Tuesday, August 04, 2009

I Be Chineeesseee if You Please....

Here’s a first. I’ve never been yelled at for being Chinese, but today, it happened. I should’ve know after all those years of getting letters and scholarship offers from the Chinese Student Association of America and having the MOST common last name in the whole entire world(because of the Chinese) that one day, it WOULD happen.

Here is how it went down. After making a whirl wind trip to Ankara to get permission from the American Embassy to get permission to get married Enes and I returned to Antalya to do the list of things we had to do here to get approval from the govt. here in the city. One thing on my list of things to do was have my birth certificate and passport translated and notarized. Enes and I headed out to get everything taken care of. We went to the translation and notarization office, Enes explained everything and they said to come back at 2:00pm to pick up the translation and they would notarize it. So at about 1:36pm in the afternoon, I had a little fender bender due to being cornered by about 3 cars and trying to protect the car I was in (no huge damage, just a little scratch), but in the process, I did lose Enes because he had to go with the people whose car I scratched to have it looked at so I had to go back to get my birth certificate and passport translations alone. No problem, or so I thought.

I figured, we were there earlier in the day, they all know who I am, if I have problems talking, they’ll figure it out because I’ve already been here once today. I get to the office and go pick up the translated documents. They tell me to go in this other room to get it notarized. I talk to a girl that I saw early that morning and she tells me who to talk to, but I realized it’s a man that wasn’t there that morning. But the label on his desk says “NOTAR” (notary), so I figure it’s a no brainer. I’ll just hand him the documents and he knows what to do. :)

So I walk up and hand him the pieces of paper. He looks straight down at my birth certificate and then for all I understood, all “H-E-double hockey sticks” broke loose. He starts yelling at me. I have NO idea what he is saying, he’s talking super fast and I’m catching maybe 3 words in the 2 minute tirade. After he’s done, I ask him in Turkish if there is a problem and if he needed something else? (what else was I supposed to do) :) He threw my papers to the side and then stared straight through me like I wasn’t there. Hmm… what to do? I stood there for like 2 minutes waiting for something to happen, staring at my translated documents that he just threw down. Everybody in the office including the girl that had just directed me to him, acted like he didn’t just yell at me and nothing happened. Everyone just went about their business as usual.

So, eventually I went and sat down. I’ll just wait. I was trying to think of someone to call that could help me because Enes had left his phone at home that day and I couldn’t get ahold of him since he was with the people who’s car I scratched. Ahh…don’t cry Dania. Don’t cry. I sat there for a second with my head in my hands and then the same guy that just yelled at me comes into the waiting area where I was sitting.. “Dania Lee” “Dania Lee” Dania Lee”he says… But this time, he is super happy and all smiley. I’m thinking “great, I have the manic depressive Notar”…. So I raise my hand, “that’s me”.. he says, Gel! Gel! (Come! Come!) and takes me back to his desk… then he points at my last name and asks if I’m Chinese..(side note, I’m thinking do I look Chinese?) I tell him no, I’m an American and he says..oh, I looked at your last name and thought you were Chinese….then he starts laughing really loud, stamps all my papers and sends me on my way…

To celebrate the completion of our list of things to do.... I made Chinese food too. :)

(another side note)
The car that I scratched, Enes went to the car dealership and they said it would be 600 TL to fix it and by the time Enes was done, it was 28 TL because the repairman found out that Enes was from his city… all goes to show..its WHO you know here or rather MEET along the way….:)

Thursday, June 25, 2009


So just some of the latest happenings....

I went to the store the other day and everytime I see these fish, I grimace..but this time I had to take a picture. Enes thought I was a little ridiculous taking pictures of dead fish in the g-store..but whatever.. ;)

Take your pick, which eel do you want for dinner??

ahhh....crazy tongue and poky things everywhere...

but this one....this is the one that I have to stare at everytime i see it..its is incredibly ugly and wierd looking....apparently its something you can only catch in the Black Sea...don't think I want any of it!

Next, went exploring to some other waterfalls...they're the Duden Waterfalls and they're actually in Antalya..I had never been there before, but its quite beautiful!

Enes tried Dr. Pepper for the first time....

....and he hated it, so guess who gets to drink all the Dr. Pepper that comes through my front door!? :)

and lastly...me and enes. i love this picture so just thought i would share... :)

Friday, June 05, 2009

The First Step

I did a ropes course last weekend. I don't like heights and every part of the course that I did, the first step was always the hardest. There were sometimes that I stood there forever, saying I can't do this. This first step is too hard and we are too high up. Then after much encouragment from my friends and being convinced that the worst thing that could happen is I fall maybe a foot because I'm attached in 3 different places to the lines running through the course, I would take the step. And everytime, it was never as bad as I had made it out to be. Mind you, some parts were still hard and physically challenging, but I made it through all of them....but no flying colors by any means.

