Poğaça (n. delicious bread roll)

Okay, yes.  I added the delicious to the definition.  But it’s true.  It is delicious.  And nice and full of calories (yes, that was sarcastic).  But the delicious part was totally true.

According to Wiki, poğaça is a Balkan speciality, but I never saw it while I was in Bosnia so I can’t really confirm that Wiki  is accurate on that one.  I can however confirm the tastiness.  Here in Turkey you can find quite a few different types: potato, olive, cheese, oh my!  I love mine plain and spread with different yummy things — kaymak, jam, butter, etc.

Surprise! I have a bag of poğaça!

The greatest part is that there is a place right across the park from us that makes poğaça every morning and is frighteningly cheap.  Let’s be honest, posts about food are all about the photos unless there’s smell-o-vision.  Has that been invented yet?  And am I the only one that remembers that episode (Simpsons? maybe… if not whatever it was…)?

Plate of poğaça

Plate of poğaça… there’s cheese, plain, and my favorite olive-stuffed.

Mmmm… Poğaça.  What’s that you asked?  Why aren’t there any pictures of poğaça not in a bag or neatly stacked?  Like maybe half eaten or sitting neatly on your plate, intelligentandwittylady?  You’re funny.  Like these things last more than seconds when they’re fresh and warm.


Başlamak (v.: to begin, to start, to launch)

Yoga dersler başladı! (Yoga classes have begun!)

Technically, I started classes last week, but it wasn’t a full week of classes so I’m saying they’ve officially started this week.  I’m teach four classes per week out of my apartment — which isn’t ideal in many ways, but is also great in lots of other ways.  So far I’ve had two classes with two ladies whom I quite enjoy.  The classes are open to pretty much all, but despite quite a few emails I’ve only had two students.  Which could be frustrating, but these two are making me so happy to be teaching that I think it’s perfect.

Something soon-to-be-teachers don’t realize is that once you begin teaching it’s really hard to maintain your own practice.  In fact, it’s been quite a few weeks since I’ve done a full-out yoga practice myself.  I’ve been doing my headstands (getting much better, thank you for asking) and some asana that work as great stretches pre- or post-running, but I haven’t been motivated to really practice.  It doesn’t help that I haven’t found classes that fit my schedule and life yet.  (Read: I’ve been too lazy — or less likely, busy — to make it to other classes at the one studio I’ve been eying.)

In fact, as a teacher I’ve even gone so far as to resent teaching classes some days.  Which is why I’m so glad these ladies are so great.  The first class day I really didn’t feel like teaching or thinking about yoga or giving part of myself (another thing students who want to be teachers don’t often realize is how much energy students drain from teachers) and my time, but once we started it was so natural and so fulfilling.  It reminded me why I would teach in Sarajevo for practically nothing — sometimes nothing when I had to take a taxi — because when you have good students you get something out of the class too.  It’s strange that doing something that has no real tangible results (teaching a class) can make me feel so much more fulfilled than I ever thought.

So here’s hoping the classes just keep getting better!

Yalan söylemek (v. to lie)

Okay.  I lied.  I wasn’t back to normal posting schedule.  Was it the job (which I have since quit — long story for another post)?  No.  Was it the homesickness?  Maybe a little.  Was it that I spent two days in waiting rooms while Mr. Awesome had tests done because he’s been sick?  Oh!  That must be it.  I will say that thankfully, after three months of probable parasite craziness, he’s feeling better.  I will also say that I was pleasantly surprised by how clean, nice, and professional the staff at the hospital we went to for the appointment and tests was.  Thank goodness for private hospitals!

Küçümsemek (v.: to underestimate, to condescend, to belittle, to disdain, etc.)

I find it very interesting that the word for to condescend is also the one for some much more purposeful negative words.  I also appreciate that the word almost literally means to make small.  Which is a good way to explain the word in both English and Turkish.

While I really want to write a scathing discourse about how my first day of work (at a preschool no less!) and on one of my once-potential yoga clients have influenced my choice of this word for the title today, I won’t.  Not because I’m working on my complaint-free week — that was shot to hell a few days into my attempt — but because I genuinely want to be above complaining.  Sadly, I am obviously not quite above it. Yet.  But I’m getting there.

Gurbet çekmek (v.: to be homesick for one’s home or homeland) or why I’ve been absent

I haven’t lived in the US in over three years, but I still get homesick for America every now and then.  I don’t know how people can move away from their homeland and stay away.  I think of all the immigrants I know — in the US and overseas — and I wonder how they manage to make the decision to leave everything they know and love behind for a new life.  The only way I’ve been able to do so is by knowing that it isn’t forever and that I can go back anytime I need to get a fix of good old Americana.

This past week has been one of those weeks when everything I do, see, or think makes me want to spend time back home.  Maybe it’s the fall weather and knowing that football season is starting.  Maybe it was the Labor Day sales emails I got from all my favorite stores.  Maybe it’s just that odd ‘back-to-school’ feeling I always seem to get this time of year (despite not being enrolled in a school in over 7 years).  Maybe it’s just ‘that time’ to return back.  Whatever the reason, I find myself aching to be back home in the US these days.

I want to eat a delicious, juicy burger cooked the way I ordered it (in English).  I want to go to my favorite yarn stores and stock up on new yearns for winter projects while chatting with fellow knitters (in English).  I want to go for a run on real trails.  I want to order a skinny vanilla latte at Starbucks without having to spell my first name for the barista.  I want to see a movie (without subtitles).  I want to go to Target.  Really, this list could go on for days of all the silly things I’m longing for from home.

I’ve been so pathetically homesick I haven’t even been up for writing here for all my friends and family to read.  Which (in addition to being flighty about emailing) has only made me feel more isolated from home and more homesick.

So Mr. Awesome and I are hoping to head home (and by “home” ironically, I just mean America because we have no actual home to which to go really — but thank you family and friends for always offering up space!) for a few weeks in October.  With that decision made and closer than the very long term and vague end point of our time here, I hope to be snapped out of my homesick funk and back to normal blogging and exploring.

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