finding out why constantinople got the works

görüşürüz, köfte [see ya later, meatballs]

Posted in istanbul, turkey by jlm2dy on June 8, 2011

since i started this blog and lived in turkey for nearly a year, i am proud to announce that i have learned far more than how to say “merhaba, köfte” [hello, meatballs]. it took countless hours of studying turkish, incorrectly buying groceries, heading the wrong direction on trams and buses, and generally making a fool out of myself, but i can conjugate verbs like a pro. just ask me to get a waiter’s attention in a restaurant – there is a whole protocol dialogue and tone of voice that i have mastered for this task!

i’ve learned how to live in a foreign country, with foreign standards and systems that constantly challenged my daily life. i woke up to the 4am morning ezan (actually really comforting to hear), forgot to wear the appropriate attire out of the house (many stares for those times), ran out of potable water and lost my bank ‘your turn’ ticket. i have made a million terrible dinners with messed up translated recipes, but i learned to buy local fruits and veggies, and to never let things spoil! i have more patience for when things go awry, take extremely long or just completely change in front of your eyes.

but man, have we celebrated! i have made many friends along the way who supported me through a whole slew of craziness this year, in ankara and istanbul. everyone here has been so kind and generous – from the man in kars who sold us 3 kilos of honey and helped us find a dolmuş, the water delivery guy down the street, my simitçi [simit-seller] in sultanahmet, the crew of the terrace guest house, the door man at the four seasons, my landlady, the mavi jeans employees…i could go on for days. while i haven’t celebrated like this guy (google ‘sunnet ceremony’), i’ve been to a turkish wedding, kurban bayrams, republic / independence days and of course the everyday joy of living in istanbul.

so now, i have just a few hours before i board my plane back to the united states. this idea is surreal to me – i don’t fully comprehend how much this year will impact my life, but i know that i will never be the same after such amazing experiences. i have loved this place for all of its insanity, confusion, layering and unending beauty. i don’t know what will happen when i don’t have a bosphorus view at my desk next year, but i know that this country will always have a huge place in my heart.



graffiti in galata

Posted in istanbul by jlm2dy on June 7, 2011

sticky summer – in early june?

Posted in istanbul, istanbul??? by jlm2dy on June 6, 2011

while the rest of us burn in the sun, kids have started to swim in the fountains near hagia sophia

i live somewhere in that jumbled mess of galata / beyoğlu


eminönü errands

Posted in istanbul by jlm2dy on June 5, 2011

yeni camii – sultan’s entrance

hafiz mustafa chocolate baklava, and turkish coffee

fener finale

Posted in istanbul by jlm2dy on June 4, 2011

love to shane and julia. i will miss you guys terribly!
[starting to say my turkish goodbyes.] 

boğazkesen caddesi (throat-cutter street)

Posted in istanbul by jlm2dy on June 3, 2011

a walk around town

Posted in istanbul by jlm2dy on June 2, 2011

balat pazarı

Posted in istanbul by jlm2dy on May 31, 2011


süleymaniye camii + the istanbul preservation office

Posted in istanbul by jlm2dy on May 30, 2011

where the city officials restore wood, paint, stonework…anything you could possibly imagine…



beylerbeyi sarayı

Posted in istanbul by jlm2dy on May 28, 2011

late ottoman palace, at the foot of the bosphorus bridge