Monday, May 11, 2009


This weekend me, Enes, Soner, Hayri and Gizem all went up to some waterfalls close to Antalya, then we had a picnic then went to some city ruins on top of a plateau that date back to 3rd centurey B.C. It was beautiful and it was great to get out and explore. Its a amazing to me the things that are around here that you can just walk up to or "happen" upon...

Here's a short clip of the waterfalls and the views from the castle...

And following a few pics... :)

On the way there, the car broke down...in the water...and we had to push it up a hill...and then push start the car... and I wasn't even freaked out during the whole deal...it was part of the adventure.... what does that mean?!?!

We got to the waterfalls and Enes decided he was going to fish, but then he threw the whole fishing line in the water.. hee hee ;) so now he's fishing his fishing line out so he can fish!

Hayri fell asleep in a tree after hiking up to the 2nd waterfall. We continued up and this is how we found him when we got back! :)

Enes cooked lunch for all of us...it was gooood :)

Later we hiked up to a castle. This is the beautiful view...

Here's me at the waterfall..it was really peaceful and I needed the time away.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Birthday Fun!

This is coming about a week late, but oh well, you can still see pics! :)

My beautiful flowers from Enes...

Some friends and a banana cheesecake that was phenominal :)

Back at Lynda's place overlooking Antalya and the Sea...

Me and Lynda went to the greenhouse and she bought me a plant for my house... and for hers too :)

My birthday cake that I was pretty sure was going to catch on fire...

We also did the Passover meal..this is Katie looking for the Matzah bread we hid...All the kids were sick and she is the youngest so she got to play the part.. :)

Sunday, March 08, 2009

RunTalya 2009

This weekend, I ran the 4K Fun run with some friends. It was a really great time, but I'm feeling the soreness coming on...but I feel motivated to try to do more running..especially now that the weather is starting to warm up...Spring is on its way! Yea! Its my favorite time of the year! Izehi has been training for 3 - 4 months now and she did the 10K and ran the whole thing! I'm proud of her! :) Today is International Women's Day so the races were free for any woman that wanted to enter! Yea for free stuff! :))

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Being Still

This past week has been absolutely crazy. I'm taking a Turkish class right now and I am in class all morning and part of the afternoon, then have anywhere from 1 1/2 - 2 hours of homework everyday. I tell you, when I'm finished, my brain is done for the day. Trying to learn another language is a whole other ball game for me. My brain feels like its all swollen everyday and I mean that literally. It is the strangest thing.

So on Friday, I was at the end of my rope. My brain was tired. I'd forgotten my name, how to speak English or Turkish, I even got mad at Enes because I couldn't understand him, but it was only because I was so tired. SOOO this weekend, I did nothing. Izehi is out of town so I had the place to myself. I didn't even leave my apartment. I watched a couple of movies, slept, did some laundry, ate all the leftovers in the house, had some great quiet times and that was about it. You know when you are used to going a million miles an hour and then you stop, how hard it is to be still. That was me on Friday night. Being completely exhausted and trying to be still and my mind still going. Today is Sunday and I can say that I have slowed myself down but I could use another day.

But back to class in the morning! I have 10 days left and hope that I make it. I'm wondering how much more information my little brain can take! :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Day in the Life of Me...

Here’s a rundown of my last 24 hours. Interesting day:

11:00pm: I get home and talk to Enes. He has a friend getting married tomorrow afternoon at 3:30. He says something about leaving at 1ish or something, Do I want to go? Sure, as long as I have time to do my Turkish home work. I’ve never been to a Turkish wedding before. (It’s a government ceremony) What do I wear? Enes says wear normal clothes. Ok.

11:30pm: Trying to go to sleep. Can’t. Finally sleep comes. Yea!

6:00am: Alarm goes off. Ahhh. Why? I hit snooze for at least 30 minutes and then roll myself out of bed.

8:15am: Walk to the bus stop and wait for bus. Yes, it pulls up immediately. No waiting today.

9:10am: I walk into my Turkish class 5 min. late. Thanks bus.

9:12am: I realize that I forgot to do part of my homework the night before. Thanks brain for being forgetful.

10:15am: Break time. I go find a table, drink some coffee and sit and talk with my new Polish friend that is in my Turkish class with me.

10:35am: Back to class.

10:37am: I realize yet again how much I have yet to learn and have to talk myself out of the hole I’m digging myself into.

12:15pm: I come to the conclusion that I hate doing Turkish exercises where you have to pick which word goes in the blank. Despise is the word.

