Yet again I have fallen behind on my updates and I apologize. I know that from my last post it probably seems that I am sitting around, homesick for Oreos and Mexican food. And while I do constantly crave enchiladas, I am enjoying Istanbul. In fact, since my last post, I’ve managed to discover more of the city. Since my last post, I’ve experienced my first Bayram (or holiday) and got to enjoy the Historical District. I’ve managed to hang out with more expats, which can be helpful because as a foreigner you can sometimes appreciate the local attractions more. (For example, I really only went to the Washington Monument when taking friends who came to visit.) But instead of writing long, descriptive paragraphs about the sights I’ve seen and things I’ve done in the past week, I thought I would finally post some pictures.

Eating ice cream and enjoying the view of the Boshporus.

This is seriously only a PORTION of a mall I went to. I was so dumbstruck at the ridiculousness of it that I had to stop and take a picture.

Why yes, this is an ashtray in the bathroom.

Getting ready for Bayram!

Enjoying my fun Halloween socks sent from a friend and post cards and pictures from back home.

My friends brought their adorable pugs along on some of our adventures.

They have some fantastic street art here in Istanbul.

The delicious Bayram meal my roommate’s mom made for us. I don’t normally like lamb, but it was fantastic. Short Turkish lesson: pilav=rice, et=meat, ekmek=break, and coke=cola

We went up to this cool old abandoned orphanage. According to the sign, it was both “dangerous and forbidden.”

So for this Bayram, people sacrifice animals and are supposed to give the meat to the poor. They are also supposed to visit family and the graves of loved ones, but it was the sacrificing that really got me. Because even though it’s technically illegal, I saw a cow stripped and strung up in the local village on the island, so I was slightly traumatized. Although, my friend made these sugar cookies in the shape of bloody animal heads and while slightly inappropriate, they were delicious.

Again with the beautiful abandoned houses.

Just appreciating the fact that I moved to Turkey.

Random sheep at the abandoned orphanage. I tried to convince them to stay away from the villages so they wouldn’t be sacrificed!

More animals I tried to keep from the villages.

A view of the orphanage from on the way back down the mountain.

A view on our bike ride up the mountain on the island.

On our way to the Islands! (I’ll have to get back to you on which Island it was because I have trouble remembering all the names.)

More updates to come. 🙂


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