Time for Livin' II travel blog

The other side of the Trabzon sign

More of the city near the sea port

the Turks have rebeled against te Coke empire and unleashed "Cola Turka"!!!

Mavi Jeans are from Turkey. Mavi means blue in Turkish

Ayşe yenge haulin the goods and chatting with pops

The local kids break out the soccer the second the rain stopped

Some of the road hazards when driving around the countryside

(L to R) Aylin, Buşranur holding her little brother and Özlem

(L to R) My cousin Selim, his dad Azis and mom Pervin

Me with azis Amca and Pervin Yenge

Ender (R) and Murat (L) getting ready to chow down on the...

Something rare in Turkey, a "No Smoking" sıgn

Selim and Murat chillin at the tea house

Can you guess how many tea glasses Hyat abi is holding?

A seriously comfortable head rest

Kids in the köy

Yakup with his parents

View from Yakup's köy

View from my sisters apartment

Getting ready to chow down for brunch!! I eat waaay too much...

Happy Family. Yakup's parents, my parents, my dede, Yakup and my sister

I'm finally in the classroom! I'm teaching English classes at the same school my sister used work for. Originally I thought I'd teach classes and get paid to do it, but the timing of my visit and the class schedule didn't work out and I also realized...I'm on vacation, I don't want to actually take responsibility for anything! :)

The school is called "The Grand Basic School of English", they offer night and weekend classes during the school semester and daytime classes during the summer. The students are primarily university students and businesspeople. The owner is Alican Lakot, who is a pretty interesting character. He used to be a referee for the Turkish professional soccer league, refereeing games between Galatasaray, Fenerbaçe, Trabzonspor etc... Internationally he refereed youth games like the Jr. Turkish National team against Bulgaria. Once, he was refereeing a game between Vanspor and Antaliaspor and he called a penalty against the home team in the 90th minute!! He had to run off the field to save his own ass and couldn't leave the stadium for five hours, he retired from refereeing soon after. He was also a sports columnist for a couple national newspapers, he taught high school Turkish classes for a couple years and he sings "Sanat" music (traditional Turkish folk music). Pretty cool guy. He's gonna give me Turkish classes in exchange for helping out at his school.

This past week I haven't been able to make it to Grand Basic very often because my sister is shamelessly using my presence and good nature for her own benefit and self promotion. Now that she has a kid, she only teaches private one-on-one lessons for an hour each night to rich kids whose parents can afford a private tutor. In order to make sure these parents feel like their money is being well spent, my sister is dragging me along as a "guest tutor" from America. All I really do is talk to them about whatever comes to mind all the while trying to make them feel comfortable enough to make it a two way conversation. It's funny, most of these kids my sister tutors as well as the students and business people at Grand Basic have excellent grammar, sometimes better than mine, who the hell knows what a past participle imperfect verb is cause I sure don't. They can read and write very well, and understand most of what I'm saying, but they almost refuse to speak!! They seem sooo scared because they don't want to make any mistakes. I mean, my Turkish is crap, but I keep yapping and yapping because I know that if I keep practicing, I'll eventually get it...hopefully.

There are classes every night at Grand Basic and I'm gonna try and make it to as many as I can. It's kind of a trip being such a novelty because there aren't many freigners, plus, the girls here are definitely easy on the eyes.

Today we brought my Dede over from our village and Yakup's parents over from his village to have brunch at my sister's place. The food was soooo good! I posted a pıc. Yakup is the youngest of three sisters and three brothers. My nephew Arifcan has eighteen cousins on his dad's side and none on ours, kinda lop-sided eh? After brunch, Yakup and I brought his parents to their village and it was beautiful! A little far, but very clean, scenic and, more importantly, quiet. You see, our village was clean and quiet, but since it's pretty close to the main highway a lot of cement factories and rock quarries have opened up across the street from our land. The government here doesn't exactly have strict environmental and noise regulations...well they do... but that can easily be by-passed by "gifts" to the local officers... so they shit on the land right next to ours. My uncle that lives in Germany built a house about half way up the mountain from the road. When he started, the view was spectacular, but by the time they finished, a bunch of noisy factories opened up, completely spoiling it. I don't know how much longer my family is going to stay in the same village if this mess continues to grow. It's a shame really.

The weather is really beginning to open up here. It was pretty much rainy and kind of cold up until this weekend. Once everything is in bloom this place turns a million shades of green.

I've been driving here as well and it's sooo much fun, ıt's like rally racing. At first it was pretty scary because the roads are so narrow and crowded. It's so packed in some areas that the pedestrians are pretty much part of road because there isn't any space on left on the sidewalks. You soon realize that you can't stop for anyone and that it's fine to narrowly miss someone because in reality, they might be narrowly missing you...if that makes any sense. You have to trust the other drivers here because it's so packed, you have no other choice. I'm still getting used to the idea of passing within inches of other cars, but it's still fun.

As some of you have pointed out, my spelling and grammar could use some work, this I know. So I apologize if my spaling is rong and grammar good not. :) If I ever get around to it, I'll correct it.



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