When Manayunk Returns to Ankara

I’m not saying it’s going to happen. But I’m not saying it’s not either.

Should I return to Ankara, what would be my first things to see and do?

1- Hug my mother-in-law and brother-in-law (obviously) and meet my new sister-in-law! I don’t think there is a word for “little sister,” is there? And if there is, can I call the wife of the older brother “my little sister”? Oooooh, I love this kind of nonsense!

2- See the rest of the extended family (obviously!)

3- The friends. OH, THE FRIENDS! I am realizing how many people I left behind. First things first, a visit with my “little brother” and his family. He always gets me into something good whether it be music, shopping, arguing, or just hanging out (also known as arguing.)

Then a visit with the girls! That my English-speaking group that pretty much used any social gathering as an excuse to not practice English. LOL. Love them.

And then the friends I met here and there and everywhere. Not sure I would be able to catch up with all of the lawyers I know! Ha! Nor the students and teachers. But wouldn’t it be grand?

4- Tunali Cad. One of my favorite things to do was always to stroll Tunali. First a stroll through my hood. Down the rainbow painted stairs. A pause at Kuğulu Park. A stop by the mini mall that housed my favorite artisan jeweler. A peak into so many stores – always purchasing a specialty cheese, a towel or a shirt from the outlet store that sells famous American name brands (all made in Turkey), a visit to the wine shoppe, a visit to the record store. Lunch. Walk home through the park near Parliament.

Kugulu Park (Swan Park)

5- A walk around the old neighborhood. Stopping in every shop along Guvenlik Cad. including each and every grocery store and bakkal. Meeting with the gang for tea at the Pastane. Visiting the elderly neighbors in my old building. Searching for my hairdresser! Buying some bread at Nimet. Love Love Love.

6- The pazar in Ayranci. Who doesn’t love the Ayranci pazar? Whether it be the regular weekly pazar for all of my fruit and vegetable shopping needs or a day at the Antique pazar, Ayranci is the best!! Can’t wait to see it again.

Ayranci Antik Pazari

7- I always loved a walk through Kizilay. There was never enough time in the day to visit all of the interesting shops. I enjoyed the hustle and bustle of it all, especially the youth. Whether window shopping or getting a quick and cheap meal, Kizilay always lended a layer of color beyond compare. Now, I always considered the one side of Ataturk Bul. to be Kizilay, but really the other side is too. And I strayed there every once in a while for fabric, yarn, sewing needs, etc. Lots of crafts stuff to be had. Just a really good time. Nothing was better than the daily walks to Kizilay when I took Turkish courses there!

8- Visit the cemeteries. On the first days I would want to go to the large cemetery where my father-in-law was laid to rest. I would pray, talk to him, plant something. And just be there taking in the energy. I would also want to spend time visiting the grave of my dear friend, my grandmother’s (although not in Ankara), any my yenge’s.)

9 – And of course, EAT!

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