March 15, 2015

The weekend, so far.

The weather is colder today. It rained and thundered earlier. The sky is gray. I supposed the change rolled in sometime yesterday, as the wind gusts yesterday were like Nebraska's.

Yesterday, Alan and I went hiking with one of our good friends. We drove to the edge of a canyon and hiked down a washed out road. A flash flood had reeked havoc on this canyon sometime in the past year, and the downed trees were visual evidence.

The canyon itself was picturesque and idyllic. Spring's deceptive warmth glowed off of boulders as we scampered across them. A creek flowed next to us, pulling leaves and sticks through a winding maze of rocks, downed tree limbs, and small waterfalls.

We challenged each other to a barefoot cold water challenge in the creek. We dried off and headed back. The boys took a challenging climb back to the top of the canyon to see some sheep, and I headed back the way we came. I found the sheep trail and the big flock my own way.

We met up again to try slack lining--a flat rope hung between two trees. Our line was about 3 feet off of the ground. Alan and our friend were amazing at this feat of balance. I wasn't so much.

The cold wind had changed the sun to clouds, so we started to get cold. Back to the car.

We ordered Gözleme (like a quesadilla) and köfte (small hamburger shaped patties) at a local restaurant. We discussed the ups and downs of living abroad.

We dropped our friend off near the fence behind his house.

I drove the rest of the way home, including a precariously busy street.

About an hour later, we found a message from our friend that he had had an accident while scaling the fence. More or less getting lightly impaled in the thigh by one of the spikes atop the fence.

We decided that a hospital trip was definitely in order, so we picked him up for our first Turkish hospital visit. He was in surprisingly good spirits, but clearly needed stitches and a dose or two of iodine.

After a non-comprehensible conversation with the woman running the front desk, we found the emergency exam room. Our friend had lost a lot of blood and wasn't waking very well.

Alan accompanied his to the exam room, armed with my iPad to take photos. Our friend's sister wanted to see the damage. I stayed in the waiting area, as I am known to be super queasy.

About 30 minutes later, everything was taken care of. We tried to find an open pharmacy, which is nearly impossible on a Saturday night. The pharmacies rotate which will be open Saturdays, and it's only about six of them in the whole city. We didn't find one, but I took a picture of the list of open ones to show some of our friends later (we needed directions).

Instead of antibiotics, we decided that some Turkish fast food was the next best. We found a bakery serving pide (thin bread with cheese or meat--like a long, thin pizza) and lahmacun (sort of like a soft taco served with lemon juice and parsley). The meal was delicious, and for the first time in my life, I enjoyed drinking ayran (a popular salty, liquid yogurt drink).

We hung out for a few hours at his place for a beer, some time with a cat, and to make sure he was doing okay. It's hard to beat cat therapy in my opinion.

While I'm on the subject of therapy, some of the foreign female teachers and I went to the spa on Friday night. I paid for one of the best massages of my life (they are so much better if you have been craving one for eight months), and got a free scrub down by my colleagues in the Turkish bath. It was just what I needed. My skin is soft and glowing, and I think my shoulders now rest at least an inch lower than they were last week.

So far the weekend has been pretty unpredictable, so I'm hoping for an easy Sunday.