More packages from home

I’ve been back from Berlin for about two weeks now (pictures and posts on that still to come) and have officially been in Turkey three months! Three months an the packages are still coming. I’m amazed at not only how much people are willing to spend to send stuff (some postage stamps read $70), but the time and thought they put into these packages. As egotistical as this may sound, it’s always nice to have a reminder that people think of you when you’re not around. I’m getting packages faster than I can send stuff back to the States (the post office is often closed by the time I get home from work), but I will just have to try harder.

It’s become an odd tradition now to catalog these packages. So here is what we have so far:

One friend sent us a package in which everything was wrapped like a birthday present.

One friend sent us a package in which everything was wrapped like a birthday present.

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Oreos, York Peppermint Patties, Tostada shells, taco seasoning, and Gatorade flavorings. People read my blog! Yay!

Oreos, York Peppermint Patties, Tostada shells, taco seasoning, and Gatorade flavorings. People read my blog! Yay!

In case you can't see it, the Pringles in the back are peppermint Christmasy flavored. We were getting adventurous. And to add to the Halloween Oreos, Football Oreos, and Double Stuff Oreos, we now have holiday Oreos!

In case you can’t see it, the Pringles in the back are peppermint Christmasy flavored. We were getting adventurous. And to add to the Halloween Oreos, Football Oreos, and Double Stuff Oreos, we now have holiday Oreos!

This is my favorite so far. My stepmom sent my stocking from home, packed with little Christmas presents, which I'm not allowed to open yet. (It also included the Christmas letter my dad sends every year.) I got this package at work and started to cry right before I was supposed to meet with parents.

This is my favorite so far. My stepmom sent my stocking from home, packed with little Christmas presents, which I’m not allowed to open yet. (It also included the Christmas letter my dad sends every year.) I got this package at work and started to cry right before I was supposed to meet with parents.

BRAVE!!!! So excited about this one! And not one, but TWO pacakges of Oreos.

BRAVE!!!! So excited about this one! And not one, but TWO pacakges of Oreos.

Thank you to everyone who has sent a letter, card, or package. Though the candy and presents are awesome, when you’re miles away from home, it truly is the thought that counts. (With that being said, we now have enough Oreos to last us the year.)

 

10 Things I miss about the States

Okay, so I have not kept up on my promise of posting from Turkey at least once a week. Things have been hectic lately with my kids taking exams and all, so I apologize. In other news, I have been here almost two months now (November 3 will make it official) and have started to keep track of things I miss most, you know, in case anyone feels like sending me a package. 🙂 It turns out that most of the things are food related, which is not surprising, though a couple are consumer related, which is a little disappointing.

1. Oreos

I don’t have a huge sweet tooth, but I love love love Oreos. They are the perfect boxed cookie and are like childhood happiness in a blue package. I’m expecting some from a package my mom sent and I’m afraid they won’t last very long.

2. Pandora

Whenever I’m writing, getting ready, cleaning, cooking, whatever, I like to listen to music and Pandora knew me so well. We had a good thing going; I had all of my favorite stations set up and they usually knew just what songs to play. Apparently though, this relationship is strictly for the US, as the website refuses to go abroad (refuses, faces legal issues, whatever). So now I have to find a new station and it’s not that easy when I was so comfortable with the old. I’ve been told to try Spotify or Grooveshark, but I’ve mainly just been using Youtube until I can bring myself to actually find a real replacement.

3. Netflix

I didn’t have Netflix before I left the States, but conveniently enough, almost all of my friends did. It was a good system I had going and I’d become so attached to Netflix that I thought I would break down and go ahead and get my own account once I moved to Turkey. That was a fail, because yet again, there is another website that does not want to join me on international adventures. I’m disappointed, Netflix.

4. York Peppermint Patties

Like Oreos, they’re pretty much perfect.

5. Gatorade

Particularly red and blue Gatorade. I don’t mind water and brought my Tervis with me to make sure I was drinking plenty, but if I had my choice of re-hydrating sports drinks, it would be Gatorade any day. Unfortunately, Turkey disagrees with me on this.

6. An abundance of people who speak English

Yes, I am learning the language quickly and sure I can handle day to day tasks with my minimal vocabulary, but it is so much work. It is draining, mentally and emotionally draining. And if I have to do anything outside of the spectrum of ordering food or buying school supplies, I have to get my roommate or another fluent friend to help me. I’m not a fan of being so dependent on other people and miss being able to call the cell phone company on my own to figure out why my data isn’t working.

7. An Autumn that I recognize

Part of this is because I’m in a big city. We’re not really surrounded by trees so much as towering buildings and pavement. But I miss the trees and how they turn and it’s only recently started to cool down here, so it just doesn’t feel like fall. And more importantly, it doesn’t smell like it. And there are no pumpkin patches or corn mazes or flannel shirts or decorative little scarecrows. Fall is my favorite and while I guess it’s technically fall here, I don’t recognize it as such.

8. Pumpkins and all that they entail

Pumpkin pie. Pumpkin bread. Pumpkin patches. Carving pumpkins. Pumpkin seeds. Hot pumpkin beverages.

9. Target

If I were living on the European side, Target probably would not have made it on the list. However, on the Asian side, you will not find as many large, all-encompassing stores like Target. Instead, you have a lot of little, independent markets that sell the same thing, just for slightly varying prices. Which is nice and fine and all, until you need something specific or different and have to go to ten different places to find it (and again, remember the language barrier). As much as I hate myself for saying it, I miss being able to go into one store and find everything, yes everything, that I need.

10. Mexican food

Dear Jesus, do I miss Mexican food. Fajitas, tostadas, chimichangas, enchiladas, rice, beans, avocados, chips and salsa, guacamole, burritos. Just all of it. I miss all of it. All the Mexican-ish food I’ve had here has been homemade from whatever similar ingredients I could find and frankly, it’s just not the same.