The Nanny Diaries: Istanbul

So I think I have mentioned this already, but just in case I haven’t I got extremely lucky and scored a baby-sitting gig for my semester in Istanbul. The family is quite wonderful and the little girl is adorable.

Now finding bathrooms in Turkey can be a challenge. That challenge gets upped by about 86 times when it is a 5 year old who need the bathroom. When a little tod tells you they gotta go potty it’s pretty much an immediate need. Call the emergency squad and bring out the flashing lights because it’s a do or die type of scenario.

How do you make that already difficult challenge that much more challenging? Well I can answer that. You are on Istanbul’s equivalent of Michigan Avenue. The situation calls for an immediate scanning of your surroundings and picking the one location/restaurant that is decent enough looking that it won’t be an awful bathroom and where the people look friendly enough to let your little pal use the bathroom without being a patron.

So there we are shuffling into the restaurant and when I first asked if there was a toilet the guys looked super skeptical until I pointed down to my little clinger and they gave me pity. However, there was a line and it was a one stall type of place. Thankfully those in line let us jump ahead . Women of every nation can relate and that would of just be downright mean if they didn’t let the little one go.

So, now I find myself asking my little pal if she needs to use the potty all the time. Really didn’t think I could overuse that word, but I certainly have.

ps it took about 10 hours of hanging out with my little friend for her to say other things besides “I gotta go potty”. Little steps, little steps.

Cheers to living out a nanny diary type of life


Mua Gelateria

This summer my friend Jess sent me this article about a gelato shop – Mua Gelateria d’Italia – in Istanbul. From the minute I read the article I just knew that I had to get myself a scoop…or two of their gelato.  My friend Alex and I decided to go on a little adventure last Friday and while we were hunting for H&M and failed at finding it (google led us astray) we did end up stumbling across Mua Gelateria. Not to mention we were climbing a serious hill when the shop just materialized in front of us.


When we walked into the shop we could barely say “Merhaba” before the guy working the counter started to hand us sampleS. Yes big S is necessary because when I say samples I am pretty sure we sampled all the flavors and the way we did was just by saying mmmmmmm after all of them.


All the flavors on display – first time I have seen it with this type of set-up

The article mentioned how the dondurmua – see how they did that??? – uses Turkish flavors and I was a little intrigued by what that meant but fig, Turkish banana (yes different from what we know at home as our good ole Chiquita bananas – here those are foreign bananas), and something with a sultan and weekend cream explained it all. Not to mention the classics of a bitter chocolate and the always necessary stracciatella. For me – and the friend – we both settled for the lethal combination of cinnamon and banana – phenomenal.

Alex with her huge cone

Dondurma = ice cream in Turkish. Gotta love the play on words Dondurmua 

Cheers from a gelato lover who got her fix in Turkey