After some undefined number of months living in another country, the major contrasts between Old Home and New Home fade into the background. I guess I’ve grown accustomed to rhythms of Turkish life. I get a strange sensation of uncertainty sometimes, indecision- firetrucks screeching up the street and missing their turn, playing board games at […]

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 […]


I stayed home from work sick yesterday. I’ll spare you the macabre details, but I’m assigning direct blame to food poisoning, and indirect blame to the little beast pictured below. Convinced by Deniz (aka Peter)’s adorable purring and very soft fur, I’ve been leaving my window open overnight so he can curl up with me […]

Dialects and conquests

As you can tell, I’ve become very lazy busy and important recently, and let this blog fall by the wayside. Maybe we can start off my first entry in months with a little puzzle? The janissaries sat in their yurts eating shish kebabs, then they washed down some baklava with yogurt. You know I’m up […]

Turkish music – Don’t bother with Tarkan

For the longest time, Turkish music, for me, was a source of bafflement. The landscapes here are amazing, the food is the best I’ve ever had, the language is a maze of poetic possibilities, the population generally so attractive that it feels like they must be cheating somehow. A few months in Turkey had all […]

23; still childish

Saturday was my first day as a 23-year old. I spent most of it sprawled out in bed, feeling like I’d been run over by a truck (note for parents: I was up late reading to the elderly and vaccinating orphans). When I finally emerged into the living room, clutching at my head and keeping […]


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 […]

The ant prayer

As much as I love Harry Potter, the books did leave me with one nagging concern. Why doesn’t anybody use the Internet? Have I vastly overestimated the state of modern technology in England? Is this why my British friends haven’t been answering my emails? More likely, I guess, is that a world full of computer-savvy […]

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 […]

On language learning

Nine pm in Beyoğlu. I’m out on the third-floor balcony of the spare office room I’m inhabiting until I can afford an apartment, looking out over the goings-on on Asmalımescit below. It’s calm down there- the little delinquents who spent the afternoon plotting on the stoop with cigarettes dangling from their mouths seem to have […]