Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Republic Day & Aşure

Long Weekend: October 28-29, 2015

At Mark Antalya on Republic Day with Lily and Alex.
Another weekend, another adventure. School week was short this week due to Republic Day. October 29th is Turkey’s Independence Day, and in observance, school ended early on Wednesday, and was closed on Thursday and Friday. Election Day was also conveniently scheduled for Sunday, October 31st. Alex and I rejoiced for the long weekend because we needed to hunker down and study for our first Turkish exam scheduled for Monday, November 2nd; however we ended up spending majority of the weekend entertaining our friend Lily from Konya, who came down to visit us for the weekend.

In front of Hadrian's Gate.
On Thursday, we took Lily to Kaleici. Every time we go to Old City, we see another part of it, which is actually quite exciting for me personally because I love being a tour guide. Those who knew me at Bowdoin know how much I love tour guiding. I had been dying to see Hadrian’s Gate, and on this trip, we finally found it! Hadrian’s Gate is a triumphal arch, which was built in the name of the Roman emperor Hadrian, who visited the city in the year 130.
Aşure delight (Noah's Pudding).
On Friday, our lovely university representative Meltem invited us to her house for a tea party. She made aşure (pronounced “ashoo-ray”), which is a dessert cooked especially during Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar. It is similar to Noah’s Pudding in that it is a mixture consisting of grains, fruits, dried fruits and nuts, topped with pomegranate seeds and coconut. It was very delicious! Meltem Hanim also baked a yellow cake and scrumptious cookies. Asli brought her mother’s famous mercimek kofte (lentil meatballs), which were also enjoyed by everyone. All our colleagues were at this party and it was nice to relax at a home-style gathering.

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