Tuesday, December 28, 2010

In and Around Ankara with my Mom

My mom is here visiting Turkey for her second time. She was here last in the summer, and beyond seeing the country in a different season, this trip has also been a chance for her to see my life in full swing (rather than me in travel mode during a summer off). We did take one 5-day trip down south to Antakya (Antioch) for Christmas, but other than that, have stayed around Ankara. Here's what we did:

She accompanied me to the Turkish American Association where I auditioned for the play, "Women in Mind." I don't think she was too disappointed that she wasn't allowed to come in to the theatre to watch my audition, because she and Rukiye made ebru paintings (marbelling) with an ebru artist on display in the gallery.

She came to watch one of my tango classes:

We took a trip to the pazaar (open-air veggie market) in the suburb, Umitkoy:

We drove 90km to Beypazari, the nearby town of Ottoman houses, carrot products, and silver jewelry:

A trip down south to Antakya involved an overnight stop in the town of Goreme (Cappadoccia). Sorry if you're sick of seeing pictures of Cappadoccia. The place is just so darn photogenic.

The cave hotel we stayed in was my favorite yet. We also visited El Nazar Church on a walk down a new valley. The church's frescoes were from the 9th century, and it was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985. The ticket seller/interpretive guide seemed like he lacked visitors on that particular December 23rd, for he tried every trick in his basket to get us to stay and spend time with him. Besides canned jokes about locking tourists in the gated room where priests used to change, he offered us tea, free brochures, and finally when we were walking down the hill in the sunset, he ran after us yelling, "Wait! I never gave you your tickets!" And when we said we didn't need them since we'd already seen the church, he paused and repeated himself, and then finally, realizing his plan for company had failed, muttered, "Throw them away?"

Christmas in my lojman (apartment):

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