Friday, January 15, 2010

Turkey & Dressing

Time is flying here in Turkey, and there's little of it for blogging, so I'm posting what I can on the fly. Going back to my whirlwind 30-hour visit in Ankara, after Ayhan and his brother Altan picked me up at the airport, we headed to the cemetery to visit their father's grave. I had the pleasure of meeting Suphi during my first visit to Turkey in 2002. He died in 2003... had to believe it's been as long.

Fascinating factoid about how the dead are buried here... chronologically. The graves are literally filled in order... thus, you walk down a row of markers, and see everyone that passed in March, then April, May and so on. Many of the grave sites are doubled, so that a spouse may join when their unfortunate time comes.From there, it was home, where Ayhan's mom has lived in the apartment across the hall from his brother and family for the past decade or so. They both own their units, which are identical in size, but wildly different in design and function—perhaps reflecting the generations of their residents.Buildings here are often similar in design: highrises, grouped in a community by the half-dozen or so, most with balconies, either open or closed in, and spacious, compared to many urban cities.

We visited with Ayhan's mamer and 11-year-old nephew, Ozgur, who, when I was here in November 2007, spoke no English yet. So although it's the third time we've seen each other, hilariously, it's the first time we've ever had a conversation.By this point, I was in the midst of what was to be 34 hours without sleep... and Wednesday evening was full. All for now, cool cats. I actually look as if both of my eyes are open here.