Monday, March 31, 2008


Hey, how'd that happen? I completed my second level of Turkish classes on Friday, and here's the proof. My class went out to a lovely lunch afterwards, then I took myself to see an inspiring photography exhibit, and of course there was some celebratory Efes drinking after that. Haydı, kutlayalım!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Aynı değil

I haven't been here long enough to miss much about my life back in the States, but I can already say with certainty that reading the Sunday New York Times online, even while drinking a decent cup of coffee, is just not the same as curling up on the couch with the real thing.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Beş lira, beş lira, buyurun!

Alışverişten nefret ediyorum (I hate shopping), but I do love wandering around in Eminönü, where everything from sweaters to watches seems to be 5 YTL.

It starts in the passageways underneath the busy waterfront roadway, where I swear yesterday I heard one guy call out "Altı lira, buyurun," before he was drowned out by a chorus of other guys undercutting him. (Buyurun, by the way, is pretty much the world's most useful word. It can mean welcome, here you go, have a seat, come over here, and who knows what else.)
Shopping in Eminönü proper is as kalabalık (crowded) as an American mall the day after Thanksgiving. Except the mobs are outside, pushing strollers and carts of merchandise over piles of freshly torn-up asphalt, picking their way through mud and around the guy using a blowtorch in the front of his shop, stopping to examine wares laid out in the middle of the street, and getting out of the way of the occasional driver crazy enough to try and plow his car through all of this.  Oh yeah, and it's like this every day.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

İlkbahar başlıyor

On a rare tatil günü (holiday) from class, I crossed the Golden Horn and explored the areas around Eyüp and the city walls. As you can see, it was a perfect day for it.