A few weekends ago I went to the pazar and bought this cute chai demlik (2 part Turkish tea pot) to replace the stainless steel monstrosity that came with our apartment. I was so proud of myself. I have learned enough Turkish to argue. Also I have learned enough about the bargaining culture to actually be able to get a good deal even though I am a foreigner. (Foreigners usually get ripped off.) I was able to bargain down a third of the price! I was so happy, a good deal and the pot was adorable. I had been using it to heat water for Nescafe, but hadn’t actually brewed Turkish tea in it. You have to brew Turkish tea for a half an hour. Apparently my new chai demlik couldn’t handle the heat. After a while I smelled something funny. It was my tea pot melting. When I got into the kitchen the handle had melted off and was in a pool on the range—On Fire.
Thankfully it was easy to put it out, and it was my kitchen. It is always awkward when you set someone else’s kitchen on fire.
Poor sweet thing. It did not deserve to end this way.
The school year is starting soon, which means I have gone back to work. In Turkey school does not start until after Bayram, the celebration after Ramazan. However, just like everywhere else the staff goes back first. And so I am introduced to the Turkish school system. The first thing to know, is that since I am a foreign teacher I have been offered an apartment as well as a salary. A 3 bedroom, two bath, two living room apartment. In addition to my salary. Fantastic! I mean who wouldn’t love this.
The other perks please me almost as much, and also tell you how simple my desires are. Chaici and Lunch.
Let me explain. In most larger businesses there is a Çaycı—or Tea maker. In my school there is a small room where two men make tea and coffee all day. And deliver it. You just call down and they bring you tea or coffee, for about 50 kurus (about 35 cents). It is BEAUTIFUL!!! Amazing!! A pleasure.
Lunch. There is a free yummy, healthy lunch served everyday that includes soup, main course, dessert and fruit. Free. Every day. This means no more shelling out tons of money on lunch. Or PB&Js. Or plain rice with chickpeas… (I kept forgetting to buy peanut butter, or bread.) So there you go. I am just as excited over easy access to lunch and coffee as I am for an awesome apartment. I have big dreams.