Monday, January 21, 2013

Back from Turkey and a sampling of what is to come

It feels like ages since we dragged our overweight luggage into my dark and musty apartment at 11:30 last Wednesday night.  Perhaps because I have been operating at full speed to get my life back to normal these first few days - doing loads of laundry, decluttering the mess I caused when my suitcase exploded all over the living room floor, and deep cleaning my apartment to get ready for a new semester, as well as visiting my parents, catching up with friends over email and beginning to make appearances back in my school/work life. 

It also seems like I stepped into another world, it's my world, but not the one that I had been occupying for the last month.  I miss H.'s family and relatives and all those long afternoons and dinners spent chatting over plates and plates of food and Turkish tea.  I miss the feeling of being in Turkey, with the confusing traffic, bustling streets, and calming ezan.  But in about four to five months we will be back for our wedding, so for now I'll enjoy the bittersweet feeling of missing all of that and get ready to savor more of Turkey on our next trip.

A month long vacation is a strange thing.  It is wonderful in all respects, especially when visiting lovely relatives in Turkey, but it causes a time recognition problem in the brain.  For me it was hard to tell if that trip was really just one month, when sometimes it felt like two months, or two weeks.  Time dripped by on the days when we had nothing planned and sat lazily watching Turkish documentaries and drinking coffee and tea all day.  Then time zipped by while we raced to beat rush hour traffic to do some shopping in the city and then raced to a relative's house for dinner and then before we knew it hours had passed and we were back at home with full bellies and nodding off to sleep. 

I had planned many things for this trip, because for me, one month seems like a very long time.  I had expected to study Turkish everyday, read many books, write a blog post every other day and get one chapter of my dissertation worked up (ha!).  Lady life smirked and gave me a loving, yet sarcastic pat on the pack and taught me once again that my plans are child's play and I need to get over my naivety.  I learned that it is not wise to make too many goals, but instead to keep it simple so that I can enjoy the feeling of accomplishing something and not the constant disappointment from trying to overachieve.  I'll keep that in mind for the future.

However, I can say that we (jointly) accomplished several of our major goals for this trip: we spent lots of time with family and H.'s friends, we made our plans for our Turkish wedding, and we took care of necessary heath visits.

For me, I gathered lots of writing material that I am currently processing into blog posts that I hope to get on here in the next couple weeks.  Here is a sampling of what you can expect:

  1.  I'll explain some of the Turkish treats we brought back with us - the things we can't live without and which ones can be found here in the US.

  1. While I didn't formally study Turkish everyday on my trip, I was working on it through speaking and trying to understand all going on around me.  I think I improved!  Now, how will I keep up this momentum?  I plan to write a post about a couple items I picked up in Turkey, as well as some media available in the US to keep me moving forward to achieve my language learning goal.

  1. Updates on our Turkish wedding - was it as easy to plan as I had hoped?  Also, my experience and some research on what it means to be a "gelin" or bride in Turkey.

  1. We stopped in Istanbul for a few days before leaving Turkey and visited a few tourist spots.  I'll share a few impressions and perhaps a new way to experience the Maiden's Tower.

  1. Have you ever heard of Kahramanmaraş?  I would say that many haven't.  I'll give a little background about the city and what may inspire you to come visit.
The city of Maras at night from one of the best spots to visit when in town 

  1. To continue on the Maraş theme -  Maraş Dondurması or Ice cream: perhaps the number one reason to visit this town for tourists and it's no gimmick.

  1. Turkish Chip or Tarhana (the Maraş version): what are these tasty chips I mentioned before and how are they made?

  1. Outsourcing Dinner - a phenomenon in Turkey (or perhaps Maraş) that I wish we had in the US

Well I said a sampling, so I should stop there.  These posts could keep me busy for the next month.  There is more in the works, but I don't want to over-promise. 

So stay tuned…I'll be back shortly!


  1. Sounds like you have a ton of blog posts in the back burner waiting to burst out! Good luck. :-) Glad you enjoyed your trip.

    1. Thanks Joy! I hope I can find some time for writing this week. I've just caught up with your blog - looks like you had some very exciting trips lately. I need to find out more info on the flights over Istanbul - those were some amazing views!


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