Thursday, 28 August 2014

Kazanci My dear sweet home

Tonight is my last evening on Kazanci Yokusu. To celebrate I am eating kirmizi  mercimek corbasi from my favourite Lokantasi with a serving of chicken for Three Paw.... when she wakes up!!

So many adventures have been had on this marvellously  eccentric street which slopes all the way from Taksim Square down to my gracious lady friend -  The Bosphorus: Gezi park, tear gas, minor earth tremors, gas explosions,  numerous hospital visits, kind neighbours, grumpy fruiterers, beautiful cats, sultry nights, bitter snowy days, Three Paw, The Pirate, Simit, The Lion, Mama, Kerin the Animal God, Ozman 1 - Kahve owner, Ozman 2 - Crimean cafe owner, Jimmy the boot man, Mr Kissy - the Emlak man, Esre the pet shop owner...etc

                                                                  Towards Taxim

Closer to my lady friend

The world's grumpiest fruiterer - cats are his nemesis - ha ha ha!

Lovely poor Jimmy the boot man - never stops working 

Someone said to me today that I was a little anti-social. We were talking about the expat community here in Istanbul and it is true that I have not really made an effort to immerse myself in it..but when I think of my street, when I think how every day I am greeted as I leave my home and upon my return, how when my electricity gets cut off people hot wire it back on for me, how I was able to watch the world cup and break Iftar during Ramazan with the old dudes next door, how when Three Paw is missed I am asked for updates..I think my slightly reclusive self has done quite well. I have been blessed enough to weave a few threads in the beautiful tapestry of this street and I am all the richer for it.
And let's not forget my two girls I take with me. I can remember clearly meeting both of them. Three Paw trashing it out by the bins. Poor little pirate, smaller than my hand with an eye so infected it was twice the size of her head.
And now little Simit who I will leave on the street - for now anyway. But I have made provisions for Love, Attention  and Food for him while I am away and who knows what will happen on my return to Istanbul.

Tomorrow though I am Besiktas bound ( before a visit to Australia. Home of Slaven Bilic , The Pirate and da Punk.. and Three Paw.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

simit sellers

This afternoon one of the old style simit sellers came passed my door and on impulse I decided to give him some custom. Probably the toughest couple of simits I have ever eaten but I still felt ok about it. These hirsute men, oil-slicked and sweating, plodding the streets in the August sun - they deserve   patronage. Hardworking, honest, proud of their wares. I bet there are magic simits stashed somewhere on their wagons. 

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Lucky girl

Last week I nearly killed myself off some rocks on the Princes' Islands. I can't actually think about what happened or at least if I do I quickly feel nauseated and have to think of something else - like all the plot holes in the first three StarWars films or how I love the fact that Turks still eat breakfast at 4 in the afternoon. Of course I am reminded each day of what nearly happened as I am carrying angry, extensive bruises on my legs, hip and torso. I also have test results from the hospital that ruled out a smashed pelvis or compromised internal organs. I am a lucky girl. I don't feel lucky when it hurts to sit up or turn or even walk but I know I am lucky. Not just for surviving this but for my life in general. I wish the people confronting war or disease in the world right now were as lucky as me. The world just seems so terribly sad.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014


So I  finally found a place not far from Istanbul where the air is clean and you can see your toes when you bathe in the water. They also have lovely bars overlooking the sea and a night market with sweet ladies who knit bootees for mobile phones. It's called Sile and it is on the Black Sea although from these pictures there is a distinctly blue-green theme.

Many a frolicking Turk can be observed here too.

And past Turks be not forgotten.

The only downside was the savage drubbing I received in backgammon from the Suggestosaurus. I should never have taught him how to 'close the door', perform 'naturals' or wait for 'the end game'. Sigh.

Friday, 1 August 2014


So Ramazan has come and gone. My students have stopped glazing off from hunger ( or was it the sheer boredom of IELTS preparation?). Ramazan Pide has been consumed, Gulac has been savoued  and the children have all enjoyed their sweets. Nowall the Turks are on summer holidays.  Feasting on fish and kofte and fruit. The great thing is most have left Istanbul for the south so the town has a wonderful abandoned sort of feeling to it. Fewer cars, fewer people - even walking to the local supermarket is bliss. And the people left behind are taking it easy too. As are all the cats.

A few days ago I went to Tekirdag which is on the Marmara Sea with the Suggestosaurus. It was nice to see the city spinning away from us until all we could see were sunflowers, the ocean and the occasional A101 Supermaret. Tekirdag is famous for its own brand of Raki but it seemed like they didn't want anyone to know. If this was Queensland  there would have been at least  an enormous bunch of grapes made out of fibreglass and a giant inflatable raki bottle for kids to jump inside. But not here in Tekirdag- Not one sign or colourful tea towel. It was in fact easier to order Ayran,

Indeed, when a bottle of Raki was finally offered it turned out to be from a rival brand -Yeni Raki. Perculiarsaurus.

At least there was kofte  for the Suggestosaurus.  Tekirdag is famous for these turd shaped delicacies as well.

The other lure of Tekirdag is the possibility of swimming. Unfortunately the area in front of the town is more of a port area so in order to have a proper splishy splashy swim you have to to take the number 1 Domus to Kumbag ( I kid you not!)  The sea was a lovely warm temperature  and though the beach was a little bit silty, it was a great place to make like Orca and be with the waves.

Off she goes....

Wave Orca Wave