There are a few ways in which I’ve been gone: I took a trip; I went shopping; I got sick. Then there’s the part of me that’s permanently checked out–into a corner of my brain I like to call DreamySpaceLandofTooMuchWineandReading.
For all of those reasons, I thank Vicky for allowing me to share her tortured tale here. Yesterday, she and Mr P went to court again; I haven’t heard yet how things shook out, but all my digits are crossed for an outcome that consists of pain for Evil Mehmet.
Anyhow, I’ve been pipping along the continuum from bliss to–how do you say it in your country?–the shits.
Bliss came from our family’s ten-day vacation to the Mediterranean (aka The Turquoise Coast). Because we’re trying to visit as many of the various pockets of Turkey as we can during our time here, it seemed a sacrifice we had to make. It was unbelievable. We spent two nights in Antalya, three nights in Cirali, three nights in Kas, and then returned for two more nights in Cirali, as it had won the hearts of each member of the family. A full post about this vacation, along with an extended slideshow of photos, can be seen at www.layingfallow.com/turkeyblog.
Once we got home, we headed to Urgup to the weekly market, so that we could re-up on produce…and as long as we were there, we decided to try one more time to track down the elusive “used kilim” shop that is rumoured to be The Place to satisfy one’s kilim hankerings without flattening one’s partial-pay-this-year wallet. After yet another frustrating wander around the auto repair district of Urgup, after asking several Turks who work in that district but being told no such used kilim shop exists, we got lucky: Groom spotted wicker in a window and, in a leap of extrapolation, said, “I think that’s it. Where there’s wicker, there are rugs.” We wandered in and were taken to the cramped–delightfully so–upstairs, which is full of stack after stack of folded kilim rugs. The owner’s son, one sweating Mustafa, spent an hour taking down rugs, throwing them out on the floor, creating a growing pile of possibilities. The prices quoted were beyond fair, less than a 5′ x 7′ synthetic piece of nothing would be a J.C. Penney’s back home. So we ended up with four rugs, a big pillow cover made out of kilim, a set of kilim bicycle panniers for Groom’s new cargo bike which already awaits his return in a neighbor’s garage, and a firm intention to return. Because, really. As soon as we had paid, I realized we hadn’t even considered small rugs, say, for in front of the kitchen sink…or for Christmas presents (start your suckupage now: you still have time to make the cut!). Our time in the kilim shop was sort of like ten days on The Turquoise Coast, only condensed into an hour and smelling like sweat and mothballs. At any rate, it was dazzlingly good time.
Less thrilling was the nasty stuff that set into my bowels a day or two later, not only causing screaming mi-mi runs to the toilet every 20 minutes, but also sending me into shivers and shakes that could only calm if I suckered up to Groom, the human radiator, while he slept. For two days, I was tapped out, unable to leave my perch on the bed save for trips to the bathroom. I’d be caught in that cycle still, were it not for a lovely and gracious expat neighbor who sent over three pills of Sipro out of her precious stash from the U.S. I wish I’d known about Sipro when we first arrived, when I experienced three unrelenting months of Crabby Bowels, but at least, in the midst of that bout, I still had energy and will. This time around was dramatically different, in terms of how tapped out and nonfunctional I felt. In fact, I was so flat and feverish that it was all I could do to lie horizontally and watch multiple episodes off iTunes of TOP CHEF: JUST DESSERTS. And, as is true of every low time in one’s life: lessons can be learned. For me, after two days of slouching around tragically, I came away with new knowledge: them pastry chefs are a vicious lot. Oh, and also: a generous neighbor can get you back on your feet.
Thus, as of this typing, I’m on the mend–still not completely myself, but at least myself enough to fake it–and looking forward to an afternoon at said neighbor’s astoundingly beautiful house. Our family gets to help her pot a bunch of annuals so that her house is in prime shape…when a reporter from the New York Times shows up in a week or so to do a spread on the place. Seriously, it’s one of the most sensorily pleasing places I’ve ever been to.
You better bet I’m taking my camera when we head over to “help pot the flowers.” (pictures to follow!) In the meantime, below are some photos from our time on the Mediterranean along with a few of our new kilims. Sometimes, I wonder how much more texture and light and color my body can absorb (and expel) before I hit my limit.
Ah, it would appear fortunate then that I don’t believe in limits.