Saturday, 30 November 2013

The Museum of Innocence

One of my all-time favourite books is The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk.  Actually, at this stage of my life, it is definitely my most loved. I didn't know what to expect when I bought it but I was smitten from the very first line all the way to the very last one.  It even gave me a hankering for Raki! I think it is a combination of the book's setting in Istanbul (I can even see my street on the map at the beginning of the book), the evocative sights and sounds which he describes ( like the Russian tankers along the Bosphorus) and of course the beautiful story.
So today I decided to visit the actual Museum of Innocence which was created out of the book. You even get free entry if you bring the book which has an entry ticket stamped in it three-quarters of the way through the story.
I had been nervous about going, in case I was disappointed, but today seemed the right day to go so I put on my winter woollies and went off in search of Curkurcuma Street.
I was not disappointed.
From the mysterious side entry and the dignified man who quietly opens the door, to the wall of Füsan's cigarette butts, to the fakeJenny Colon handbag and the countless images of Istanbul, all the way to dear Kemal's bed on the top floor. It was magical. I actually cried when I first saw the wall of cigarettes and spent quite some time trying to decipher what was written under each one. There was even a bottle of Yakut Kavaklidere Red Wine in one of the display cabinets which I found endearing since  if I was ever to build a museum of my life I would probably put such a bottle of red in as well.

What I loved also though (along with the intricacies of the displays) was Pamuk's handwritten manuscript sheets on the very top floor. It inspired me and excited me and makes me want to write again.

I will probably visit the museum again some time but I am glad I went today. It was absolutely the right place for me to be.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Beware the Büfe

Yesterday I got food poisoned by a lunchtime Büfe. I suppose anything called a Büfe should really be steered clear of but I hurtled on into it anyway only to have it hurtle back out of me exactly four hours later. I was at the American Hospital when it began and my student's first response was that I should go to emergency. I find Turks resort to the emergency department a bit like we use GPs in Australia. Anyway, I declined to go because I knew exactly what this was and I didn't need a triage nurse to confirm it. The worst bit was I suddenly felt myself wanting to be ill while on the streets of Nisantasi, which is an upmarket area of Istanbul.
Now I am a neat vomiter. It is actually a gift I believe. 
When I was sixteen I suddenly became ill on a local bus so I promptly removed the red hat I was wearing on my head, threw up into it, and then alighted at the next stop with my hat politely ( although rather sloshily) folded over.  Unfortunately I did not have my red hat with me but I did have a plastic bag in my satchel which I normally use to carry dry food for cats. So I stopped by the side of the road, amongst all the well-do-to-do Istanbullis going about their Thursday evening business, and very neatly and politely filled up the bag. If there were awards for most stealth and orderly throwerer-upperer I would definitely be in the running.  Fortunately the food had not got into my blood stream so I recovered fairly quickly and was able to enjoy the sight of the pirate being spooned by my toy sheep when I got home.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Happy family ??

I have to confess that Three-paw has not taken to The Pirate in an all-embracing manner. She tends to growl and huff and eat all her food. Then again sometimes The Pirate morphs into a whirling-dervish/feline-pinball and bounces around the room which such velocity and one-eyed madness even I am a little bit afraid of her.

And, of course, there is her sudden desire to stalk the resting Three-Paw...

Sometimes there is peace though.

I realise my one reader may be feeling a little bored by my constant animal updates right now but I don't know how much longer I will have my little shipmate so i'm kind of her documenting her little life while I can.

Besides teaching is boring and there are only so many ways you can cook a kebab.

Monday, 25 November 2013

telly addict

Apparently you only need one working eye to become a telly addict.  Especially if there are birds on offer or a few hamsters on wheels.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Monday, 11 November 2013

Little man lost

I think I have lost Lucky's brother...and not in a good way. It's ironic really. Yesterday I gave him the last of his medication and he was such a fine fat little thing, running around like a little devil.  Last night I checked on him with his mother and they were together in their little abandoned room hidey-hole. Someone had chained a big hessian bag to the bars of their door entry and I thought to myself I hope my little friend doesn't go exploring in their because he might not get out.
So the morning came  and the bag was gone but so was my boy. I haven't found him all day and tonight only his mama is curled up in her box which is very unusual. Normally I see my boy all over the place. Maybe he is off hiding, maybe his playing, maybe someone picked him up and gave him a good home...maybe..maybe...but my heart says no.
Now when I look at little Lucky with her one eye, a part of me wonders what was the point of saving her if I couldn't save her brother as well. I mean of course there was a point but it all feels so arbitrary and unfair and sad.

I feel sad.
I am tired of feeling sad

Be safe my little man.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Quiz at the end of the rainbow

Last night I went to a quiz night to raise money for the street animals of Cihangir. I didn't really know anyone there so it was über terrifying to go but I had to do it for the kitties and the 5TL Organic wine. It was good  to sit quietly in a crowd of like-minded folk although I found myself sitting opposite an Australian girl who calls football " soccer" and loves rugby league. (Funny how people assume because you come from the same country you will instantly get along.) The organizer  of the night brought a special guest along called Rosie who has been looking for a home since she was found in bad shape a little while back.
The picture here makes Rosie look upset but she was actually very calm and loved the attention. The beautiful thing is by the close of night she had been adopted. Happy Ending! Let's hope my little friend has similar success.

Speaking of my little laydee, I felt bad leaving her home alone for the evening so I had her play date come in for some gallivanting and cuddles.

You know I do actually have other things going on right now, I promise. It is just the work is quite awful at the moment and I miss my little Basel classes immensely.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Play date

Sometimes I invite Lucky the Pirate's brother over for a play date. Generally there is a lot of piggery followed by mass destruction followed by an enormous nap. It also give me a chance to give Lucky's brother his medication (as he has his own infection.) His mama doesn't mind as long as I bring him back for their nightly cuddles. It must seem kind of strange to take a street cat in for a few hours and then take him out again but this is Istanbul and nothing makes sense. The truth is, Lucky's brother is a very tubby little boy who gets all of his mother's love. He is one of the more fortunate street cats. He is doing as well as he can out there so the best I can offer him is a meal, a few cuddles and some hours in a safe environment to run like a mad kitten who owns the world. Often I go out to check on him late at night and I find him sleeping on his mama in a box undercover. None of it is perfect but he's doing OK. And Lucky likes having a buddy to tear up the town with ( although secretly sometimes I think she is relieved when he goes home.) And I'm sure her brother gives lovely reports to his mama about how his little sis is doing.

Three-paw remains a most unamused Queen.


Monday, 4 November 2013

Pirate on deck

So Lucky the Pirate made it through Surgery Sea and is now on the Good Ship Galbraith for the time being. I went with my Turkish friend (N) to pick her up. N got tears in her eyes when she saw her but for me I wasn’t as sad as I was relieved.  Honestly, she was just in so much pain before and looked so terrible that seeing her with one bright eye and a little purring heart made me feel happy. To be honest I don’t even notice she is missing one eye anymore.
It is amazing how such a tiny creature can fill up the entire space of your room (and heart). There are still times when I still lose her in the room but I normally see a pair of ears and one eye poking out from behind a pillow or a corner of furniture.
She has even stopped swearing at me ( which is very un-piratey of her.) Never mind, Three-paw has taken to cussing in the manner of a most drunken sailor .