Pets, potty, and play-acting
By 11AM it's already been a mixed day. I got up, cleaned my bathroom, cleaned and fed my dog, showered, and was feeling pretty good about the day, even though I seem to have broken my toilet while cleaning it. A problem I solved by pouring a big bottle of water down when I needed to flush it, figuring I would deal with a permanent fix later. I showered in my nice clean bathroom, packed up my laptop and was on my way.
I decided to stop in the pet store across the street and scope out Chloe supplies. I need to find a dog food she will eat and would like to get her a bed and maybe some treats. The nice guy at the counter let loose with a whole string of Turkish words when I walked in. Mixed in there was "hosgeldiniz" (welcome). I just say "merhaba" (hello) and they all seem to get that I don't speak Turkish. After a lot of gesturing I managed to explain that I have a dog, and learned my Turkish word for today, "kopek", which is the word for dog. It's much harder than you would think to explain even simple things. I tried to explain that I wanted smaller cans of dog food, but I think he thought I meant cheaper because he handed me a can of Pedigree and, yes, it's the same Pedigree. Finally I pointed at the number of grams on the can of food and he got that I wanted a smaller can, which they didn't have. Not surprising as I've seen only one small dog so far, a shitzu.
I thanked him and left and, feeling brave and not wanting to cross the street and all the crazy traffic on what is usually a quiet corner, I decided to stop in a hardware store and see if I could find a voltage converter. Apparently I do not have the acting skills to act out either "voltage" or "converter". After another stream of Turkish words containing "hosgeldiniz" and my American "merhaba" the nice hardware man sent his young son to try and help me. The poor thing tried, but I kept ending up with different outlet adaptors, and I would point at the word "volt" on a package and he would hand me a light bulb. When I left I think they were as confused as I was. So, there will be no new pictures except those I can take with my Mac until I find a converter so I can charge the batteries on my digital camera.
Then I was on my way to the cafe, to make lists and plans, figure out my cell phone, and try to be somewhat productive. Yesterday I practically stumbled across the cafe but today I had to keep getting out my map. The streets in this neighborhood curve and wind and turn back on themselves. I kept passing things I knew I had seen before but wasn't sure if they were supposed to be on my left or on my right, if I should head uphill or downhill. Finally I asked a man who was sitting on the street for directions. The men all seem to like sitting on the street, often in front of their stores or shops, sometimes alone, often in groups. It's a little intimidating at first, but harmless, and after awhile I usually get used to it. The women never sit on the street.
I tell the man the name of the street I'm looking for in what I hope is a polite, inquisitive tone since I don't know how to say "where is". He produces a loooong string of Turkish, somewhere mixed in there is the name of the street I need, along with what I think are other street names and probably some "turn right"s or "turn left"s. Luckily he points and so I go that way, thinking I can ask again if I need to but I do manage to find the cafe.
Above is a photo I took on my last trip. I live very near this street, and when I get to it I know I am near the cafe where the ex-pats hang out.