Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Yep, we're yuppies

I'd long had suspicions as much. But on Monday, it became indisputable. We were at a barbecue where the attendees spent 15-20 minutes discussing someone's household budget. We then smoothly segued into tax withholding rates and the qualities of the corporate benefits office.

I thought it was a decent conversation. That's how I know we're yuppies, not just some blameless wayfarers lost in yuppie hell.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

If you can't write something original...

... link to David and Rita's report on the thriving Belgian country scene.

(And for the avoidance of doubt, dear reader, I'm not suggesting that *you* can't write something original. I'm using the usage of "you" where "you" means "I". You know.)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Symbols of Turkey

There are lots of Turkish flags flying around here, from flagpoles and hanging from balconies. No, I'm not commenting on them being Turkish flags - thanks for the vote of confidence - but on the number. There are more national flags on display than I am used to seeing outside of the US.

There are also a surprising number of Tweety Bird decals adhesed to store and car windows. Admittedly, the number is only about three, but it's still surprising to me. I know, American popular culture is everywhere, but why Tweety? Sure, everyone loves a bird who talks like the clergyman from The Princess Bride at 78 RPM, but how did it beat out the big names like Mickey, Snoopy, and Bugs Bunny? (Actually, there may be a broader Looney Tunes thing going on, as I saw Bugs shilling some candy-bar-like thing.)

And it just wouldn't be commentary about another country without mentioning roads and driving habits. Sadly, the drivers and roads around Ankara are fairly predictable and broad (the latter applying only to the roads). There are several places where the lane dividing lines simply disappear, but the traffic seems to flow along in 2.5 lanes without much fuss. (Confidence born of such situations may account for the relatively casual treatment of the lines when they are presents, but it's nothing to make the heart race.)

Monday, May 07, 2007

First observations of Ankara

My first observation of Ankara as our plane descended this afternoon was that it looked like southern California. Actually, that was someone else's comment, and I don't konw that I would have thought of it myself, but it seemed a good description of the dry, scrubby countryside.

My real first observation, one that I actually made versus taking from someone else, was of the mosques. They all have minarets, naturally, but what really catches your eye from the air is their silver domes. At the right angle, the city was almost twinkling with reflected sun.

Riding from the airport to the hotel, I saw a couple of minarets without mosques. On one, I thought I could see where a building used to be attached, but another just appeared to be free-standing. I wonder what that's about.

Baby food

It's gross. I guess I had always thought it was gross, but now thanks to dear Scott and Carlie, I know. They very kindly threw us a baby shower over the weekend, and it was lots of fun. It was particularly fun for everyone else when Kerry and I got to eat mystery baby food and try to guess the flavors. In fairness, there were some (banana, cinnamon apple) that weren't repulsive, even if they weren't the finest presentation ever of their original foods. But the green beans (identified by me as broccoli and by Kerry as peas) were terrible. The chicken sticks, which looked like nothing so much as little, nail-less fingers, were pretty bad, too, their unsettling appearance complemented by an unsettling texture that was somehow both crumbly and wet. But the worst was probably the mac and cheese, the smooth mac and cheese that tasted like paste, if paste were a punishment for one of the seven deadly sins. Ugh. I can almost sense it again in my mouth, just thinking about it. That is a bad thing.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Mystery onesie

Maybe you already saw at bf2k7, but we got a mystery onesie in the mail. It's cute.


So if any of you have been sending stuff on the DL, fess up so that we can properly thank you. Thank you.