First Impressions

20 Sep

I’ve lived in Turkey for a little over three years and I still can’t speak Turkish.  It’s a bit embarrassing.  Now that I’m home with Willy Wonka I thought I might take some Turkish lessons.  It could be fun to shock my in-laws with a few ACTUAL Turkish sentences.  Right now I just throw a few words together and gesture a lot.  It’s like I’m constantly playing a game of charades.  So today I decided to look back on my old Turkish notebook.  It’s a big mess of Turkish vocabulary and grammar paired with a few journal entries from when I first moved to Turkey.  Here are a few of my first impressions of Turkey from when in I lived in Antalya.

June 13, 2009

Who knows if I can make it here for another six months or even a year.  I will try my hardest but everything is what you make of it.  Some thoughts:

My teeth are getting stained.  It’s gross, but I can’t stop drinking khave and çay (tea and coffee).  Good thing I know the word beyaz (white), so I can ask for the “beyazing” strips at the store.

Turkish food is AMAZING.  I just wish EVERYTHING wasn’t tainted with parsley.  I’m really into lamb chops, yogurt, rice, salad, and most of the other food.  It just seems all the restaurants serve the same thing.  Here there is a standard, it just varies in quality from place to place.  Someone needs to find something crazy to do with köfte (meatballs).  Finally, the desserts need some revamping.  Give me chocolate!

Traditional women who work in the fields appear all the same.  All have extremely colorful cotton pants, a mismatched shirt, and a head scarf.  Typically they are overweight although it looks like they’ve been on their feet for too many hours or carried too much weight. They walk like they are in pain.  Their leg bone structure resemble the St. Louis Arch or like they’ve just been on a very long horse ride.

I still haven’t found a moment to cook Turkish food this week. I do now realize there is a wonderful variety of Turkish food.  Parsley has grown on me, although I do prefer that people use it in moderation.  There are also many ways to cook kofte.  

One of my favorite old pictures. A few guys just sharing some raki. They found a way to beat the heat.

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