Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Year's Miscellanea

New Year's is more than a week behind me, but I still wanted to put together a few random thoughts.

Even though this was my seventh Christmas/New Year's in Turkey, I'm still surprised each year by the way so much of western/Christian Christmas symbolism is used by Turks to celebrate New Year's!  For me, it means I get more Christmas spirit in December, as malls erect beautifully decorated trees, and stores sell wrapping paper and ribbons.

We were in Adana, and although, when we lived there I always longed for cold, snowy Christmases, this year, the blue skies and warm sun (16 degrees Celsius during the day!) was therapeutic for me.

The coal-smoke air from dusk until dawn was not!  Although I remember being mildly bothered by the smokiness of the winter air in Adana, as many people heated their homes with wood-burning ovens, this year, my throat was actually burning by 6pm, and I'd wake up coughing in the middle of the night.  It seems most households have switched to coal, which the current government is greatly subsidizing and sometimes even handing out free, to gain popularity.  What this does long-term for the health of people and the environment, seems to be a worry for another day.

On New Year's day we went to friends for brunch, and shared our resolutions for 2013 -- just the kind of meaningful conversation I love.  We also shared our new tradition, something I've gotten from a colleague, who in turn got it from a student: throughout the year, we will write down 'happy moments' and put them in a box, to be read on New Year's Eve twelve months from now.  Should be a great way to capture and relive the best parts of the year and be thankful.

Sorry no photos ... Still haven't gotten them off my camera!

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