If you are entertaining in Turkey, particularly with a multi-dish sort of affair like mezes or breakfast (which is a multi-dish sort of affair here, all individual pots of jam and cheeses) the terminology is that you are preparing a 'table'. I like this. Every story I hear of some host or other outdoing themselves in their hospitality involves what a marvellous table they've prepared. I always have an image of someone sanding down a wooden table leg.
I got sucked into girl logic the other day whilst shopping. I generally don't do haggling cos of the generalised shopping loathing and life being too short, but it's been pissing down with rain here recently and I have no casual shoes apart from sandals, so I had to buy some new ones, plus had nearly run out of my month's salary so money was of particular concern. I managed to bargain down some shoes which were already much reduced due to being end of line efforts found in a bargain type shop. Was so overjoyed at getting the bloke to agree to take the note I was waving at him without insisting on more that I didn't actually check the shoes fit properly. So now I have a very nice pair of very quality very cheap shoes that I can't actually walk in.
S's new hobby is turning out to be really handy. She goes out fishing for the afternoon, which not only has the not-insignificant upside of having a soothing effect on whatever the latest work disaster motivated mood is, not only gives me space for piddling about on the internets and playing guitar loudly and wailing along in accompaniment in unselfconcious peace, but also means that she brings home a nice big free bag of fish for supper. I have a theory that there is some conservation of stone-age lifestyle at work here - we may have moved into a place with central heating and therefore are not going to have to spend this winter gathering wood and then burning it for heat, but by gods we are going to hunt and catch our food.
I spend too much time on internet forums.
My turkish is getting better. Slowly, slowly, slowly. I can't believe how slowly. I am also surprised, although I don't bleedin' know why, at how binary a process it is not turning out to be. When first coming I had this idea in mind that in x number of months I'd be able to speak turkish, like they'd be a markable point before which I didn't know what was going on and after which I did. Of course not, plonker. It's an extra few words a day I'm recognising in daily talk, it's 45 minutes on a basic newspaper article instead of an hour, it's realising that - despite knowing full well I am understanding a fraction of what's being said and that I'm speaking in a horrendous bill and ben mockery of turkish, I have nonetheless negotiated entire situations successfully with the correct end result in a foreign language.
And on a final and serious bummer note - talking domestic politics with Turks is an incredibly frustrating affair. Some of the views expressed can make your head spin, coming from what seems to be such an obstinate and entrenched world view as they do. And then someone blows themselves up in the crowded central square of Istanbul on a sunny Sunday where republic day celebrations are planned, and you remember that the context here is not the same as back home, and maybe begin to understand a bit.