Saturday, February 23, 2013

ten things i learned in the last ten days

1. The way to beat jet-lag is drugs. Let's say you're prescribed muscle relaxers and pain killers due to some recent bumps and bruises and let's say their effect on you is to make you floppy and then to pass out. You'll sleep all the way across the Atlantic, through your layover and your next flight and then after making it all the way home, you'll sleep during the night like you're supposed to. Normally I can't take that stuff because it makes me so loopy but I'm telling you, nicest flight ever.

2. If you haven't regularly spoken a language in a good while and have forgotten a few random words, when you relearn the word in a third language (and accompany it with a grinning almost-three-year-old who's got it stuck all over his face), it'll become the better word. Rice became orez and is now pilav.

3. Speaking of language-learning, I knew this one already, but if you get stuck in an apartment (the good kind of stuck) with two people, one big and one itty bitty, the itty bitty with more English than the big one, you will learn quick. Well, relative to what you knew before, anyway. Beautiful to listen to, and nearly incomprehensible to me, which means I can still listen to the music of it.

4. If you ask for 800 grams of pistachios instead of 1000, you will get laughed at.

5. If you get a freakish swollen throat for the space of thirty six hours and then fly with it, something that I think is called your eustachian tube will close up (or get stuck open?) and your ear will feel like it's going to explode mid-flight. Not so fun.

6. Izmir is a crazy beautiful city. And I'm no food expert, but that was really really good too.

7. The call to prayer also sounds beautiful.

8. Fifty minutes is not enough time to make a connection at Sabiha Gokcen in Istanbul on a Friday night. Don't try it. You'll need miracles to get through, and you may get them, but it's frazzling.

9. Leaving a country where you don't know the language and coming back into one that you do still know but used to be as foreign as the other is a unique and wonderful feeling. Who would have ever guessed two years ago that hearing Romanian again I'd relax and be relieved and feel at home in a language I know. It's all relative, I suppose. Grateful for this one.

10. Number ten would be the one where I say something icky about why I was there in the first place and how that went, something that I learned. There was certainly plenty, I will say that. And plenty more, from the looks of things... :)

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