I contemplated creating a whole new blog and truly starting over, but then realized that I didn’t really want to lose all of my old posts. So I’ve contented myself with changing the layout and colors to make it look different at least, even if the name is the same!

We’re starting over in more ways than one — our little family of three moved to Turkey almost two weeks ago now. I wouldn’t really call Ankara the ends of the earth per se as it’s a big metropolis with pretty much all the comforts of home, but in terms of distance it’s still pretty far away. 14 hours of travel time, give or take an hour, to be precise. Mercifully, Stephen slept almost the entire way here, even through take-offs and one landing.

Our apartment here is fabulous — three bedrooms and a study (which we will be turning into a combination guest room/office once our extra bed arrives to accommodate what we hope will be a steady stream of visiting family and friends). For the first time in our married lives, we have more than one bathroom, which is also tremendously exciting. We also have a massive living room and a nice big kitchen, complete with a big American dryer (we have a smallish Turkish washing machine), a full-size (meaning American-size, not European) refrigerator/freezer, and a dishwasher. We’re located about four miles from Danny’s work, in a neighborhood chock full of restaurants and shops within walking distance.

Below is a picture of the view from our living room:

We’re both enrolled in a Turkish language class that meets twice a week, and given how few people here speak English we’re doing our best to learn as much as we can as quickly as possible. One of the benefits of our apartment building, for instance, is a kapaci (pronounced “ka-pa-ji“) — basically a doorman/handyman who gets to live here rent-free in exchange for running various and sundry errands for other residents like dropping off and picking up dry cleaning, delivering bread and/or groceries, etc. The only problem is that our very nice and very friendly kapaci speaks no English and we currently speak next to no Turkish, so although he has clearly attempted on a couple of occasions to offer his services, we haven’t really been able to take him up on it.

So far since we arrived, Stephen has almost mastered the art of sucking his thumb (he still has some trouble getting it into his mouth and keeping it there, but he’s getting better!), Danny has successfully figured out driving himself to and from work (no small feat…there are no set lanes on most of the roads here and driving is sort of a free-for-all every-man-for-himself experience most of the time) and I have been getting to know several other stay-at-home moms. We won’t have our car here for another couple of months, and although we plan to buy a second one to use while we’re here we can’t do that until our temporary resident paperwork processes through the Turkish government, which will take at least a couple of weeks. So for now Danny can use the office duty vehicle for his commute, and I take a taxi when I need to get somewhere that I can’t walk to until I can figure out the bus system.