Monday, September 2, 2013

The Week's End

So I have been lax on posting this weekend.  Has it really been 10 days already??  A couple of very interesting and fun events happened.  

Saturday morning, Anne and Baba took us back to what I lovingly refer to as pebble beach.  (now they are calling it that too!)  I got to see a sea turtle!!  I even caught a very blurry picture of it!!  A Syrian man tried to make friends with us thinking we could get him to America.  It was very sad and annoying.  Mostly we played in the sea, laid in the pebbles and I sketched.  We went home for kahvalti and I made my first Kahve afterwards.  It was a success!  Ozan's parents were back in town and offered to take me to a circumcision ceremony, but Barish and Deniz had other plans so we tried to do both.  

They henna stains their hands and even though I missed
out on the religious part of the celebration, They knew I was
 coming so they saved me a scarf and put henna in my hands
when I arrived.  I danced and won their hearts over.  They said where
did you learn our dances?  I just mimicked them.  It really was a
very fun and the most cultural experience yet.

Saturday night, I got to attend part of the circumcision ceremony.  Anne took pictures of the first part for me.  They hold a platter of henna with candles over the boy after that they put henna in the palms of the women’s hands and give them all scarves to cover their head for the prayer part.  Then the party begins, music – lots of traditional folk music with mandolins and other cool looking instruments with dancing.  I danced one dance with Suheyla anne and Turkan teyze then sat and watched the intricacies.  I bunch of men got up to dance and I asked Suha if he knew the dance and he said no, it was a Mediterranean tradition and he wasn’t familiar with it.  The circumcision actually happened a week before (which I was very happy about) so the 8 year old boy was happily recovered.  There were two parties in the same neighborhood at the same time.  We walked from the party to Ozan’s brother’s house for kahve (coffee) and we went from hearing one celebration to another.  It was very fun and festive.  I love Ozan's ENTIRE family!!  They are very sweet and kind, full of life, their interactions warm my heart.  Really good people.
Serving my first kahve!  So after breakfast Baba said, today you are no longer a guest, today you will make kahve, but not now.  In 30 minutes.  So I tried to remember how Anne had done it and in 30 minutes I started the long process of watching a pot boil.  My coffee turned out great!  It was a hit, especially when I served it complete with Trader Joe's chocolate covered Almonds with sea salt!!  I got the stamp of approval.  

Uncle Suha keeping little Ege happy

Our cay steeping at breakfast.  Barish took us to an outdoor breakfast restaurant that had a rabbit in a cage and pigeons and a chicken coop, with ducks and roosters wandering under and around our table.  There was a park for Ege and the food was great!!  It was a lovely morning.  

I drew a picture of this while we were at breakfast, Suha showed our waiter who took it around the restaurant
and showed it to patrons and the owner and wait staff...I became famous before my cay got cold!

Ege's School (the purple room!)

A traditional (religious) bride on one of our walks

The waterfall

The old wheat mill and the Ardahan boys

Its name means bullet waterfall (water that falls hard like bullets)

Sunday morning Barish and Deniz took us to breakfast and to walk around a huge park where lots of weddings and concerts happen.  It was beautiful and hot.  We saw lots of kittens and cool picturesque places.  Even a "gym" work out park.  We tried to get baba's phone registered but this is turning into a comedy of errors.  I would try to explain, but I don't understand this strange countries way of thinking.  I don't even know where to start with this one.  Needless to say we have taken it to an embassy, paid $50 and registered it there.  Taken it to the cell phone store but they said we first have to register it with the police (aka another $150) Then bring it back.  A person can only register ONE phone PER TURKISH passport every TWO years.  If the phone is from out of country then the passport must have been used in the last 30 days.  It cannot be an AMERICAN or ITALIAN or any other kind of passport...I couldn't live here.
Loving on Anne

Happiness is...
Sunday night we went to visit Kurshunlu Shelalesi, a beautiful cavernous waterfall outside the city limits, tucked away in the middle of agriculture valley.  There were green houses as far as one could see then all the sudden we were there.  There are many steps between the deep rocks that lead you down into a hole where an ancient wheat mill still stands and a waterfall with lagoon full of white ducks.  There are trails all over and it was getting dark so we left anne to watch the Ordek (ducks) and we raced along over bridges and through rocks, under trees to the 7th presidents old residence which is now a restaurant.  We made our way back in the dark.  It was a really great place and if I ever get back, I’d love to spend a day exploring all the nooks and crannies it has to offer. 

sweaty sardines stuffed in car.  I have gotten car sick on almost every ride.

I love this place!!

the 7th presidents home turned kahve house overlooking the lagoon

walkind down steep scary steps in the dark

Today is Monday, I made breakfast!  It didn’t taste as good as anne’s but everyone was pleased.  Today is a shopping day, tomorrow we go to Olympos and will be back on Wednesday.  Thursday or Friday we will head to Pamukkale (cotton castle) to visit Ozan’s family then moving to Konya for the second half of our trip.  If you have a chance to google image some of these places the pictures are amazing!!  On our arrival, Ozan presented us with bamboo towel bathrobes.  Pamukkale is the center of textiles.  I’m very excited but not sure how internet will work while we mover from here to Konya, so posts may be infrequent this week.  


  1. oh my gosh, the boy was eight years old? that is for sure different...

    love you!

  2. Yeah, I told Suha that is so not happening to my kid, EVER.

    Love you too!!