It’s starting to feel a little like early Autumn in Ankara. The days are still sunny and hot, but rather pleasant in the low 80’s. The evenings bring a cool breeze. And this morning, as I enjoyed my coffee on the balcony, it was downright cold!
I am a summer baby, and although I love the Fall too, I am always sorry to see summer go. After two full summers here in Ankara, I still haven’t quite got the hang of it. I miss having a yard where I spend hours just doing nothing on hot summer nights. I miss visiting friends and spending hours in their yards on hot summer nights, drinking beer and singing Neil Young songs. And I miss going to Marsh Creek to fish on hot summer nights. Heck, I just love hot summer nights!
I do get to enjoy visiting friends here, but without the yard, it’s just not the same. Although the flow of beer and fun is right up there! There’s nothing like a night of good food, good drinks and non-stop Wii! Thanks to Beyza and Steve!!!
The crisp air of Autumn brings with it that back-to-school feeling. It always conjures up memories of buying new running shoes for the high school cross-country team. Reading the local sports in the DLN. Shopping for school supplies and getting just the right backpack or stylish bag. I remember when the blue plastic bag from the Gap was “in.” One could sling it right over the shoulder.
In Ankara, I can tell Autumn is coming in several ways. For example, over the past several months, no one was working. People here know how to take a vacation. They go to the beach for at least one month at a time, maybe more. Okay, it’s not everybody, but it is true for a lot of people! Those who remain behind seem to be slacking in their work ethics, but who can blame them? Now they are slowing getting back into the swing of things. Returning to their jobs. Preparing for school.
Another sign is that slowly but surely, the parking is becoming more of a hassle as those travelers return with their dark tans and carefree smiles, neither of which will last long. Parking on my block has been relatively easy all summer. Knock on wood. The battle with the hospitals valet parking is about to resume!
The other clear identifier is the work coming to me. In the States, my legal projects always slowed in the summer. Life was good. I had to go to the office, but, it wasn’t all that bad. I have recently obtained a project from the States. That’s right, I can sit in the comfort of my own home in Ankara and work with a little firm in the Philly area. It’s good to be the King.
But as soon as I said yes, more work came. Job offers. Tutoring offers. Part-time work. So now, I am busy. I am currently holding down four jobs. When it rains, it pours. This isn’t what I signed up for!
The nice thing about tutoring is the people I get to meet. I made a new friend in my neighborhood. Unfortunately, she works ALL of the time. So there is no time for Wii and beer. But she does serve lovely treats when I come to visit on Saturday mornings! Happy Birth Week Fulya!
Other part-time work gets me up to the Tunali area. I love it up there. Every time I go, I wish my friend Carmen would visit. There’s something about it that I know he would just love. It’s a 10 minute walk from my house. A street full of shops and restaurants with outdoor seating. And a great shop my that my kanka introduced to me, which sells irregulars of Turkish made clothing and textiles. Yep, it has anything from Old Navy t-shirts, to Champion beach towels, to Williams Sonoma dish towels.
I refuse to believe summer is over yet! And of course, I will still refuse to believe it once Labor Day is over. You can take the girl out of the white shoes, but you can’t take the white shoes out of the girl. Ok, so I don’t actually have white shoes. But my white pants will remain on my skinny butt until September 23rd, or thereabout. I never had to check the dates before. My neighbor used to have parties for times a year at the beginning of each season. And she had a nice big balcony where we could sit and enjoy the change of season!
Aaaah summer. How I love ya, how I love ya!
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate;
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
Sonnet 18, William Shakespeare, 1609