Tuesday, April 24, 2012

In my opinion, no one can ever go too often to Antalya. Maybe I'm prejudiced, having only been there twice, but there is something about the looking over the Mediterranean from a castle with the sun beating down on you, and some sand still between your toes from the beach that morning that makes you want to keep coming back.  As my Turkish Literature teacher put it:

My teacher: "Kyla, cennet nedemek" (what does cennet mean in English?)
Me:"bilmiyorum" (I don't know)
My teacher: "paradise"
Cennet (pronounced Jen-et)

Anyways, at the moment I'm trying not to fall asleep.  after the way-too-long-so-I'm-not-even-counting-the hours bus trip, I would like to join my host sister in a long nap, however I don't want to mess up my sleep schedule when school starts tomorrow. I'm resisting.  MUST STAY AWAKE. In the meantime I'd like to share a little something I wrote about food a while back:

Baklava for Breakfast

When thinking of great global cuisine one usually thinks o Italian, French, or maybe Greek.  Those with more "exotic" tastes might consider Mexican, Thai, or Indian food the best; but I believe Turkish beats them all.

What do Turkish people eat? The best answer is: "a lot". Even if they don't usually indulge themselves, they are sure to give guest the opportunity to do so.  If the food itself isn't enough to get the guests to stuf themselves, the laws of hospitality will. A Turkish host is more or less required to insist their guest to take serving after serving.  Completely clearing your plate is taken to mean you are still hungry, and leaving food won't stop your host from adding more to your plate.

Most of the time, the meal centers around bread.  A good Turkish host will offer it with every meal, and it can be eaten with anything. Traditionally, whole wheat bread was considered unsuitbale for anyone who could afford white, and that idea still persists in the mind of may, however more and more people are embracing the benefits of whole wheat.

As I mentioned before, just about anything can be put on bread, and breakfast is a perfect example of this.  An average Turkish breakast will include jam, olives, cheese, and eggs (all on bread); However, this is very basic.  Your average Turkish breakfast experience will include two or more varieties of all the aformentioned items along with sausage, cucumbers, tomatoes, honey. A fancier breakfast might also include french fries, traditional halva, baklava, and the recent yet popular addition: nutella. Turks have long realised breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and display this in their elaborate breakfasts. 

After breakfast, it may seem that lunch and dinner might be a let down, but I assure you they are not. It is impossible to sum up the vast range of Turkish cuinine here, especially since they vary so much regionally, but usually luch and dinner will be heavy on meats, salt, cheese, and oil. However, my personal favorite is eggplant! check out this recipe

Monday, April 2, 2012

Language Progress

So, I keep telling myself my next blog post is going to be about food. Well, guess what? This one isn't. it's an update about learning Turkish.

First of all, the bad news: I made a complete fool of myself today.  After insisting I would be fine walking myself home, I made it all the way to the door only to remember I can't use a key.  This disability is as of yet diagnosed, but I'm pretty sure it's real.  Anyways, I spent a good ten minutes fiddling with the key before taking a seat outside the door and seriously considering ringing the neighbors doorbell to ask for help.  

Luckily, it didn't get to that point because someone else living in the complex came by to use the elevator

"Yardim edebilirmiyim?' I asked, which means "Can I help?"  In case you're wondering, this makes no sense.  Luckily,  he didn't say anything about it. He opened the door in approximately one and a half seconds and told me not to forget the key in the lock.  

Now that that's out of the way... on to the good news.  I've been trying for months now to get a residency permit.  A while ago I asked the principal for my residency permit so I could see the day it expires. He said I don't have one. several months, phone calls and facebook messages later I still don't have one. So I decided to call the president of my rotary club. 

I didn't really want to do this because for about a month I've been talking to him in pretty much just Turkish. Before I called I accepted there was no way I could explain this in Turkish and it was painful to press the call button... I really didn't want to have to go backwards in my progress.  But I called anyways.

We started out in English and I explained the situation- twice. He couldn't understand.  "Kyla, can you explain in, Turkish?" He asked.

I was fairly certain this was impossible. However the first few words came to me right away and soon I had explained the whole thing.

"I understand" he said. I felt like dancing around the room.

There you have it, probably my proudest learning-turkish-moment to date. As they say in Turkish  "adım adım" step by step