Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Duz/The Purple Palace

Ah home sweet home, Duzce, that is. Pronounced 'dooz-chay'. It is a small city, known mostly for the 7.2 earthquake that destroyed it in 1998. Now there are virtually no traces of that tragic past. The Duz is my home. It was described to me as a little cup, with the city nestled in the bottom of the cup, and the hills and mountains rising quickly around it, creating a cup. My University is situated overlooking the Merkez- or town center. And my brand new apartment happily sits itself 3 blocks away from the main city center. We got the top floor, or "pent house" as the ad calls it. It is quite lovely- walls of purple and pink, furniture of pink and green. It is such a happy house. :)

This weekend has been a blur. We arrived to Duzce on Thursday to a bus station that was actually not a bus station at all, but a tea house. We waited for someone to pick us up and we were taken to the guest house- our temporary home until we found an apartment. It's basically a hostel for adults. Mehr. Tas and I share a room where the power has worked for exactly 1.5 out of the 4 days we've been here. That includes cold showers. Can you say, brr? But all the bad stuff washed away with the hope of our new apartment. I dream of the Purple Palace! 3 Days and Counting. Duzce itself is a lovely little thing, a quaint town with two beautiful large mosques in the town center, shopping on the avenues and the like. Quite metropolitan for such a small city- oh, did I mention they have a bowling alley? Though it still throws me to see bikers in the street, along with crazy cars, and horse drawn carriages to cart around agricultural products. It truly is a country where east meets west. The craziest and best parts of the Middle East seem to blend, comically at times, with the westerners of Europe. Baklava is a lovely example. It is served 2/3 meals a deal. The only thing that beats it is the tea, which is usually served to us a good 8-12 times per day. Lots of tea my friends, lots of tea. Tomorrow is officially my first day of teaching (8 hours- 2 classes= 4 hrs/class!) so I must finish the final touches on my lesson plans. Good night from Turkey!

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