Mum, Auntie Es and I arrived back in the Bul earlier this week after our two week trip southward, with the last stop being in Pamukkale. The travertines, which form from the calcium carbonate in the spring water at the site, provide a surreal view. On approach, it appears as a mountain covered in snow, but as you come nearer and then start the climb upwards you can see water cascading down and forming these pools of a pure aqua tone.
It's mandatory to do the walk in your bare feet. Those who refuse to comply are promptly whistled at by the guard below and then chased after if they continue in obstinance (as with one couple we observed on our way down).
Today, we made the one-hour trip to my mother-in-law's place in Cerkezkoy. I must admit that I showed up here with the thought that this wouldn't feel like part of my vacation at all, that I'd constantly be pressed to translate things (since Ev couldn't come due to work), which with my level of Turkish often feels like an unpleasant chore.
And there's also, well, I guess the closest I can come to describing it is a sort of power struggle between my MIL and I, though that doesn't fully capture it. For instance, while we were on the trip, my MIL visited our apartment and decided to do some ultra-cleaning, along with her friend. This cleaning included ripping down the screens that I had painstakingly put up at the beginning of the summer to keep out the mosquitoes. The screens were deemed too dirty and were tossed into the trash. I worked at not being infuriated when I learned about this. Decided this was not something I was willing to battle over and almost let it go.
But this time, things feel different. I've been able to relax, not over-analyze things. And mostly relations have just flowed. Perhaps it's because we're on her turf and she's more comfortable too. Who knows. I just wish that things could be like this between us all the time. Tranquility. This does feel like vacation -- good times with family, yummy food and relaxation.
I'm a Southern California girl whose wanderlust emerged at age 3 on my first trip to the Philippines. If I'm not on a trip, you can be sure that I'm planning one. Life is a journey, challenging us to live in the only thing we have, this moment.