I keep meaning to blog and then I get home, lose the motivation, get caught up in other activities, and don't -- and now it's a full month later since my last post. So much has happened in that period, both in the world and in my own little piece of it.
Turkish local elections were held across the country on March 29 -- the ruling party again took the biggest share of the vote, though with a drop in its percentages compared to the general elections of 2007.
Obama made his Turkey visit on April 6-7, backing Turkey's bid for the EU, encouraging a speedy normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia, and making general overtures to the Muslim world, in attempts to begin to heal the huge rift formed by the Bush administration.
As for my world, one big news item -- I gave notice to my editor-in-chief of my upcoming resignation on May 1. It's finally time to move on from this 6-day-a-week madness, though really, it's been a good experience. I've found it amusing how my mother-in-law gives me flack, usually only jokingly, about working for a conservative Islamic-leaning paper. She's a staunch secularist and thus believes the paper I work for and especially its parent, Zaman, are a mouthpiece of the ruling AK Party. She likes to mimic ripping the paper to pieces and joke that if I worked here too long I would end up wearing the Muslim headscarf and skirts down past my ankles.
I've seen many an editor and other news staff come and go in the past year and 8 months, made friends whom I'll hopefully be able to keep in touch with, and honed a skill that will likely come in useful in the future. But now, I'm just itching to get to the final day and be outa here and on to my next venture.
After a quick trip to the States for a friend's wedding and to visit family, I'll be back in the Bul briefly and then off for a summerlong trip. First stop: Nepal. Now Nepal is a place I've been trying to get to since my post-Peace Corps trip. But somehow, my traveling bud, Ingrid, and I just didn't make it. Plus it wasn't the best time to visit.
So this time I'm planning on doing the Annapurna Circuit, a classic trek that I've been enamored with ever since one of my uni. professors gave a slide show of his trip on the circuit, even if the monsoon hits a bit early. I'm ready to slog it. After Nepal I'll be heading down to southern India, then on to Malaysia to drop off my trekking gear at a friend's place. Then a free for all through Southeast Asia and up to China. Then backtrack and possibly back to India to do northern and central sections.
This trip will serve several purposes besides soothing my itchy feet for a bit. It will also be a trial break between my partner and I, as we've been going through some really rough times in our relationship. The summer apart will give us both some much-needed space to decide where we want to go from here. It's also meant to get me back to green, back to wide open spaces, particularly my time in Nepal. The Bul has gotten to be a bit much, evidenced by a flare up of rage when people bump into me or slug me with their bags on the way past and don't say a single word. I know that I need to chill, which for me means getting away from it all.
I don't have a set date for returning. On past trips it has become clear when it's time to head home. I just wake up one day and realize that I'm tired of being on the road and feel an intense longing for my own bed. And that's when I'll book a tic back to the Bul.
As for my relationship: What happens when you fall so far off the path that you had first envisioned together? How do you find your way back or to a whole new place together? Is it even possible? These are things that both of us are pondering, among others.
I'm also wondering if it is a cultural thing that my Turkish mother-in-law thinks she can come in and fix everything between me and Evren. It's not helping that she has taken sides and made known that she is against her son. I'm not sure how to break it to her (plus my Turkish doesn't cover the vocabulary necessary) that it's not possible to "fix" a 32-year-old man. And that anything that is "broken" in our marriage needs to be dealt with by us. And anyways, she and Evren are in Italy until Sunday, so I have a bit of time to figure this out.
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.