House Hunt Struggles 

Guys. 

When did it become so expensive to live in Izmir? 

We’ve been on the hunt for an apartment for a few months, just recently visiting locations and whatnot since the prices have been going down for the winter season. 

But dang. If it isn’t expensive, still!

Hubby and I work quite close to each other (he is at a factory and Im at a school, just two metro stops apart). So valid living options are centered in one 5km radius.  You think it would be easy, since there are many new apartments, old sites, etc to choose from.  I mean, there are “for rent” signs everywhere. 

But the PRICE!! 

Not many places have shown up on our radar for under 1000₺/mo, and that’s not even considering proximity to amenities, public transport, pazar locations, etc.  That’s not even taking into account the size (I’m talking tiny in some cases!) of the apartment and its having proper heating systems or not (we need that natural gas!). 

Like, base price for a poor looking, run down, old apartment on the first floor on this side of town is minimum, 900₺. Woah now.  Woah. 

For folks that live in Istanbul, you’re probably laughing at me.  Like, that’s not bad for living in the city.  But considering you make more in Istanbul… We do want to save money from our pay checks, and hope to buy a car and stuff one day in the near future. 

So far the two places we seriously considered from sahibinden were a fantastic price, but the location was terrible.  I mean,  you’re going to get kidnapped on the road terrible. 

And so we continue to live in a room in my in laws apartment… More about that later. 

Note: between work and looking for an apartment, time to write has gone down to near zero.  I hope to pick up soon! Sorry! Check my Instagram for more activity starting today! I ran out of data too fast last month… 

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An Uneventful Bayram and Pleasant Surprise! 

Sorry guys, no pictures this time… 

This last Kurban Bayram was very uneventful, unlike the one we had last year (which I documented with one post per Bayram day!).  All we did was get dragged around Bergama to see all the old family members (read: anneanne, teyze, and hala) and there was no big dinner like last time. No picnic. Not as many people sacrificed this year, because the cost of a lamb or cow just keeps going up! 

And of course there were family fights and drama, but I tend to walk away when that happens. 

But one thing I do want to share with you is my new favorite köfte joint in Dikili (a short 20 minute or so drive from Bergama)! 

Sorry again,  no pictures.  I just kind of sucked it down… 

It’s called Bay Gözlük and can be found down one of the side streets.  There is a main round about near the Dikili çarşı, and if you look at about 2 o’clock with your back to the sea, you’ll see the köfte shop. It’s quite small and old school, but amazing! I wasn’t looking forward to a köfte ekmek (I had wanted ayvalık tostu…) but I’m glad I went for the popular choice! 

The bread was soft and buttery and crammed with tomato, onion, and köfte.  Not one bite went meatless. Oh,  and the spice mix was something else! I swear I tasted turmeric and maybe a smidgen of ginger? And for 5₺ no less! 

But what brought the whole thing home was the pickles. The usta set a whole jar of sliced salatalık turşu on the table…

And when I pulled them out and tasted it… 

I could have sworn it was Vlassic.  That sweet, tangy, dill taste that I have been searching for this last year.  Here,  in front of me. And now all over my sandwich. I think he regretted putting out the jar, because I ate half of it.  Legit, at least 10 slices of pickle.  

I wish I had pictures, but you’ll just have to go and see for yourself! 

 Celta certified! 

When I got that email a little over a month ago that said “leave behind everything, you’re starting the CELTA 1 month intensive course program”,  I thought to myself, how hard can it actually be?

I mean,  I’ve done the school thing. I’ve done grad school.  I’ve dug in cow poop in the Florida sun for crying out loud.  I can certainly handle a little month long course.

But dang,  they were not joking!!

THE CELTA IS HARD !

It’s not that the material is hard, but that you barely get to breath for five minutes before you have to turn around and do something else.  My conspicuous absence from social media is a testament to that!

But would I do it all again? Absolutely, without a doubt.  It was an amazing experience that (I think) has helped prepare me tremendously for teaching ESL.  Stay tuned for details about celta in general and my experience.

Yesterday was my last day! And now I’m escaping to the beach for the bayram! I’ll (insallah) be back with all the nitty gritty then!

“Those who can, do… And those who can’t (?)”

Well,  I guess those who can’t go to a class or YouTube a tutorial… Because they sure as hell don’t teach!

Super rude, George Bernard Shaw.

I’m not sure how someone who can’t do a thing could possibly teach it.  Well,  I guess they could try… But they would probably suck at it.

That is my preamble into announcing I will be super busy next month taking a CELTA teachers training course! Woo-hoo!

CELTA is an English as a second language teachers certification program. For me, it consists of 4 weeks of course work and supervised teaching of English to non-native speakers,  getting feedback, doing some “homework”, and hopefully getting certified when it’s all done! It’s overseen by Cambridge University in England, but I’ll be taking the course offered here. It’s not cheap, but it also doesn’t expire… So if I ever get the opportunity to teach English, I’ll be ready to go!

I spent two years teaching at UF and loved it…I hope this is just as rewarding!

Wish me luck 🙂

The job hunt has begun!

Hello my dear friends/ followers- I have some exciting (ish?) news!  I have been sitting on my backside long enough…and I am on the look-out for a job!

6 months of nothing is just…it’s enough.

 As is the case for everything in Turkey, word of mouth is the best way to get your news out there.  If anyone knows of/works at a school looking for native english speakers to teach English in the Izmir area- let me know!

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Thanks in advance!