Oh Summer!

More details and photos about the Blue Cruise will be posted after an Internet connection is established. Until then I am doing the majority of my Internet business on my phone, which really makes posting a chore.

But today I hauled my tush to the Internet Cafe which is really impressive because it is HOT! I mean feel the asphalt burn you through your flip flops hot. It has been at least 100 degrees everyday here. Though yesterday, it was a cool 95. What was really funny is that it did feel cool to us!

It is actually so warm here we completely turned off the water heater. We take cold showers. I mean straight out the the ground cold, not luke warm, not cooling, cold! There is nothing more delicious on a burning hot day than a `Take your breath away` cold shower.

We spend most of our time in the shade in our bahçe during the warm parts of the day. We swim in the morning or evening when the sun is not as strong. Going to the beach mid-day feels like we may as well be taunting the Skin Cancer Gods to strike us down.

After an evening swim or walk we head to the bahçe again to read, talk or watch movies. I couldn´t have asked for a lovelier honeymoon, a more relaxing vacation or a more romantic summer!


Honeymoon is Honey Month

In Turkish, “honeymoon” translates into “honey month.” We are totally taking advantage of that. We will be at the summer house in Marmaris on the Mediterranean for almost the whole month of August. There was a reason we both steered our careers towards academia. We have been having a lovely time, restful time. We spend out evenings drinking wine and beer in the garden, reading.

There may be a slight hiatus with the blogging since the internet is not working at the house currently. I found a nearby restaurant to haul the laptop to though. It is only a 5 minute walk, but hauling your laptop even five minutes when it is sunny and 100 degrees is less than fun.

Tomorrow we are going on a 3 day “Blue Cruise.” Bulent and I, along with the couple who owns the boat will be traveling to different coves and beaches. I can assure you that there will be copious amounts of photos coming about about Marmaris and the cruise as well as belated wedding photos.

But I will leave you will this…

Hot day, cold beer, on the Mediterranean.

My Sweet Souvenir

When we left Marmaris, I wanted a souvenir to take with with me. I thought about it. Did I want something from the Pazar? Did I want a copper tea pot? Did I want some jewelry? No. I thought long an hard, and I made the right decision.

033 Honey. Marmaris is known for its honey. I was able to score some of the seasonal Thyme Honey. It is fantastic, it has a tangy, distinct flavor and is just amazing. It adds such a lovely flavor to tea, and even is very tasty eaten right out of the jar. ( I really like honey) I also scored some wildflower honeycomb honey. When I am feeling indulgent, there is nothing better than fresh warm bread, with a little butter and a generous layer of the flower honey. I have had to step up the work out regime to offset the honey consumption but it has been worth it.

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Posts On Hold

I will not be posting frequently for a little while. I realize I have said this again and again in the near past. Well, now I have an excuse. My laptop was stolen. As was Bülent´s laptop, and my laptop bag with the brand new external hard drive in it. I am havıng a little difficulty in postıng as we have gone from 2 laptops to ZERO overnight. Plus this Turkish character keyboard is kiıckiıng my ASS. I keep having to delete and retype. I will blog the saga later. And SAGA it is.

Return of the Profanity

You all know I am not afraid of words, specifically profanity.  From my last post, I apparently am not worried about talking about potties either.  As I have owned up to my potty mouth, I would like to tell you about a hotel here in town.  Hotel Devamli.  If you speak Turkish, you know where I am going with this,  I am sorry. If you don’t know Turkish, but don’t care for profanity, this post is not for you.

Now that I have learned a bit of Turkish I am learning to break down words, like a good student.  Let’s practice together.  We will use the following as an example.

devamli entrance_j

Looks nice right?  The name is taken from the last name of the original owner.  However, if you looked at it linguistically, it becomes an interesting phrase.

Let’s Break it down.  Devamli splits into three separate words.

Dev: Means gigantic, monster, or colossus.

Am: pussy–not the cat.

Li: means with or having.

That is right.  The name translates into Hotel With a Giant Pussy.  I am feeling positively enlightened with my new language skills.

Fear in My Heart

Yesterday, something horrible happened. Truly frightening.  I got up and went to the bathroom, approached the toilet, and realized, the bath mat was soaking.  You know, the one that hugs the potty, that one.  I was at a severe disadvantage, having already taken out my contacts.  It was water—thank goodness.  But we had no idea where it was coming from.  The wasn’t overflowing, we could see no leaking.  So after scrubbing my feet, I ran up stairs to the other bathroom.  After I flushed, I heard it.  The noise that strikes fear into the heart of any one who appreciates indoor plumbing.   “The Gurgle.”  There was a gurgle, a loud one.  Then water started seeping out from around the bottom of the downstairs toilet.  And then the plumber became our BFF.  I may or may not have offered him my first born child.

Relocation of the Vicious Beast

There was an uprising in our yard this week.  It was loud and disruptive and needed to be dealt with swiftly and harshly.  But not too harshly…we were actually the interlopers, and it turned out to be cute and fuzzy.

On Wednesday, I heard an animal in rustling in the high grass.  I was a little started, as it sounded large, but eventually it moved away, and the dog stopped barking, and life was good.  However, on Thursday, it was a different story.  It started moving around about 1 am, and our dog, and all the neighborhood dogs were very perturbed by this.  After a couple of hours of intermittent barking we finally saw the Vicious Beast.  I had been wondering what types of animals were local to Southwestern Turkey.  I really had no idea.  I grew up in the woods of New Hampshire, and am fairly relaxed about wild animals.  Sometime I’ll tell you the story about when I thought a Bobcat was a housecat because I did not have my glasses on.

