It's been a long time since I've recapped my life in Turkey, actually since I first arrived in August 2010, so I have a lot to catch up on. I am now starting my third year in Istanbul and it's been a very fulfilling experience. I've done everything under the sun as far as work, from tutoring to nannying to teaching, with kids, adults and everyone in between, moved apartments from the noisiest spot in Istanbul on the famous Istiklal Caddessi in a bed-bug ridden room to a cramped one-bedroom pad in Cihangir with 5 cats and a nutty roomate, to finally earning my own two bedroom place on the more residential and comfortable Asian side. I've also met some amazing people and traveled to places like Greece, Bulgaria, Lebanon, Hungary, Italy, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, and lots of spots in Turkey.
My friends and I went to Lebanon last February--We went to Beirut and Byblos a couple of places outside of Beirut.
Just some of the staples of the Lebanese diet, which I could probably eat everyday: hummus, labneh, pita-type bread and olives.
I met my brother Russ in Italy in April. We planned a rende-vous on the train from Switzerland--I was coming from Zurich and he was coming from somewhere in the Swiss Alps. We went to Florence, drove through Tuscany, and ended up in Rome.
This is me on our wine tour in Tuscany:
Our time in Rome coincided with a soon-to-be married friend who wanted to use us as guinea pigs for his Roman history and gelato tour, which he would soon give for his wedding guests coming from the US. We gladly indulged.
In May I did a roadtrip with some of my friends through Croatia, Bosnia, and Montenegro....
Something that I've always been passionate about is food. Shopping for it, cooking it, eating it, sharing it with friends, and discovering new dishes in new places. Who would have thought I would end up in a country with one of the most interesting cuisines: Turkey. I love fresh, healthy, closest to its natural source, vegetarian food. I've learned a lot about Turkish cuisine from seed to table, thanks to my green-thumbed boyfriend with the same tastes and even more enthusiasm. We've had the fortune to work on a farm to grow some of our own veggies in a couple of greenhouses and I learned how much hard work it takes to grow truly "organic" produce.
I've also had access to bountiful farmer's markets around the city. Every city in Turkey has its own unique tastes and dishes. I've only so far scratched the surface in what it has to offer.