Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Never say never

Who would have thought that I'd be missing Izmir?
Certainly not me during (at least) our first six months there!!!

But it's true, I miss Izmir.
Maybe 'cause I never got to properly say good-bye (I mean, I was all wrapped up in going back to Geneva to have Emma, so you can't really blame me for not fully realizing I was going to be moving again, and to a place I had never been to be before - my first visit to Vienna as a toddler does not count!)

I miss the sun!!! the mild 14°C winters and the blue skies (today it snowed in Vienna!)
I miss the green beautiful garden all around our house and the incredible colours and light

I miss the fact that there were hardly ever any traffic jams - although the turks are crazy drivers!
I miss sitting on the terraces of nice cafés chatting or gossiping with friends
I miss being part of a group of women like the International Women of Izmir (IWAI)
I miss going to Bostanli market on Wednesdays with the ferry boat and all the yummy veggies and fruit, olives and nuts that I used to buy there!
I miss Kemeralti Bazaar were I could browse around and enjoy a "çai" or a coke in the shade

I miss the spacious huge house we lived in (although I don't miss the nutty cleaning lady Hamide)

I miss delicious Turkish breakfasts and weekends in Istanbul or Alaçati

I miss walking Balou
around the flower scented grounds
when all I needed to do was slip on a pair of sandals and a light sweater (that would be a dream now with Emma, instead of pulling on her hat and fitting her hands and arms into a warmer coat or sweater before zipping her into her fleece nest)

I know, I know, you're thinking: "the grass is always greener..." right? But actually, no matter how unhappy and lonely I was in the beginning in Izmir, I never got nostalgic about Geneva. I never had moments of imagining Geneva and Vandoeuvres and missing our life there. I can't say that now about Izmir...
I guess maybe I wasn't quite ready to leave. I think maybe I had just began to feel at home there and I imagine that it would have been nice to return there with baby Emma and introduce her to the friends that were there during my pregnancy.

Also, I have to admit that unfortunately a lot of the good things about Izmir were lost on us for a while there in the beginning. It took us a long time to shift mindsets and stop wanting things to be smooth in the way we wanted them to be.
It took us a long time to stop fighting the way things were, a long time to appreciate the smiles and the effort and care less if the actual service/end-result was not always top notch. This in turn meant that we could not enjoy Izmir for what it was, and truly enjoy its positive if sometimes quirky sides.
A lingering feeling of untied knots....

Anyway, back to now: it would be good to spend less time wanting something else than what Vienna has to offer and be able to enjoy it for what it is before another semester goes by... even if discovering the city is made more difficult with a babe and the winter climate.
And if ever we return to a developing country again,
especially one with 14° winters, I'll be happy with the septic tank after Vienna's waters and winters.

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