Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year!

This past week in Istanbul: Gavin and I rang in the New Year with a Canadian couple we have been palling around with. I made a pasta dinner, we drank wine and Raki at our house then wondered down to the water front just before New Years and toasted to 2009 with KIWI flavored white wine, which was the cause of my hangover the next morning. Good god…what will these crazy Turks think of next? We of course had a drunken altercation with two Turkish men, which resulted with Amy getting her ass pinched (luckily my long winter coat spared me from getting pinched as well, and saved Gavin from a life time in Turkish prison for ripping a Turk limb from limb.)

My classes have been going well, my weekend class is preparing for their Grammar Exam. It is nice when you see students’ faces when they finally really get something you have taught them. However it is very frustrating when they call in a fellow teacher, whom they all have a crush on, and forget all the English I have taught them altogether.

As I previously mentioned, my weekend class met Gavin last weekend at our “party” and after finally learning the simple past tense this week, they were able to ask me questions about him. After they learned that we lived together in San Francisco and that we moved to Istanbul together, one student actually asked me if we “sleep together.” Interesting. (Editor’s Note: We maintain separate sleeping quarters once a week to observe the Sabbath).

Gavin and I finally got paid on the 3rd. Very exciting. Suddenly we have found ourselves rich with the Turkish Lira and spent over 100 TL the day we got paid. I bought myself my fleece blanket and a Grammar exercise book for my classes, and of course we finally got a chance to stock up on necessities like toilet paper, which was, of course, Gavin’s big purchase (Editor’s Note: Had to jump at such a great price).
A Brief Forward: Nellie is a self-professed "crazy cat-woman in training" and has spent some time observing the felines next door. I think everyone will enjoy this piece that she wrote the other night... Gavin

An interesting fact about our apartment: we live next to a cat palace. The building next door looks as though it should be abandoned. The stucco exterior is crumbling. The occupants have opted to create a scrap metal yard in front of their door. Mountains of trash are heaped in front of a pointless two-foot cement wall that surrounds the scrap yard. The only tenants appear to be cats, however the ever-changing laundry that hangs on one of the balconies suggests that humans do in fact occupy the building. The only life I have ever seen coming or going from the building are cats. The king cat appears to be an orange tabby that usually sits on the wall, but can often be seen following the fish cart that a man pushes through our street to the corner to sell his daily catch of sardines. About twenty other cats live under the king’s rule. They can be seen rooting through the trash, hiding under cars, and sleeping among the shards of scrap metal.

These cats have become quite a distraction to our daily lives. As some cat lovers may know, cats udder an earsplitting shriek whenever they fight or have sex. From the sounds of it, the cats next door do both quite frequently. Although our apartment is on the fourth floor, and a wide alley way divides our building from the cat palace, the shrieks sound as though they are coming from our balcony. These cries come at all hours of the night, echoing through our apartment.


caitlin said...

you guys have the best rapport, keep up the good work.

Carol said...

Love all the new photos, especially the Teachers shoes!

Melanie said...

Fireworks and cats don't mix .Puff almost got nailed by an errant bottle rocket on new years eve!Suely they are legal in turkey?

Judy said...

Hi Gavin, your mom gave me your blog address. I enjoyed reading the blogs--does the company you work for take old used-up retired teachers? Judy