Turkey 2013

NOTE:  When Sharon adds comments, they will be in {curly brackets}.  Comments added AFTER coming back to San Jose are in [square brackets].


Report 2. Day 2.  Sunday, September 29, 2013. Little Day. Pizza, Costco-like Metro, Popcorn


In the past, when on overseas trips and staying in cities, we like to alternate Big Day/Little Day. After yesterday's big day, we need a little day. Since it's a little day, here's a little joke. A penguin walks into a bar. He asks the bartender, "Have you seen my brother?" The bartender says, "What's he look like?" Yuk yuk yuk.

Tara fixes us a perfect breakfast, which we enjoy on the balcony. Eggs, toast and butter, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, and dark olives. It's another gorgeous, sunny day.



After breakfast, Cihan prepares three different pizzas of two different designs: one is mushroom, one is tomato/mushroom/olive. Here is the tomato one, ready for the oven. {He had already made the crusts from scratch also, putting them in the freezer for times like this. This is why we brought that huge rolling pin for him, to make the pizza crusts. Quite a chef we have here (two chefs actually with Tara preparing our breakfasts , lunches, and dinners too.}


Cihan slides the pizza off the transfer pan, onto one of the two pizza cooking stones they have.



And poof, out it comes, minutes later.


Sharon serves as photographer for the pizza-lovers.



After lunch, we drive over to an island, joined to the mainland with a road, for tea and enjoying the great weather. {Pavli is the name of the Island now penninsula, name after a man who used to live on the island before the navy used it.} There is now an officer's "club" where Cihan stayed before their apartment was ready. There is also a restaurant, outdoor seating and a pool where the families can bring their children to swim. The pool is closed now for the return to school season.}



We continue the easy-going day by going to the mall nearby. My purpose is to get a Turkey phone chip for my unlocked iPhone 5. We head for the Turkcell store, but all the associates are busy. While we're waiting, Tara or Sharon says hello to a little girl, waiting with her father and brother. This results in a conversation among the father, Tara and Cihan, and Sharon and me. He is an HR guy for a Turkish company. Very enjoyable. {He was practicing his English on us and it is amazing how much better his English is than my Turkish. I know I could not hold up my end of the conversation if the situation was reversed. The Turks here get basic English in their schooling and I guess as an HR guy, he may have to use his more.} He asks us if we like Turkish people, and we tell him about our first two trips when we rented a car, and drove all around Turkey on our own. He was really surprised that we were able to do that.

So then it's into the Turkcell store. Cihan lines me up with a man who listens to our requirements, then in the end proposes a plan and an addition. The plan is 400 minutes worth of talk-time, 100 MB of internet. The additional plan is for 100 text messages to the US. The total for all this is 60 TL, or $30. Awesome. By the way, the phone number is 531-902-8187 (Calling within Turkey requires a '0' in front of that too), but you must put on the usual international numbers etc. before this number. Turkey's country code is 19, and the from-US code is 01, so the way I understand it, you would call 01 19 0 531 902 8187. I just put the spaces in for visual separation of the parts. This would cost YOU according to whatever international calling plan you have. {And here in Turkey you don't get charged for incoming calls, only for calls you make. Come on, US companies, get with the rest of the world and stop charging us for both directions.}

My US number of 408-242-4022 won't work because that Sim Card is in my wallet. After we get back from Turkey and Africa, I'll reinstall the AT&T card and that number will work again.



We get that settled, pick up our car from the parking lot, and Cihan drives us to the Metro. Picture a Costco, and you got it. Giant amounts of everything, on racks that reach to the super high ceiling, and super-extending fork lifts.

Tara has made up a list, and it's like an Easter Egg Hunt, for me. I'm excited to have my new phone number. Cihan has programmed all three of their numbers in it, so if I get lost I can just call one of their cell numbers. And they can call me when they can't find me and it's time to go, for example. I wander around, taking photos of en masse display items.

I forget what Fax is, but it doesn't involve communication. Rize is rice. I'll let you play with the rest. {I wish you could have seen the meat department. Of course, they had cuts of meat to buy but in the back refrigerator, they had hanging sides of beef and lamb that I assume you can ask for cuts of meat off of. (sorry for the dangling participle)}


After buying some ice creams, we make our way out of the Metro, load up the car and head for home. After all the new things are put away, Tara makes some popcorn. They use straight up popcorn, heat it in an iron skillet, on the stove, with an aluminum splash guard on top. Good stuff.


So after popcorn, there's only one thing left. That's right Jerry and Shirley, RUMMIKUB!! We play till, Good Heavens, 1 o'clock I think - maybe later.

And that's it for the day. I'll have Sharon proofread it tomorrow. Good night.

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