Why, in a charming little café in one of the most – possibly THE most – magical city in the world. Where else would she be?
Most of my blog readers are my friends and have followed my movements during the last month or so on Facebook, twitter, email, maybe even good old fashioned conversations like normal people [used to do]. So my whirlwind of travels this month is not news.
But for the few of you who know me only through CulturTwined, let me give a little recap of the last month+ since I last wrote here: two-day interview for a job in one of my many favourite cities and didn’t get it but got to visit my goddaughter while there… a week of meetings on the outskirts of Istanbul Turkey… another week of meetings in Colorado Springs USA… three tabouli parties to celebrate my novel Dreams in the Medina and raise awareness about Syria in Maryland and Virginia USA… play with niece and nephew… quickie fly-thru in London to unpack and repack… back to Istanbul Turkey where I’ll be living for the next 4-ish months. Things move fast. Some of this was confirmed for months, but some of it came up really last minute. Like the whole moving-to-Turkey thing. That wasn’t in the plans, but how does one say no to Istanbul?
If someone offered you a job that required you watching all your favourite TV shows all day and getting paid for it… or that required driving around in your dream vehicle all day and getting paid for it… or eating the most delicious of foods all day and getting paid for it… it’d be pretty hard to say no, wouldn’t it?
Well, that’s pretty much what happened. Istanbul has long been one of my favourite cities in the world. The food here is great. The Turkish language is music to my ears (although it’d be nice to understand a word or two). The architecture is nothing short of eye candy, but even the gorgeous old houses pale in comparison to the views of the sea and ancient historical monuments across the river. OK, so my job is not to live in Istanbul. But my job brought me to Istanbul and for that I am quite grateful.
To be perfectly honest, though, I’d probably do this job if it required living in a refugee camp in the middle of the desert for 4-6 months. I’m helping projects in four Middle Eastern countries that are designed to save the lives and seek to restore the dignity of Syrians, including Syrian refugees who have fled to neighbouring countries and Syrians who are trying to simply stay alive in their own country. As you may have noticed about me, Syria is very dear to my heart and recent events there have been heartbreaking to witness. So I’m thrilled to have an opportunity to be involved in helping out in some small way. So far the job is tough, and it’s just going to get tougher, but I really hope a few people’s lives improve as a result.
The one downside to this whole thing is that my CulturTwining friends might recall that I’ve talked quite a bit about moving to London, settling down, learning how to be stable. Well, this posting isn’t helping. It’s probably hurting. That makes me sad, but not sad enough to turn down the chance to do something I’m very very passionate about while living in such a fascinating city. And this isn’t a permanent move, just a few months.
So after an unscheduled hiatus, CulturTwined is back, though I’m not going to commit to any regularity. I might post on here about the tabouli parties and other exciting developments with Dreams in the Medina. I’ll probably try to introduce Istanbul to CulturTwined readers this and try to convince you to fall in love with this city just as I have and come visit. If I convince myself to start learning Turkish I’ll probably have some silly mishaps to share. Comments about Syria will continue to be inevitable, I suspect. And, as always, I hope to celebrate the joys of exploring diversity, people who are different from me, learning to experience the realities of others in some small way… yeah, I still love to CulturTwine.
p.s. if you use Google Reader and are looking for an alternate, I thought I’d let you know that I’ve migrated to Feedly and am loving it. And it imports everything so I hardly missed a beat! Yes, chances are I’m still reading your blog even if I’m staying silent.