So I see this dark moving shape outside, and try to figure out what the hell it was.  Bülent said it was a Kirpi.  Oh, great, a kirpi!  I hop on my Turkish/English dictionary…It was a hedgehog.  Super Vicious.  Obviously worthy of being barked at viciously until 4 am, I mean really.  Look at this photo—It will strike fear into your heart.

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More like strike the warm fuzzies into your heart.

For all that was good in the world, we wanted to find the beast and strike it from the face of the earth, or at least relocate it from the yard so the dogs would stop torturing us at night.  So on Friday, we started searching for the hedgehog, it was pretty easy.  When our dog started frothing at the mouth, we knew it was out of its den and out in the yard.  The thing about hedgehogs—they aren’t fast and when confronted they roll in a ball and wait it out.  So the “capture” involved using a broom to brush what looked like a large dust bunny into a bucket.  We drove several miles away and let it go, far away from the road, in the woods.    Marmaris June 2009 051

He looks cozy.

Birthday Food

Oh YUM!! Bülent wanted to go to a Kebab house for his birthday, he had heard about a local one that was tasty.  The word of mouth was right!!

We had cop sis, and all the accouterment.   In a Turkish restaurant, mezes usually come with the meal. In this case, bulgur pilaf, small lahmacuns, roasted onions, peppers and tomatoes, fresh lavash bread, a onion/sumac salad along with arugula and parsley.

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Here is the main deal, cop sis, grilled lamb.  It is super delicious, usually pulled off the skewer and eaten wrapped in the lavash with any of the aforementioned accouterments.

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We also ordered eggplant salad, which was amazingly tasty.  It was pretty simple, mashed eggplant, garlic, salt and pepper, and just delicious.

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Here is my plate before the meat pops got to the table. As you can see, there is already a bite out of the lahmacun.

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And for dessert, kunefe.  Kunefe is a pie of shredded pastry, soaked in a sweet syrup with cheese in the middle.  It is amazing, sweet and savory, served warm.

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The food was great, the company wonderful, and it was a good birthday for him, if I do say so myself.

I Saw Jesus In Greece

I really did.   Several times.  In the hospital.  I have never been in the hospital for myself before, never broke a bone or needed stitches or even urgent care.  I chose to break this streak on my parents vacation visiting Turkey and Greece.  Did I do this in Turkey where I had been living for five months and where it would be inexpensive?  NO!

After my parents met Bülent’s parents and stayed in Marmaris for a few days, it was off to the Greek Island of Santorini with a daytrip in Rodos on the way.  I had gotten a stomachache on Wednesday.  It was unpleasant but I thought nothing of it.  (TMI Warning)  I have a gastro-intestinal issue commonly known as IBS.  (Or–You did something horrible in a past life and now have to pay!) Stomachaches are part of the package of eating anything but yogurt, bread and water.  So I got this stomachache on Wednesday and every night honestly believed it would be gone by the next day.  So on Saturday, when we are touring yet another beautiful historical sight, I begged my parents to go on without me.  Because by this time I could not walk without to cry.  I thought I might need an exorcism to kill the demons that had taken up residence in my intestines.

While we waited for the night ferry to Santorini, instead of touring the Old City of Rodos, we had a lovely excursion to a Greek hospital, which is where I saw Jesus.  In every room.  There was a painting high up on the wall which varied between different themes.  I was glad to see him becuase I thought I might need some prayer after looking at the prices in Euros.  Do you know what the dollar is against the Euro.  If you don’t, please don’t look it up.  It is too depressing.  Unless you are not American and your currency is worth more than toilet paper.  Anyway.  I got a diagnosis (IBS—Shocking!) and some stomach meds and we went on our way.  That is, Bülent and the family went out to dinner, while I rocked in fetal position in the car.  Thankfully the medications helped and I now am absolved of any sins I might have committed in a past life.

I did get to see Old City of Rodos later, because Bülent and I had to go home to Marmaris by way of Rodos on the ferry and it was lovely.

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Transcontinental “Meet the Parents”

When my parents came to Turkey, we visited all types of beautiful and historic sights, however the main reason was to meet Bülent’s parents.

Quick back-story: Bülent is Turkish (as you might have guessed.)  We met in Cambridge (Massachusetts) my junior year of college, I was attending nun-school (All-Women’s college—I loved every minute of my feminism injection.)  And he was getting his Masters from a school that he would prefer I not mention because he hates to name drop. (Hint: They hate Yale) We hit it off despite some minor issues.

Him–Why won’t you come to the bar with me? 

Me–Well, hmmm, maybe later. 

Him–When then? 

Me–A few months sound good?

We have been dating for over four years, and got engaged this February.  So we thought it was time that the parents should meet.  We weren’t too worried as our parents are all well behaved.  However, there was a lot of planning and coordination for the trip.  Also, my family does not speak Turkish and Bülent’s mother is not fluent in English.  While you might think this would be awkward (it was a little) it was also helpful. When strangers meet and engage in small talk it can always be awkward.  But, there was a valid excuse for gaps in conversation which allowed everyone some respite.

The meeting of the parents went well, but I had developed a pretty severe stomachache that would not go away. Here is the gang, assembled for brunch.  It was great that they got to meet each other, as living in separate continents it was not likely that they would bump into each other at the grocery store.

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