And another post with random stuff

It’s only been 18 days since my last post! It’s a record. I’ve had plenty of time to write, but I just kept forgetting. Work is picking up, now that people are back from vacations and children are going back to school. It looks like this year I will have a lot of lessons with kids, which isn’t my favorite, but they are more reliable than adults (who travel, have meetings, get tired after work etc, so lots of cancellations). My days aren’t too packed though and I usually have time for the gym and to cook lunch/dinner. Sometimes even a nap, if the need arises!

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A selfie with one of my students.

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I received the calligraphy and card at my only second lesson with a family. The father is a calligrapher, which is different from most of the families I work with. His daughter (6.5 years old) made me the card but she got embarrassed later when she realized she wrote “Sally” and not “Sally Teacher”. I assured her I don’t expect any titles in my lessons! As you can guess, they are a really nice family and I enjoy giving their kids lessons.

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Cengiz and I hardly go out to eat, so for my birthday I just wanted a nice, expensive steak dinner, and that I got! For dessert we had this amazing thing, I can’t really describe it because I don’t know quite what it is, but think of a warm puff pastry with something delicious inside of it (pistachios, but you don’t notice them, and a few other things), and ice cream on the side.

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These students and I worked together four hours a week for several months. They work at a nearby engineering company which was bought out by a Dutch company, who provided free English lessons because now the engineers were working with Dutch people. They surprised me with cake for my birthday. My kind of students, my kind of lesson!

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Cengiz and I went running late one morning along the Bosphorus. I had to stop and take a picture of this, I thought it was too funny. In the summer a lot of people (especially men) go swimming in the Bosphorus. I would never do it because it can be so dirty in some places, and there are really strong currents. They were having a great time though.

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Cengiz finished running first so while he was waiting for me he did some core workouts. This random old man joined him.

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I liked the colors of this salad. The plate is from Target!

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Successfully fed a chunk of Cengiz’s family. From left to right it’s Cengiz’s brother’s wife and kid, Cengiz, Cengiz’s older brother, their other kid, Cengiz’s sister’s kid, Yakup (Cengiz’s younger brother), Cengiz’s sister (with the the scarf on) and Sermin, Yakup’s wife. It was weird to have a little kid in the house, I definitely wasn’t used to it. I couldn’t leave any technology out or she’d grab it and play with it. Kids these days! They were pleased with the food (not that they were judging me…but it is important), so that was a relief.

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Before Ramadan started, Cengiz and I managed to squeeze in a quick vacation to Bodrum. The previous year we hadn’t been on a typical sit-on-the-beach vacation so we were really looking forward to this. It was so nice and relaxing – the most effort I exerted those 4 days was to go eat food at the restaurant on the beach, or go buy salt and vinegar Pringles. No hopping on buses, fighting crowds of people, walking all over the place – it was such a nice change from Istanbul. I didn’t see a car or road the whole time! I only stayed on the beach side of the hotel. While we were there, the music video Cengiz was in (our neighbor is a pop singer – Soner Arica – and Cengiz gives him private lessons) was released and we showed it to the manager and then our bedroom got decorated like that! We felt very VIP.

Next up, Switzerland!!

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