Archive | June, 2011

A few photos

30 Jun

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Some things that I have learned

29 Jun

1. Marrying your hubby for the fourth time will still feel like the first.
2. Never under estimate the power of a good friend. My friend Hatice made my wedding day by being there for me…a familiar face who kept me calm and stayed by my side. I was a lucky girl that she was able to be there!
3. In Turkey, a genuine smile will definitely smooth over any situation! {huge smile while thinking I have no freaking clue what you are saying!}
4. My mother in law and I have similar taste….which is awesome!
5. Most people here prefer using the Turkish toilet?!
6. I don’t crave coffee as much as I thought I would.
7. Food is so cheap here {probably due to the socialism thing} ….but seriously a watermelon is like 50 cents, and 2 pounds of tomatoes are $1.50.
8. Food tastes sooooooo good here, the produce is so fresh and just unbelievable.
9. It is awesome to be somewhere where you are surrounded by mountains.
10. An American bride is a novelty, and everyone will think you are cute 🙂
11. When you spend almost 2 weeks with people, on whom you are completely dependent…there exists very little privacy.
12. My husband is so patient, and has been so wonderful throughout this whole week….seriously, he might be a saint.
13. Even though it wasn’t the first time, my hubby still gets teary-eyed at the sight of me in a wedding dress.
14. It is impossible for me to live out of a suitcase neatly!
15. I keep forgetting that I am in another country, and know now, that I can belong here!

I hope everyone is having a good day!

I’ve lost track of the days…but week 2

29 Jun

I thought I would pop in and let y’all know that I still haven’t conquered my fear of the Turkish toilet! Or the hole, as we now refer to it. On Sunday we spent some time with Fatih and his American girlfriend, who has been here for 2 months. She told me that it took her about 3 weeks to get over herself and use the hole!

This makes me feel a bit better…as I just can’t do it yet. I know I will have to….especially once we live here, but right now it just freaks me out too much!

In other news, we leave tomorrow to go to Ankara. We will visit Ilker’s cousin and his wife, and their two gorgeous children! I am excited to see somewhere new and spend time with more family!

Xoxo,

Ps…how bout those Gamecocks?! Woohoo…back to back baby!

A quick update

28 Jun

My dear friends and family,
I apologize for the absence…things here have been busy and Internet connections have been spotty. I will list a few quick updates throughout the rest of my trip and have decided to save full updates until after I get back…as this is really more feasible.

So…

1. We are officially married again! It was really nerve wrecking and a lot of fun, with a hoop skirt, big poufy dress, and a lot of dancing.
2. My henna night was also a blast! It was one of the events that I was most nervous about, as none of the women in Ilker’s family speak English. As it turns out, Ilker’s mom decided to make it a joint henna night, so he was there with me. We danced the night away, and all of the women were so amused by me, I forgot to be nervous. In the end, it turned out that all I needed to do was have fun, and they al forgave me anything else I didn’t know!
3. I have been told repeatedly that I am a much better Turkish dancer than Ilker. Even by the woman that sang at our wedding, and most everyone there agreed with her!
4. Everyone’s expectations for my communicating ability are sooooooo low, that they are immensely impressed by the words I do know…which has been brilliant for my self confidence.
5. 4 very dear friends of our were able to come to our wedding…which made me feel like I did have family there and made me feel so much better! Ilker says they represented my side at the wedding, And Fatih and Hatice were there….who were also at our first wedding in Syracuse! I was also able to meet and spend some time with some of Ilker’s friends from undergrad, and am so excited to get to know them better in the future!
6. ilker’s grandfather danced with me at our wedding….which is apparently a pretty high ( if not the highest) compliment of acceptance.
9. I got two of the most beautiful pairs of shoes for our wedding…..Caroline you WILL be jealous 🙂
10. Ilker got the most fabulous new suit, and I am already trying to find excuses for him to wear it more often when we get home…for he looks so handsome in it. Isn’t it about time for someone else to get married 🙂
11. We have eaten so much spectacular food, that I don’t even know how to describe it. Yesterday on the way home, we had these cherries ( that we just picked) and I swear to you…I have never tasted any fruit so good in my life!
12. Food is so cheap here..I will elaborate more on that later!

