This is the only thing I found that I could agree with on this website that makes me weep and want to poke a fork into my eye.
I leave in 3 days or so and feel a little stressed from wondering if I will overfill my bag and what I can leave out and whether there will be drama at the airport. Actually, I’ve played out a million scenarios in my head and none of it helps because worrying is like chewing gum while trying to solve an equation. I just want to zen out and go for my 2 weeks in Singapore and JB and enjoy the company of friends and family. Is that so much to ask dear brain?
This song is familiar but I arrived at it when I googled a man with bayi toncit hair who just accepted a golden globe for a soundtrack of a film. Alex Ebert.
If you knew the amount of times I have gone back and forth to this certaın place, you too would have left thıs country by now. How do ı wrıte about ıt wıthout gettıng caught by the thought polıce, ı heard they are crackıng down on foreıgn ınfluences. fırst attempt, told to apply for a dıfferent thıng, second attempt, told to go to a neıghbourıng country for a stamp and come back. thırd attempt, told to go to a certaın person who wıll dısh out more stamps on a pıece of paper and hand over an amount of money and then get a fourth tımıng.,
When wıll thıs end? thıs was all very unnecessary and ıt ısnt lıke ıt wıll last me a decade. 6 months tops.
ım tıred. tıred of ıt all. zzzz.
2014 so far
It is 10 days into the new year today. I’m seated in a Starbucks in Via port in the far-flung land of wolves, airport and abandoned doggies, Kurtkoy. (this is roughly translated as wolf village. Not the colour wolf色狼 variety) I’m trying to eavesdrop on a conversation in Chinese a few seats away but it is hard in this din. The guy looks way older than the Chinese girl but then again, even I sometimes have trouble trying to determine the age of petite Asian girls/ladies. They’ve left the joint.
Two of my colleagues are also in the cafe, errr I cannot call Starbucks a cafe cos if i had a choice, I prefer to call it ‘an overpriced establishment that I fail to stop going to for “free” electricity and internet.’ I’ve changed a lot from days of yore when I would only visit Starbucks if there was really no other option in the vicinity and would purchase the cheapest drink on the board just so I can sit with my friends to chat. Now, i am an embarrassed owner of a Starbucks charge card that even has a Maestro logo on it. Urgh. Sorry. I was influenced by my Taiwanese housemate who made me see the sense in getting one since you can earn stars even for buying cups of tea which is the Turkish beverage of choice (for which party? I forgot. Not the ruling party for sure, I think they drink Ayran).
Anyhow, I’ve started drinking lattes with soy milk and the manfriend will have filtered black coffee.
I have totally digressed from the reason I’m writing this post: the new year.
I’m going to hazard a guess that the yabanci in front of me with 3 covered ladies is a new convert? Maybe I’m quick to judge but because I live in Kadikoy, i don’t think I’ve seen a yabanci socialising with a group of covered ladies. Unless they are married to Turks. And we are in far-flung Kurtkoy.
Tomorrow the manfriend and i will drive to Bulgaria. To quote and paraphrase a nursery rhyme, ‘To Bulgaria, to Bulgaria, to buy a fat pig… home again home again, jiggety jig.’
We spent the new year at the resort that his dad is managing. Actually, it is more complicated than that but I won’t get into it. Enough to say that his family has been coming here to usher in the new year for the past few years.
I had an awesome good time, glammed it up with a glittery dress and ate a lot of good stuff from the open buffet and the Chinese restaurant. (real Chinese cook, no lie!) The weather was gorgeous in the day and at night, we busied ourselves with the banquet dinner and went to the restaurant the next night. All too soon, it was time to wake up at 5am to board a plane back to Istanbul and… go to work! That was tough but I went home and caught up on sleep.
It was nice to zip somewhere real quick for a change of scene and weather. I think summer will be way too hot there though, maybe towards the end like September will be a more bearable time. It was also nice to have time to chat with the manfriend’s parents. It was the second time I met them, the first was the amazing elaborate, traditional English Xmas lunch. My mouth is watering just remembering the food I had that day. Here are some photos.
why the mayor of Istanbul will not be on my xmas list
We just experienced a thundersnow. What’s that you may ask. Here are some news articles that will give you a better scientific explanation:
Unfortunately, despite this rare phenomenon, the happy mayor (his surname is Mutlu which means happy) made me a very unhappy bunny by not declaring any snow days. Pfft! Here was my chance to finally get some much needed rest as I have been ill for almost two weeks but no, he felt that the snow was not as serious as last year so decided not to grant us this wish. Worse still,he went on to tweet to the younger generation who must have tweeted to him begging for a day off school:
My Turkish is bad but if my translation serves me well, he told the youth that it is too easy to just grant a day off but we know what is best for you and we won’t go down the easy route bu granting you this day off. If my translation is wrong, bahh I don’t care. What I know is 3 days of snow came and went and i didn’t get a day off. Bah humbug!!
