Sunday, September 6, 2015

Home Sweet Home

If you would like to subscribe to this blog via email, insert your email in the box to the right of this post to ensure you never miss a post!

During our first two days home, this is basically what we've done.

Yup, that's right. We've done a whole lot of nothing. We spent all of last Saturday in our pajamas and never left the house.  And ya know what? It was wonderful.  Neither of us felt great, probably just out of exhaustion, but it was just what we needed. Travelling is exhausting, even if it is a ton of fun.  I'm always secretly glad to get home and back in my routine, even if it is a routine of doing nothing.  The best part of Saturday was definitely getting to video chat with this little lady and her parents.  If you've been following the blog for almost a month now (WHAT?!?!), you'll know that this little lady had a rough entry to the world, but has made a full recovery and is keeping her parents very occupied with her busy schedule of eating, sleeping and diaper changing.

I mean, really? Could she be any cuter???

That wink says, "I know I'm cute.  I've got you wrapped around my finger for sure."

At one point, Mike and Mike got mad and decided to ignore the girls.  

Emma's best friend Aries says "I'm cute too! Pay attention to me!!"

On Sunday, we did venture out to Kultur Park for the International Fair, but were sorely underwhelmed.  We read that it attracted 14 million people each year and was a week of different vendors, booths, attractions and entertainment.  It sounded like the Turkish version of the state fair and we definitely wanted to go.  When we got there, we saw signs for different things, such as a book area or a health area.  We decided to check out the art section first, but were disappointed to find out that it didn't open until 4:00.  We had tried to research what types of things would be at the fair and times and locations beforehand, but had come up with nothing.  So, when we got there and found out a lot of things were only open certain times, we were pretty disappointed.

As we walked around, we were just surprised at the lack of attractions there were.  There was a section of carnival rides that were open, but I'm pretty sure they're always in Kultur Park.  There were a few booths with books, as well as some booths with health products and others with clothing/accessories, but overall, it was very underwhelming. I mean, where is my fried food? My clown doing face paint?  The mime?  There was nothing of this sort and there were definitely not 14 million people there (thank goodness!).  We grabbed some ice cream and headed home.
Doesn't look like 14 million people to me

That night, we ventured back out for some tea and cribbage along the Kordon.  We knew that it was Victory Day (Turkish equivalent of 4th of July), but the Prime Minister had issued a statement saying that public celebrations would be disrespectful because of all of the recent killings and deaths, so we really hadn't seen any sort of celebration. While we were sitting outside, we saw both a motorcade all sporting Turkish flags as well as a man with a microphone wishing everyone a happy Victory Day.

So, while our time at home hasn't been quite as exciting as our time travelling, it's been interesting to say the least.

Oh, and in preparation for the International Fair/Victory Day, the entire city is COVERED with Turkish flags.  They are in every window, flying off of every balcony and in case that wasn't enough, the city has put up flags and banners of Attaturk (the Turkish first president who they idolize so much it's illegal to say anything negative about him.  Free speech ain't no thang).

When describing this phenomenon of flags and banners to a friend, her response was "What's an Attaturk?"