My First Kurban, Day 1

*I wrote this post on Sept 24 but had to wait until I had internet access to post it…so use your imagination and transport yourself back to Thursday…thank you J

For those of you who follow me regularly, you will have deduced that today was my first day of kurban bayram as a Muslim!  This isn’t my first bayram, since Ramadan just came and went in June/July- but this particular bayram is special because it is the first one I get to spend in a predominantly Muslim country!

Imagine spending Thanksgiving in Germany…that’s basically how Ramadan bayram felt to me this year.

When I found out that Kurban (sacrificing bayram) was around the corner a few weeks ago- I started counting the days! I was so excited!

-for those of you who are not familiar with Muslim holidays, Kurban celebrates Abrahams being willing to sacrifice his son for Allah, but then not having to.  We are told to slaughter a sheep or cow in remembrance, and give 1/3 of the meat to the poor, 1/3 to your neighbors, and 1/3 for yourself.  There’s a lot of other stuff, but that’s the gist.  Some people may think it is barbaric to slaughter an animal for religious reasons…but if you eat meat, you have no argument to give 😉 anyway…

And now I am sitting in my room making a quick write up of my first day!

It was not at all what I expected!

And I don’t mean that in a good way.

The day started out pretty good, with hubby rolling out of bed around 7am to make it to the mosque with his brother and father in time for the special bayram praying that one does. When they got back, Baba gave me some money (instead of wrapped presents you get candy and money).   Anne and I were whipping up a few extras for breakfast (fried eggplant, etc.) and everything seemed to be right on track with expectations.  I picked out a nice bayram outfit the night before and was all excited to get to wear it!

Well, it turns out that something went down and Hubby went back to the city without even eating breakfast to settle it out. So, that wasn’t exactly the kind of turn I was expecting. Bummer.

I spent the whole day sitting around waiting for the bayram festivities. Around 3pm I started wondering if anything was going to happen- and I had no one to ask since Hubby left.  Anne and I decided to make some dolmas- and who should show up right when we put them on the stove than the neighbors from hell.

  • Back story, the neighbors from hell are the people who live behind us at the beach, we share about 6ft (that’s 2 meters for you metric folks) of wall with them…so they are more catty-corner I guess…but anyway, apparently they kick up a fuss every five minutes for the stupidest things…like apparently we took up 3 ft of their garden before? Somehow I find that hard to believe, particularly when Baba and Anne measure twice and cut once, you know what I mean?  Anyway, one of our trees on that back portion recently dried up and died.  Come to find out, someone threw salt all over it.  –

They came with these fake smiles on their faces wishing us a happy bayram- then immediately launched into GOD knows what.  I really am not certain, but I think it has to do with the extra construction supplies we store in the back yard, the water pump, and possibly run off from the shower drain…which doesn’t even drain in the back of the house.  In any case, I spent a good hour and a half listening to them yelling in the back yard, which prompted more neighbors to come over and try to smooth out the rough edges.

This is bayram for goodness sake!  Doesn’t anyone have any respect??  And if the back yard is ugly- the backyard that takes up all of 2 meters of your eyesight in the back of your house- don’t look at it!  It’s actually a pretty easy fix!  I can’t wrap my head around how ridiculous the bits of the conversation I could pick up actually were.

And the worst part?

We served them coffee and chocolate.

Why in the world would you give goodies to a couple of jerks who came up in your house to yell in your face?  That’s something I just don’t understand about Turkish culture.  In the US, if you roll up on my lawn and start something, you are going to experience some unpleasantness.

(according to hubby it wasn’t really a fight/yelling- more of a discussion…but to my American ears, it was not ok)

We ended up with 4 guests, Baba, Anne, and brother in law all incredibly loud in the house.  I just sat back and started reading my Turkish lesson book.  Too many people for me, thank you! Good thing I was completely ignored- because without hubby, I couldn’t handle that much action.  Family is one thing- they know who I am, my limitations…but strangers? I can’t.

Finally they left and we were able to eat our dolma in peace.  After eating we went to the beach and watched the sunset.

Without hubby.

It wasn’t nearly as nice as it is when he’s here.

Now we’ve come back to the house- it’s about 8:32pm…and I’ve worn my sweatpants all day, and I don’t think we are going to be doing any family visiting today.   Fortunately, there are 3 more days of bayram left.  I hope tomorrow holds more promise.

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