Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A month later...

So it's been a month and one day since Balou - my dog - and I arrived in Izmir. A month since I turned 33. Funny that... My first full day as 33 was here, and my last as 32 was traveling away from Geneva. A definite sign of a new beginning, don't you think?

So it's been a month since we arrived, and we've sort of been camping in our new house.
Steph, Balou and I probably had a grand total of 10 household items - excluding our tooth brushes: an IKEA open-up sofa (Steph had bought us when he arrived and on which we slept, God bless IKEA!); 2 camping chairs; a couple of glasses and plates; Balou's food & water bowls and Oh, yes! A tiny TV so he could follow the World Cup.... There has been a lot of echo in the house....And I'm not a big camping fan, but Steph's animated comments (!!=%**"?'^+§§¨!!!) during football have filled the air.

I say "there was" 'cause on Monday evening, after weeks of "your things will arrive tomorrow" (from the customs mind, not even from abroad) where they have been sitting since the 17th- we were finally told that YES! our stuff was going to arrive on Tuesday morning. HURRAH!!!

Since our Turkish vocab is about as extensive as the content of our house, we stuck numbers on the doors of each room, and learnt to say:
bir - one
iki - two (pronouce "ekee")
üç - three (pronouce "eeuch" as in "euhh gross"
dört - four (sort of sounds like "dirt" spoken by an Irishman)
I can't write the rest as my keyboard does not have Turkish characters.

So here we are with all our stuff and although it's still not all unpacked, it feels funny to see it here. And boy, there are loads of boxes!!!!

After observing that Turkish movers/unpackers don't care much about sketches of a crossed knife indicating that a box is not to be opened with a sharp object (they smile and shake their heads and indicate that they did not scrape the wood of your mirror/ cut open your duvet... yes, they smile: "nah, it's nothing, what are you getting upset about?") we decided to to do most of the unpacking ourselves before major damage was done and so we could put things where we wanted them.

A selection of moments:

When unpacking our kitchen stuff, Steph (to whatever item he was unwrapping from the extensive amount of paper):
"Hello, I'm Steph, welcome to Turkey" then looking at me with a "is-this-new?" look (No, no, don't get me wrong, he does cook and actually use the kitchen, it's just that we were living in a pretty small flat and some things were just not really out there to be easily used.)

Opening a kitchen cupboard to discover that:
-it's not really a cupboard for us to use, but the home to ventilation, wires, you name it

-the wood has swollen (I'm tring to be positive here, and am assuming it wasn't built that way to start with) so that the cupboard door will only open a few centimeters making it a complete waste of space
-not all the above-the-counter cupboards are the same depth, so that, oh no, no, no! our plates fit in one cupboard but not in another!!! how impratical is that?

If you are nice and polite with the movers/unpackers, serving them lemonade and coke for their first "pausa":
-they'll soon be taking "pausa's" every 20 minutes

-then go off to a 2 hour lunch having asked you to keep watch of another family's goods (now on your lawn) but that they have unloaded from the truck
- although that family's stuff is going to Istanbul!!!

We're not all done yet, and tomorrow there are more things to unwrap and put away, but it's worth it 'cause now I'm sitting at MY kitchen table - and munching on some chips out of one of MY bowls, and drinking out of one of MY glasses. Call me materialistic but it's already starting to feel like home....

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