harder than it looks, ok? But I did survive it. Somehow. And hopefully never again...I will wait the half an hour that it takes to find a free and unlocked bathroom at the school or work on a world record...

When it Rains, it Pours!
Today Istanbul issued me a very big "Welcome to fall!" I'd known that it might rain, but I was unwilling to make the effort of finding and buying an umbrella. Plus, they don't like it when you use big bills. So I had to break one buying a (much needed!) dictionary and a couple of fiction books by a Turkish author. Anyhow, as soon as I was done I noticed that it was raining. Nothing insane, but more than just a cute little sprinkle. So I ran to the nearest small shop and overpaid for a flimsy umbrella. However, I was surrounded by tons of fellow Istanbulites egaged in a similar scramble. So it was nice to fit in. I also managed to get absolutely soaked running to the front door from the shuttle, as it decided to then downpour. But I at least made the shuttle! However, it was a bit of a bummer - and my last recommendation of things not to do is wear leather shoes...I hope they'll recover!

Things That Made Me Smile
It's the little things, right?
The first thing was while I was waiting for the shuttle. The street is at a slight incline, but nothing major. However, as I was watching the sidewalk I saw a 40 year old man (at least..) "pushing" a grocery cart laden with fruit down along the street. Perfectly normal, except when he suddenly sped up and lifted his feet off the cart - and started cruising! He kept it controlled, but I had to laugh as he whizzed by with a small expression of joy on his face.

Second, amongst the small crowd going to my community, there was a man with a bottle of lemonade and some cups. After chatting with an older lady, he proffered her some and then myself and the other guy waiting. Now, he seemed like a very friendly guy (the others seemed to know him), and so I didn't have any worries about it, but I just wasn't thirsty so I declined. But it was nice to see that little show of friendliness. Also, I'd checked with the older woman to make sure I was at the right tree (I was) and she worked up her courage to repeat "Four O'clock!" at least 6 times until I understood. A little feeling of belonging.

Lastly, as we were waiting, I noticed a man in line for what turned out to be a taxi. He was wearing the standard nice pants and button-down shirt, and was approximately 60. That and the fact he was carring a rolling suitcase was completely normal. The tree/large-leaved branch that he was carring in a big canvas bag on his back, was not. It was even funnier when he ducked into a taxi with it! Saving the world, one tree at at time???

Hope all is well,

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