Sunday, February 15, 2009

Due to a 200,000 person protest/riot down the street, Gavin has forbid me from leaving the house with the exception of a visit to the Internet Café to post this blog.

Not too much to report. We had a really good Valentine’s Day. I ended up cooking us dinner: Turkish dolmas, carrot/yogurt salad, a cheese platter and salad to start, and creamy eggplant pasta for dinner. YUM!!

Last weekend we joined a group of our friends for a night out in Taksim. Unfortunately when we decided to leave at 2 am we were faced with the challenge of getting back to the Asian side from Europe. After about 11 all the ferries stop running and Gavin refuses to take the bus, so we were stuck taking the Domus (mini bus). After walking about a mile in the pouring rain (a torrential downpour that soaked me through my winter jacket, jeans, and shoes) we finally got to the domus stop. The five of us pilled into the vehicle, only for the driver to tell us we have to wait for two more passengers before he can leave. WTF. Gavin tried to bribe him with 4.80 TL (the price of one fare) but the driver refused. It took about 15 verses of “The wheels on the bus go round and round,” “This is the song that never ends,” and a 5 TL bribe to finally get him to drive us. I guess the “This is the song that never ends” is just as annoying if you don’t understand English.

I have become addicted to yet another Turkish food: Gozleme. Some of Gavin’s students recommended a gozleme restaurant near our school. We have dinned there 3 times in the past week. I cannot get enough of it!

This morning started like any other morning until on our walk to work we realized the main street we have to cross had been barricaded off with police fences and was being guarded by hundreds of armed policemen. When we got into work we found out there was going to be a protest along the waterfront today. Two hundred thousand people were expected to come from all over Istanbul, making it the largest protest in over 20 years. Rumors were flying about potential police brutality and what not. The noise on the street grew louder and louder throughout my morning class. When we left school just an hour and a half ago, the police force had tripled, if not quadrupled since the morning. There were soldiers with machine guns, army tanks and police in riot gear amongst the regular police. There were already thousands of protesters filling the street. From our apartment I can see helicopters flying over where the protest is happening. Pretty wild.

Tonight one of our fellow English Time teachers is having a Valentines Day party at her apartment in Moda. I am supposed to meet Gavin at work around 7 to go to the party. I hope I am not pummeled by the angry mob on the way over.

I guess that’s all for now. Hope all is well back home!!

Oh! Almost forgot… HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Gavin and I celebrated our one year anniversary on the 27th of January. Very exciting. I bought Gavin a guitar, which has led the creation of our music/art collective, “Beyaz Balina.” When we aren’t teaching Turks English, we are busy recording our album and working on our watercolors. Expect the album out soon!

We received 10 month residency permits last week. We can now legally live in Turkey for the rest of our contract.

I have finally recovered from my three week mysterious illness. Still finishing up my second round of antibiotics, but I am off pain killers and am feeling better. YAH!!!

Gavin got a weekend afternoon class assigned to him. He has not been very happy about it. He can’t handle the 32 hour work week.  Luckily I still have my afternoons free to do as I please.

We celebrated my 24th birthday on February 1st with a bang! I worked that morning. My students surprised me with a birthday party. They brought me a cake lit with candles and sparklers, cookies and tons of presents. What a sweet class I have. We spent the last hour of class talking and listening to American music,which for the most part my students like. I spent my free afternoon working on some art projects. Around 8, Gavin took me to dinner at Viktor Levi. We ordered steaks and wine. It was fabulous. After dinner had some friends over for cake and cocktails. Over all my birthday was perfect.

We went to our friend Andy’s apartment for a Super Bowl party on Monday night. All the guys watched the game, ate pizza and hooted and hollered over the plays. Amy, Shari, and I decided that in the future we will have to have some sort of girls night out whenever there is a sports event on TV.

Guess that’s all to report over here in Istanbul. Hope all is well back in the States.

Hilary Figgs: I have no idea if you read this blog, but I need your address. I have no idea where you are living now.