Friday, November 8, 2013

Well that was short-lived...but I'll be back

Out here in the cool, quiet hinterlands of eastern Turkey, there is no internet service. There is, of course, the option of a dial-up modem via TurkTelecom, but last time I tried that (10 years ago) it drove me crazy with how agonizingly slow it what with having grown accustomed to 4G speeds in the meantime, I'm sure it would be like watching paint dry today. Thankfully, 3G modems have been invented since, which is how I am able to access the world outside of our tiny little valley right now. Sadly, Turkcell has decided that my service expires today (not quite sure why) and the esteemed account holder, my dear husband Tall, is away in Istanbul on the business of trying to start a business and cannot do anything about it right now. My only successful experience with navigating a Turkish bureacracy of any kind, public or private, includes saying "evet" and signing my name in the marriage registry log, and taking my Turkish-citizen daughter to the public hospital once when she had bad diarrhea (kids under 18 have free health care in Turkey, regardless of the insurance status of their parents.) Other than that, I've stood in line with Tall at various banks, SSK (social health insurance) offices, and overseas consulates, only to be told "no" every time. So, my blog is going on a short hiatus for the next week or so until we can sort this out.
Here is where I also confess that I can hardly function on a PC (not a great sign for someone with dreams of getting paid to write), which is why my blog has the appearance that it does, and is utterly devoid of photographs. God willing, I will figure out how to get photos on here, maybe even before my blog goes dark tonight...well, no, probably not before then, but hopefully in time for the new-and-improved blog starting up next week. In the meantime, please leave a comment...otherwise I'm going to feel like Charleston Heston at the end of Planet of the Apes.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Ay Lav Yu, du yu lav mi?

So now I understand why some people need internet access along with oxygen and water...while I have been living with mostly spotty sometimes-weekly access via a tempermental 3G modem (sag olsun, Turkcell) and wishing that I could somehow connect with another woman like me in this part of Turkey, somebody went ahead and made a movie of my life! Well, maybe not just like my life--probably not at all, actually, but from the preview (which is all my modem can handle) it seems that at least it's set in my part of Turkey. And, it features American actors in the American roles, including Muriel Hemingway. I am so excited at the prospect of someday, eventually, seeing this movie. Anybody else seen Ay Lav Yu? Anybody know where I can download it on a slow modem?

Calling all yabanci gelin...

For years now, I've been composing this blog in my head. At first, when my Turkish was limited to "merhaba", it was mostly entries about how amazingly hospitable my in-laws were, how amazingly hospitable the neighbors were, how amazingly hospitable the cashier at the grocery store was...
As my Turkish has improved, my posts have become markedly less idyllic, but certainly more entertaining, as I hope they will be to everyone who reads them.
I'm hoping that there are some other English-speaking foreign gelins out there who will find here a voice that they can relate to; for years, I've been hoping to meet someone like me to commiserate with, to laugh with, to savor iskembe and (maybe even kele-paca) with. I have met women back in the states who have a Turkish husband, usually from Istanbul or Izmir, and they appear to have a very american sort of marriage. I feel incredibly blessed in my marriage, but it certainly isn't anything like the one that my parents have, nor is it anything like the one my in-laws have, nor does it seem anything like the ones our turkish-couple friends nor american-couple friends have. Of course everyone's marriage is utterly unique to those two people; but I am hoping that there is someone out there like me, who married a Turk from the sticks with no inkling of what she was doing, and has been trying to figure it all out (without going crazy) ever since. I did not marry a cosmopolitan man from Istanbul; I married a man who grew up in a two-room dirt and stone house in a little bitty village at the end of the road (literally) in Adiyaman, southeastern Turkey. That's still where we call "home" in Turkey and where we come to visit my in-laws every year.
After twelve years of marriage and three lovely children, my relationships in Turkey have grown much richer and infinitely more complicated, and as I said before, much more entertaining. So if you're a yabanci gelin too, or thinking about becoming one, let me know...I know a good iskembe place, and I can help you learn to eat kele-paca without throwing up.