Sunday, August 26, 2012


Thanks to the Ramadan holiday, I didn't have to work this past week. As this holiday fell so close to my summer vacation in the US, I decided to use this time to explore the area around my new home and to get settled in before I get too busy with work. What could have been a long, boring,lonely week turned out to be a wonderful vacation. Here is my travel journal in bullet point form:
*Weekend in Greece (3 hours away by bus and ferry not including wait time) - swimming, visiting historical sites, listening to local music and eating local food.
*Befriending the apartment manager and getting all kinds of apartment repairs completed. * Early morning jogs on the Aegean Sea watching the fishermen, cats, and sleeping dogs.
*Shopping for a cute tennis skirt and then wearing said skirt to the nearby courts looking for a "quality" partner. (As much as I hate to admit it, sometimes the proper attire helps buy credibility in tennis...So, mission girl who hits the ball well and a group of locals who play every Saturday and Sunday and invited me to join them)
*Figuring out local bus, subway, and dolmus transportation to IKEA for inexpensive kitchen supplies.
*Taking the ferry to Alzancah to meet friends from Turkey and Germany. (Alsancak is the cool part of town with the bars and cafes) to sip tea and/or coffee and talk.
* Being introduced to the local Wednesday Farmer's Market. (It's huge and amazing...a "must go" every Wednesday for fruits, veggies and homemade gozleme.)
*Spending an afternoon at a newlywed's house for tea and Turkish coffee.
*Joining my first late night bike ride with the EgePedal Bike Group. (Ege is Turkish for Aegean)
*Inviting a colleague and her Turkish boyfriend to my apartment for a swim and backgammon by the pool. Then learning how to order pizza for delivery. ( first delivered pizza in Turkey!)
*Biking to Foca, a beach town north of Izmir (90km round trip) and spending three hours swimming, drinking beer and sunbathing with some Turkish bikers...three who are women and two who are my age!!
*Eating the best kofte of my stay here in Turkey at a cute little Lokantasi (restaurant) on the way home...It was one of those places I would never try on my own, but now I'll take all my tourist friends...(hint, hint)

So, I'm sipping a small glass of wine and heading off to bed thinking that I am so lucky to live in such a nice place for a staycation.

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