Eventful, disheartening, and affirming. My last days in Istanbul.
Why? Well, the last weeks of school have certainly been eventful with exams, farewells, parties, and a delightful LP Celebration for the last day of school on Wednesday. The teachers topped off the celebration with a farcical skit incorporating characters from the books they’d read this year (penned by Jake Becker). It was great fun for everyone, particularly us teachers.
Alison (Scout, To Kill A Mockingbird) lets Jameson (Phil, Nothing But the Truth) have it.
Karla (Miss Mayella, To Kill A Mockingbird) points out the chiffarobe for Jason (Kevin, Across the Barricades) to reach a copy of Animal Farm.
Jason and Charlotte (Kevin and Sadie, Across the Barricades) run into each others’ arms.
Me (Aunt Alexandra, To Kill A Mockingbird) and Şebnem (Molly, Animal Farm) look on.
Author Jake (Jonas, The Giver) tries a drink from Ambrose (Dolphus Raymond, To Kill A Mockingbird)
Reagan (Atticus, To Kill A Mockingbird) explains the deeper meaning of it all.
More eventfulness: Mayu and Genya returned from Cappadocia to Istanbul Thursday night, and we shared a flurry of activity during their last three daysRumile Castle, Sultanahmet, a farewell dinner on Musa’s balcony overlooking the Marmara, and a Sunday trip to Ortaköy with a Bosphorus cruise. A great finish to a welcome visit.
Monday morning dawned cool and brilliant, and I eagerly set off for Libby’s morning trek before hiking up to school for a day of meetings. We were heading down the hill behind my house when BANG! I crashed to the ground. Wondering how I had fallen, I took stock of myself: sore elbow, skinned knee—but coffee cup intact (it’s stainless steel). As I got up I noticed a sharp pain in my foot. This is the disheartening part. The long and short of it is that I have a double fracture in the bones of my left foot and am now the proud owner of a hard cast, a “walking boot,” and a sparkling new set of crutches. Sigh…
My plans for the week flew out the window. No dinner and dancing at the RC year-end gala, no tango night with my friends Aşkin and Soner, and no attending Duygu’s wedding with my friend David. Another sigh. Disheartened, but NEVER beaten!
Then comes the affirming part. Of course, people at school were more than supportive. I was excused from meetings (obviously), and Tulu arranged a driver to take me to the airport. Once word was out, I was offered their condolences and support at every turn. I got a call from my niece Laura, who was visiting Olympus on the Mediterranean shore. She and Yvette decided to come back to Istanbul to lend me a hand, cutting their Mediterranean tour short. They’ve been incredibly helpful with the two L’s, laudry and Libby (walking). Poor Libby had only been to the bottom of the apartment steps to do her daily you-know-what; the first time they took her for a walk, she pooped three times (much to their glee). They’ve also helped with packing, errands, cooking, and cleaning. True godsends.
But there’s MORE affirming stuff: My friend David came all the way over here from Koç to bid me farewell and join us for dinner (well, he had to pick up some things I’d bought for him in Sultanahmet). That was lovely.
Then last night my friends Aşkin and Soner (who were originally going to meet me for their weekly tango night) drove all the way here from Gebze to say goodbye. “You can’t say goodbye on internet!” Aşkin scolded. It took them three hours to drive here, and they were only able to stay for two. Gosh, I love those guys!
The list goes on, including my trip down to Arnavutköy to close my bank account and run a few errands (with Laura’s help). As we were hunting for a taxi back up the hill, a taxi driver with a passenger in the front seat told us to hop in. He took us home and refused payment. Now would THAT happen in the U.S.?
Yasemin walked Libby through a campus woods last week.
Tomorrow Libby and I are off to Germany for a few weeks of travel with friends and family. Jana has arranged for a larger car to pick me up and deliver me to the train station, and my friend Deidre is taking the train to Bremen to help me with the transfer there (me, crutches, suitcase, and dog). I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to bike around Oldenburg with Deidre, but we’ll make the most of things.
Next Thursday Deidre’s friend will help me and Libby take the train back to Hamburg, where I’ll meet my sister Laura and her family at their hotel. Our dear friend Jana is marrying Olaf the next day, which is the impetus behind this trip to Germany. I imagine I won’t dance too much at the wedding (duh!), but it’s happening in a small castle. What fun! After all the festivities, Laura’s family and I are flying to Munich, then heading off into the alps. I can’t wait to travel with Matt and Erin, although I’m going to have to pass on the hiking. Sigh… At least I get to be with the people I love.
That’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it?