Wistful Panic

Wistful : adjective, full of yearning or desire tinged with melancholy. – Merriam-Webster’s dictionary

That’s what Stephanie and I are feeling these days as we prepare to move back to the US. Her fellowship is up. Which means the money is running out. Which means we can no longer afford to stay here. The end of our adventure is very close. One week from today we board a plane for the USA.

Besides, the kids want to go back to their home and their friends in Michigan. We can’t believe they’re about to finish their school year, a year in Istanbul making friends from here and all over the world at their international school.

We’re also feeling a bit stressed. There’s the cleaning. There’s the sorting through the kids clothes and toys. There’s the packing. There’s the rushing around to see friends and do things we haven’t yet done. There’s having a birthday party for our daughter. There’s bringing Krispy Kreme doughnuts to our son’s class for saying “goodbye” to all his new friends. There’s an all-day end-of-year school field trip for the kids. There’s a trip to Bodrum. And there’s still work for my wife to do…So I tell myself,


And then I go back to being wistful.

“Just one more year,” I’ve been telling people, and I’m not kidding. For all of its faults and all the madness it can inspire, Istanbul is an amazing city that is wholly unique thanks to its history and mix of cultures and people.

We say goodbye to our friends over lunch or dinner or coffee, or over the phone or even over the Internet. (And we continue to store up on movies and TV shows a la Turka.)

As we turn our attention towards home, we think about family, friends, and pork and Italian beef sandwiches and Mexican food. Yet, we wonder how and when we might come back to this dynamic city.

BTW, this is what the Merriam-Webster page looked like when I opened it.

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 9.45.09 PM

Bana şaplak at means spank me. It’s a dating site of some kind as far as I can tell. I don’t know whether it’s specifically for spanking aficionados.

In addition to all the things I’m going to miss about Turkey, I’m going to miss these silly kinds of things.


If It Was Easy, More People Would Do It

As of late, the blogging has been light here at Honest Errors because planning and executing a trans-Atlantic move (even a temporary one) requires a lot of attention. As we have prepared for our move to Istanbul, the credit cards are getting a workout, budgeting has become an exercise in hard numbers coupled with many wild-ass guesses, and bank accounts are getting juggled.

We’re renting out our home. (We can’t afford to simply close it up for 10 months.) Renting sounded simple enough but then we realized that we had to make it hospitable to people who are not us. So…

  • We needed to paint the kids’ bedrooms to cover up all the spontaneous artwork scribbled on the walls in marker, crayon, or pen. This also entailed removing wallpaper borders.
  • We needed to paint the study/guest bedroom. This also entailed removing wallpaper borders.
  • We needed to paint the kitchen and breakfast area. This also entailed removing wallpaper borders. (Are you detecting a theme? A previous owner of our house REALLY liked wallpaper borders, a lot.)
  • The towel rack in the downstairs bathroom was nearly falling out of the wall thanks to the way the kids yanked at it.
  • The ceiling fan in our bedroom needed to be replaced because it only spun at the highest speed.
  • The timer on the dryer stopped working over a year and half ago, meaning that when you put clothes in to dry, it would just keep going until you opened the dryer door. So that had to be fixed along with the washer because it had stopped dispensing fabric softener.

That’s just the Home Improvement stuff. We did buy our plane tickets and we have our visas. Though we still need to pack for storage and the handful of things we’ll be able to fit in our suitcases. Many donations to both Goodwill and the local garbage collector have been made to smooth this process.

We still need to sell one of our two cars (First World Problem and there is an ad on Craigslist) not just because we were thinking of getting a new one, but also because it’s expensive to pay to insure two cars in Michigan, especially when you will not be driving either of them. (It did not cost us much less in MI than it did in LA to insure two cars. Not everything is so cheap here.)

Most of these things have already been accomplished. And there are still a handful of things that have yet to be done; mostly packing and cleaning, signing the lease on an apartment in Istanbul, and getting our kids placed in a school. This last one has become an ordeal. Not because of the school, but because of UPS in Istanbul (more on that another day). Apparently, UPS does not run the tightest ship in the shipping business in Turkey.

One major thing I still need to do is learn some Turkish.

I’ve been dutifully doing a lesson via Pimsleur every day now for nearly a month. Trying to repeat those “uuoo”s and “eehhs,” along with all those swallowed and rolled r’s, is stretching my mouth. I’m trying very hard to make the Turkish phrase for “See you tomorrow!” which is “Yarın görüşürüz” not sound like “URINE GURU SHOES!”

Our flight leaves on the 26th. There’s still time to learn some Turkish and do everything else, right?