Not sure what to write about… Food, mischief, studio, meeting people? Ordering mystery menu items, the oncoming riot, learning Turkish, The sense of Turkishness I’m trying to tap into for my design. The oddity of the thought that just a little over three months ago I was getting off the plane in Zurich, feeling lost but in great company, and with a doozy of a semester ahead of me. Cooking in Turkey, with their very Western ingredients but very not-Western way of combining them. Bouncing around to five different stores, all within a block of each other, to get the ingredients for a salad. Trips out of the city to see significant mosques. Short day or weekend trips. Cappadocia, Kisadasi, and Ephesus.
The relief you feel when the store clerk suddenly asks if she can help in flawless English. A semester without a cellphone or consistent wifi. All of the awesome sponsors and donors who brought this program into existence. The warmth and appreciation of the Turks. Trying to remember the ATMs that give out ten- and twenty-lira notes instead of 100’s. Realizing that there are none. Mastering the apologetic look Türkçe yok helplessness when you have to pay for your tea with a 50 lira note. Third-wheeling and stream-of-thought photography.
Playing roulette to solve dinner indecision. Learning the difference between a slaughterhouse and a family restaurant. Learning to ignore that difference, because butchers sure know how to host. My first Easter absent of candy (but brunch is still a common denominator). Waving to our six favorite shop owners on our way up the street every morning. Not knowing any of their names, because they just laugh when we try to pronounce them and change the subject by trying to sell us more chicken. Finding out that sweet chicken pudding is a thing.
Making predictions for the future on postcards. Hoping they arrive before the recipient moves away. Scouring the new Turkish cookbooks for any ingredients that I might not have access to in the states. Reading up on which indeterminate spices might be misconstrued by Customs. Reminiscing on past meals. Avoiding packing. Deciding on a blog post topic.