Observations and Yummy things

It’s just past 4pm, and I am waiting for the boys to return from school. Nothing too interesting to report. Went to what will (hopefully, soon) be the place we will call ‘home’ to measure for curtains and blinds. Not much of a handyperson, I managed to cut myself and almost maim my neighbor (who helpfully accompanied me to assist in measurements) in the process. Who knew tape measurers were so lethal?

Although tiny, the yard there will be a treat for Zoya (aka ‘the dog’) after a few weeks of apartment living. In the meantime, she is trying to lap up the last remains of Monday’s snow, the taste of which is apparently better than the city tap water in her bowl (after tasting the tap water, can’t say I blame her).

No other post will be labeled “canine encounters #x” as I have realized that I will quickly hit double and triple digits. There is a canine encounter on every walk. Dare I say we are almost becoming blase about them?

Well, maybe not quite yet.

On yesterday’s afternoon walk, Zoya and I had descended half of Ulus Park’s 272 stairs when a pack emerged from the bordering trees and chased us back up to the top. No fan of the stairmaster, my heart was pounding by the time we hoofed our way to the top of the stairs. Nothing like the threat of teeth in one’s behind to put a spring in one’s step.

I am counting the days until we can move into our new location and start the settling-in process that will make it home. Our temporary apartment is great, but our things – and even we (as hubby is still traveling to and fro) – are scattered. I want to get unpacked, hang  curtains, set up playdates for kids and canine alike (ok, kids are too old for playdates, but you get the idea), establish a regular routine, and have a social calendar that doesn’t include meetings with (no offense) notaries, police officers, lawyers, customs officials and the like. On the upside, apartment living has motivated me to get creative with our dinner options…I now have a profile at Little Caesar’s Pizza and can even order online! Now if that isn’t progress, I don’t know what is.

In the meantime, the question from my first post about the small shoes on display in stores…apparently, Turks DO have smaller feet. I am not sure they are as small as the teensey-tiny shoes on display in stores, but, apparently, if you read the ‘preparing to move to Istanbul’ guides – which I obviously did not – larger shoe sizes (like the 12.5 size we need for an unnamed member of the family) should be procured before you move.  Hmmm, wonder if Zappos delivers to Turkey?

The other big observation of the day: honking. Turks do it. Russians did not. The traffic in Moscow and Istanbul are similarly nightmarish. Maybe the traffic pattern in Istanbul is more predictable than in Moscow. In Istanbul, you know that during morning and late-afternoon rush house you will sit in the car for the better part of an hour (or more; on Monday, due to the snow, it took my son 4 hours to travel home from basketball practice). In Moscow, on the other hand, you can be stuck in a traffic jam at 1:00AM, a time you generally do not expect to have to deal with traffic.

On the upside, it seems that Istanbulians, like Muscovites, are students of that school called ‘creative driving.’ Although I have yet to see a car cruising along a pedestrian’s sidewalk or zooming up a railroad track – as one often witnesses in Moscow – the weaving in-and-out of traffic and ability to create a parking space out of the most miniscule, precarious, and inconvenient (for others) spot is identical. Luckily, road rage seems to be absent here as it was in Moscow. I can’t imagine how an American would react if his car were gently nudged in the bumper by the car behind it, a way of saying ‘get a move on, buddy.’ I just hope I don’t pick up that habit before moving stateside.  I don’t relish a shotgun up my exhaust pipe.

Just returned form dinner with hubby. Went to a true Turkish-style meze restaurant. The waiter came with appetizers to choose from, an array of spicy, garlic-y, yoghurt-y, salad-y yummies served wtih warm puffed-up bread with toasted seeds.

(Pardon the absence of correct Turkish cuisine names… I’ll work on that as I eat my way through Istanbul…our shipment with a more forgiving range of jean sizes better arrive soon or all my jeans will have holes where the belt loop broke from the force of me trying to pull them up over my hips).

All of that was followed by some melted cheesy concoction in flakey pastry crusts. Which was followed by an assortment of chicken, beef and spicy kebab served with more warm (flat this time) bread and vegetables accompaniment.

And, after all of that, who were we to turn down dessert? I have no idea what we ate but there were 2 dishes: one green pistachio-tasting paste-like yum and another honey-phyllo-I-am-in-heaven thing.  Both went very well with the rich, creamy (none of that skim-milk-but-whole-fat-put-dimples-on-your-thighs, as if I needed more) vanilla ice cream.

Suffice it to say, we waddled the block-and-a-half back to our apartment building. Or, at least, I did. As always, I out-ate my better half.

Oh, well, life is short and diets are long.

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