Well, there’s not a lot for little pre-schoolers to do here. Now that Evan’s swimming lesson is over we thought we would check out the library story time. There was a dog for the kids to pet, stories, and crafts. It was so crowded! Lots of sweet Turkish nannies there. Ours stayed home to cook some fabulous Turkish food. These women put my cooking to shame.
Side note – is it normal for a 22-month old to be a bully? Evan pulled a little girl off a play set, she fell down and hit her head on a bookcase. I felt so bad…and angry…and not sure what to do. Five minutes earlier he was sweetly hugging and sharing. Ugh, parenting is confusing. I took him out to the car and we went home, but I’m not sure he understood why.
I’m so confused. I mainly went to the mall hoping to find some clothes that would be appropriate to wear off base – long skirts, capris, loose shirts, etc. The women at the mall were, as usual, dressed conservatively. However, the stores carried only western style clothing – short skirts and shorts, tank tops, bikinis, etc! Who is buying all this clothing and where are Turkish women buying the clothes they actually wear?? I’ve heard two answers: markets and making by hand. Anyway, I’ve gone twice and no luck.
I do admire the conservative dress here, I just don’t understand the mall phenomenon. Turkish women are beautiful and so is their clothing – especially the scarves they wear on their heads. American women buy them (pashminas) just because they’re so pretty, then we’re not sure what to do with them. 🙂
Some of the women here cover and some don’t. These pictures kind of cover the most to least conservative I see. I haven’t seen the full burkas like in Afghanistan, which actually was kind of upsetting to me. I’m sure different areas of Turkey may be more or less conservative than Adana. Most conservative:
Least conservative (long pants and shoulders covered):
Anyway, not much else to report. Tom and I have been super sick. Even Lucy seems sick. Evan seems fine, but he did take a 4-hour nap the other day. He woke up really happy!
I call Phase I survival. You’re just getting by with what you have and figuring out what just happened. And what to do now. We’ve moved into phase II now – thriving? accumulating? I basically gave up on waiting for any of our household goods. Washing the same 2 dishes and 2 forks for 5 weeks was about to drive me insane. Also, I’ve finally figured out where to shop – you can get almost anything for an insanely cheap price here! On base there is a thrift shop and a virtual “yard sale” page. There are markets of base, and we found the mall in Adana:
It’s right next to the Adana mosque. How beautiful is that?!? Sorry for the poor image quality. I was trying to drive/survive in a Turkish traffic circle. Side note: I’ve yet to see another woman driving in Turkey. I’m sure some do but it’s obviously very rare. One of the ambulance drivers told me that by law women have to drive with their hazards on. I’m hoping he’s wrong or kidding!
ANYWAY, Some of my purchases this week include this set of stoneware for $5:
This set of silverware for $1
Plus towels, bath mats, toys, books, oven mitts, pillow cases, and cooking utensils for literally pennies. Why did I wait?! Actually, I just didn’t really know where/how/when to go until now. I’m feeling so much happier here now! I don’t think it’s just the difficulty of living out of the suitcase that was getting to me, but the feeling of HOME vs. HOTEL.
I’m not the only one feeling good here. Actually Lucy has been loving it since day one. Her big hobby is laying in the sun and getting so sleepy she can’t keep her eyes open:
I’ve noticed a lot of women knit or crochet here at Incirlik. I think it’s just the slower pace of life; there’s less to do here. I’ve knitted some projects but only crochet one major project – a baby blanket for Evan. It took me years! I started it for another baby way before I got pregnant but ended up finishing it for Evan. So, I’m worried about finishing this blanket with only about 5 months until my due date. So far, I’ve been finding time for it, so maybe it will happen! I hope so – I feel less focused on this pregnancy than I did with Evan. I don’t want this baby to have less than Evan because its not our first – so here! A blanket of your own! I feel better now. 🙂
I’ve already mentioned the Turkish markets on this blog but I just can’t get over it. On Sunday we spent about 20TL or $10 for the following:
- 2 large melons
- 2.5lb grapes
- 2.5lb green beans
- 1 red cabbage
- 1 large bag garlic cloves
- 1.5lb cucumber
- 1.5lb zucchini
- 4 pears
- 8 peaches
- 1.5lb white figs
- 2.5lb carrots
- 8 apples
- 1.5lb tomatoes
All fresh, local, and (we think?) organic. Just the figs would have cost half that much in California! Unfortunately, there was no egg guy this week. The way you buy a bag of produce is odd. You kind of bag up what you want and hand it to the stand owner. Then he takes out or ADDs produce to get an even kg weight. I wanted 4 zucchini but he would only let me buy 3 because of the weight. I bagged up how many grapes I wanted but he added more to make it an even number. It’s such a great deal that I don’t ask questions. 🙂 Having all this fresh produce around has helped us get back on the paleo wagon after our move here. Now if we could just stop eating the delicious Turkish bread we’d be good. 🙂
I’ve been trying to get Evan to eat eggs since he was about 8 months old. I’ve tried all kinds of eggs and cooking methods. It’s been 13 months with no success – until now. Introducing: Turkish eggs. You buy these eggs at the market. They come in this sketch-looking carton totally unrefrigerated off a Turkish guy’s truck:
The actual egg looks better than even the most expensive organic eggs I’ve bought in the US. They have thick shells and bright orange, thick yolks that stand up tall. I didn’t edit this picture:
These eggs must be organic and free-range judging by the look at taste, but not because of some idealistic idea like in the US. It’s more like Turkey just does things the old-fashioned way. The market produce also seems organic, not as a special thing but just because they grow old-fashioend non-GMO seeds out in a field then go out and harvest by hand. Most unbelievable of it all is the price. A large bag of veggies runs around $0.50, a large bag of fruit runs around $1.00, and THREE DOZEN of these fabulous eggs was about $3.50. That’s less than one dozen of the organic, free-range eggs they had in California that Evan wouldn’t eat. Here he is chowing down:
I bought some things. I usually don’t have the time or enough interest to go out and buy things for my house, but this is a special situation. We still have only what we brought in our suitcases, plus our Air Force-issued rental furniture, plus a few things people have lent/given us like toys and kitchen gear. So, our house kind of feels like a really big hotel. I ventured off base and found a couple of really fun Turkish housewares that have given me SO much joy, it’s weird. They make it finally feel like home, I think – since it’s something that’s uniquely ours. There are so many beautiful things in Turkey, by the way! First, I found this gorgeous crystal bowl with a Turkish design that’s hard to see in the picture. The bowl kind of changes color depending on what angle you see it from. It was SO inexpensive compared to crystal in the US!
Then, today we all went out to a Turkish shop and I got this hand-painted platter. It’s textured from the paint and made locally:
In a totally unrelated story, Evan got invited to a birthday party for a little boy turning 2 – at the bowling alley! Who knew they made toddler bowling shoes and even have a little ramp they can push the ball down onto the lane? Too cute. Evan got 2nd out of 5 but I was really most excited about these little shoes. Accessories! Evan loved watching his ball go down the lane as you can see here: