After a full 2 days back in Turkey I can indeed say that I missed a few things about the country that has become my home. Here is a short list, but there are plenty more.
1) My crazy but awesome host mother – I can’t rant on long enough about how wonderful she is. Last night she was up to all hours cutting away at some crazy vegetable. She already made my favorite dessert for me and has been sure to serve me plenty of good home cooked Turkish food…about that diet…hmmmm may just have to wait till September.
2) Learning a bizarre but somehow useful Turkish word – learned that bamya means okra because that crazy said vegetable in #1 was okra. Bulls full of it in the kitchen.
3) The dining room table being used as a pseudo dehydrator – in the past it was mint, this week it is beans – she is drying them for the winter…if I understood correctly…
4) Realizing that I have my favorite Turkish teacher for my third and final course. She is on equal standing with my host mother of being pure awesome. Her mannerisms are fantastic and she knows how to explain things so that I can actually say “anladim = I understand)
5) Seeing all my classmates and friends – it was like a long time coming reunion.
6) Lost in translation – my phone doesn’t show Turkish characters – usually not a problem until someone sends me a message with a lot of Turkish characters as was the case today. One of the students I teach English to sent me a message but I only understood half of it – messaged her back to have her call me – this wouldn’t be a problem if I would have been able to hear her on the phone but there was a glitch and I couldn’t hear a darn thing. So there I am in the middle of traffic saying “Hello – Merhaba – Hello – Effendim – Hello” over and over with no dice for hearing a response. Got a few good lucks from passerbys too – all the while playing the game of frogger to get across the street. They say you shouldn’t drive on and talk on the phone – well you shouldn’t try to cross a busy Turkish street and talk on the phone either. Thankfully I was near the school and ran into the owner who called my student for me – he explained the story to her as I had just told him the problem and all was sorted out in quick Turkish fashion. But really how was I suppose to answer the phone to someone I am teaching English to, but is Turkish and I am an American in Turkey – Hello or Effendim –> really a more confusing question than I previously thought.
Now as I have already mentioned Ankara got hit by a heat wave, but magically the temps are down in the 80s again – so much more pleasurable. However, still hot and I still overheat when running in running tights – so I took things into my own hands and wore shorts today and ran in a park that I usually don’t run in – double whammy of the daredevil characteristic in me I suppose. The run was glorious – well minus the fact that the elevation of Turkey is higher than that of Illinois and I somehow realized the difference in oxygen – or maybe it was all the hills I was doing – either way I was a tad short of breathe – but in the feel good give me more kinda way. So I got a few stares – maybe because I was the only person running or maybe because of the shorts – but either way I figure I will be stared at so I might as well be a few degrees cooler – Im over the no running in shorts thing – gone, gone and gone.
Cheers to a good month of August ahead