On Jan. 6th, we celebrated Armenian Christmas! We didn’t have time to exchange gifts before our trip and Mike suggested we do it on the Armenian Christmas Day! We invited Suzie (aka Jeff) and Ginger (aka Grant/Greg) to join in on the holiday! Thanks to Katie’s mom, we had loads of Christmas decorations (tree and a string of colored lights included) to decorate the pad! On top of that, she sent Christmas sugar cookies and icing powder so all we had to do was decorate them with icing and chow down! Since Katie and I had work till 10 that night, Kidman (aka Mike) and Suzy stayed home finishing off the cookies! I guess it’s a good thing these boys have female nicknames! Anyways, after work, we exchanged gifts through cookies and drinks! It really felt like Christmas, especially because these particulars have become my family here!
A few nights later, we kinda threw Katie a surprise bday party at one of our many local watering holes. Katie never does anything for her bday and I knew if we told her, she would try to brush it off and make it another day. So I told her that Ginger, Kidman and I wanted to take her for bday drinks! She blindly agreed to it and we secretly invited the masses! Needless to say, we had quite a crowd gathered for her day! She told me that night that she hadn’t had a bday party since she was 16! So I’m gonna go ahead and call it a successful night! I’m really glad we finally did something for her bday since it’s such a special day that she should really celebrate yearly! On top of that, Suzy had wrote her a hilarious bday poem/story chalked full of inside jokes! He read it to everyone to the tune of ‘Twas A Night Before Christmas’ and the story even fitted the theme!
Next up would be some pretty sweet incidents…literally! One of my classes brought in a fatty bday cake cuz it was this guy’s bday. Then, the following week or two, one girl brought in a fresh baked cake she made for no reason at all. It was still even warm from being so fresh! Then my hilarious level 1 class, that has already ended, brought in baklava! I have this horrible obsession, and I stupidly (well smartly really) told them. Then one day, this kid brought some in!!! They liked making fun of me for liking it, so we all got a good kick out of it! He brought in this huge box too! Now typically, they would bring in a cake or something, but because of my obsession, it was baklava. And bringing in something entails a reason, minus the girl from the other class –uhhh she just likes my class I guess?! Hah! – but he said it was to celebrate getting his driver’s license! Sweet! But Psyche at the same time! Apparently, he was celebrating before he took the test –dumb ass…he failed!! I guess lucky for me he doesn’t know timing for celebrations; otherwise, I would not have gotten any baklava! Mmmm baklava…great, now I want some! I seriously have a piece almost everyday! This website needs to be called Katie’s turning into a piece of baklava, not any of this Turkish Delight stuff!
One of the weeks we went to Babylon (a club in Taksim that always has live music, and it’s smaller so much more intinmate -friends think HOB in SD) to see a well known band here called Baba Zula. They’re a pretty crafty band that plays Turkish music. They’ve been around for like 15 years. They have a singer who plays guitar, a congo drummer, a girl (that Kidman has a crush on) that draws on her mac and is projected on a wall, and every other song or so a belly dancer! They were super entertaining and their music is great! Even Ginger enjoyed it and he can’t stand Turkish music! So I totally thought I went to see this super popular band, they even had a packed building! But when I went to tell my classes, judging by all of their reactions, which was pretty much nonexistent, they are not cool –or no longer cool! Haha! Wow! Did I feel like such a foreigner! Getting all excited to tell my classes this, thought they would be super into it, and all I got was crickets! Lol! But whatev, I like them and I have their cd!
The next big deal was moving!!!!! I think this incident clearly defines bittersweet. Our old flat was absolutely amazing and contemporary and our bedrooms didn’t look out onto other buildings like 5 feet away. The house was in great, newly renovated condition and even hailed painted walls. The location is amazing, we are in the center of coming from either end of Kadikoy and have loads of the cheaper grocery stores near by, not to mention one of my fave baklava places round the corner (oh there goes that obsession)! But the owner of our building must have realized all of this amazingness and told Bulent he wanted back in come February. Luckily, Bulent owns a ton of furnished places all around Moda (neighborhood we live in) and have a few that are empty right now! So he gave us our choice of 2 since he likes us and off we moved…er…uh…I should say he moved us! Ha! We got super lucky! The people before us were moving out on Saturday so we couldn’t move in any sooner. Moving on a Saturday is out of the question for us, however, since we work like dogs the whole day through! So Bulent was like oh no problem, put your bags in a pile on the living room floor (as he motions with his hand a very small area for this small amount of bags we have) and he’ll take it over for us! Saweet! Now we don’t have to lug everything over ourselves!! We’re seriously a few blocks away from the old pad, but the hull over with all of our crap wouldn’t be a pretty one on foot! Speaking of pile of crap…lol! So he motions this tiny little area right, well we don’t even own a bag that small! Instead, he wound up with more than half of our living room floor FULL of bags! I guess you could say we have accumulated quite a bit of things since the move in! –lots of my accumulation is due to papers and papers of material since the book we must use is complete crap (and I mean that crap in a very literal way, not like our load of crap called luggage!) Anyways, the poor guy must have had a heart attack when he walked in that morning! Yowsas!
