Secret Ovens for Turkish Pide

I just found out one of the most interesting things yet – and it’s all because I wanted to watch my host mom make pide (a traditional Turkish dish – pita topped with a mixture of lamb, tomatoes, onion, red pepper and spices). Little did I know I was only going to be able to watch her prepare the mixture and not actually bake it. People in the neighborhood prepare the topping at home and then take it to a restaurant in the neighborhood (right next door to our apartment building) and pay a small fee to use the traditional open fire oven. Now I was told you can make it in a “normal” oven but it just takes longer and is harder. I am completely fascinated by this. Not to mention dinner was delicious – wishing I could’ve eaten more. And it was the first time all 5 of us (host mother, father, sister and the 2 students) all ate together AND at the dinning room table. It currently was not covered in its typical drying mint. But, why I didn’t eat more  you may be wondering…

–> Insert warning here for a possible overshare of information

Well sadly me and the porcelain throne have been in fair company lately. Monday night (yes after my bad case of the Monday) I fell super ill and was up till about 4am puking my life away. Instead of my head resting on a pillow that night I was either in writhing pain on the bathroom floor or keeled over the toilet wanting to scream blasphemous words to the world around me.  Now being sick is no fun and super uncomfortable (literally, but also super uncomfortable in the social context), but when you are in an apartment with 4 other people and you know that all sounds in the bathroom echo because of the tile walls – it is just taken up a few more notches of embarrassment.  Not to mention the following morning I was swarmed by both my host mother and father being super concerned with what caused my illness – my answer –  “bilmiyorum” I don’t know and not because I didn’t know how to say it in Turkish but rather I really didn’t know what caused my body to hate me so much. Could have been bad water, bad food, heat exhaustion, a food allergy, maybe even something else… Well after their extreme concerns the dad let it be known that I was going to have to eat breakfast with him because he kept saying you will have no energy because you have nothing in your system – he was definitely right about that. So there I sat with my host father, still “discussing” my issues and eating bread and drinking tea. The only good thing of the entire situation was that by some grace of God that Tuesday was the one day that my class had been bumped up to start at 11 instead of 9 – I can’t express how grateful I was for those two extra hours.

While me and the porcelain throne have parted ways, I am still having stomach pains throughout the day and I have no clue why. I am trying to stick to tame foods and all that grandness, haven’t gone running and am drinking plenty of water, but still I feel like Aladin’s sword is piercing through me multiple times a day (Aladin did have a sword – right???).

Hopefully I figure out what’s wrong and soon – because as of now my face shoots into an expression of pure agony at the most inopportune moments – thinking I scared a poor lady on the walk home today….not to mention I teach tomorrow and Friday so don’t want to be wanting to curl up into a little ball when giving an English lesson – that would not be good.

Until I come across a better solution the fetus position will just have to be enough – I guess it doubles as a yoga position too (;

Post dinner I found myself in the living room with everyone else and the irony of the situation is enough to share – the father came across a TV show in English about Azusa’s home town of Kyoto in Japan – so there we were with me reading the subtitles when the dialogue was in Japanese, Azusa understanding the Japanese and the host dad and daughter watching happily along. All the while my host mother was being diligent about her evening prayers.

Definitely a good evening of bonding in the apartment.

Cheers to delicious meals but not to stomach troubles