Weekly Photo Challenge: Door


This week’s weekly photo challenge is called door.  Doors have many significant meanings in different cultures… and to me, door makes me think of the one I will be walking out of for the last time at the end of the month, and the one I will be walking through for the first time in four years in August inshallah…

But neither are this door.


The opulent doorway to Topkapi Palace in Istanbul… the home of many Sultans throughout Turkish history.  Yeah, no emotional meaning here…it is just pretty cool :)

Starbucks Name

Starbucks Name

One of my international friends, Chinese, actually, told me about this hilarious concept called a Starbucks name.  What she meant is that some names are difficult to pronounce in another country- like her own name in the US- and therefore she picked a more English-friendly, American name to use at places like Starbucks or Chick Fil A or other places that call you by your name in a crowded place.  It is just easier for everyone.  And to be honest, I totally get it.

When purchasing bus tickets in Turkey, the attendant would butcher my name miserably on the ticket.  Whenever the hubster and I were out and about and a name was needed for an order or something, we would use his name…much like we keep everything under my name here in the US.  So, for unofficial purposes like bus tickets and whatnot, I chose to take a Starbucks name for Turkey.

Have you ever had to make changes like these to get around language or culture issues?

And so begins a new sub-category…


Vertigo? Verti-NO!


  And I’m not talking about the movie…


As of two days ago I’ve had a nasty battle with vertigo.  If you aren’t familiar with that term- it refers to dizziness that is not associated with nausea or passing out.  I’m talking about full tilt, world spinning on it’s ear, running into walls dizziness.  It first started on Sunday afternoon when getting up from a nap.  When I woke up the following day (yesterday) for suhoor I ran into a wall… we were afraid that this vertigo was from fasting and I chose to skip fasting on Monday and make it up along with my -lady time- fasting later.  I went to the doctor today and they said I had a viral infection in my inner ear.

  I guess the good side is that nothing else feels bad?

The doctor told me not to fast for a few days so that I can fight the virus before it gets worse.  Lots of fluids and good eating were my prescription- but I am rather upset.  I very much enjoy fasting and feel very in touch with my creator when I do it.

Fortunately the only way that fasting could have caused my dizziness is that my immune system dropped (as does everyone’s) when putting excess stress on your body.  Fasting coupled with my Masters’ defense tomorrow was a stress cocktail that resulted in a viral infection…ick!

Fortunately the doctor said that after I have one full day of no dizziness I can return to my fast! YAY!

But I do want to stress that if anyone out there is feeling dizziness during their fast- they should seek medical help.  There could be a blood pressure or blood sugar problem that has reared it’s head now that you or fasting…or you could have an infection due to a lowered immune system!  Fasting is intended for our goodness and not to make us sick- so don’t be afraid to visit the doctor and take a few days off for your wellness.  Surely Allah is the most Beneficent and Merciful indeed… and you can always enjoy reading Quran or listening to tafsir (lessons) to keep your iman and taqwa boosted during this blessed month.

Ramadan Mubarek!

My bucket list


A post by feisty harriet popped up on my reader a week or so ago, where she listed her own bucket list.  While most of my experiences with bucket lists are movie related- I never thought to make one for myself.  I am always saying “I want to do this”…but then I never write it down, and many dreams and goals are forgotten.

As I wrap up the end of my graduate school journey and look forward to starting a new chapter of my life in Turkey (or maybe it’s more like a new book?), I know that I will have a lot of free time.  Even more, I have spent a quarter of a century on this planet, 25 years have come and gone in the blink of an eye…it is about time I buckle down and iron out  what I want to do with the time I have left.  Who knows how long that may be…no one is promised tomorrow!

So without further ado,  here is a list of 30 things that I would consider to be part of my bucket list…in no particular order.:

  1. Master the Turkish language

  2. Learn to ride a bike

  3. Go snorkeling

  4. Catch, clean, and cook a fish (the same fish!)

  5. Go sailing

  6. Go camping

  7. Learn Arabic

  8. Read the whole Quran in Arabic, cover to cover

  9. Have a child

  10. Raise them well

  11. Paint a mural

  12. Have a Turkish wedding

  13. Take a train across Europe

  14. Go on Hajj

  15. Drink Zam Zam water

  16. Visit Capadoccia, Antalya, and Pamukkale, Turkey

  17. Own a house

  18. Find a private beach and spend the day there

  19. Make a cultured cheese (as in bacteria, not sophistication haha)

  20. Plant a fruit tree and harvest it

  21. Milk a cow

  22. Learn the Zeybek dance and do it with my husband

  23. Be married 50 years

  24. Stop cursing- full stop

  25. Knit a blanket

  26. Visit California

  27. Visit the Bahamas or Jamaica

  28. Go on a cruise

  29. Butcher a cow

  30. Feed a hungry person

What’s on your bucket list?  Do you think it is important to make your goals very realistic- or do you like to have grandiose dreams?

