Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Start of Tourist Season, Plus Other Housekeeping Notes

Happy Paskalya, Pesach, Mevlid, and Armenian Remembrance Day - lucky me, all of them overlap this year, which makes Mission Turkey's religious issues reporting officer a wee bit busy.

My mother and friend Katelyn came to visit me for two weeks earlier in the month (after postponing her planned trip in November), which was amazing. Some members of our extended family have been having health issues for the last few months, so the fact that my mother was able to leave for two weeks of vacation was a minor miracle in and of itself.  I took a week off work and played the role of a tourist with them for a few days - it was a lot of fun to see things that I'd been waiting to visit until she came to town.

Right now Jess, one of my dear friends from Riyadh, is visiting me with some of her friends from high school.  Jess currently works at our embassy in Cyprus, which means that she can't fly directly from Nicosia to Turkey - hence why we haven't seen each other that much in the last year, despite the fact that our posts are geographically very close to each other.

After Jess leaves on Thursday, I've got more guests coming throughout the month of May to stay with me, including (gulp) Eric's parents.  I can definitely tell that high tourism season has begun!  (So much that the person who manages our housing pool at the Consulate sent me a very polite email asking why my apartment's utility usage is so much higher than the building average.   It turns out if you have four to five people staying in an apartment that normally only has one resident you use more electricity and water.  Who knew?)

Thanks to you all who've sent me blog links to be included in the blog bundle - updated here, with a new total of 408.  Theresa at subjectverbobject wins the prize for being the 400th blog to go on the list.  Hurrah for you!  (Even if I do prefer VSO languages.)

More posting to follow this week - lots of photos and stories to share, including seeing dolphins in the Sea of Marmara, diabetes-inducing pictures of me and Eric, and the various Easter ceremonies I've attended in the last few days as part of my job responsibilities.  But right now, Beej and I are enjoying a quiet moment between cable drafting and cooking dinner.  Priorities, people - a snuggly kitty is always more important than the internet!  (Unless he's amusingly captioned.)

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me! (ish)

Last 27 March, I took my blog public for the first time.  And I just noticed, this is my 200th post since I started the blog in 2007, right after I got the call to join the 136th A-100.

Sorry for the radio silence since I've returned - and yes, I did get my bags back from United, finally.  I won't go into the details, but Turkish politics have gotten a bit interesting of late...  which has kept me busy at work.  But the best news...  my mom and my best friend Katelyn are coming to see me next week!!!  Trees and flowers are just starting to bloom now, so I'm hoping it will be pretty for their arrival.  (And, more importantly, not cold and rainy like today.)