Ok, I suppose that is enough for now! I will upload some pictures tonight…hope y’all have a great day!

Xoxo

Dress shopping

21 Jun

After breakfast at Ilker’s uncle’s house, we left to go dress shopping at his uncle’s store (his uncle owns 4 bridal salons). I was a little surprised when I figured out that his aunt wasn’t coming, but all the boys were. At this point I again explained to Ilker that I was feeling a little overwhelmed by everything and that I needed him to stick with me through the dress process. I told him that since I would have no females there, I needed him to give me his opinion and play the part.

On the way we found out that Ilker’s dad had taken the bus up and would meet us at the salon. Now let me interrupt you here, and tell you that in Turkey there is a very traditional way to greet your elders…and his parents had told me that they would like me to greet them that way. At this point, I had not reviewed this with Ilker and couldn’t really remember how to do it, When me, Ilker, and Ahmet (his cousin) walked into the salon, there sat his dad. I sucked it up and attempted and totally butchered the greeting. Feeling bad and awkward about this I looked up and was completely overwhelmed by the tulle and white fabric that surrounded us. Almost all of the dresses were similar style…the corset bodice and low cut full skirt…which I did not feel confident would look good on me. After choosing a few to try on, Ilker’s uncle took me to another salon to choose a new dress for my henna night. A salesgirl whisked me behind a curtain, motioned for me to take my clothes off and then began gathering things for me to try on. I put on the first outfit and she pulled back the curtain to an audience of Ilker, his father, his uncle, and his cousin who all just stared at me blankly. She said something in Turkish, closed the curtain, told me to take of my clothes and got something else for me to try one. At this point, exhaustion was setting in and I was becoming more overwhelmed. The second outfit was the one I chose…as I was ready to be done. I know that sounds so ungrateful, and I feel terrible for even thinking about it…but it was just too much.

Henna Dress

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We left there and went back to the other salon to try on dresses. Again I was taken back behind the curtain and told to take off my clothes. After putting the hoop skirt on me ( yes! A hoop skirt) and the first dress over my head…two sales ladies worked to tighten the corset. All the while they were pointing at different parts of me and speaking to one another in Turkish. I had no idea what they were saying, and as someone who is not totally comfortable with my body, I immediately began to imagine the worse. After looking at dress one, I decided to try on dress two. Again with the pointing and chatting and my feelings sinking lower….by the time they pulled back the curtain, I wanted to cry…and then Ilker was gone. I waited for him to come back, while the woman continued to talk. Dressed in this fruffy dress, in the middle of a store, in the middle of the mall, exhausted, overwhelmed and feeling like an idiot. The saleswomen kept calling for Ilker’s dad to come look, I think they thought he was my dad, and he just stayed outside the store. Finally, Ilker came back…but would not give me an opinion about either dress. Finally, in a moment of desperation I chose…the second one…ultimately because the top looked kind of like sea shells, which reminded me of Ariel in The Little Mermaid 🙂

My dress 🙂

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After getting dressed again, I asked where the toilet was and was directed to the water closet. After paying to enter ( yes paying!) I discovered no bathroom that I was used to. This restroom only had Turkish toilet as I was gathering up the courage to pop a squat 🙂 I realized the was no toilet paper…only a bidet. At this point, I consider it a personal victory that I did not cry. I stood there for a minute and tried to figure out now to ask for help…but couldn’t. In the end, I just washed my hands and left. We left the mall and headed to Ilker’s grandparents house for family meeting number 3.

Ok seriously Ilker’s grandmother may be the littlest woman I have seen…she literally came up to my boobs! Luckily, I did not botch her traditional greeting, but I think my skirt was too short and that she wasn’t the biggest fan of me. Still feeling upset from the mall, hungry, and exhausted I tried to be present and gracious, but am pretty sure I didn’t pull that off. Finally, Ilker and I went to a back bedroom to take a nap ( again I twin beds) where I slept for like 2 hours in some of the deepest sleep I think I have ever had in my life. Seriously, I haven’t been this tired since Bonaroo!

