livin’ in the buyuk sehir

our satellite campus in Kemer is underneath a 2,000 year old roman aqueduct. It looks strange because it is a 2,000 year old aqueduct in a mostly deserted hillish place and I am from alaska, where there is basically no evidence of human habitation. today is monday. a few of us teachers get on the service bus (actually a Cube) and are driven to this rural suburb which looks very georgia-y: catch-as-you-can fences, large unexplained holes, crumbling infrastructure, piles of rocks, strange desolate beauty, and ancient ruins. Kemer. It is amazing–the city surrounds you when you’re in it, a swamp of humans and backtoback apartments and shops, cars and street cats and men selling simit (the shitty sesame bagels) and also dudes wheeling around sacks the size of a subaru collecting the recycling–and outside of the city, emptiness. Scrub grasses and the wind. One in five people in turkey lives in Istanbul. 

I finally have keys to my house. It was owned by Benal’s aunt who passed away four years ago, and she really loves doors, as far as I can tell. The house is empty. It’s been remodeled, so it’s nice now, but still empty of furniture and a kitchen and etcetera. I sleep on an air mattress in my room (which has a balcony~!) and drink water from a two liter jug on the floor. I made tea this morning by adding some tea leaves into a bottle of water last night and waiting. Junk tea. I am a squatter. 

I live in the Sea Palace. It is enormous. 

First I unlock the building door, go up a flight of stairs, unlock the door cage, then the front door, and then labyrinth my way around each room. Each door is a modular folding object of at least two moving parts and each door and window has its own key, and I found three caches of keys in the empty house. It came with two pieces of furniture–a glass cabinet (which I had to unlock) and a low cabinet. The cabinet had four german-turkish instruction books, a koran, and a 12-inch vinyl, and the other drawer remains locked. None of the 15+ keys in the house fit the last cabinet door. (narnia?) 

Some furniture came for delivery yesterday. The workmen were outside, sitting on their truck, smoking, and then when I waved at them they brought several long flat boxes into the place. The head guy then went around with a receipt, checking the order. He pointed at each box and then at its corresponding thing was on the receipt. “Kayroma,” he said, and pointed at a long flat box. “Gardrop,” he said, and pointed at another flat box. “Mutfak,” he said, and pointed at another long flat box. “yatak,” he said, and pointed at another long flat box. “yatak, also yatak” he said, pointing at a smaller long flat box. 

“Ok,” I said, and signed the receipt. The other workman then handed me a kitchen sink, poking through a long, flat box. 

I think someone is supposed to come by on thursday to assemble things. Benal also told me my stove is in her car. 

also I’m learning a lot of pop music. kids love adele. 

  1. as long as you don’t think of simit as a bagel it’s like fine

    • rachel here is a quiz: what is round like a bagel and has a hole like a bagel and is covered with sesame seeds like a bagel but doesn’t come with cream cheese like a bagel and is dry as shit like a shitty bagel

  2. I love this blog of yours, Ernie. Keep posting, it’s awesome!

  3. catluvrs said:

    You’re living in this Sea Palace by yourself? Part of me wants to see pictures, but more than that I enjoy imagining what you’ve described. Yeah, definitely better imagining it. Did you bring Streetcat with you?

    Also, is “sehir” city? It’s “saahar” in Hindi. I love the untranslated bits of Turkish you fit into these posts; I might just get a dictionary and call it a weekly language lesson (especially if there are more cat videos.)


    • streetcat sadly relocated away from my office. I still see her from time to time but she has hidden away her younglings.
      I live in the seapalace CURRENTLY alone, but soon my roomie eyetouch will be moving in. he’s a guitar teacher/composer/soft spoken obscene person. great.
      sehir is city! it’s pronounced “shehir” but that is so cool. please keep adding your hindi. ALL LANGUAGE IS THE SAME

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