So…you’ll remember all the times I bored you with the stories of how freakin’ hot it is here? Well, apparently the Winter Gods heard me because now we are heading into Day 4 of solid rain. And not just little dribbles of rain like we get in San Diego. R.A.I.N. people. Pouring, endless rain complete with thunder and lightning. I am currently wearing a long-sleeved shirt, sweats, furry socks and slippers. Here’s a look:


‘Nuff said.
And that about sums up our year here. Like the weather—super hot and then freezing cold. There have been amazing experiences and then days of dread. An emotional roller coaster, I tell you. And it’s hard to categorize what was great and what was horrible. For example, one of the things we love about this place is the simplicity of life. There is not this whole status thing here–you are either a rich member of the mafia society or you are not. And most people are not. And if you are not (like us), then you have a simple existence…work, housework, shopping, maybe a meal or drinks with friends. That’s it. It’s nice not to have all the pressure–though we pretty much ignore all that nonsense at home anyways. That said, this life can be booooooooooooooooooring at times. Like right now. I am not interested in having another tomato and cucumber (shopska) salad with a barbecued piece of mincemeat (kebapche/kyufte). Frankly, I am not even in the mood to eat at another restaurant. Ever. And I have eaten the same meal of chicken in some form, tomatoes and squash for the past two weeks. So I have learned something….

Simple=Boring (at times)
I need a little more stimulation. Really, I learned that I need outdoor activities. I have watched more movies, read more books, and solved more sudoku puzzles in this past year than I will in the rest of my life. Even on days that it is sunny, I find myself feeling trapped in the apartment, because really, what are my outdoor options? I can walk to the park to the left of the flat or the one to the right, both of which are packed with people and full of graffiti and dog pee (and now that I am dog-less, I have no desire to admire other people’s dogs). I can eat somewhere. I can shop. Blech to all of those options. And so I read. And re-watch movies. And to mix it up, download old songs from my youth.

Another hot/cold example: Food. I love, love, LOVE the whole fresh fruit and vegetables thing. They are delicious and good for you. But here is the problem. They last for maybe 2-3 days. So let’s just say….that maybe……it rains for 4 solid days. Or worse. SNOWS! Well, you still have to go out almost everyday to get food. With no car. Just two little feet to trounce through the city. And odds are, they won’t have what you are looking for at the market nearby, so you end up walking across town to find it. Which we just had to do on Sunday. Grrrrr!!!

And finally….the biggest hot/cold: No family, no friends. Hey, let’s all just be honest here. Sometimes, you get a little tired of your peeps. Or they annoy you. Or you are in a bad mood so really you are annoying them when you think they are annoying you. You know what I’m talking about. It’s nice to be away for such a long time that you really, truly miss your peeps. The downside? Man, it’s lonely here. I’m not that introspective of a person that I actually like to be by myself for long stretches of time. In fact, I think the longest I’ve been alone is when I sleep.

Until this year.

Turns out, I’m alone for days on end, especially with Mark’s wacky work schedule. I even get excited to see him. (Pathetic, I know….ok, ok, just kidding!) But in all seriousness, I prefer to live near my peeps. I like to actually SEE people, not just read their emails…

In sum? I suppose it’s been a bipolar year. And as it so happens, I am a San Diego girl—I like my weather to be the exact same temperature every day of my life. Enough of this “season” nonsense. I’m ready for a little stability! And in just a few days, I’ll have it….and that makes no one happier than Mark me!