Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Turkiye Komur Isletmeleri - TKI Didim

Orhan's sisters husband Sait (whom we call Said Eniste, since "Enishte" depicts his relationship to us as "Brother-in-law) has access to this vacation spot outside of Didim called Turkiye Komur Isletmeleri which is basically the headquarters for the Turkish Coal Workers, but it's a vacation village where your meals are all-inclusive. It's on the Sea about 10 km East of Didim. We stayed there from July 9th-19th with Orhan's sister (Kiymet Abla), her husband (Sait Eniste), her daughter Derya, Derya's husband Fatih Eniste and their son Efe (Mehmed's little cousin). Orhan's brother's family also joined us there, Uzeyir Abi, Gulsen Yenge, & their grown up kids Mikail & Ayse. It was nice to stay at the beach with family while we waited for Orhan to come back from his Army obligation.... here is a photo of the beach site from TKI and Mehmed on the dock enjoy the evening breeze....
Mehmed's favorite part was going to the "Disco" every night which is part of the TKI site, and dancing like crazy. Definately his cup of tea. He actually thinks he's a pretty good dancer but omg does he ever have 2 left feet. I wish I had it on video but unfortunately it was dark and I didn't bring the nightshot cam with us.

Mehmed loving his cousin Efe

Mehmed has been loving his little cousin Efe since we met him in Ankara - Efe is 2 & 1/2 and he calls Mehmed "Abi" - according to Turkish culture you have to address people older than you with some kind of a title which depicts your relationship to them - "Abi" means "Older Brother" (in Turkish, brother extends to more people than just your literal brother) - Mehmed LOVES that - he's like, I'm a big brother now, and he adores Efe.

I had a hard time snapping good pictures of them but they love each other so sweetly - give kisses & hugs & stuff - here's one that I caught...

And Mehmed can't wait to get back to Ankara to see his little "brother" Efe....

Monday, July 27, 2009

Beautiful Bodrum

Well I have barely had opportunities to have internet access but here I am now ın an ınternet cafe!
After Orhan left to the army on July 1st Mehmed and I were in Ankara with his family and Mehmed LOOOVES hıs lıttle cousın Efe. He calls hım hıs lıttle brother. He was rough wıth hım a couple of tımes and I remember one day he told me he wanted to put ALL the lıttle kıds ın jaıl so they wouldnt touch hıs toys. But they love more than they hate and rıght now Mehmed ıs mıssıng Efe more than anythıng.
We spent 10 days ın a lıttle Vacatıon vıllage where all meals were ıncluded and we spent all day on the beach - that was wıth hıs famıly. I thınk everyone realızed just how dıffıcult Mehmed can be sometımes especıally at mealtımes.
After my ınlaws all left the TKI Kamp on July 19th Mehmed and I stayed alone at a Bed & Breakfast untıl Orhan arrıved. Then we vısıted Altınkum & Dıdım and now we are ın Bodrum. Weve drıven all the hılly roads whıch ALL have gorgeous mountaın vıews. I cant even post any of our pıctures because I am not typıng from the laptop.

Here ıs a link to a map:

Here ıs a lınk to google ımages - the WHOLE regıon ıs really breathtakıng. We are serıously thınkıng about buyıng some land here to buıld on later.

We have a rental car whıch ıs a bıg relief and the ferry boat to datça carries automobıles so we are savıng a lot of road tıme. The weather has been SO hot Mehmed sometımes crıes that he wıshes ıt was zero degrees. He gets great bıg beads of sweat on hıs face. But we stop a few tımes a day to swım. That ıs somethıng really nıce about Turkey there are a lot of places on the sıde of the road where you can stop and swım and every town seems to have a free beach too. Earlıer we had mantı (Turkısh ravioli ın Yogurt sauce) ın a restaurant by the seasıde. I just wısh I could post the pıctures but even they cant show how nıce ıt ıs. Anyways that ıs about all the tıme I have - I am startıng to mıss Canada sometımes * especıally my own bed dresser and closet * lıvıng out of a suıtcase can be a real pain. p.s. sorry about the punctuatıon turkısh keyboards are also a paın.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The night of Thursday June 25th we went to Orhan's niece's Henna night.
Her name is Sevgi & the groom's name is Erkan.
In Turkey, there are several stages to getting married. We missed the first stage, which was the engagement - first the boys' family comes to ask the girls' family for permission to marry her. In older times, they didn't use to date, they would just come and ask permission, and then the dating period would be during the engagement. Nowadays in Turkey though, usually the boys family only comes because the boy & girl have already known each other for a while and they want to get married. So anyways, we missed that part, last year. Shortly after both parties agree to a marriage, they bride and groom perform an Imam Nikah - this is an Islamically recognized marriage. The same day they go the the government and get their government recognized marriage. Then the engagement period follows.
In Sevgi's case (Orhan's niece) it was a year because they wanted to wait for their Canadian relatives to come. In Derya's case (Sevgi's older sister), she didn't want to wait, when she got engaged, they had their wedding 3 months later (in 2002). We missed that one unfortunately.
Anyways, after the engagement period there are two nights to the wedding - the Henna night - and then the wedding. The Henna night is maybe something like a bachelorette party. It used to be that the men and the women celebrated it separately, but now most families have it mixed.
Basically the bride's family gets together and dances a lot, and then the groom's family arrives to join the fun - then they do the Henna - they sing a song about how sad it is that the bride is no longer going to live with her family - usually there is crying but this time the bride made her family promise not to cry, or she would cry and her make up would smear. They kept their promise.
The grooms family wants to spread Henna in the hand of the bride, but they have to give her a gift first or she won't open her hand - they put in a piece of gold (the gold tokens are fairly standard here, worth about $80 Turkish Lira or $60 Canadian). Then she opens her hand to receive the Henna. The bride's family does the same for the groom. The Henna symbolizes the celebration and the fun that everyone is having. Mehmed desperately wanted the Henna in his hand, but unfortunately we missed it - the grooms family chose to hand out individual packets instead of spreading Henna, and we were not in the room when they did that.
But just like at the circumcision party, Mehmed had lots of fun running everywhere and pretending to dance. He was quite dirty by the end of the night. I made another video, again a little bit long, but to see the different types of dancing (the chain dance is very traditional here and is called Halay- pronounced ha-lie), the bride and groom (he wears traditional green and she wears traditional red) and the Henna ceremony. You can also see Mehmed poking his nose as close as possible to the middle of the action everywhere you turn....Enjoy...
Oh and P.S. I had my scarf styled at a hairdresser who also does scarves. It turned out pretty neat and only cost $30 Turkish Lira ($23 or so Cdn)...