Turkish Nuances

4 May

I’ve been in Turkey for 5 full days now.  And I am happy to say that I have 5 more days remaining here – except that I will be busy working most of the time, which has also proved very inspiring.  But this blog is about traveling and life, not about my work.  So back to Turkey and all its wonderous peculiarities!

I’ve established a kind of daily routine here that I really enjoy.  I woke-up around 5:30am and spent some time catching-up on email and then headed out for a sunrise run.  It felt so good to jog along the Mediterranean Sea at sunrise, looking out at the mist hanging above the water and a few distant sailboats on the horizon.  The roads near my hotel are ancient, from the Roman Era, and I pass the ruins of an old Mosque from the Middle ages before heading down to the edge of the Sea.  Then there is another ancient Mosque from the 13th Century CE – it is a beautiful house of devotion even with all its signs of age and simplicity.  The minaret (the large tower where the 5 daily prayers are announced daily) was made of old stone and had a beautiful scalloped structure.  The domes of the mosque’s main building were made with a terra cotta roof.  Simple really is beautiful.  From one outlook you can see this mosque and the towering minarets of 2 other mosques in the distance.  It is a profound view.

Color photo of skyline in Analya Turkey

All of the roads are really just for pedestrians here, which suited me perfectly.  I jogged along a nice road along the Coast that runs through a very large tree covered park next to the regional soccer stadium.  I enjoyed passing by all the locals, mostly proprietors of little shops opening up for the day.  I’ve been practicing my Turkish every free moment I get, which is not much, but now I am comfortable with the basic phrases.  It is customary here to say hello and good morning to everyone you see – strangers and all.  And I LOVE this about Turkish culture.  It was one of the things I learned, and loved, when living in Costa Rica.  Except here you say “Salam” which is the equivalent for “hello” – except that is actually means “Peace be with you”.  What a wonderful salutation!  I do think the world would be a better place simply if we all greeted each other with such kind words.  It would be such a simple part of our daily lives that I think would change our outlook on life and others.  And in these morning jogs and walks I’ve picked-up this cultural nuance and ensure I give my respectable greetings.  With that, i’ve been surprised at how respectable men are to women here, and how well I am treated.  But I’ll share more on that in my next blog.  All this was just great food for thought to start the morning!

Then there was a delightful foodie experience this morning.  Breakfast.  When I got back to the hotel breakfast was just about ready.  It is buffet style – as the Turks love buffets!  I’ve befriended the chef at the hotel restaurant and he has graciously educated me on Turkish cuisine, how the dishes are cooked and which spices to use for what, etc.  This morning the buffet included bowels of fresh herbs and a variety of greens that looked so fresh I couldn’t resist – red leaf lettuce, rocket, lemon arugula, fresh dill, mint & parsley.  It’s a salad kind of morning!  And there I created a masterpiece.  A tower of vibrant leafy greens topped with aromatic spices, crumbled feta, and fresh lemon squeezed lemon.  All this paired with a hard boiled egg, fresh cucumber slices, a dollop of natural yogurt, and fresh tomatoes of course.  My whole body felt good after this clean and hearty breakfast.  I want to start having salad breakfasts a couple days a week.  If you haven’t tried a salad breakfast like this before, it’s not too late to give it a try.  And with summer just around the corner, tis the season to grow all these delicious greens and fresh veggies.  Add a little protein and you’ll have an energy packed day.  A lot of people wonder where I get my energy from, well I think God blessed me with a little extra energy but I also try to feed that energy with things like fresh greens and clean foods.  Now I’m not always fresh and clean like this but most of the time it works out.  Now if this breakfast, doesn’t make your mouth water I don’t know what to say. Bon Apettit!

Color photo of a Turkish Breakfast

One Response to “Turkish Nuances”

  1. Mummy May 4, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    Sounds like wonderful mornings 🙂 Enjoy everyone of them

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: