Wednesday, November 6, 2013

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.

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