Sunday, September 05, 2010

Skirts and Turkish

Sunday at our house means two things. Market in the morning. Church in the evening. We went even earlier this morning (it technically opens at 9am but you can start shopping while the vendors are setting up) to try to avoid the heat. Good thing. By the time we left, we were drenched. We are really looking forward to the cooler weather. This heat is hard on us but even harder on the boys -- especially Elijah who has a bit more adipose tissue than his big brother.

Here is a picture of Isaac and me at the conclusion of our shopping day:


As you can tell from the photo above, I have finally found some skirts to wear around here! And, even better, I didn't have to get them made. I can just buy them right off the rack! Women just don't wear shorts here. While capris are acceptable, the bottom line is, they aren't very cool (in style or temperature), and I just wanted to "fit in" a bit better.

I know, that's funny since at 6'3" and blonde, the chances are slim. But when we went to Tarsus on Saturday, I found a shop that sold these skirts. I bought the one in the photo and another black and white one. They are awesome. So lightweight, so air conditioned. And even better, at the market today I realized that these are sold all over. One size basically fits all thanks to a large elastic band. And I can get them for about $10USD. Not too shabby. So I plan to stock up my wardrobe to complement the two of these I got in Tarsus.

I would have bought more today, but we were out of lira by this time. JB spent a bit more than usual. He still only spent about $15 on all of our vegetables. But he bought some cinnamon. (Two kilos were $6USD which is still unbelievable.) He also bought some fish which was about $7USD as well.

I did visit a tailor in The Alley last weekend. She made me two skirts and while I like them both (one of them more than the other) they are much dressier than I was intending. So they will be reserved for the colder months or the nicer evenings. I do plan to return to this particular tailor as her prices, service, and quality were fantastic, but I will make sure to bring photos of what I want. While it seemed she spoke English well, I don't think she quite understood what I wanted.

Oh and speaking of the market, I just had to take a picture of these heads of cabbage. Aren't they just massive?!

We have now been here just over one month, and I am happy to report, that I am feeling very well adjusted. The first two weeks, I was in a complete fog. And the fact that we didn't speak the language made venturing off of Base culturally exhausting.

That has changed recently with my improvement of the language. I probably only speak about two dozen words in Turkish but coupled by our handy-dandy phrase book that Nick lent us (we have our own on the way from Amazon.com), we are feeling so much more empowered.

An example. Today at the market, JB wanted to buy some fish. But he had no idea what kind of fish they were selling. He wanted to grill fish. Which ones could be grilled? These fish didn't look like the fish we were used to seeing in Florida. Just by looking up the word grill in my little handy-dandy phrase book, we were able to ascertain which fish we would want to buy to cook on the grill.

In the last few weeks, Rosetta Stone, my housekeeper, and the gardeners on Base have been helping me learn more Turkish. I can now ask someone how they are. I can tell them how I am. I can say good morning. I can ask how much something costs and tell them how many pounds I want. Just those few basic things open up a whole new world! The Turkish people we meet just light up when they hear us trying to say words in their language. And they will also throw some basic English words our way. If there is a Turkish student in the area, he is likely to approach us to practice his English, and we will both practice with each other.

Learning the language is vital to me. I know I won't be a pro by the time I leave, but the more I can learn the better. If I am going to feel comfortable here, I must be able to communicate. I need to speak Turkish and wear skirts.

I'm working on both of those things! And, truth be told, I am better at it than JB right now. (And the fact that he has to work all day and hasn't had the time to practice it as much as me has nothing to do with it.) :)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

It always helps to be ahead of your hubby in it! :)
When i found a gal i really felt relaxed w/, friendship wise who wanted to learn English better and to pray together in Indonesia, we would speak in English the first 1/2 hour, Indonesian the second 1/2 hour and then i would try and pray in Indonesian and she would try in English _as we were too embarrassed anywhere else :)tante Jan

Joia said...

I LOVE your skirt - beautiful!!

Dawn said...

If I sent you some money would you be able to send me some skirts. It would be free shipping to apo since I am here in Japan.

Its hard for me to find clothing here since I am a lot taller than the Japanese.

Let me know it would be awesome to have some light weight skirts. It's so hot and humid here.
Dawn

Flakymn said...

Dawn, is apo to apo free? I didn't know that?

I could definitely do this although I get nervous picking them out for someone else. How tall are you too? Although you could always get them hemmed if they were too long.