Yemek ekmek. Yemek yemek. Ekmek var ve yemek ekmek!
These are all real sentences in Turkish. This language was clearly invented by Dr. Seuss.
Today was an adventure to Besiktas (pronouned beshiktash), a neighborhood two subway stops north of where I’ve been staying. I took the bus though, because I did not know that. The bus is a crowded (but thankfully air-conditioned) monster which drives quite smoothly, but as soon as it pauses, the whole bus shakes with a terrible vibration as if it is thrashing in its death. I learned this because I drifted off to sleep and then BRAAAPAPRPAPRAPRPAPRPAPRPAPRPRAPARPARPARPARPARPARP WHAT THE HELL. (traffic side note: it’s more or less what I expect, in that everyone drives like it’s the end of the world, and fluidly worms through lanes/congestion/whatever, and the little humans float through the gridlock like blood platelets. Friendly honks and marshutkas (aka the Dolmush) are the norm.)
I arrived and called Benal, the school director, and she arranged to have a (non-english-speaking) turkish dude to come get me. I had about an hour, so I wandered through Besiktas mall and took pictures of the signs. I bought some great shirts–photos up soon, I promise, but one of them is a “vintage” motorcyle shirt that says “strong motor,” and the other depicts a framed portrait of a general with a lion head with the word “fashionable” written beneath in gold glitter.
Shonam picked me up in his little black car and spun through traffic and Benal gave me a big hug and she served me soda in the astroturf garden and talked about the year. Her husband showed me the website he was building for the school. (they both speak fluent english). SO I’ll be teaching mostly ages 8-12, voice lessons, piano lessons, AND MOST INTERESTINGLY a group drama class and a choir. Baller. I can’t believe this is real life. I’m so so so grateful and happy this is really actually real life. I’m doing the best job which I’ve basically already spent most of my life doing (teaching some performing art stuff) in a really cool place for a living wage. I say this not because I wish to engorge your jealousy, but to spread the message: sometimes, if you encounter your dream job in a seven-year-old classified ad on the internet and apply for it, people will just offer it to you, plus an apartment.
Took the ferry to kadikoy after work. The gulls in a lazy cyclone above the sunset waters of the Bosphorus. Anna and Alex and I met up at the Bull statue and got “village kebap” and some weird cabbage salad. When they served us the kebap plate (little gyro-meat inside sliced pitas, pilaf, more weird cabbage salad, roasted tomatoes and peppers, yogurt) a guy came by with a hot copper pot and a ladle. “whats that?” I asked. “Fat,” he replied. He ladled it all over the plate. Awesome.