Wednesday, June 2, 2010

News, etc.

Selam, everyone. Just a post to let you know that I've gotten a couple emails from NSLI about my upcoming departure - I leave for NY in just 20 days and fly in 22! The first bit of information was a reply to a question I had about visas - all I have to do is hand over about $20 US at the airport to get my visa, because I won't be there for very long. That's abfab news. There was also an email with information about AFS Turkiye, specific things - the type of electrical outlet there, what sort of gifts to bring your family (I'm thinking chocolate chips as they're apparently rare there, Maine maple syrup, locally made granola ( try some because it's incredible.), and blueberry jam, as well as some pictures of Maine, etc, but I'm still looking for ideas so have fun in the comments) and rules. The things that could definitely get me students sent home include hitchhiking, breaking Turkish laws, driving and drugs. I can't drive and I don't do drugs or hitchhike, so I'm not particularly worried. The drinking age there is technically 18, but they're very laid-back about enforcing that - we are talking about Europe. One can also be sent home for developing eating disorders, which I suppose makes sense. I am not an eating disorder sort of kız. I love to cook and I love to eat, and I'm not really concerned by the AFS warnings that most people gain weight while abroad. I'd certainly rather eat my favourite foods - things that I cook, not horrid processed foods Go Michael Pollan - than abstain and lose weight. I like clothes, but I'm totally at home in my body ... so 50's figures are out of fashion, and so are the Ashkenazic hips that are my birthright (along with that unburnable olive skin I didn't get). So what? Give me that turkish food, I'm only there for six weeks and I plan to enjoy every meal.
Well, I promised to finish those romance phrases - oh, that's something that IS allowed on AFS - so here's one to tide you over. I promise to tell you the totally important ones about condoms and idiots over the weekend!

Do you want to come inside for a while? Biraz içeri gelmek ister misin?

Oh, and a friend whose family is from Turkey has told me that peanut butter is really hard to find there. Stands to reason, as it's not even that easy to get in the UK. Not much variety or quality. So, that's another potential present for my family. The picture here is of the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Erdoğan, who has called the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara "a bloody massacre ... that deserves every kind of curse."

I've switched my laptop's keyboard to Türkçe! Now I don't have to copy characters from Ğooğle Tranşlate and, hopefully, those annoying highlighted bits will go away. I am a happy kız tonight. Mostly. I babysat my brother after studying for French finals with a friend for a couple hours, and then I baked a cake for another old friend's birthday tomorrow*. It's the chocolate cake from the brilliant food blog Smitten Kitchen, with a potentially dangerous coffee cream cheese icing that I'm really excited about.
Iyi geceler! Seni seviyorum, world. That does not extend to finals, by the way.

*Is it right for a fifteen-year-old to call anybody an 'old friend'?

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