Sunday, November 11, 2012


It's been a "meh" sort of day. It only really stands out because I haven't really felt much of anything at all today. Except maybe ennui. A bit of angst, but mostly "meh."

So remember last week when I wrote a story? I was pretty pleased with it. But they're not giving me the money, even though in my humblest of opinions, I think they totally should have. Or to that woman in South Africa. Or the one in Tanzania. Those were fucking good.

I got Special Mention.

The thing about Special Mention, though, is that I would have felt a whole hell of a lot more special if they gave me money with that special mention.

Meh. What are you gonna do?

LE lost another tooth today, right before bed. That's a happysad kind of thing. Which means it's two huge feelings that kind of even out into no feeling. Meh.

Last night was weird, kind of.

And yesterday was the day when everyone drops what they're doing for a minute or two to think about Atatürk, who died at 9.05 on November 10, 1938. I don't know why the hell I was awake at 9.05am on a boy-less Saturday morning, but I was. Some traffic stopped, but not all of it. The minibus yard went eerily silent, though. No power washers or horns or horns with bells or Laz music and even the guy who was banging out a wall with a sledgehammer gave it a rest. Then the high school started blasting the İstiklal Marşı and that was the end of that.

Part of me still isn't used to the personality cult of Atatürk and part of me totally gets it. I have pictures of him in my house and everything. I like the one where he's drinking Turkish coffee, looking a little sad. A couple of weeks ago, we were driving back from Kilyos after some mangal with the in-laws. Cumhuriyet Bayramı was nigh, and my father-in-law was trying to impress the importance of Atatürk on LE, going on about democracy and how he saved us all and a bunch of other stuff LE doesn't really get.

LE said, "Dede, Atatürk is dead."

"Yes," he replied. "But he lives in our hearts."

LE whacked me. "See, mama? I told you."

And the weirdscarycute thing is that he totally had. Lots of times before.


Nomad said...

I had a theory that every time you step into the office of an authority (of any kind)in Turkey, you should check out the kind of Ataturk picture that's hanging on the wall.
There were so many of him taken or painted that the choice tends to reveal things about the person that chose That particular image. I haven't thought it out totally and completely. It could be the image symbolizes the image the beholder wants to project.
Then again I could be wrong. It's happened once or twice before.

Stranger said...

You're totally right, Nomad, though I hadn't thought about it. I mean, there's the kind of picture people have because they have to have a picture. But then there are the ones that thought about it a little or a lot, and chose just the right ones...

I haven't thought about it beyond that, though. But this coffee picture isn't really an office picture. It's more of a home picture. Or a secondary picture in an office next to the big one. In retrospect, better things come from offices where you see the picture of Atatürk in the checked vest with the kid. Or one of him with women.

I actually think it's the limited number of photos that makes this kind of extrapolation possible. Can you imagine trying to choose just the right Atatürk picture in the digital age?

BacktoBodrum said...

When my daughter came home from school aged six and told me that her teacher had said that it was OK for her to love her anne and baba but she had to love Ataturk more, I decided it was time to find a nice little primary school in a UK village.

Stranger said...


Ayak said...

My favourite Ataturk pic is the one I posted on my blog on Saturday of him in his study with his dog...well you know I'm crazy about dogs!

Shame about the contest...but at least you got a mention..I got nothing. I was rather surprised at the number of professional writers who entered, which would certainly deter me from entering again.

Almost American said...

I just read the winning entry. Meh! I liked yours much better!

Stranger said...

Hey, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Spent the whole weekend reading ALL of your blog posts! I am the silly woman who post the last comment on your entry. I take back all the shitty advice I gave. You probably know Istanbul way better than I do and you write beautifully.

Stranger said...

Wow, thanks, Nur! And thanks for this comment.

It's interesting all the things you mentioned that can be found here-- this city has changed so fast! For example, Milupa had just appeared here around the time my son was starting solids (about 5 years ago), and it was like 15tl a jar. So, yeah, I could have bought it, but I couldn't make myself. There was a newly-opened a Gymboree in Yeşilköy at that time, but we were living in Beylikdüzü (I don't drive) and it was like 60tl and hour. So... no. Even if my ex had agreed to participate in such a thing, I don't think I could have. Melissa & Doug toys appeared in the last few years, and I didn't have private health till I started working 2.5 years ago (my son is still on his dad's SGK). And actually, there have always been a lot of cool things here for kids, like judo :) and music classes, but it's always been limited to the very wealthy-- only recently have they become a little more accessible. I think it's great these things are starting here and I'm sorry I missed out on them when my kid was a baby, but now we're kind of used to just being regular people. It was probably good for me to let go of my old "normal" and find a new one I can live with.

Thanks again for your comments in both places!