Ups and Downs: Setting Out

Since coming to Turkey, we’ve heard at least three really awful stories of real estate transactions gone bad.  In each case, these tales of being rooked have involved foreigners (even those married to Turks) attempting to buy property from Turks who see the outsiders as open wallets rather than warm hearts who have fallen in […]

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Closer We Are to Pork

Mmmmmmm. What I crave more than anything during this year in Turkey is something lusciously fatty, thoroughly smoked, noticeably aged–something that either snaps crisply or wobbles slightly when laid on a platter. Silly poppets:  no matter how many martinis you’ve had already today, do not err and peg the above as self-description.  Because then–oddly–you’d be thinking that I came to […]

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The Village People

Sitting in an academic conference room, I served on the search committee that hired him as Dean of Liberal Arts & Sciences. His scholarship on the writer Christopher Isherwood impressed me, as did his pragmatism and belief in the transformational power of education. Walking down the narrow, uneven street to our 400-year-old Greek house rental, […]

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Bella Donna

I’ve been asking questions since we got to Turkey. Startlingly often, people have not been able to answer them.  Certainly, some people vamp a bit and try to drum up something that might satisfy; others drop open their yaps and carry on for several minutes before trailing off, looking sheepish at their lack of conclusion; […]

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The Shape of a Girl

Bjork once described herself by saying:  “I am a fountain of blood in the shape of a girl.”  Although I like how her thinking strips away all pretense while still acknowledging the overlay of gender, I wish her words had gone on to include the importance of whimsy: “I’m a fountain of blood in the shape of a girl draped in the […]

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A Fine Cargo

A few days ago, I said to my husband, “So I’m about to turn 44. What the hell is that?” Barely looking up from the curry he was stirring, he replied, “You’ll be divisible by 11. That’s what 44 is.” Aside from smartass responses and the fact that my husband recently wore a pot of […]

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The Only Thing I Missed Was Joe Strummer

“By seeing London, I have seen as much of life as the world can show.” –Samuel Johnson Personally, I think Samuel Johnson might have gotten a little something out of Thailand or Uzbekistan, too, but his point is taken. London is full of awesome. Usually. When I was there last fall with Groom and the […]

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