Monday, June 18, 2012

No Stop Sign

People say the Turks are crazy drivers, and while it's true they don't follow the rules all the time, I think they drive with a lot more common sense than American drivers. They pass when it's convenient, make a third lane when possible, and run red lights if needed. Americans, I think, need rules because they really aren't paying attention. For example, look at this intersection.

Each direction has two lanes for a total of eight lanes intersecting. There is no stop sign. People just cross the intersection when there's a gap in traffic. And it works out for the most part - I've never seen an accident or any evidence of one. I think that if you put a four-way intersection with no stop sign in America, everyone would just plow straight through. They wouldn't register that cars might be coming from a different direction, and they certainly wouldn't stop or slow down for a car passing across. 

This would never work in America. Really, I think we need rules so we can carelessly drive, and when we crash into someone, we know exactly who's to blame. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Thin Mints

Sometimes I forget that I'm in Turkey - America and Turkey have a lot in common, the least of which is HIMYM. So I just go along my merry way. Sure, things are different but I sometimes forget how different Turkey is from America until I'm confronted with an unbelievable situation. For example, check out this plate of cookies at a party my friend Jenny threw for her boyfriend Berker:

Notice anything? Yeah, those are Girl Scout cookies. The sat on the table for a loooooong time (until I noticed them, of course). The Turks didn't know what they had there. They thought they were just cookies but I was like 'Um, are those Thin Mints?' When Jenny certified that they were, in fact, Thin Mints, I went nuts. Nuts, I tell you. 

Girl Scout cookies that sat undisturbed for a good 2/3 of the party? What? Where am I? Who are these people?

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Harvard Cafe

Tonight, Abby, Grace, and I went to the Harvard Cafe. Sacrilegious, I know. But I heard their quesadillas were good, and we wanted to try somewhere new anyway. Please try not to judge me any more than I'm already judging myself. 

The restaurant had a loooovely outdoor seating area with a secret garden-esque ambiance. Grace and I had already begun eating when Abby arrived so she quickly looked over the menu and called a waiter over to order. She asked this man walking by if she could go ahead and order. He responded by telling her that if he saw a waiter, he would let him know that she was ready. 

Yep. Abby tried to order food from this poor guy on his way to the bathroom. The best part was that he actually found a waiter for us and sent him over. She claims that because she got there late, she didn't know what the waiters looked like. I countered by pointing out that this guy was wearing cargo shorts. She came up with a couple more excuses to explain her hilarious mistake but we weren't buying it. 

The guy came over after we were finished eating and asked if we needed anything else. I tried to tell Abby to get his number - I think he liked her. And a funny guy in on the joke sounds like a catch to me. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012


A couple weeks ago, Abby and I went with a couple friends to the Fine Arts Festival at Robert College, generally accepted as the best high school in Istanbul and founded by an American (whatup!). Doesn't a "Fine Arts Festival" sound legit?

It was basically a lawnparties for high school kids. Food, music, alumni, and a mechanical bull. But I got to wander around campus. We looked at the library, and the second floor was definitely museum quality. 

Here is a copy of a telegram that Samuel Morse sent to Robert College in 1863. Except they faced the stupid thing towards the balcony so I couldn't read the insightful thing that Morse dot-dashed. 

This was just shelves of old stuff. The oldest thing was found was from 3000 BCE. Hey-oh. Old stuff warning. A lot of stone scrapers and tiles. 

You can see the actual library in the background of this photo. How cool would it be to study surrounded by all this old stuff? And what do you get for the school that has everything?

Neil Patrick Harris. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Winner Winner

Monday night Grace & Co. (that's what I call the massive crew that she rolls with) went to a concert in Taksim. After the concert, we went to another bar and had another round of drinks. As we were leaving, we ran across this street vendor. 

He was selling Turkish rice, which has a mystery ingredient that makes it the best rice in the world, with chicken on top. 

This stuff was so good. I'm not generally a street food kind of girl but for 2tl, the price was right. It was the first time I've seen chicken and rice being sold in a cart with wheels but I promise the next time I'm around Istiklal, I'm going to find this guy. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Blue Hair Saves The Day

Last night I was sleeping, dreaming of Dr. Pepper and Chick-fil-A, when I heard this huge CRASH. I woke up with my heart racing, and in the dark, I quickly assessed the situation.

We have a built-in ladder leading to the attic. It's pretty weird, I know, but whatever. The cover to this little opening fell. Abby came out to help me put it back up but we couldn't find the screw that was holding it up.

I thought I did a pretty good job of jamming it in there, hoping it would be secure until morning but my efforts failed. Some time after I fell back asleep, I heard another huge CRASH. 

This time the piece of wood bounced off the counter and rolled (moved three feet somehow?) towards me. Ahhhh!!! Luckily, the only one injured was the roll of paper towels.

This morning we looked for the missing screws to no avail and eventually secured the cover with our blender box. We'll buy new screws, we just haven't gotten that far yet. And you might be interested to know that while that opening was uncovered, I slept in bed with Abby. I am not sleeping anywhere near a creepy hole into a creepy attic. Plus, there are birds up there. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012


On Tuesday I bought a huge karpuz. Abby doesn't like watermelon (what?) so it's a one-girl mission. It's Thursday today, and this is how much progress I've made.

I just hit the heart tonight so I'm really excited for tomorrow. I've been averaging a little more than an inch a day. 

Yeah, I see the jagged lines. My knife is all wonky and cuts at an angle. I evened it up before putting it back in the fridge for the night. It's a marathon, not a sprint. And as an added bonus, for the first time in weeks, I feel hydrated.