When Ilker woke me up, he told me that more people had arrived to meet me and that I had to get up. I pulled myself together, wished for a toothbrush and hairbrush and went out to meet more family! Luckily, we had a wedding album with us, so all I had to do at this point was sit, smile, and say thank you.

After what felt like FOREVER it was 9:30 and time for us to leave for the bus station. As soon as we got on the bus, I fell asleep. Ilker woke me a few times to ask if I wanted food/ water, but I was too afraid to eat….not knowing what my bathroom choices would be ( a problem that still plagues me 🙂 )

We finally arrived in Konya, at Ilker’s parents city, at 5:00 AM. At this point, I was beginning to feel extremely nervous for the last important introduction, Ilker’s mom. At this point I had not showered or brushed my teeth in 24 hours. One of the things that made me so nervous about meeting Ilker’s mom, Anne, was that she had explicitly laid out her expectations for our introduction. With the previous screw ups fresh in my fuzzy mind, I was so worried that I would royally screw up. However, I think she was just so glad to finally see us, that she forgot all about her expectations and pulled me into a huge mom hug. She was the first person, since landing in Turkey, who did not make me feel like a newcomer and instead instantly made me feel like family. At that moment, I forgot all about wanting to cry, and how overwhelmed I felt, and instead was able to look forward to the next 2 weeks of getting to know my inlaws, as well as to experience the mother land with Ilker. By 6AM we were fed and finally in bed, and I will tell you that we did not get up until 2:30 the next afternoon!

***as a side, I can now look back at this day and laugh….didn’t take me long to get there…so please laugh with me 🙂

Meet the Family Day

21 Jun

Our alarm went off at 5am…and we got ready to head to the train station. We were headed to Eskisehir, to meet Ilker’s uncle, aunt, and cousin; buy my wedding dress; and meet the grandparents.

The view at the train station was beautiful! It was so decorative, and almost put Grand Central to shame! I left Ilker with our bags and wen to investigate…

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And our train…

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After a 5 hour train ride we finally arrived in Eskisehir! Ilker’s uncle met us at the station and we wen his home! We chatted and ate breakfast before going dress shopping. Their home was beautifully decorated and I asked if I could take some photos.

The formal living room

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And the informal one

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And next up…The Dress Revealed 🙂

Aaaand we have arrived!!!!

21 Jun

When we finally disembarked the plane in Istanbul it was a pretty amazing feeling….all of the nerves that I had been feeling leading up to the trip went away, and I knew that this was where I was supposed to be. The process of getting my visa and going through customs was painless…and finally we were on our way to the metro.

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It would take us the different metro trains, a ferry, and taxi to get to our room for the night, but it gave me the chance to see the city of Istanbul whirl by. As we passed through the European side of Istanbul, I saw the signs for so many historic places….the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, the spice market, and palaces. It was unbelievable. I know that we could have spent the whole 2 weeks there and I would not have been able to see everything. I cannot wait until we have the chance to go back there and be tourists!

I didn’t get a chace to shoot any through the European side, but as soon as we got to the ferry….out came the camera! The air was cool and dusk was setting in. It was perfectly romantic and a great introduction into the country I will one day call home.

I know most of you are reading this for the pics….so without further aideu….the sights we saw as we crossed the Bosphorus

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Once we made it to the Anatolian side of Istanbul we caught a cab to our room.
But first some more pics from land
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Ilker’s dad had arranged a room for us at one of his company’s guest houses. Ilker had warned me that it would be a no frills place, but that it was free and was super close to train station we would be leaving out of the next morning…and that all we were going for was somewhere safe with a bed. Well, when we walked into the room it had twin beds! I had to laugh…first night of our semi honeymoon and we were sleeping in twin beds! But the room was comfy, and I was so tired all. Cared about was a shower and food!

This was our room….

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After showering we headed back out to the city to find something to eat. I’m sorry to say that I didn’t take my camera, because I wanted to focus on enjoying a nice diner date with my hubby…and celebrating my first meal in Turkey…which was probably one of the best meals I have had in my life! Y’all seriously…you must visit Turkey just for this dish….it was unbelievable. Next up…the longest day of my life.