Saturday, June 27, 2009

In Ankara + Circumcision Party...

Well we left Armutlu Vacation Village and went by ferry back to Istanbul & spent the last night there at Orhan's friend's Mehmet's house. His parents were there too & the kids tried to play together but not very successfully - Mehmed wanted to use AbdulMejid's toys and Abdul Mejid didn't want to share. They were kind of fighting a few times and finally somebody hit him back! He didn't like that at all. Unfortunately it didn't teach him any lessons either - here in Ankara he kept on hitting the son of Orhan's cousin (aged 7 & 1/2) who wouldn't fight back and in fact went out to the store and bought Mehmed a lollipop even after he kept hitting him. He also took me "secretly" aside just to tell me that if I needed any help with my Turkish I should come and ask him & his mom. LOL, so sweet.

The next morning we got up at 7 & went by taxi to the bus station & took the bus to Ankara. Mehmed was mostly well behaved for the bus ride except when he randomly decided to flick the head of the man in front of us, and towards the end when he started to get really bored (it was about a 5 hr bus ride) and his crashing noises started to get way too loud - the bus host came back to see what he was doing. Oh and the head flick reminded me of when we were in Istanbul walking around the park of Sultan Ahmet (Blue Mosque) & Aya Sofia when he randomly decided to kick the dangling foot of a man who was sitting with his leg crossed on a park bench. Ummmm... can anyone say embarassing? I'm hoping some of that impulsive stuff really stops now that he's off the medication.

We arrived safely at Orhan's sister's place last Tuesday afternoon (June 23?) and the last 2 weeks have been hectic which is why I haven't had any time to open the computer until now. His niece's wedding was on Friday June 26th and there was a parade of guests constantly coming and going and she was always feeding them all. You should have seen the quantities of food they bought and prepared. Wow. Canadian Weddings are definately easier to host.

Mehmed is warming up to hearing Turkish all the time and he does make little efforts to speak. As long as he's in an agreeable mood he will copy what you prompt him to say as long as it's relatively short. If you try to make him say a long sentence he usually just screams and then cries that he can't speak Turkish yet. But when he's in a good mood he says he already knows Turkish but that he only speaks English to me because I don't know it yet. lol. Everybody tells me that my Turkish is getting a lot better but man does my tongue ever trip over words so easily. And Turkish words can be so similar to each other so sometimes I mean to say one thing and I say something completely different. I also have to be really careful not to use the word "Sick" out loud here because in Turkish it's the "F" word only with a vulgarity factor 10 times worse than the F word. So I either have to remember to whisper or use the word "ill" which kind of sucks because Mehmed really doesn't know that word. And the poor boy has been sick a lot so I'm sure people around here are wondering why on earth Orhan's wife & son have such foul mouths....

Anyways, on Wednesday night, Orhan's friend Nihat (who lives in Canada) called for us to come to his son's circumcision party. Islamically all men are obliged to be circumcised and over here they usually do it for boys who are around 6 years old - they are old enough to understand what is going on and also to appreciate the big fuss that is made over it. Nihat's son is only 2 & 1/2 so he is a bit young but I guess they did it because they probably don't know when they are coming back to Turkey and it is definately easier to do here than in Canada.

This is Nihat with his daughter Jayda & son Alper (the boy whose circumcision we were celebrating). Incidentally, Jayda is also the girl who Mehmed thinks he's going to marry when he grows up, even though she has already made it clear that she's going to be a Doctor and has no intentions of getting married. LOL.

Anyways the circumcision party was interesting. It was just in the middle of the street and they had speakers up with a DJ playing music. People were just dancing in the street and during the entire night I think only 1 or two cars wanted to pass by.

Mehmed LOVED it - once he got used to the loudness of the music (it was REALLY) loud, he was running all over the place trying to dance. I guess it is just his type of thing & a great way to get out his overabundant energy. He was also greatly amused by a man who was dancing and doing some little tricks - he danced with a watermelon on his head, a glass of water on his head, and they placed the glass of water on the ground & he got down and drank it without using his hands (except to hold himself in a push-up position). He was very entertaining.

They also fired off a gun into the air several times. I guess it's something people do at some parties. I am certain that not everyone does it because nobody did it at either the Henna night or the wedding for Orhan's niece. But the gun was definately real, here are the casings to prove it....

I also made a video of little clips from throughout the night. Most of it I already talked about - dancing in the street, Mehmed loving it, firing guns, etc. There is also the Henna - that is a tradition which is done when celebrating something. The Henna here was supposed to be first given to the little boy who was circumcised, although I have no idea if they actually got any onto him. Then they spread it on the hands of the guests to symbolize the celebration and having fun. The video is kind of long but might be interesting to see some traditional Turkish dancing (albeit not very crowded), the Henna tradition and Mehmed having tons of fun....

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