Well, we are definitely settling in more and more each day. We’ve done quite a bit of the touristy things (stay tuned for more on that!), while also just trying to settle into a normal routine for ourselves. As we get into the normal routine, I’ve figured some more things out.
- Get rid of the things that don’t bring joy. 😉 We got our stuff delivered after not having seen it for a year. For the year without our stuff….we managed just fine. Why, oh why, did I not get rid of things before packing out last time. I’m not making that mistake again. It took almost a week to get everything to its place…almost. Less is definitely more.
- Not all dryers are the same. During our first week or so here, I thought I figured our the appliances just fine (they are in another language after all). I had been using the dryer just fine until one day it stopped drying the clothes. I kept putting it back on and it kept shutting off and leaving me with damp clothes. Well, I later learned that you have to empty the water from the dryer every now and then. Guess that’s where all the water goes from the wet clothes!
- Meat doesn’t always come ground. When shopping at the grocery store, it was always hit or miss if you could find ground beef (usually it was miss). Then, when I did find it, it wouldn’t just be plain ground beef but spiced ground beef (and not to our liking). We finally learned that you have to select which meat you want and then they will ground it for you. That was a first for me.
- Hours aren’t set. If you’re like me and you enjoy taking your time getting your day started, you’ll fit in just fine here. However, if you like waking up at the crack of dawn and starting your day early, you may have to adjust a bit. Around here, there are some restaurants that open early for breakfast; however, a lot do not open until later. We’re still learning the intricacies of dining–if you arrive too early, it won’t be open, but if you arrive too “late” and without a reservation, you’ll be out of luck. As for dinner, most restaurants say to have reservations but if you arrive before 7pm, you should be good. A lot of Turks don’t eat until 9pm! Some stores seem to operate similarly where they’ll be open when they feel like it (despite hours they may be set up).
- Leave your food on the table. I still find this one a little hard to get used to but we did it while in China as well. If you go out to eat (even at a fast food restaurant or at any of the restaurants in the food court at the mall), once you are done eating, you just get up and leave. Your food stays on the table as they have people coming around to clean up after you finished (and sometimes with you still sitting there).
- There are plenty of American chains around. While in China, we didn’t get so many American brands there (there were definitely some but not like here in Istanbul). From Starbuck’s to McDonald’s to Popeye’s to Little Caesar’s to Burger King to Arby’s, you can find a quick bite.
- Lanes don’t necessarily mean a thing. Sure there may be a two lane road, but sometimes it just seems better to drive down the middle. 😉 It helps when making turns too. 😉
- While shorts may keep you cool, dresses, skirts, and pants are more of the norm. I always loved wearing shorts but find myself more in dresses and skirts while here.
- Look for the hedgehogs! While there are plenty of street dogs and cats around, there are hedgehogs too. The first time I spotted one, I didn’t think that it could be a hedgehog. Then the next time I spotted one, it was moving along slowly eating some food and there was not doubt it was a hedgehog. Hope to spot some more!
- Eat the pide, not the pizza. The pide is so good and fresh here. The pizza is not quite like back home–especially not the ‘pepperoni’.
TOTE: Don’t be surprised when things are different when you move someplace new. Expect the unexpected.