Turkish Graffiti

One of my great hobbies is complaining about the weather. Any deviation from a strict 70 degrees will do for this; my habitat is definitely the indoors. Vermont Februaries, I think darkly to myself these days, are savage and merciless, the crocodile of the seasons. Crocodiles are unstoppable Google tells me it’s -10 F outside, […]

Kurdistan and Turkey – Two Worlds

Every now and then I’m reminded of the baby naming laws in various countries, and then I spend the next half an hour looking up all the absurd things parents tried to name their offspring. It makes a good distraction from almost anything. Try it! It’s fun. This article alone occupied me for five of […]

Tarlabaşı: ghetto living

Reporters speak of Tarlabaşı like it’s the dark heart of some fairytale forest- you can stroll down “glitzy,” “vibrant” İstiklal, but don’t stray too far from the path. Mere minutes away, it’s all too easy to find yourself in a sunless slum where the trees whisper to each other and the birds are all reporting […]


There was an earthquake on Monday. I wouldn’t have known, personally. I was sitting in the living room with my new quasi-flatmates (okay, I don’t live there, but I might as well) and partaking in a zealous debate about whose turn it was to go to the store. Two of us yabancı (foreigners) and two […]

Istanbul culture; my dating prospects

Ninety degrees today. I know it’s boring to comment on this abysmal heat in every entry, but if I have to suffer, by god so will you. Ninety Fahrenheit, of course, a mere 32 Celsius, which sounds much less impressive and is one of the things I prefer about our senseless American thermometers- everything is […]