Last week was my birthday. I was very lucky to have many friends who want to celebrate it with me! Bülent took me out for a lovely romantic dinner. His gift to me is a romantic trip to Antalya, planned in April when it will be a bit warmer. Another friend had me over on my actual birthday for a delicious dinner. We also went over to Bülent’s parents and had a family diner with his parents and aunt an uncle. His mom knows I love fish and made a special dinner for me.
The day before my birthday I went out with my friend Terry from Adventures in Ankara, and had an adventure! We went to Cer Modern, a modern art museum, for lunch. Lunch was great, the museum very nice, and time with Terry—always fun! What made our outing an adventure was that we got a traffic ticket! I was driving and she was navigating from the GPS on her phone. It told us to take a right, so we did, but turns out it was an illegal right on Ataturk Bulvari. So we were sitting at the intersection and I was trying to figure out how we were going to make it across the traffic with no light when a police man waved me across. I was very thankful to make it across in one piece, but then he asked for my license and registration. We explained we didn’t know the area and were following the GPS. He nodded knowingly and said, Ah yes, GPS…” and then gave me a ticket. It is kind of a novelty. I don’t know anyone else who has gotten a traffic violation ticket from a real life police man. It just doesn’t happen here. Most people get tickets from cameras, even though I have talked myself out of one of those before too. This office was very polite and apologetic but would not budge. So ticket it was!
For my birthday present to myself I made cupcakes. Two kinds. The first a carrot cake with labne frosting (tips coming soon on how to substitute Labne for cream cheese) and the second, devil’s food cake with peanut butter frosting. I have to say, carrot cake is my favorite, but the peanut butter frosting was decadent on the moist chocolate cupcakes.
It was an amazing week, so filled with friends and family we had to rest all weekend to recover. It made me feel so appreciated that so many people wanted to celebrate my birthday with me, I definitely have a community here. It was fun and uncomplicated, my last birthday before marching into my 30’s, which seems a little bit daunting!