Sunday, November 28, 2010


I'm totally loving autumn this year. It's my favorite season anyway, but this year it seems especially nice. Maybe that's just because of some shift that's happened in my frame of mind.

It smells really good, and the light is nostalgia orange for much of the day. People burn a lot of coal out here, and I guess I've been here long enough for the smell to evoke good memories, or any memories at all. I'll probably be less pleased when it gets colder and my nose is full of black shit. At least it smells good.

LE has discovered the goodness of crunching through leaves. I try not be worried that there might be dog poo or fish guts under them, since those things were often on the sidewalk before the leaves fell down. I just really don't want to be the kind of mom who would interfere with the pure bliss of crunching through leaves even though I know there's a good chance of dog poo or fish guts or goodness knows what else. I refrain from crunching through them myself.

And it's probably because I like it where we are now, that I like autumn so much this year. We have neighbors who pop out and talk to us and try to kiss LE or pinch his cheeks. There are people shouting all over, and street animals, and farm animals and rides on minibuses, all of which LE finds delightful except when the minibuses are crowded and he gets squished. The closest market to us is Şok, a kind of discount outlet for a bigger supermarket, where the overstock and close-dated items come. Şok sucks for vegetables most of the time, and I wouldn't eat the meat there, but they're fine for other stuff. The two employees there know us, since LE and I stop there on the way home from school several nights a week.

Of course, they love LE. Not just because he's extremely cute and bilingual, but also because he's three and little. Every time we go there, LE and I have several arguments about candy and toys that he's not going to have. For a month and a half, he's been fixated on these cheap Power Ranger knockoff toys. I don't even know how he knows what a Power Ranger is, but he can't get these toys out of his mind, even when I show him how they're crappy imitations with their heads coming apart. So every time we go to Şok, there's a noisy bilingual argument about the Power Rangers, where all the other shoppers stand around watching in amusement. It always ends with LE throwing himself on the floor.

And no matter what, a teyze always materializes to inform me that the floor is cold, or dirty, or both, or that LE will get cold, or sick, or both. Where these teyzes come from I'll never know, but there always seems to be an abundance of them just out of sight, especially when a child does one of the myriad things that can make him sick. Even if the kid just runs, someone always pops out of nowhere to say, "Don't sweat!" It's insane. Once, I told him in English, "You hear that? Teyze says your going to get sick and die," to which he stopped crying and replied, "Şaka yapıyorsun! (You're joking)" That's pretty much what he says to me anytime I try to repeat something Turkish people are always telling him.

So the other night, BE and LE were having a Man Night while I was at Turkish lessons. They went to Şok, where LE took BE by the hand and led him straight to the Power Rangers. "Mama said you can buy me these," he told BE, who feels guilty for never being around and pretty much buys LE whatever crap he wants, and then some. So BE bought him two Power Rangers and a huge bag of gummi bears. The cashier, witness to the Power Rangers issue several times a week, said to LE, "So you finally got them," and BE had no idea what she was talking about.

Naturally, the imitation Power Ranger broke shortly after LE got it home. Its leg fell off and wouldn't go back on. A few days later I had to take LE to Şok again. Outside, he stated telling me about the sorts of Power Rangers he hoped to purchase this time. When he included the red one in the list, I reminded him he already had a red one. His lip started to tremble, and he said the red one was broken. I tried a lame-ass mom response like, "So? Now that one's the coolest, because he's a one-legged Power Ranger." No dice. I started telling him about the drummer for Def Lepard, but he didn't give a shit about that, not that I blame him. The bouncing into jumping into full-fledged tears started, and because he was tired he let me cuddle him. For a few minutes, he just sobbed "Two legs! Two legs! Mama, I want two legs! Mama!" I reassured him by promising to make the Power Ranger some super special tape underpants.

Conversations with kids are really weird. I still didn't buy him more Power Rangers, though.


Steph said...

That is so funny- I absolutely know how you feel- go Şok :) go Teyzes :)I've been too busy to read your blog for a while but you've just made me laugh out loud in the office- thanks :) Sarıyer's much nicer than B.Düzü well done take care

toastytoasty said...

Sariyer's much nicer than B.Duzu is a bit of an understatement!


Stranger said...

Understatement indeed, but happily it remains true every day.

Steph, I've started polling Turkish people on the proper responses to the Teyzes. I might have to post about it because whatever I say seems ineffective.

toastytoasty said...

Congratulations on getting out of Beylikduzu but I still miss the damn place.


Stranger said...

Aw, sorry to hear that toasty. You must be missing this old place a lot to be missing Beylikdüzü.

I admit I miss having Real, Bauhaus, and Media Markt just a stone's throw away.

Hope you had a nice holiday, and best wishes for the new year. May it be better than this one!

toastytoasty said...

Thanks, I am not doing too badly and am back in the UK now for the hols. No contact with my wife and don't know what she is doing re divorce etc. Stil no news is good news.

Am back on eltworld-but not for long I fear