Want to be a contributor on Mekanist’s Blog?
Hello, my name is Louis Herman and I am the author and coordinator for the Mekanist.net English language blog mostly about Istanbul (hotspots.mekanist.net). I just found your blog for the first time via ex-pat blog, and I wonder if you would be interested in being a guest contributor on our blog, by either writing new of posting already published articles, we could out a link at the bottom of the article back to your blog. If it’s something your interested please write me back and we can talk more about it!
Asking for directions in Istanbul
After a year here, i’ve learnt that when you ask a local for directions, always take them with a pinch of salt and still follow your gut feelings or your damn map. A Turkish person can argue with me on this but somehow, after having been misled too many times, it really grinds my gears when my initial plan led me to my destination instead of their less than helpful directions. They want to be helpful but sometimes, they probably don’t know the way and out of courtesy, (why?!) they just point you in any direction, usually opposite to where you thought you should be going.
Today was one such instance. I was headed for Midpoint on Bagdat Caddesi. The school bus dropped me off along Kazasker and I know that I just have to go downhill in a general direction towards the sea. I was happily following the maps app on my BlackBerry when I suddenly found myself standing in front of a blocked-off railway track. Short of climbing up the 2 metre or so of concrete, my map had no way of showing me where I should be going. I did however, see a tunnel for cars that went under it but wasn’t sure if it was safe for pedestrians. I then walked a little along the wall before trying out my impeccable Tarzanca (tarzan language, usually accompanied with wild hand gesturing) on a 30-something year old guy who was walking his massive dog.
"Do you speak English?" he asked and immediately my asshole-meter went all the way up. I wonder why.
He insisted that I walk further down along the wall before turning first left then right onto a road that will lead me to Bagdat Cad. I pointed to Bagdat Cad on my phone before he proceeded to tell me not to look at the map. What?! Excuse me? Choose to follow your long-winded directions instead of a map with GPS?
(Makes a Grumpy Cat face) NO.
Against his advice, I walked back to the tunnel before discovering a nice set of stairs just for poor yaya (Turkish word for pedestrian, I swear I didn’t make that up). He yelled, “That’s a longer way!” but I continued on my way and two streets later found myself in Krispy Kreme off Bagdat Cad where I made a beeline for the loo as I was busting for a pee. It was made worse because it is so cold outside tonight!
So dear friends, next time you ask for directions in Istanbul, remember NOT to follow everything they tell you. Ask yourself, is this person trying to be helpful or very sure of his directions. Also, never ask anyone who has a dog who will make a pile of poo bigger than the owner.
hey there stranger
Wow. ıt has been ages sınce ı last logged on to say anythıng worth sayıng. Please pardon my typıng. I am on a turkısh keybooard and I cannot be arsed to use my other fınger to reach for the other ı wıth the dot to say ı.
Alsoç thıs ıs where the comma should be.
So here I am typıng from my new work place all the way near Istanbul Park ın the butt end of Istanbul. I am now a pre-school Englısh Teacher to 2-6 year olds. I make crafts on some of the days whıch ıs great cos I sımply love cuttıng and pastıng thıngs and beıng paıd to do ıt. I love the kıds even more and when they pıss me off. I am only angry for lıke 2 seconds thus my nemo memory wıll help me forget what they have done.
I wıll talk about my summer vacatıons ın another post but now the weather has slowly cooled down and Autumn ıs upon us. I am takıng the last opportunıtıes to wear my sundresses before the weather turns much colder and ıt ıs tıme for tıghts and boots.
I have moved to Kadıkoy on the Asıan sıde of the world and also moved to a shared apartment. I love my new housemate YC and I thınk we wıll do very well together. In other news. there ıs also a new dude ın my lıfe and he wıll be known as K. Awww…
My parents know about hım and ı wanna say more but suffıce to say that the past 3 months or so have been swell. I am pretty happy and just happy to share all these new updates. New job. new flat. new manfrıend hahaha.
Rıght. ı have to run off but fırst I wanna say
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAREENA!
My sıster turns 26 today. HAMAGAD.