12:35pm: It finally clicks in my head that Enes didn’t say we would be going anywhere at 1, he said the wedding would last 1 hour…Ohhh…. (Yes, I’m a little slow.)

1:08pm: Class is finished. I walk to have lunch at the Cultural Center where Enes works.

1:35pm: I arrive. Enes says we have to leave by 2:30 because the wedding time as been changed to 2:45. (Yes, everything ALWAYS happens last minute here) He looks at what I’m wearing and chuckles. (I’m wearing my nice jeans, a black sweater and a scarf.) Great, I’m freaking out in my head that this isn’t the “normal” he was talking about.

1:45pm: Eating and Homework.
2:30pm: Enes and I leave to go the wedding on one of his friend's motorbike because we’re running late.

2:40pm: We get to the area of town where the wedding is and Enes informs me he doesn’t know where it is? He just knows its around here somewhere.

2:45pm: We find the government building, park, run inside and up 3 flights of stairs. I’m still not sure if what I’m wearing is ok, even though Enes said its great and I realize I don’t know even know who it is that is getting married.

2:47pm: We walk into this huge room with lots of chairs, heart decorations everywhere, pictures of people getting married, a little stage at the front with a table with 6 big chairs on it and a huge picture of Ataturk and the Turkish flag behind it. ( The table had 2 on each end and 2 in the middle facing the audience.)

2:48pm: I see a woman wearing windpants. Whew, I’m in the clear.

2:49pm: Some people walk in and go sit down on the end seats of the table up on the stage.

2:50pm: Music starts and bride and groom walk down the aisle. This is when I realize that the groom is the same guy that came to the rescue in the green Hallaleighua car about 3 months ago. I laugh.

2:51pm: Bride and groom go sit in the 2 middle chairs at the table on the stage. Everybody claps.

2:52pm: One of the people on the stage says some stuff. The groom says “Evet” (yes) and everybody claps. The bride says “Evet” (yes) and everybody claps.

2:53pm: Everybody on the stage signs this big huge book. Everybody claps.

2:54pm: Bride and groom exchange rings. Everybody claps.

2:55pm: Bride and groom leave the room. Everybody follows and is going through a line to congratulate them.

2:57pm: Its my turn to offer congratulations and I realize at this point that I don’t remember the word for Congratulations so I’m hoping that I will be able to hear Enes but I don’t so instead the bride and groom get an akward smile from the girl they don’t know at their wedding.

3:00pm: We’re leaving and going to wait for the bus because it is now raining and someone else will drive the motorbike back and we won’t get wet. Yea!

3:30pm: Homework.
4:00pm: Homework.
4:30pm: Homework.
5:00pm: Reading.
6:00pm: Enes and I are going to have dinner with a friend of his and his friend's mom. Enes is cooking. Life is good.

6:30pm: We arrive. Enes and his friend cook. Me and his friends’ mom talk a little and watch television.

7:00pm: We eat lentil soup, these little fish, and sauce that goes on top that is lemon, oil, garlic and pepper, bread and salad. It was soooooo good.

7:30pm: I am stuffed and we haven’t even had dessert yet.

7:45pm: First this little dessert that is traditionally eaten after you eat fish. Its kind of tasted like peanut butter to me. Then something like baklava.

8:00pm: Coffee

8:05pm: More listening to everybody talk a million miles an hour and wondering what these people think as I fumble through talking and hardly understanding what they say when they’re asking me a question.

8:10pm: Convincing myself its good for me and that this is all helping me learn. My brain is tired!!

8:45pm: We leave and head to the bus stop in the pouring rain…

8:50pm: Listen to Enes practice saying" Whatcha doin' ya'll?" in his best Texsan accent as we're riding on the bus.

9:45pm: I get home and my eyeballs are floating. I was afraid to ask if I could use the restroom at the friend’s house before.

10:00pm: Deciding this a good day to write about, so random but everyday is like this in one way or another.

10:30pm: Write. Still really full.

11:00pm Roll myself into bed. Sleep and will start over tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


This weekend Enes & I went skiing at Davraz along with a group of about 20 friends. The ski runs are about 2 hours from Antalya. Its nothing like skiing in Colorado, but was fun the none the less. It was really foggy and you couldn't see much to ski in the morning, but in the afternoon the fog lifted a little and made for much better skiing.

We went sledding. Notice all the people in the background. There were a TON of people there who where not skiing but only wanted to go up and down the lift and sled.

Here we are goofing off a bit when the clouds lifted and you could actually see!

This was our visibility most of the day! It was hard and a little scary to ski!

Enes took a little crash landing into a nice pile of snow and I was nice enough to take a picture so everybody can see! :)

Monday, February 09, 2009



I started a blog so I can share my everyday life. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! :)