Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ketchup

Are you ready for a whirlwind tour of my life since Oktoberfest? Well strap your pants on! Stand up sit down, do a little dance, brush your teeth (proven fact that it helps you read better -like coffee stunts your growth and I’ve been drinking it since the 3rd grade and I’m giant!) go on, do it and read:

1.)Oktoberfest was nothing short of Ahh-mazing! Both of them! Katie and I went to Munich and Stuttgart. Mom, you are worried about losing me to Istanbul, well it’s got nothing on Stuttgart! It's gorgeous and I feel so at home in Germany! Unfortunately we didn't get to tour around Munich because by the time we arrived and got situated, it was time to drink! We met some really fun people at both fests and had a crazy time drinking with them!
Oooo speaking of feeling so at home I think I can pick up the language really fast! At the Stuttgart Oktoberfest, we hung out with a group of Germans. At one point they started speaking in German instead of English and I was able to participate in the conversation -though I only spoke English back. But they kept replying in German and the conversation kept on for a while! I guess the alcohol just brought back all that I had lost from when I was little....
We also enjoyed real huge tasty sausages atleast once a day, and trust me when I say I mean more like twice a day, not to mention the real, freshly baked buns that come with it! Wooooweeee!!
Everyone was so holly and jolly while drinking together! And these costumes they wore! So many people in the traditional dresses and laiderhosen! Awesome! All ages too! There would be groups of people my age and walking around like it was normal! Even men covered in tattoos; you know the ones that try to be all tough and then they have laiderhosen on! Haha!
In Munich, I went on rides that one sober would have problems going through! We met some crazy English boys on a bachelor party weekend at the Munich Oktoberfest, and they were absolutely hilarious! They were also responsible for me going on these rides I should have died on (I'm not sure what happened to Katie at that point. We were walking and suddenly she was gone! Apparently she met some group of Spanish or English girls and hung out with them!)!! One in particular was a fun house...er...“fun” mountain we’ll call it. I’m not sure how I survived it, nor really remember waiting in line for it, but I did have the bruises to show for it! I also thought I could wrestle with one of them, who is a really really big guy, needless to say I wound up thrown over his shoulders! The beers were huge and tasty, but as if that wasn’t enough, we even got served apricot brandy shots with whipped cream on top in little mini beer mugs. Again, like the rides, why this was such a good idea, we shall never know. Apparently, the gigantor mugs of beer were not enough!
Here’s a clip of merry men!:
video
Need I say more about this? Didn’t think so!
And these “tents” are sooo massive they put Costco to shame! Honestly, this video doesn’t do it justice! You can’t see all of the seating on the side and the second floor, and people are still crowded in the aisles with nowhere to sit! There’s even lines up out the door at night!! Not to mention the fact that there are atleast 12 tents that size!! Amazing!
The beer here is a grand and vast selection. I’ve gotten used to having only one brand of beer here in Istanbul and then I go to Germany and they have tons of it extraordinarily lined up and referidgerated at each corner store! I even saw a few grandpas getting an early start at crackin open a cold one at no later than 8 am! Now that is love! It def gives coffee quite a competition!

2.) Next up: film festival! One of my friend’s, who has already upped and left to go to India to extend his yoga career, invited me to the film festival to catch one of the movies. We saw Rachel’s Getting Married. It was a good movie but a bit of a downer because I was expecting the film festival to be this huge event with carpets and famous people and this huge building full of movies, but it wasn’t. It was just unusual movies for a week long in an old theater. We saw the Surprise Movie, apparently they don’t tell the viewers what they will play until that day, which is the last day. But I must say it was a really cool experience to be able to be apart of a film festival, even if it was no Cannes!

3.) Then Katie’s bro came to visit! Lots of touristic things were done with him and lots of drinking as he is a thirsty boy! That was fun! We even managed to be first on the ferry, which he really should be made famous for. People here rush on and off the boats like nobody’s business here. It doesn’t make any sense, nor are they all really in that big of a rush! Old men are even jumping ship before it’s tied to the dock! It’s unreal! We happened to be first waiting for the next ferry to come, and as people piled on top of us, we decided to try to be first on! I thought it was going to be rather easy, but men seriously started running, giving us a bit of a challenge! Lol! I even brought him into one of my fave classes (who were level 5s, they can speak fluently) and had them ask him really weird questions in order to surprise and catch him off guard! One of them asked him if he were a fruit what would it be and he replied a pineapple! After he left I made them write a personal ad for him and they all had it as one of his major selling points! It’s great!


4.) We also thew a Halloween party!! That was awesome! Especially since it was the first time for some of our Turkish friends -they don’t celebrate it here!
I was no other than the colonel from the KFC! The white beard with stache, glasses, and a big gut -no less were worn! And let me tell you, it attracted all of the women! So fellas out there, if you want to attract some honeys dress up as an old fat man! It somehow does the trick! Grant had an awesome costume too! He went to the extent of shaving off half his head, beard AND even one of his
eyebrows! LOL! He was 2-Faced from Batman, so it was only necessary!
The cops even came, our neighbors didn’t call on us, they drove by and heard the noise. Luckily our Turkish friends simmered them down and away. We also shut off the music to keep them from coming back! So that was a bit scary, especially since our Turkish friends left immediately there after! One of our friends had forgotten her ID at home and jumped in Mike’s wardrobe when she had heard they came! LOL!
















5.) We tore it up on the dance floor at this reggae bar one night. Katie and I met up with Dylan and some of his friends since it was one of his last nights here in Istanbul (same guy I went to the film festival with). Since it was a Wednesday night, the club was pretty bare so we got the entire floor to ourselves doing ridiculous dance moves! Awesome! But then later on this group of foreign high schoolers came in, we made some of them and left!