So this new place of ours is pretty sweet but lacking in loads! First off, its def more of what we thought we were first going to move into. Meaning, it’s old and very Turkish looking. It badly needs to be renovated and the furniture he has in here is pretty old and cruddy. The walls are a yucky white with brown trim everywhere. The living room is huge but they forgot to think about the bedrooms when building –or so Katie and I believe. They built this great flat, and then towards the end, ran out of room and was like oh crap! We gotta build bedrooms still and randomly divided up the space! And I mean random! And the kitchen, dude I swear I’m stepping into my Tante’s cottage each time (Aunt Jemimaaahhhh!)! The décor is crazy! But it’s sweet cuz this one’s bigger so we can fit more than one person in and comfortably! The best BEST part of our flat is right now, we can see the Blue Mosque and the Aya Sofia from our balcony at night!!! Holla!! Our balcony (if you turn right) faces a park (wha?! A park?! In Istanbul?! That’s crazy talk! I can’t even believe it!). There’s all of these trees surrounding it (again, another strange, strange thing here!)!! Since it’s winter, there are no leaves on the trees, so at night we can see across the Bosphorous the BM and the AS! Holla! Plus, we live at the bottom of a peninsula, so if you stretch out over our balcony to the left, you can see the Maramara Sea! Sweet hook up!! I think I can make due with being farther away from everything and all of the other drawbacks I’ve mentioned because of that, easy! Plus Kidman actually has a big bedroom now that has windows to the outdoors instead of my room (though I have the itsy bitsy room now)! And by tomorrow, our second, yes SECOND, bathroom will be working!! Which will be amazing when all of these visitors come and stay –esp at the end of March! That could be an ugly wait! Though only one shower, and for whatever reason, the hot water never lasts! Oh cold showers…mmmmm what a way to end a shower….
So the next part would be to tell you how we completely trashed the place on the second night in, and I mean seriously though! But remember the fact that we got a bunch of old stuff going on in here, so it’s all just waiting to break –right?! We threw an early birthday sort of party play for Ginger. Mike has just gone home for a month (which sucks mucho!) so we needed to do this before he left, which turns out to be the second night in the new pad! Suzie came up with having an interactive play for him. He did it before back at home and decided that we should try it out on Ginger. So he and Kidman wrote an entire script, making fun on of the original Manchester Candidate film, and wrote Ginger as the star of the play. But Ginger doesn’t know it! So it’s this huge surprise, and you throw the person into it and you start the play and stay in character for the whole thing, despite how the person reacts! So we got a group together, even practiced several times, the night of we had props and costumes, and then we surprised him with the play! He reacted great and played along with the whole thing, though in utter shock! It was a complete success and absolutely hilarious! Luckily Jim’s gf video-taped the whole thing for us, so one day you can see this 20 minute play of ours! It’s hilarious! The best birthday idea ever, even if that makes me now sound like one of them drama geeks!
I played Janet Lee from the movie, so my lines were full of super random sentences! Jim is an insanely good actor and played a drunk better than an actual drunk! Suzie played the really controlling mother with the nagging voice and wig and all! Katie played this girl that was obsessed with Ginger. Mike played the push over of a husband to Suzie. Padric, whose like 7 feet tall and super skinny, played a Korean fresh off the boat! Owen played an obnoxious Scottsman, and he even had the duty of going out and dragging Ginger over here in character (btw they are more of acquaintances and Ginger was thinking he was going to find Katie at the bar)! Ben played a Blacksmith’s wife –don’t ask, but he mainly got to scream it out in an old hag voice while selling roses! We had some other characters as well, but not important to mention. So it was a smaller group, but the perfect amount! Everyone was super excited at the end and I think we’re going to make it a bday tradition! Even the guys that weren’t to into it were the ones to suggest such an idea! So much fun and really more touching for the receiver –it’s really a play for one person! Now that is love!
K, so back to immediately ruining the house: so of course, we drank after and that night turned into a super crazy night! A chair, a ladle, a long scratch on our table, a hard plastic chair off the patio was broken in many a places, some prop we had for the play, oh and a wine glass! Lol! I have nooo idea! What really got us, is that this one chair that is just waiting to collapse, with stood the test of time (or party I guess) and somehow didn’t break!! So ya, good night!! Now I’m only worried for the actually bday party for Ginger’s that we have to host next week…there’s going to be a ton of people here! Dun dun dun…
A part from that, we’re getting ready for all of our visitors coming! Soo stoked! Manisha is coming next week already!! So awesome! It really sucks that Kidman is gone for so long, and on top of that won’t get to meet two friends. But, it works out great for them because now they have their own room to sleep in!