Saturday, March 6, 2010

April isn't the only cruel month

Wow. What a week that was. Even though I slept in until 7:00 today, and took a nap with the boys in the afternoon, I am not sure if that will do the trick. I don't know what made last week so long and tiring, because nothing out of the ordinary happened; no extra duties at work or long meetings.

Maybe it is March madness descending upon campus with the plants and trees budding green, yet the air remaining winter like. And even though I love cold and gray weather, I also look forward to the loamy smell of early spring, and slightly warmer days that are, at least here, the harbinger of spring in Istanbul. On a walk yesterday, we noticed the grass crowded and nearly bursting with beautiful white orchid flowers waiting to open wide their petals in celebration of the first warm ray of sun. Upon noticing them I said to Koray, "but it doesn't smell like spring." And it doesn't. It doesn't smell or feel like spring. I surely don't feel like spring. This lack of sprightliness is embodied by an avocado waiting patiently in the fridge to to be incorporated into a California roll. But I don't feel like cooking or eating cold foods just yet. Instead, I want to make bubbling sweet potato soup, cinnamony-warm rice pudding and carrot fritters; winter food.

It could be that I am forgetting what spring is like in Istanbul, since I feel like I am always too warm here. And maybe I go through this every spring, thinking that it is too cold for the trees to be budding and tulips to be breaking out of the wintry earth, when really, this is what early spring is like here. But seeing the dancing heads of daffodils in my neighbor's yard the other day stopped me dead in my tracks and made me think that the weather is just not right, that the natural balance is just slightly off.

Checking out the Besiktas fish market today, I was chilled to the bone, and found myself counting the minutes on the ferry ride back to our car. And I love the ferry. Sitting on the outside deck is something I do in all seasons, and always have since I arrived here. When we finally got home, for once I appreciated the powerful heating system in the lojmanlar, and after warming a mug of chocolate soy milk, I snuggled under our down comforter, accessorized with socks, a fleece, and a pashmina wrapped around my neck. This is winter behavior. But not really, because I felt hot all winter and slept with the windows open as much as Koray could stand it, usually clad only in a tank top and pajama bottoms (house pants). So I can't figure out what is going on other than my mind is having trouble navigating mother nature's mixed messages.

Koray just came in from fetching fresh bread from the firin (bakery) up the hill, and he reported that it was snowing. Snowing!

So, I will leave it at that and hope that the green, gold buds on the hydrangeas are a promise of warmer days.

I have posted some images from our visit to Ayasofya last weekend and the fish market from today. The purplish, beet looking things are purple carrots which turn a beautiful shade of deep purple when peeled and cut .

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