I slept in the Sultanahmet apartment last night. I slept very well and slept in until 10:30—my first real sleep-in since I arrived two weeks ago. Of course I was exhausted having been up until 2:00 in the morning, cleaning and rearranging the apartment. I arrived at 9:00 last night, later than expected due to a taxi dilemma, and had to go see Galip right away so he could set up my computer for the wireless. The wireless is another thing I don’t understand. When I asked Musa if it is possible for me to get wireless in my apartment he said Galip was getting it and I can just use his. Of course I offered to pay part of it but Musa shrugged me off. So either it is free, or Galip will tell me my share when the bill arrives. Either way is fine as I would have gotten it myself and now that is one less thing I have to do.
This apartment really is an embarrassment of riches. I don’t have to set up the gas or electric or cable, buy furniture, deal with the internet set-up, or any of those things which call for deposits and time spent running from place to place. I don’t even have to clean, but I prefer to do my own cleaning and not use the cleaning woman Musa arranges.
I just came back from hours in a café eating, drinking coffee, drinking tea, and watching the Sultanahment café guys try to talk tourists into their cafes. Then I stopped to see Erkan and ask him where in the neighborhood I can buy cleaning supplies, and after he finished up with some customers, including the governor’s wife and her security woman, he walked me to the store. I felt like a charwoman walking back, through the crowds of tourists, past the Blue Mosque with my bucket and mop and rags.
I greeted the nice shopkeepers down the block who stayed open for me last night when I was desperate for water and juice and manage a few Turkish phrases. They wanted to know what I’m doing with the mop and bucket and I have some trouble explaining. They ask if I’m staying in the hotel and don’t understand when I say, no, a house beside the hotel. Then I say “Musa” and they get it.
On my way into the building I pass Musa on his way out. He is heading to his weekend house for a few days. This morning when I came down his atelier door was open so I stopped in to say hello and he asked me to bring my dog down to meet him. He was thrilled with her and wanted her to run around and explore and I told him when she is more comfortable with him she will dance for him. She was a little subdued by finding herself in yet another new surrounding and probably wondering if I was going to move her into yet another home.
Musa gave me some of those yummy peppers they serve with everything here. They are long and thin and green and mildly hot, and he grew them in the garden out back. I like them in salads or served lightly grilled with meat and now that I have fresh homegrown food I’ll have to get busy figuring out how to cook here. He wrapped them up in a paper cone for me, which made them seem even better somehow.
I walk into my apartment and it’s so nice. The light is good and the air moves through. All the windows are open and I’ve had to prop all the doors open so they don’t blow closed. Even now at 4:00 it’s quiet, just a few children playing outside in the street and the workmen still working a few blocks away. I go into the kitchen to put my things away and the floor is really hot under my feet from the sun.
The wind blows so hard through here that it has blown all my scarves off the dresser and onto the floor. Even the sheets have been turned back by the wind, and after I smooth them they are immediately turned back again.
The sun is still high, but I think soon it will start sinking toward the sea and I may have to close the windows and turn on the air conditioner as the sun is very hot and strong today. I’m looking forward to watching the sunset from my windows. It's funny, I was so worried about finding an apartment here and now I have two perfectly lovely places!