6.) Unfortuneately, we all had to say goodbye to Natalie. I was lucky enough to get to know her for these past few months. We go to do some touring around Istanbul together and lots of other funs! I was also very lucky to get the chance to go to some of her dinner parties! She is an amazing cook! She had been living here the past few years but decided that Istanbul is no longer her definite place. She is from a Carribean island and will be there until she goes to teach in Mexico. Needless to say I will def go and visit her in the near future!

7.) I also went one night with Jeff and Mike to a Turku bar. Jeff writes for the Time Out Istanbul magazine and was doing this bit about Turku bars and had to go to several. It was a lot of fun. There’s lots of varieties of traditional Turkish music, and this tiny interior decorated cabin bar had great music! It was funny at first because this couple that was singing kept parading their famous friends up on stage to let them sing a song one after the other! One of them spoke English and since we clearly were the only foreigners in the bar, she made a point to use her English! It’s funny, everybody here wants to be a professional singer, they all think they have this amazing voice (hmmm...a bit like me, but they are scarily proud)! As the night went on, people got drunker off nasty Raki (you know it as the Greek Ozo) and started dancing. The waiters randomly pulled out these huge drums which swung over their shoulders and started pounding away to the songs! One of them even started traditional dancing with the customers! It was great! They tried to get us to come and dance which naturally, I was itching to do, but by that point it was getting close to my leaving time (hey, I had a class to teach the next morning and once I get started on a dance floor good luck stopping me!) So needless to say, I held back! But we are planning to go back for more and discover others! I can’t wait to do some traditional dancing!

8.) There were lots more inbetween, not to mention the butt load of work I’ve been having, but lets jump to the Thanksgiving feast! That was amazing! And yes, I can officially say, I have had turkey in Turkey! Wahn wahn! We ran into the 2 guys that were hosting at the grocery store the night before. One’s british (which they don’t have this holiday) and the other is American. They asked me if we were vegetarians because the dishes we were both bringing were just vegetables. I was like no, why would you ask that?! And they’re like well no meat! So I told them how the only dish is really just turkey and they were quite surprised! I def had my doubts about the dinner after that convo but man, did they surprise me! Such a huge turkey and it was soooo moist!! Also, the brit made a cottage pie (which I learned is a shepard’s pie but beef instead of lamb) so that was super tasty! It has been a while since I’ve had one of those! Plus, he said how I can call him up for the recipe or if it’s too hard to make, I can call to order and he’ll whip one up anytime! So naturally, I told him he better get ready for some phone orders! Which I should make one soon….

9.) We finally made it to a hamam!! Soo cool! Not being a tourist has its perks as we only had to pay a quarter of the price the tourists do over on the other side! Woohoo! Though I imagine the experience is a heck of a lot longer and perhaps a little more sanitary! Anyways, Jeff’s 18 year old niece and her friend were visiting and he wanted to bring them to one. They divide the girls and guys into separate hamams, so he asked us to escort them. After a strong “pull” of my leg I went with these two sheltered, innocent, conservative, young girls from the south – Georgia!! Ahh! At hamams, you are pretty much naked. Being that they were visiting a male, they had no idea what any of the details of what they were in for! They give you a room with windows, to change out of your clothes, but these 2 wanted to get naked in a bathroom! It turned out not to be possible for them to do so since the bathroom was in the bath part and you aren’t allowed with your clothes on! Katie and I had out bikinis and we dropped trou immediately. Ok, so you’re not super naked. You are completely except for you keep your bottom underwear/bikini on – so topless. The girls had no choice but to get over it and had to deal with going in their underwear. So we go on in and there’s this customer that happened to speak English there! She was super nice and explained everything as we didn’t know what the heck to do! As she was explaining to us, it was her turn to get scrubbed and washed down on the giant marble slab in the center of the room (Everyone sits along the outer edges of the wall next to their own marble sink so you can constantly wet your body down. The room is quite hot, sauna style, but not so sweltering.) So as she’s explaining to us, this old saggy fat women was scrubbing her about in her chonies as well! At one point she put this English speaker’s face right in her naked chest so she can scrub the back of her neck! And this woman just keeps talking acting like it’s a normal thing to practically motorboat this half naked woman! Lol! Luckily, she didn’t do it to us, as she new we were first timers! She did give us perma wedgies though! Each and everyone of us! Hey she had to make sure she gave us a good ass scrubbing! Oh man, you should have seen all of the nasty black flakes of skin that come off of us! Especially after living through the nasty heat of the summer here in such a dirty and polluted town! Wait, I guess I shouldn’t have said that after talking about an ass scrubbing! Haha! Our entire bodies were flaking! But so soft afterwards! I didn’t even have to put lotion and I tell ya, way smoother than a baby’s bottom! Delightful! They even wash your hair and give you this wicked head massage! Unfortunately the massage isn’t as long as I would have enjoyed, it was more of a tease than anything! But nonetheless, it was super relaxing! Katie and I are def planning on going back! And earlier to, as we went close to closing time, so we think that’s why the massage was kinda cut short. The girls seemed to loosen up after a while too, I think they found it to be an awkward delight in the end!

10.) Alright! I'm stopping there! Hopefully it'll be sooner than later the next time I write on this thing! Sorry guys! I'll just stuff myself in a canon for you!
What can I say?! Time flies and then all of the sudden it's been months since I've written! Hope you're all well and Happy Holidays!!

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