Random things

Finally I have caught up on all of my trips. I’ll catch you up with random things that I’ve been doing around here.

When I got back from Israel, I overlapped with Cengiz for about 2 hours before he headed to Trabzon, and the next day my friend Lauren and her boyfriend came to Istanbul (they had been in Bulgaria for work) and stayed with me which was fun. Lauren had been here almost exactly 6 years earlier (just one week difference) and visited me when I was an exchange student. When she was here that time, she met a girl, Paige, who was also traveling around Turkey and they traveled together some. Weirdly enough, that girl Paige was also again in Istanbul for work when Lauren and her boyfriend were here. Can you believe it? Two random people coming to Istanbul at the exact same time, almost exactly 6 years later. Weird!

We met up in a meyhane in Taksim, a kind of traditional tavern, where we ate a lot of mezes and other things. There was live music but it was actually a little loud and I could hardly hear anything. It’s a fun experience, I recommend going to one if you don’t get stuck next to a table filled with men and musicians.

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It was a lot of fun to see Lauren and Ben and she made me this awesome hat!

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I felt like I hadn’t stopped talking for a week – when I was with Sarah in Israel we talked and talked and talked, and when Lauren came to visit we talked and talked and talked – I loved every minute of it but I had to take a day of silence to recover!

Our neighbor, Soner Arica, is a pop singer. When Cengiz was little, he listened to Soner’s music so imagine his surprise when he learned Soner was our neighbor. While he’s a little aged now, he still looks good and sings well and he’s still popular and we see his clips on TV. He comes to our apartment about 3 times a week for PT with Cengiz, and they’ve become friends. He’d been inviting us to his show which is every Saturday at a bar on the Asian side, but we’re always too busy or away, but finally we were able to go. It was a lot of fun and he really knows how to put on a good show. Although I didn’t know or understand any of the words, everyone else there was so excited and was having fun, so I did too. We didn’t get home until about 3am which is not my style but every once in a while it can be fun!

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Unfortunately my videos didn’t turn out but You Tube him, you can find him there.

Funny cats in my neighborhood

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This one often lingers outside our apartment and I named her Sophie. She LOVES to be rubbed but she starts drooling, which can be a little gross when she tries to rub her face against you.

My brother and Veronica came to visit! They were brave and adventurous and found my apartment all by themselves, because Cengiz and I were working when they arrived. Luckily the weather was nice when they were here – that always makes a visit more fun. They were really easy and fun guests – Heath made delicious cabbage stew and Veronica made divine strawberry shortcakes! I hope they will come back again soon because I had a great time.

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My favorite breakfast place – Kale Cafe

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Great views from Rumeli Hisar Castle

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We went to Cengiz’s RPM class

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Besiktas market

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Just before heading to the airport, Veronica and I got scrubbed down at a hamam and then ate this dessert – it’s a baked quince topped with kaymak – clotted cream. It’s REALLY good.

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Off to the airport (on a rainy day).

Next up, my annual tulip pictures!

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