I don't remember the last time that I showed you all a picture of this guy. He looks less than pleased here. This was right before I left for Italy this summer and I wanted a picture to show the family that I used to work for as a nanny. The dad and youngest son were here the summer we got Lionel. He looked like a black lab puppy. I wanted to show them how three years had changed him, so I used myself as a perspective giver.
This is the ding dong at the dog park. He gets all heated up in eleventeen seconds and heads right for the swampy mess of a pond. Happy as a clam. Eating mud, being all Loch Ness Monster-y.....right after this picture was taken, he turned around and looked at me with grass hanging from his mouth and mud dripping from his jowls. God, he reaked that day. Thus, so did my car with the cloth seats. For days.
This is his stoic look. Not really. He could be tired, he could be pissed off, he is actually looking out the front window surveying his kingdom. He does not deign to give attention to me this day.
Exhausted. Too tired to get out of the car after a day at "school". "Ef You." is what is probably thinking right now.
If you had to, could you come up with a succinct answer in 30 seconds? I'd even give a person a full on minute if they needed it.
Shouldn't I ideally be able to answer that question in that amount if time?
I ask because I am not sure I would be satisfied with the completeness of an answer I wound give right now. I would, without hesitation, have a solid start. My husband and our marriage, our dog, having good health---that is maybe more grateful than happy----a beautiful fall day with crisp autumn air and sun.
But much beyond that? I falter a little. Would you? What would you say beyond the 'obvious'? Would you feel obligated to say your relationship with family? Baggage and all? Your kids? Your job?
I want to know what truly---no societal pressure or expectations to say the right things---makes me happy. What is only mine, not dependent on outside factors or people...but what is mine in my heart and within my control. Really, it shouldn't be that hard----and if it is, then all the more reason to ruminate, yes?
I don't feel lost, I just feel a dissatisfaction----for lack of a better word----with my status quo...and have for some time.
I do tend to fester about decisions, and to be honest, I have been stuck for a couple years. Generally, I mull things over, make the best decision I can and move on. This time, I seem to be spinning my wheels WAY longer that even I am comfortable with.
The challenge is to figure it honestly out and then have the courage to act on whatever that is.
Packed. Crammed full of stuff to do and boatloads of heat.
A quick morning drive from Capadocia to the capital, Ankara. A quick four hour drive....which for the past couple days is a quick bus ride for us! A stop at the Salt Lake and right to Anitkabir, Ataturk's mausoleum.
This thing is massive and the scale follows the national sentiment for him. Lots of patriotic music playing and hero portraits and artifacts from his life. We also got to see the changing of the guards which was cool to see as I have never seen any guards changing regardless of the nation.
From there we drove close to our lunch site, but there was road construction and the bus couldn't get up the hill and the narrow streets which was the only way we could get up to the restaurant.
TCF kind of solution? Load us all in taxis and metaphorically hit the horse's ass....and we are off to the races. It was quite warm and the taxi driver the four if us got considered red lights and one ways mere suggestions instead of traffic regulations. I giggled the entire time, remembering Ken getting sideswiped by a taxi whilst he was trying to cross the street. They don't play in Ankara. Ken was fine and suffice it to say, he only made that mistake once.
The restaurant had an outdoor patio that had a gorgeous view from the old part of town, but due to the fact that it was the temperature of the sun in Ankara and we were under a fiberglass roof (essentially creating a greenhouse effect) it was.....warm? There were very few who enjoyed lunch that last day, including the speaker who had had to wait for us to arrive.
He represented the German Marshall fund of the United States. He is a Turk. He was fasting for Ramadan....which no food and no beverages And it was hotter than hell. He patiently suffered our questions and then put on his wool blazer as we walked down to the Ancient Civilization museum.
Do Turks not sweat?!?!! We were all so completely disgustingly sweaty and wilted.
The last speaker was canceled because of the heat and time delays. Many were looking forward to this speaker from the Turkish ministry of foreign affairs. The last day and wrap up was the present and highlight modern, current Turkey's position in the world.
But many others were also looking forward to showers.
The final dinner then an early night to pack and mentally prepare for the 3 am wake up call.
The Evil Eye. Protecting the wearer or user from harm or evil. They are everywhere.
The taxis, busses, most businesses, houses and people have them displayed somewhere.
Little babies ALWAYS have tiny mashallah evil eyes safety pinned to them.
The same baby pins are used as a pretext to cop a feel of an unsuspecting female tourist as the shopkeepers pins it on them. It happened to a couple gals on the trip....it angers me. The presumption, the pushing of personal space boundaries....all of it. But I also know that my anger doesn't solve it or end it.
Yep. You read it right....city under the ground. Seven stories with kitchens, churches, stables, air ventilation shafts, housing units, stone wheel doors....it is always a crowd pleaser---unless you are claustrophobic.
The peeps of the early Christian times were not large. Plus, if you are carving out all the rooms and shafts and connecting tunnels, you aren't going to want to do anything extra, right?
I like it a lot but a couple of of group members elected not to join us because once you go down, there Isis no going back.
I am going to post some pictures but consider yourself forewarned, they are crappy. The lighting was not great and the space was too small for a flash.