October 01, 2015

tantunis are the best

im trying to get back on track after the trip to Mersin. i had my laptop and did some work while there but it was almost like a long (holiday) weekend. our way back was tricky as the flight was delayed due to bad weather in Istanbul. and when we finally landed at 2:30, there were so many other planes landing late as well, and the luggage took forever to come out (about 35min to be exact) and the queues to the busses were so long...  we were at home like 4:30am. so  yesterday was messy, i started work late.

i really took the wedding party that doctors family arranged as a sort of "theatre". i mean, it was a show where i did have the leading role, but only as an actor. everything else was arranged, including my "costume". technically, my mother in law did call and ask my preference on  a number of things like the table cloth color (wtf?), which was considerate, but in the big scheme of things, they were details anyway. i had checked out already.  also she took me to a wedding gown shop and i could pick whichever dress i wanted....but a turkish wedding dress is not something i would want if it up to me. so i thought, whatever, and just went with it. i played my part, "chose" the dress that she (and my sister in law) seemed to prefer and at the party i followed the traditions and everything went very smoothly i think. the MIL seemed happy which was the most important thing...  and i do appreciate her doing it all, even if the culture expects it from her, she was clearly into it, and so i did my best to go along :) the only things i said 'no' to were a tiara, diamond studded dresses and "professional" make up artist. and they were offered many times.

turkish wedding shop selection (tiaras!)

at the party, doctors cousin said he'd googled me and digged my photos. that was an odd one. there were around 90-100 people - thats very small by turkish standards. i didnt really care but doctor had asked to make it a small one. there were traditional dances, i was forced to join too. but it was a 'lol', i didnt mind, part of the experience :) it was fun. there was a live band and a guy with a mic announcing what the couple needs to do (dance, cut the cake...). then we would go around and greet everyone. and towards the end of the evening they would come to our table and give their gold coins/bills (=turkish wedding gifts) into the white chest on the table, or the red ribbon around my neck. another option is to hang the stuff on the brides dress, but my MIL opted for the red ribbon.  i can say its odd standing there, while people attach gold coins on you. humbling too, the family and their friends are all lovely people.

the red ribbon that i got for the gift giving portion.

we sat at this table under a cave like thing, overseeing everything. meh, let me put the pic of the cave; (its from a group photo, of which hundreds were taken...turks love group photos at weddings)

we were taken to the place an hour after the party officially started. thats how it works, apparently. doctor's brother drove us to the place, and as soon as we walked in, there was a photographer and a videographer there, and i felt like i was on a movie set. they wanted to shoot the entrance, so they walked backwards in front of us, and there were balloons and firewords and whatnot. walking towards the bright light of the camera was awwwwkward! but i felt like a movie star :D 

doctors parents home is just at the edge of the city, in a gated community, where each family has a 2-3 storey house. thanks to the hot to mild weather, they can live on the rooft terrace half of the year. even the 2nd floor bathroom has its own balcony! its really nice and calm. i still rather live in a city but its a wonderfu place nevertheless.

there is a toilet on the roof terrace, with the sink outside the toilet, with this view...  so weird for a finn.
 the roof terrace is probably bigger than the flat i had in Helsinki.

on sunday we raided tantuni restaurants. instead of döner, Mersini is focused on tantuni, and it is truly one of the best things on earth. we had tantuni for breakfast, then another after a break, some coffee, more tantuni. i should be a tantuni reviewer...  i could have a column in a culinary mag where i write about tantunis...  i really got into the role, i think i can now pretty accurately tell if a tantuni is good or not, and how it should be served. not just due to this trip of course, but it helped.

a spice shop. a big one. this is just one room in it. fresh and cheap.

a great desert experience: künefe (and some small sweet bites in the back). this is really one of the odd desserts because it has a load of cheese. but it really is good.

a square near the center of the city. it was a hot day (supposedly only 31 degrees...felt like more) so sitting in the shadow was the only option. 

Mersin seaside. lots of green. lots of palm trees. palm trees are everywhere in Mersin.  

 monday was beach day! we went to kiz kalesi, a beach near Mersin. the water...oh lord, it was 28-29 degrees. which means it felt heavenly, doctor said "pee warmth" :D its been forever (since thailand, to be exact) since i swam in warm waters. the sea was so shallow too, and all sandy...   it was nice. and a free, uncrowded beach, on top of all.

someone we met on the way home from the beach. well, he was hanging out at a tourist attraction (Heaven & Hell) that we visited. camels are huge animals...  nor my first time seeing one, but still i was impressed.

the guy in the line - funny story

television: new season of The Ultimate Fighter started, its US vs europe... a couple of swedish guys on it. in lack of finns, i am okay cheering for them.

australia's first Bachelorette season started. good stuff, its the woman who was (allegedly) dumped by season 2 male lead. 

The Grinder seems like it might be boring, but i like Rob Lowe so i am giving it a good try.

Blood & Oil has Don Johnson, its obviously supposed to be like the new Dallas, but i think it will fail like Luck did (not suggesting Luck was supposed to be dallas, but i see other similarities)

but something that has me *really* interested, is The Catch. it helps that Mireille Enos is somehow mysteriously seductive. but i have a weak spot for female detective and the like. which reminds me Mulder & Scully are returning too...

Face Off also continued, and its awesome every season. its one of those feel good reality shows.  

today while working, i was communicating with this colleague over gchat, he is a developer and told me something is going to the test environment and is ready for testing, and i said okay etc. then for while, i went to facebook, where he is my friend, and he has posted something about the finnish economy and disposable income and stuff. i started replying to the post and just then realized its the same guy that i "talked to" at work. but it felt different. very odd.

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