Monday, October 5, 2015

Little Things

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I try to keep track of random little things that happen in my phone, so that eventually they can fit into a blogpost and won't get forgotten.  I've got a few things that either don't fit into a post or have been forgotten (whoops!) when I was writing. I don't want to forget them, so here's a list of random little things.

  1. When we go to restaurants, we've learned to take what is listed on the menu with a grain of salt.  We almost always have a back up order, especially when it comes to beer.  Mike is almost always told they don't have his first (and most of the time second!) choice in beer.  Apparently, they make the menu at the beginning of the season and then when they run out of a certain beer or food, they just don't order it again unless it's really popular, so we've learned to just have a few menu items in mind.
  2. The temperature has dropped enough that most days we don't turn on the air conditioning, except at night when we're sleeping. There is a good enough breeze that we can usually make it through the day with just the windows and doors open.  I love it. Plus, we can usually hear if someone is playing music on the street, which is just a really cool random benefit to living right downtown.
  3. Mike is playing American football for his school.  Yup, you read that right.  American football.  They had sign ups during the first week and, although he can't play in official games because he's a grad student, he can still practice and play in exhibition games.  He said there are two other Americans who are undergrads doing a semester abroad and all three of them are excited to play.  Hopefully, this will be a great way for Mike to practice Turkish and make some friends!
  4. We watched the Sound of Music when it was on AFN after our Germany trip.  It led us to doing a little research on the Von Trapp family.  Did you know that Georg Von Trapp's (the father) first marriage was to the granddaughter of the inventor of the torpedo?  Mike the submariner loved that one!
  5. Movie theaters have intermissions here.  For those of us with extremely small bladders, we appreciate that.
  6. Gas stations are full service.  They even wash your windows!  I think it's kind of awkward sitting in the car while they do all of this, but I guess it's nice. 
  7. On one of our driving trips, we stopped at a restaurant on the side of the road.  As we were eating, we looked out and there was a man washing our car.  Not just like the guys on the street who wash your windows, but really washing our car.  He had a hose and everything!  Luckily, we weren't upset.  Our car was actually pretty dirty, so it worked out well, but we were pretty shocked to look over and see our car getting a full washing!
  8. Mike's friend sent us an Amazon Echo as a wedding gift and we just picked it up from our mailbox on Friday.  Neither of us really knew what it was, but it's pretty cool.  It's like Siri on the iPhone, it just has it's own console.  It can tell you what's on your calendar, what the weather is, or add something to your shopping list on it's app.  In order to get it's attention, you must address it as Alexa.  So, for example, if you want it to play music, you just say "Alexa, play music."  We've been having a lot of fun with it and Mike has developed quite the affection for Alexa.  I often hear "I love you Alexa" after she does what he says. :)
  9. Alexa also makes us laugh.  The first type of music we asked her to play was Taylor Swift (Mike loves his girl!).  Later on, we just asked her to "play music" without specifying any type.  Since she knew we liked Taylor Swift, she started playing all female pop singers.  Mike was less than amused, but I thought it was funny!
We've heard that it takes three to six months to adjust to life abroad.   We still are pretty homesick for our friends and family (I was doing so well, but have definitely regressed a little...), but I guess we're slowly getting used to the quirks that make Turkey....Turkey.