Tuesday, December 30, 2008

(stage whisper):don't tell anyone this, but I haven't been to sleep since my last post. Maybe the snow is giving me insomnia.Little known fact: Turkish author, Orhan Pamuk won the Nobel Prize for Literature not only for his writing, but also for his weather reporting. His next book is going to be called 'Now For The Seven Day Forecast in Upstate New York'. Oh Jesus, sidebar: a man in the street shouted 'Shalom, Brooklyn!' at me yesterday. It's amazing to me that not only am I identifiably Jewish but he pinpointed where the American side of my family resides. Good feeling, to stand out as a Jew in a Muslim country (even if it is secular) as Gaza continues to explode.

Anyway, it is PELTING down, to the point where I'm wondering quite how I'm going to get home. I'm also stressing about how to help as many stray cats as possible (more on why you see neither homeless Istanbul dogs nor humans,later). At 6am, when I finished reading another book ('Birds Without Wings' by Louis de Bernieres,also set here) and it became obvious that my friend, who'd taken a sleeping pill, was not rising any time soon...I racked my brain for where I could go at 6am to read the paper and fill my rumbling belly. I'm not proud of this, but all I could find was The Four Seasons. The fact that we did this trip on the down low and pretty cheap, makes me feel slightly less anxious about eating Four Seasons during a recession.

And it was something really special. I'm talking Turkish pastry and clotted cream with actual slabs of honey comb. If you're British(or just a TV comedy afficionado)you'll know the episode of 'I'm Alan Partridge' where he reveals he carries an extra large plate in his briefcase just for use at hotel buffets. I covertly stuffed my bag with all manner of Turkish sausage and now, crazed from lack of sleep, I'm off to feed the cats. Even though they all seem pretty self sufficient. I wonder if it's going to be like when I tried to give a homeless woman in New York my winter coat and she said 'No thank you, I don't wear pink'.

You haven't been sleeping either...welcome to our exclusive "Nuits Blanches club" LOL.
My excuse...PC and iTunes (Gawd I HATE iTunes!).
Or maybe it's something in the air...

The Four Seasons- tsk tsk tsk ;)

Clotted cream...like "cream tea"...delish!
Buffet looting always reminds me of Teri Garr in Tootsie. "It's for my dog, he likes fruit"

"I'm also stressing about how to help as many stray cats as possible (more on why you see neither homeless Istanbul dogs nor humans,later). "

Most people don't think this way. Just thought you should appreciate that, in the best possible sense.

Thrilled to hear the writing's going well.

I think I was named Cathy after my parents' love of Simon and Garfunkel, even though I'm not convinced they read the lyrics correctly.

Still, I've had the pleasure of travelling on greyhound with pals listening to "America" long enough to convince myself that the K/C doesn't matter.
So Istanbul still has the stray cats? Some things never change.

I think you should find a demonstration against the Gaza actions, and join in. Borrow Colin's keffiyeh.

I tried to read "Snow." I just found Pamuk's writing to be self-absorbed and I couldn't get into it.
You guys can't sleep and I can't stop sleeping. Seriously, I'm like a hibernating bear. I think it's the weather I returned to work today and it almost killed me to drag myself out of bed.

Incidently, Emma I bought a beautiful 1960's lace white dress on poshgirlslovevintage. Can't wait for it to arrive.

My cats Polly and Holly (formally known as salt and pepper) both died this year. They were 8 years old we got them just after we married in an animal rescue, so we have a cat free zone at the moment.
I don't think the Turks would have clotted cream for breakfast, btw...they'd eat white cheese, and tea and bread.

I don't think you have to be worried about being recognized as Jewish. What you have to worry about is someone thinking you're American. Fortunately you have an English accent.
***it almost killed me to drag myself out of bed.***

It's either that or insomnia LOL
Happy New Year Emma.
Hope 2009 is a good year for you.

(You know how I want you to bring it in...)
Happy 2009 Emma!

The stray cats in the south east kill me. When I'll be in Athens this March, I'll go absolutely nuts trying to bring them all home.

Elizabeth makes a very interesting point... in most places, you're in way more "trouble" if they think you're American, than if they think you're Jewish.
I think it's sad that we as Americans get sterotyped by the rest of the world. We don't all support every decision our government makes. I like to meet people from all different countries and learn about different cultures. But I guess it's a fact of life we have to deal with.

On a brighter note..

Happy New Year everyone!
Gina, when I met my friend Kate from New York - while we were both backpacking in Ireland - the first thing she said to me (the VERY first words) was "I didn't vote for Bush, just so you know." It made me sad. Because even if she had, that wouldn't have meant to me that she wasn't nice.

I think it's unfair how Americans get stereotyped. I've met few people fitting the stereotype description in the US, and even if I met the ones who did, hell they were still friendly people. Prejudice is useless!
Happy New Year all, may this year be filled with love, joy, and spiritual blessing for all...
Dear Emma,
Istanbul is wonderfully known to be a haven for Jews. In 1492 when King and Queen Fernando and Isabella of Spain, decided they'ed had enough with their Jews, the Sefaradim, they issued a decree to forever be banished or convert. At that uncompromising bequest many decide to leave, and many converted sadly enough, to Christianity That is another story.
A great percentage were given refuge by invitation from the Sultan Bayazid II of Istanbul.
It's nice to know you are Jewish. When you have time I would encourage you to read about Dona Gracia Nasi, she is a quintessential Jewish heroine, who saved her fortunes from being plundered by the Inquisition, using her money philanthropically to help her kindred.

I would love to see a period piece about her dedication and courage written by you.

Happy New Year
Yes I did know this and learned more at the Istanbul Jewish museum. It is a fantastic story, Ms Princess Canopy Beds...Jews and Muslims co-existing together not just in harmony but active support of each other.
Dear Emma,
Right now I'm writing an essay on exactly that, oddly enough...The coexistence that existed between, Muslim's, Jews, and Christians during the Middle Ages, for the Sephardic Heritage Center, In Brooklyn NY.

Convivencia, is a Spanish word that encapsulates the idea of living together under a harmonious unifying polity/s. Very few people know about Sefard, and the peace that existed when these three monolithic faiths lived side by side during that epoch. While the rest of Europe was in its dark ages Al-Andalus/Sefard were in their most brillaint and lucid time.

Reza Aslan, and Maria Mendocal, are both very knowledgeable literati about this important topic. With the way world events are evolving its important to know some history especially when its as readable as these two authors present it.

Dear Emma,

Please understand that I am neophyte at writing. The essay that I am writing is only the second one that will be published. I am more of a ravenous reader sometimes reading up to 10 books at a time, when I have time. Though I am not much of a novel reader, I do read them once in a while, my passion, is history. Lately, Muslim history which is fascinating, even if I am Jewish I still admire their past contribution to our world.

I just felt I needed to humbly qualify my last entry.

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