Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Old School

Because returning anything is never easy in this country and traffic is a nightmare in Istanbul, this morning I did something I think my Turkish mother-in-law would be proud of.

I had just opened a fresh package of brown rice to make my son's breakfast cereal, but as I rinsed it, little black specks of ... BEETLE floated to the surface! Dozens of them!

Horrified, my mind immediately raced through all the possible courses of action:
  • return the rice to the store and demand they check all the other bags of the same brand's rice for bugs;
  • write to the manufacturer;
  • throw out the rice.
But the calmer, more realistic, more Turkish me soon took over. None of the above would make Baby's breakfast happen; and I didn't have the time or energy to take on a problem that is simply a reality of the pre-packaged food industry.

So I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed that rice, even picking a few of the beetles out by hand, and then I cooked it.

As for the rest of the bag, I poured the remaining rice onto a large cookie sheet and put it out on the terrace; within minutes, beetles were crawling out of the rice, off the tray, and across the table! Bye bye beetles!

The rice is now safely stored away in an airtight container in the dark, cool fridge.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Reading Update

I never did finish the Orhan Pamuk essays (click here for that hopeful post); am I crazy to still plan on reading his latest novel, The Museum of Innocence? Anyway, that's still a long way off.

Am reading at a snail's pace these days. I've been toting around The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak, another author I've been lukewarm about in the past, for over a month now. But unlike the Pamuk book, I'm really enjoying this one! The only problem is I can't manage to read more than two or three pages a night. Thankfully, the chapters are about that long!

I should mention that since the semester started, I've read about fifteen young adult novels ... Trying to keep up with my students! The most notable: I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Even though the C. Sweeper comes by every so often to remove the garbage floating along the European bank of the Bosphorus, sights like this are common:

There is no doubt that a better approach would be an educational campaign against littering. Garbage and recycling bins are everywhere, and admittedly often full to overflowing; but perhaps that's more indicative of how often they're emptied rather than how many people are using them?

I don't have the answers, but sure would like to see a change.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Car Colours

Why are so many cars in Turkey grey or silver? I'm not sure whether supply is following demand or vice versa, but most dealerships only offer white, black or grey as options.

Case in point: all six of the cars parked below are silver or grey!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fun While On Duty

Am deep into Nanowrimo, so haven't been blogging much. But we did get out yesterday to stroll along the Bosphorus, where I noticed that even those who normally have to work on Sundays were enjoying the afternoon.

This parking attendant clearly wasn't too worried about letting a car or two leave without paying:

And although I wasn't quick enough to catch this street cleaner as he emptied his dustbin into a nearby garbage bin ...

... he had a cigarette hanging out of his mouth and was dancing to the music of this guy: