Sunday, July 5, 2015

Ya live, ya learn.

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It's been a busy few days in the Hogan household because we finally moved in to our new apartment!! We're one step closer to being settled...

Let's back up though to Thursday.  There is a very small (read: part of a hotel) air force base here that we have been to a couple of times to get paper turned in.  They have a small restaurant and Thursday, they were having live music!  So, Mike and I headed down for dinner and a show!  I didn't have high hopes, but the singer was actually REALLY good.  Her name is Alaina Blair and she's doing an Armed Forces tour, so she decided to stop by little ole Izmir and say hello.  Definitely a fun little night out.

Friday was moving day part one! Hooray!  We packed up our bags and checked out of the hotel early in the morning.  We took a taxi to our new apartment to meet the first round of movers.   The housing office on base "rents" (it's free) furniture to the service members here since most of them aren't going to be here that long (and they usually aren't allowed to bring a lot of stuff). There was still some furniture in here from the last guy that needed to be taken out, plus, we were keeping some of the furniture and needed it moved around.  So, we now have a microwave, refrigerator, washer and dryer, full size bed in one of the guest bed rooms and some portable closets in the master bed room.  After they left, the second round of movers came and brought all of the stuff we had packed in our express shipment.  We had packed some dishes, silverware, and a pot and pan so that we could cook, as well as some sheets and lawn chairs so we could sleep and sit in our new apartment. It was super exciting to unpack that stuff and start to see our house come together. That excitement lasted about 6.2 seconds when we realized how little we had actually packed.  Apparently, you can send up to 1000 lbs in the express shipment, so we could have packed our entire kitchen, as well as our kitchen table and a few other luxuries (read: trash can, bath mat, can opener...ya know, true luxuries).  Ya live, ya learn I guess.  You better believe when we come back to the United States, we'll be sending a lot more in our express shipment.
Mike is sad that the only furniture we have are the beach chairs. I agree.

Anywaysssss, I spent the afternoon on Friday moving in.  I ventured out to the commissary on base, as well as the Turkish grocery store! Be proud! I was super nervous to have to pay for groceries and interact with someone who only spoke Turkish when I only spoke English, but we both survived.  Although, if I didn't stand out already with my light hair and confused look on my face, I definitely stood out when I still had the cart at the end of the check out line. Apparently, people in Izmir ditch them before they get in line.  Oh well.  Ya live ya learn.

After my big adventure to the grocery store, I spent the afternoon cleaning the apartment and let me tell you, it needed it.  There was a black residue all over the floors and counters, probably from leaving windows open. I spent the whole afternoon cleaning the apartment.  After three hours of hard work, I gave up and accepted that we should probably just wear shoes to avoid dirty feet because that black dust is just here to stay.  

Mike came home from Turkish class, which was my signal to throw in the towel (literally) and stop cleaning.  We went out for dinner near our apartment and got traditional Turkish food (beef, pita, and some vegetables) for dinner.  We ended the night with a drink at a bar that had it's walls covered in license plates from all over the world. I even found a Virginia plate!

Found this little gem at a bar.

Saturday, we woke up after our first night in our new apartment.   We slept in the bed that the movers had brought, which will eventually be in one of our guest bedrooms.  It was actually pretty comfortable.  Before we left, we had been told that we shouldn't drink the water from the tap here.  At restaurants, you have to ask for water and they always give you bottled water, never from the tap.  I think most people here just buy bottled water, but we really wanted to avoid that.   So, being the thrifty that we are, we decided that we were going to boil water to purify it.  We boiled a large pot of water, only to find that it had a residue that would settle on the bottom.  After some research, we came to the conclusion that we needed a water filter. So, out we ventured.

Our first stop was this store, Migros, which Mike described as the Turkish Target. While it paled in comparison to Target, it was an exciting discovery.  It was much smaller and reminded me more of like a Home Goods or a very small KMart.  Need tons of tupperware containers? That's your place.  Bored games? Got 'em!  The two things they didn't have were the water filter and a shopping cart to use so we can buy more than two items per shopping outing.  We left and made our way to the commissary.  We quickly found the Britta (but no shopping cart) and made our way back home.  After much research (aka the Britta manual), we learned that you need to filter the water and then boil it to complete clean and filter.  So we filtered and then boiled another pot of water.  We made ice cubes and put water in the Keurig, as well as saved a little for drinking. After looking at the filtered water, we're wondering if we can just drink that without boiling.  Thoughts?

It was a lot of work for water and definitely a lot easier to just buy water.  Now if only we could find a cart to put the bottled water in....

Our thoughts of the clean water escapade guessed it...ya live, ya learn.

Sunday's adventure began bright and early.  We woke up and made breakfast.  After breakfast, I took a shower and Mike went into the bedroom  and noticed that the floor was wet.  When we did the walk through of the apartment, we noticed there was a water stain on the ceiling. We made a note of it, but moved on. I guess we should have thought twice about that because it was a real big leak.  Mike called the landlord who sent the building manager over.  He worked his magic and we no longer have a leak! Hurray!  We also have better water pressure, so yay to that!

Add a broken drinking glass to the mix and I would say it's been quite the exciting weekend.  To sum it all up, ya live, ya learn...right?

Update: I forgot!! Saturday was 4th of July!! Mike and I didn't do much to celebrate, except we wore red, white and blue and boiled hot dogs from the commissary in celebration.  We are so proud to be Americans, even if we aren't there to celebrate.  We are hoping by next year, we'll have some Turkish friends to show them how to celebrate the 4th with (plus some kitchen supplies to host a real American 4th of July party)!