I don't live a life as "difficult" as most expats in Istanbul. I get my boxes from Amazon in 6-10 days without having to deal with Turkish customs, someone else handles my visa processing for me, and my car was shipped to me with what I suppose is a relatively minor amount of hassle. I live in an awesome country, where fresh fruit and vegetables are cheap and something is always in season. This city is beautiful, and I find something new to love about it every day, it seems. So why in the hell is it so tragic that I can't find any salsa or tortilla chips in this country??
Theoretically I can get chips and regular salsa through the commissary shipment we get every two weeks from Ankara, but the Tostitos supply get bought up within hours, and this girl rolls at a slightly higher class than Pace picante sauce. I've resorted to importing massive quantities of Trader Joe's double-roasted salsa (lovingly shipped one or two bottles a month by my mother, who knows I'd eat them all up in a day if I had them all available - donations accepted!) by APO, and while I've tried the various forms of potato chips on the market here, none of them really make the cut. (Seriously, the flavors are weird. There are entire rows of Ruffles that I don't want to identify.)
I've tried making my own salsa, with tomatoes and peppers and onions and garlic and a few spices. While the result is tasty, it's more like a Lebanese take on pico de gallo than the salsa we all know and love. I've also tried making my own tortilla chips by broiling lavash that I've brushed with olive oil and salt, with mixed results. 1/3 of the time I use too much oil, 1/3 of the time too much salt. Sometimes I use too much of both, and one time in five I forgot the bread's in the oven until it sets off a smoke alarm. When it works, though, it's magical - almost like a taste of home to scoop up my delicious, contraband salsa.
It's a hard life I lead, you know.