26 March 2013

Oh the Ups and Downs...

I am acclimatizing more and more to living in Istanbul and I have a routine now and am settling into life here. However I am also still experiencing a few ups and downs.

I finally figured out my washing machine. Don't get me wrong, I am really happy to have one but there are so many settings and words that are not in English that I just couldn't figure out how to run the thing. The washing machines in my building in DC basically had: cold, warm, hot, and on.

Seriously, who needs this many washing choices?

I spent a lot of time running from the washing machine to my laptop so I could Google translate (which so far as proved pretty decent for the Turkish). The first load I washed took over three days to dry and I had to wring gallons of water out of each article.

And what's with all the numbers?

However after yet more Googling I realized that all those numbers were the spin cycle! Subsequent washing has gone much better and things take hardly any time to dry since the 1000 setting there practically dries everything in the machine. Which is a good thing since, in place of a dryer or drying rack, I run a line from some pipe to the shower, wrap it around the shower frame, then run it to the other side of the bathroom to the towel pegs. It's really disruptive to my make up routine to try to apply it all while peering around drying socks and underwear.

Not pretty but it works well

And while I'm all happy about finding the spin cycle the universe says, "No, no you cannot enjoy that triumph," and I fall down. Usually I save my falling down stories for my other blog,but I really just don't like drawing stick figures. It's a lot harder than you'd think. Anyway, I fell down. I was walking from the tram back to my apartment and since the weather was so nice I was wearing a skirt. So when the universe pushed me down I left most of my skin on the sidewalk.

Glad I wasn't wearing tights; they'd been destroyed

It was a pretty good fall too; I went from vertical to sprawled across the sidewalk with all my things spilled around me in a matter of seconds. I guess the good thing about an injury like this was that all I had to do was walk, well limp really, into a pharmacy and point at my leg. No language skills needed.

Apparently this wasn't enough for the universe though. The next day I was limping to a meeting with official US government personnel when it happened again. Luckily, I didn't actually fall this time; I just did that swimming in the air dance you do when you try to not fall. I may not have made it if I'd actually fallen. I was on the busiest pedestrian street in the entire city and may have been trampled. While I saved my skin from further removal, I tore the muscle in my right calf that I had strained a few weeks previous. Unfortunately I still had to limp my way down the entire street to get to my meeting and was completely flummoxed as to how one limps when both legs are injured. I totally took a cab home.

A few days later, a friend from my Turkish class introduced me to a local, independent coffee house, Cherrybean Coffees. Absolutely fantastic. I have never used the word 'luscious' to describe coffee before but it is a well deserved adjective.

Hidden gem!

This is now my Sunday post Mass hangout where I do my homework. I also bought some of the beans and make coffee at home. And sometimes I just take it out of the freezer to smell it. It is THAT good. My only wee little complaint is that people here don't seem to understand how a French Press works and grind the coffee for me in a grain almost fine enough to make Turkish coffee. My mom is totally bringing me a coffee grinder when she visits next month. Little does she know!

And lest I should think I came out on top of the universe, it struck again. I think I have fleas.

Universe - 2
Andrea - 2

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