Ups and Downs

It’s just about 8:15 p.m., and I feel as if I should just go to bed.  It’s been a weekend full of ups and downs.  I am at an “up” right, now.  Hence, the desire to end the weekend on a good note by going to bed.

Friday evening started off with a bang.  A cousin from Germany is visiting.  We headed over to the Tunali area together with my husband and good friends, another Turk-American couple.  Our friends introduced us to Kokoreç, grilled lamb instestines which we chose to eat finely chopped with tomatoes, onions, and spicy peppers on a roll.  It was delicious!

We followed dinner with a walk to Kizilay, stopping by street vendors, taking in the the nightlife.  After making a few small purchases, we settled in at an outdoor table under the trees of a local restaurant for a beer.  By this point, I was drinking very slowly, and my husband, being my husband, just had to comment on it.  Of course I, being me, guzzled half of the glass down to the bottom.  25cl at once.  Yep.

Later, the five of us crowded into a tiny cab and headed home.  That was a lot of laughs.

But as soon as I was home, the phone rang.  My mom was calling with not so good news.  My sister, the one we almost lost back in March, was back in the hospital.  She had an infection on her scalp at the point where a shunt had been installed.  After seeing two local doctors, they sent her to the city, back to the surgeon.

I worried all night.  Saturday morning was tough for me.  I had to wait hours before I could call home due to the time difference.  Luckily, I had an English lesson in the morning which helped take my mind off of things.  My student is awesome!  She works hard and is always a pleasure to visit.

It was mid-to-late afternoon before I could call home.  My sister was heading into surgery.  The doctors didn’t know what they would find.  We hoped for the best, but prepared for the worst.  Again.

I spent the next hour calling the rest of my siblings and sending emails and messages.  By the time I had finished, I got another call from my mother.  The surgery was over and all was fine.

My husband kindly took my cousin out for a little sight-seeing.  I stayed  behind to rest and enjoyed a good book.  My friends from the Pastane called to invite me to brunch on Sunday.  Things were definitely looking up.

Today, I headed to the Pastane at noon.  My husband took my cousin to Eymir Gölü.  She enjoyed reading by the lake while he ran a 10k.

I had a great time at brunch.  I met a “famous” man from my neighborhood.  He was a broadcaster on TRT for 25 years, interviewing more famous people.  He is also a novelist, a poet, a playwright, and an author of children’s books.  He gave me a couple of signed books as a gift – so I can practice my Turkish.

After brunch, I caught up with my husband and cousin.  We planned a short visit to the kale in Old City Ulus.  Then things turned bad again.  On the way out of my building, I saw a kid crying and screaming in the street.  I ran out to him and saw he was hovering over his pet puppy who had just been hit by a car.  Of course, the car and driver were no where in sight.

Blood was pouring and cars were headed our way.  I picked up the dog and laid him down on the earth on the side of the road.  The boy followed me, sobbing.  The dog was still alive, but I knew this wasn’t going to end well.  He had a head injury.  Thoughts rushed through my mind of what I should do.  Yell for my husband?  Run to the vet which would take me at least 3-5 minutes?  Search for the phone number with my slow data connection on my cell?

The dog died in my hands.  The boy, who couldn’t have been older than 11 or 12, cried and cried.  A car stopped and a couple got out.  They knew the boy and called his mother.  The man and I placed the dog into a bag.  I wanted to bury it, to help give this boy some closure.  But there really is no place is this city of concrete.  Besides, it hasn’t rained in months and the soil is like rock.

The boy’s mother arrived.  I walked to the bakkal and purchased a large bottle of water to wash the blood from the street.  I gave the boy several hugs, unable to calm him.  We said our goodbyes.

We stayed on plan and sadly headed to the kale.  Our moods soon changed as we enjoyed both the restored homes and the old dilapidated ones.  We shopped.  We took in the view of the city from this high hill.  We stopped for Su böreği, and a glass of tea.

On the way home, we stopped at a market.  My husband saw a lovely chocolate cake and decided we should celebrate my cousin’s birthday.  Surely he was teasing me!  Her birthday was July 10th, three days before mine!  My readers probably know how difficult it’s been for me to get my husband to acknowledge “birth month”, which I celebrate for two months, before and after my birthday!  I have even threatened him with birth quarter to no avail!

I quickly calculated the timing.  This was no birth quarter for her, no matter how you stretched it!  He was going to celebrate her birth half-year.

Well, hard weekend or not, I will show him!  I put a candle in the middle of that cake myself.  I am not going to bed early.  Instead, I will sing “Happy Birth Year” to all of us!

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6 thoughts on “Ups and Downs

  1. I am so glad things went well for your sister!!
    So sorry to hear about ghat poor little puppy, thank God you were there to offer some comfort.
    The cake looked deicious 🙂

  2. Did you visit Hamamönü – Mehmet Akif Parki – and the ancient mosques that are scattered all the way from the Kale to Hamamönü? I love visiting Ulus! It’s just so full of history and forgotten at the same time…

    • Thanks to all! My sister is doing well. She is still in the hospital and it will be a bit of a pain for the next 6 months, but nothing drastic. The day following the death of a puppy, as I was feeding the umpteen million cats outside, we found a tiny kitten without a mother. So I am now trying to make a place for him (although I think all cats are girls and all dogs are boys) in my home. @ Jules – wine in Aksaray and wine in Kapadokya! I have to find my favorite winery again!!!!

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