Actually, I think I may make this a page for my blog and cross them out as I complete them…what do you think? :)

Gay Marriage: A response


Today is a historic day in American history.  Today the legality of gay marriage is the law of the land.  Every state must recognize and sign off on gay marriage.

The internet and news channels are exploding- everyone has an opinion.  Even the supreme court justices who decided the constitutional stance of gay marriage in a 5-4 vote had a lot to say.  In this country, gay marriage is a very contentious issue.

Well, I guess it’s my turn now.

What do I think about the legalization of gay marriage?:


…well, it’s about time. duh.

Commentators:  But you’re muslim!

Why yes, yes I am.  And what of it?

Commentators:  Your holy book says that gay marriage is not allowed!

Well…does it?  The Quran actually says that gay relations is not permissible, not actually being gay, or gay marriage, as far as I can tell.  Even if it does, so what?  Not everyone is Muslim. This country, America, promises freedom for all.  That means me, you, and gay Americans.  I don’t feel like a couple being allowed to enjoy legal benefits given by federally recognized marriage is going to hurt me or my beliefs.  I don’t have to partake in a gay marriage… no one is making me officiate a gay wedding.   This country is a melting pot and is made up of many different people with many beliefs, and I have no problem with people living their lives in a way that I wouldn’t live mine.

If I expect to have my rights to be Muslim, wear hijab, etc. to be honored- I will in turn honor the rights of those who do not agree with me.  Live and let live.  You don’t even have to agree with me, that’s ok too.

Simple enough.

My Muse (weekly photo challenge)



There is something about the ocean that inspires me.   Regardless of a storm far out at sea, the tide stills comes in, goes out, comes in, goes out… it doesn’t change.  Any particular shell that washes ashore could have originated in another part of the world, but now it is here.   All the while the tide goes in, goes out, goes in, goes out.  It is a comfort to me, knowing that even though some things change, others always stay the same.

Cee’s Which Way Challenge: Konak #TBT


I’m always down for a photo challenge, especially during these lulls where I either don’t have anything to write about or am too busy to write something worth reading.  I have found this to be particularly true this Ramadan- when trying to meet all of my spiritual goals and writing my thesis/ preparing my defense has kept me RUNNING!

This brought me to Cee’s which way challenge– a cute idea that I stumbled upon when perusing the blogs of people who like my posts.  I’ve decided to do a little #TBT at the same time…

DSCN1250A very familiar view for anyone from Izmir, Turkey.  This is a bridge that runs over Konak, aka “central” Izmir.  I found myself returning to this bridge multiple times, eager to go to the bazaar on the other side (which will likely be featured on another which way post).  No doubt, whichever way you go in Konak is the right way!

The colors of the rainbow


  This week’s photo challenge is called Roy G. Biv…which is an anagram for the colors of the rainbow!  From the sun bleached stones to the vibrant forests, Turkey is one of the most colorful countries I have visited.  Everywhere you turn your eyes are delighted with the rich culture and colors of this country- where east meets west in a brilliant array that cannot be matched.














DSCN1755  I could have easily prepared a collage for each color…but I don’t have the patience to dig through my old photos for that ;)  I hope this is enough to whet your appetite. All photos were taken by yours truly.

Babalar Gunu Mutlu Olsun/ Happy Fathers’ Day!


Today has always been difficult for me growing up.  My father passed away when I was one year old, and I never knew him.  Whenever fathers’ day would come around I would celebrate with my grandfather, who has always been the male role model in my life.  Still, it isn’t the same.

But now I do have a father.  Well, a father-in-law that is.  But I know that to him there is no difference between the marriage and blood tie.  We are family.

Happy Fathers’ Day to all the dads out there, and to my babacigim (dear father).

Babalar Gunu Mutlu Olsun!