Monday, January 28, 2013

Happy Sunday

Happy Sunday everyone!

Today started as a Lazy Sunday for me.  Sleeping until the early afternoon, having breakfast with my host mom, then cleaning up my room.  I like Lazy Sundays.  I then spent the much of the evening getting ready for  (something like) an engagement dinner.  We showed up late to the dinner because my host dad had to work, but I was told it was just a dinner and party for this couple's engagement, celebrated with their families.  My host mom asked me if we had the same thing in the States, and I said yes, but I don't actually remember. After the dinner, I returned home with my host family and we just hung out watching TV and taking silly photos and now everyone is getting quiet for the night.  I have The Princess Bride playing in the background, and am a very content little exchange student.

I don't know where I'm going with this blog post, I just wanted to write because I haven't written in awhile and I miss it... so here we go! This will probably just be an insane mishmash of thoughts, so... bare with me. Please. This might just turn into multiple blog posts.

As I said earlier, I don't even know if we have engagement dinners like that in the United States.  I don't know because I'm forgetting so much about America, and also I haven't been to an American wedding in about 10 years.  It's strange how I'm forgetting things, it's actually pretty bad.  For instance today, I sneezed. My host mom said, "çok yaşa," and I replied, "Sen de gör," and my host dad asked me what "çok yaşa" meant in English, and I said, "Bless you," and then he asked what the response is to it, and I blanked. I was like, "Thanks? Uh... You too? Yeah, thanks." It was too weird.  I'm forgetting things about my FIRST language and about my home sweet home. Lately I've had so many instances where people ask me what a certain custom is in the United States, and I just look at them and say, "I forget."  Also, I forget how to spell and my vocabulary is very small. Whoops.... But then again, I'm probably just blaming Turkey on my small vocabulary and inability to spell, because I don't want to face the truth.

Yesterday I watched "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations- Istanbul" and it was really fun to watch! I remember starting to watch it on Netflix before I left the States, but it was in the wee hours of the morning, and I fell asleep, so if you have a spare 42 and a half minutes, you can probably watch it on Netflix, but here is the link for YouTube if you don't have Netflix, or if you're like me and "Netflix is not available in your country yet." I think it shows Istanbul really nicely, and I agreed with many of the things shown on the program.  The ideas presented of Turkey being a mystery and surprising, and the expectations of Turkey being a "blank page" are absolutely right.  You will be able to see a bunch of different, but delicious foods on this show, and also the Taxi driver is absolutely HILARIOUS and he's so Turkish, it's wonderful. :)

I forgot to tell you the best part! Friday was our last day of school before our two week semester break. Yippee! There aren't as many long weekends in Turkey as there are in the US, so I've been looking forward to a break for awhile.  On Friday we only went to school until 11:30, then we were released early for our break. It's ACTUALLY crazy to think that I'm halfway done with school here.  I feel as I just stared, and I know the second half will fly by, which is also really crazy to think about. I don't have definite plans for this break, but I think I'll be going to Istanbul with my family for a few days, and hopefully I can get down to Izmir to see my exchange friends for a few days as well.

I know I have a little over a week until the midpoint of my exchange, but I really don't want to think about it.  Although my exchange hasn't been all fun and games, and I've had hard times, it's been pretty awesome.  I've met so many wonderful people thus far and learned so much, but I don't want it to be halfway over! I still have a lot more to see and do and learn, and I'm ready for it.  Hadi bakalim, Turkiye ;D (Roughly, "let's do it, Turkey")

These are some of my recent photos:

One of my teachers, three of my classmates and me right before our semester break!

My host mom and I after the engagement dinner. 

My host dad thought it'd be funny to take pictures in front of the mirror. So here is one. He's a funny guy  :)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Christmas Box

Hey everyone,

It's January 4, and I finally received my Christmas Box from America! It was filled with baking equipment I've been needing, candy, homemade cookies, a pair of boots, a Christmas sweater (we get sweaters every year at the Johnson house), my Christmas pajamas (we get new pajamas every Christmas Eve at the Johnson house), more socks and, of course, because my mother is Julie Johnson, books.  I was so happy to get my box, it was like Christmas in a box, packed with Christmas cookies and warm family feelings.  It was absolutely perfect. Thank you all. :) I also got things from both sets of my grandparents, so thanks to all of you as well!