Hey guys, I'm back! My sword slashes yet again!


I can write.  In fact, I love to write. I can rock a lust letter as easily as I can pump out a thesis statement. So, why haven’t I been writing on my blog?  This has perplexed me in recent months…
Perhaps 2 weeks ago I started to think why I have avoided my blog. My first, easiest, answer is that I am a twitter fan-girl. I feel like sometimes my tweets are my blog bits. Of course this is true, but it is fragmented- much like myself I suppose. So you all have been receiving bits & pieces of my life over here. A close second is a whiny, “I’ve been so busy.” Nuff said- I don’t even buy that one. Thirdly, “nothing interesting has happened in my life as of recent.” Well folks, we all know that is just a damn lie. Plenty of action here in SE Turkey- in my world…

Gaziantep from atop the Kale (castle)

I do apologize & so thoroughly will I offer an update here. Now. Where to start? Perhaps the main reason I am here in SE Turkey is a good place. So, this is the 4th, and final, term for the English Prep Dept. here. Of course, there is summer school and I’m really looking forward to that short session. This summer, as last, the foreign hires will be teaching visiting groups of high school peeps from all around the east & southeast.
But I digress, back to the 4th term. Right now I am teaching Level E students. With the prep year typically 4 terms (Level A, B, C, D), students pass Level D & are off to their faculty departments. So there are 2 classes of Level D students that just passed, and don’t want to wait until next September to begin their faculty classes. They are volunteering to come to a new Level E class- mostly so their English doesn’t fossilize.

Cultural HQ in Gaziantep: Settar's Villa. Keith, here, is contemplating serenading us

While I teach at a university, this is our 'villa' where we are studying Turkish. There is a small group of us that call this villa our 2nd home here in G-tep. Settar is an amazing host with the most, as well as a professor (local G-tep boy at that!) at the state university here. An amazing gent who has opened up his heart and home to us Yabanci...

Settar's lovely courtyard, where we occasionally get serenaded, and sauced...

Every corner at his rambling villa is of
interest to me. It's like a hidden
fortress of knowledge. 

This is an absolutely brilliant idea and the students are brainy, motivated and, did I already mention VOLUNTEERING to come to school every day 4 hours a day! Amazing, really. Just playing ‘Person, Place or Thing’/20 questions w/the peeps is so great! So clever they are. This week we mitigated through such challenges as describing “Nile River, Spaceship, Nelson Mandela, Lady Gaga, Lenin, etc. to the student sitting in the ‘hot seat

Basically, this is going to be a great end to the term. The first 2 terms were quite difficult w/teaching 25 hours a week. The 3rd term put me in a better pace w/only 20 hours a week and opened up so much more creative energy for me- in all avenues of life. This must be why I have not been writing???

Turkey Trotting (travel): Yes! I have been doing quite a bit of regional travel and have really enjoyed seeing this part of the country. I know I would never have been exposed to all this had I moved directly to Istanbul. For this I am grateful actually. I have finally come to terms w/this notion, and it makes me happy. I’ll show some pictures below of my Turkey Trotting/ Turkey Trippin.”

stocking up in Karamanmarash

men of the bazaar doing their thing in Marash

more Marash

I’ve got a lot of upcoming possibilities that I have been mulling over. Plan A is quite narrow, but I am fully prepared for Plans B, C, D. They are all excellent options & I have worked hard to line up all my ducks so to speak (quack). Again this brings me back to writing. During this time (about 2 months of creative effort went into this phase, which is still playing out) I was writing a lot. To a lot of places about a lot of my life highlights. It is always so interesting to have to write about oneself. It’s humbling; there is strategy involved, modesty, egoism,  truth, stretching truth…

So, my sword was out a lot at this time as I was carving out statement of intent letters, statement on teaching philosophy letters, blah blah blah. In the back of my mind was always the notion of throwing in a quick blog entry, but instead my sword wouldn't slash.

Now, here is a completely interesting theory that I don’t know if I can scientifically back up. Here goes: I truly believe I’m not blogging as much because I cannot seem to replicate Hawaii- in terms of blogging atmosphere. This is the thing, when I was on a blog roll, I was always in bed, in the jungle w/rain lightly tapping down on the corrugated tin roof- or heavily pelting it, which was much more of the time the case. Anyway, for me, this environment is KEY, or was anyway. That mood, that atmosphere always put me in the mood to write- morning or late into the Bewitching Hour.

Today is my challenge. It is 1pm. I have been up running already. I have already did laundry. I have already gone over to solo_ojo’s for my weekend requisite coffee-talk. Speaking of solo_ojo, damn it’s nice to have him over here. Thicker than thieves in Tunis, there was never a day without discovery of some hidden gem in that beautiful city that neither of us can shake out of our systems. Even the isolation (not really) of SE Turkey can’t shake that city adoration outta me.

contemplating a not-so-fine wine in Tunis... Kirsten thinks it went down fine though!

Of course, I had this same yearning for Istanbul when I first laid my eyes on her. All her charms & beauty not so openly exposed everywhere- most effective, right? I now have that feeling again for Tunis. After years of traveling to a lot of different places, it was always Istanbul. Now Tunis is there as well although for different reasons. Perhaps w/Tunis, my burning love can’t be revisited. It is different w/Istanbul.  I know I need to be there w/her. Yea, Istanbul is full of charms- feminine & masculine. That city tempts me. Always.

Again, I struggle to stay on track here… (heh heh).  So yes, it’s after 1 pm and I am back in bed. It is an overcast day and all my curtains are closed. I have the sunlight filtering in through my favorite Indian Silk curtains- that travel w/me to live in every country (can I tell you how fantastic this is…home is where the silk curtains are). I look over at them and see so much her-story. They radiate my story. My stories. My silences. (Many of) My loves. It’s really kind of like my time most reliant time capsule.

Movies. Here are 2 to put on your list. Both are solid B’s in my opinion. War Horse- liked it. Reminded me of watching movies with my dad on the tele growing up. My eyes wetted up a few times. War always does that to me though. The horse was damn smart though, and very Spielberg in storyline.  The second movie was last night’s movie-du-jour, Cowboys & Aliens. John Favreau directed it! A right decent movie. No alien details, but so what, right? The cowboys rocked. Harrison Ford, Carridine, & James Bond dude… what’s his name? You know… Crap.

My apologies for any cliffhangers I might have left for you… heh heh

Some more pictures of the picturesque Karamanmarash- famous for this strangely fascinating ice cream that one must cut with a knife...