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 13. Day 13.  Thursday, October 10, 2013. Little Day. Pavli Island Lunch. Waterfront Fish Restaurant for Dinner.


Cihan comes home from work, picks us up, and we have lunch at the Officer's Dining Room on Pavli Island. Sharon is having köfte (left) and I am having soup and chicken, plus what have we here? sliced tomatoes. The waitress remembers that I want a diet cola. Cihan and Tara know her very well, they seem like great friends.

Afterwards Cihan drives to where he works, and we first go up one or two flights of stairs, and meet the shipyard commanding officer's (one-star admiral) secretary. The admiral himself is out at the moment, but we enjoy talking with the secretary, who is studying English. She practies a little on us, and is very enjoyable. We have tea, and before we leave, she pulls out a baseball cap from the Büyükada, the most recent totally Turkish-built ship -- the one that was in dry dock a couple of days ago that has my fingerprints on the sonar unit. Great hat! Cihan says, "I don't even have one." I tighten mine up a little.

Then we walk up to the 5th floor/6th floor American. Along the way Cihan introduces us to lots of his co-workers of all levels -- some ranking higher, some the same and some lower than he. We have tea again, and enjoy an hour or so. I notice this sign, on the wall of his office mate.


At four o'clock or so, we leave Cihan, and Tara drives us home. Cihan will take the shuttle home after work.

A little nap never hurt anyone. We watch an episode of House of Cards. At 6:30 pm, we are out on the balcony because swifts are all over the place, mostly very high overhead. We use our binoculars, but I can't figure out how to tell the difference between regular European swifts, and Pallid swifts. Kerem said that he saw both overhead last night, and that Pallids nest on the roofs of our buildings. Awesome.

A little about swifts. They spend almost their entire life in the air. They sleep in the air! They eat in the air. They glide just above water, lower their heads and scoop, so they drink in the air. They mate in the air. What's up? SWIFTS!

We clean up a little and take off, headed for the restaurant.

The map below shows the right-hand, or eastern side of the Sea of Marmara, and the path from A to B is the one we take, or close to it. In the far right, lower corner, you can see Gölcük, where they lived till about 2010, when they moved to Istanbul.


We're going to Tara and Cihan's favorite fish restaurant, Kiraca, on the waterfront in Tuzla, very near where we went several nights ago, where all the colored-light trees are. On that previous night, we checked out a new restaurant they wanted to try. Cihan's long-time friend Oner, wife Handan and two children drive in their car, and we all head into the restaurant after finding two back-to-back parking spots right in front of the restaurant.


We like the bakers in front of a nearby restaurant. Is that Laurel and Hardy? Hmmm.


We trade lots of jokes and stories during dinner, which consists for our four of lots and lots of appetizers, rather than a main meal with one or two appetizers. I'm the pickiest of eaters, but most of these I like {We start with a fish soup loaded with pieces of fish. Some of the appetizers are fish dishes, shrimp, calamari, and sea bass in a white and also a pesto sauce. There are also beans, salad, eggplant (we don't tell Bob it's eggplant until he at least tries it). With all of the choices, you can pick out "what you like and leave the rest"}.

After dinner and dessert, we say goodbye to our friends and Cihan suggests a leisurely walk along the waterfront. More great lights. And you know what we learn? The red and the white and the green short bushy trees are totally artificial. The long tall ones are real, with the wrapped strings of white lights.

Below: left artificial, right real. To the right.


Below: I like this restaurant's sign. At right are an artificial tree (very white, far right in the picture), and real trees (tall, yellowish white, at left, in the background).


I have everybody stop by the white tree above, right, letting the artificial white tree light our faces instead of flash, and I snap this "selfie". Honey, does my head look huge? Hmm, is that distortion or that ice cream volcano I just had?


Then for contrast and comparison, Cihan balances Tara's Samsung Galaxy 3 smart phone/camera up in a white light artificial tree, then sets it on self-timer of about 6-7 seconds and casually walks over, joining the rest of us. Great photo, don't you think?


And then it's home again, home again.

Buenas Noches (Good night, Madrid),

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