Monday, December 5, 2011

Two Weekends in Istanbul

A visit from Eric and the meeting of friends in Istanbul for the past two weekends has caused a shortage of recent posts but provided a increased dose of happiness that all traveling provides me. First, I had the great fortune to meet a high school friend in Istanbul for shopping at the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market. Even Martha Stuart agrees that shopping any time at these places is fun. Add the expertise of my friend the shopper who has come to Istanbul two times a year for like the last 1000 years and you've got the key to special prices, hidden stashes, and quality shop owners. It was a blast. Then, add the introductions to another "new" friend who I hope to meet in the future either here or in Bend, a husband who graciously leaves us gals to shop, and some delicious food on the floor of a carpet shop and you have a perfect weekend.

Following the weekend of fun, Eric, then, flew home to Malatya with me and made my work week perfectly enjoyable. He introduced me to P90X, a killer exercise program that we slogged through every morning before work...five days of sore muscles... After the workout, he cooked me breakfast and walked me to my bus stop. I came home each night to good smells of a hot dinner, a clean house, and clean laundry. However, I wish I could have captured the look of dismay on one of our male Turkish friends when we described Eric's domesticity. His wife thought it was pretty neat, though..

A text from Eric on Wednesday asking if I would like to return to Istanbul the following weekend to meet a friend of his from a prior job was the cure for getting over the mid-week slump. Of course I would!.... We caught the Saturday 9:30 a.m. flight to Istanbul and were walking on the Bosporus by early afternoon. It was fun to see the city like a native rather than a tourist, sipping coffee with the locals, walking along the water of the Bebek, taking pictures of the bridges at night, and driving up and down the hills of Istanbul. We dined on fresh seafood and drank raki at a wonderful restaurant, savored brunch and enjoyed the gardens in the 1867 Mayor/Viceroy of Egypt's Mansion house and enjoyed the company of a lovely Turkish couple and their 6 month old daughter.

So, it's back to work but energized andthankful for my husband, my friends both old and new and the new experiences over these past few weeks.

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