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May, 2010:

People are horny

Yes, I thought that would get your attention.

After spending many years in Istanbul, it occurred to me the other day that I have, in addition to learning a fair bit of Turkish, learned to speak “horn,” and here’s where this blog entry has potential to digress in a totally different direction!

What I mean when I say that people are horny, is that if you have ever lived in a city of 15 million people (give or take 5 million), you will agree that people use horns to communicate in all sorts of ways…based on my experience and observations while in an overcrowded city, I have put together a brief “Horn to English” dictionary… Enjoy!

Each category of vehicle has it’s own language so I shall separate them by class of transport. I will describe the action being emitted from the vehicle and follow it with what it is trying to communicate.

Taxis looking for customers:
Half a honk – hey! I’m a taxi!
One short honk – I see you walking and I could drive you where you want to go
Two short honks – really, I see you and I’m available
Two short followed by a double flash of the headlights – seriously, I know there are a thousand other taxis out here and you are still walking, so I can only assume that you haven’t found the right one… I’m your guy!
Three short but rapid honks – I’m fast, jump in and I will get you there in record time!

Taxis with customers:
Half a honk – watch out, I’m on a run, I can’t stop once I’ve started
One full honk – I’m a taxi and you’re a human crossing the road, you’re like a pigeon to me, either you get out of the way or I will run your a*s over… I’m not stopping!
One full honk at an intersection – I’m moving faster than you and if you can see the lack of concern in my eyes you will know…. I’m not going to stop, yield, or slow down!
One long honk – I was here first!
Two long honks, holding on the second – are you fuc**n’ kidding me!? Who parallel parks on a busy street at 6pm on a weeknight?!!!
One long honk AND HOLD – I don’t know what you 150 cars in front of me are stopped for… But if you can hear this, you will obviously take note of my urgent request and MOVE IT!!!!!
Two long honks AND HOLD – obviously you didn’t hear the first one…. Here’s another!!!!!!!

Regular cars (just average people driving around)
One short honk – hey!
One short honk followed by responding short honk – hey! hey back!
Two quick honks – hey you look good! Any chance that you would be attracted to a man that speeds past and acknowledges your beauty with the toot of a horn?

Well, these are just few of my horny experiences in a city of 18 million… I hope this entry has been informative and has satisfied you in some way:))

By the way, while writing this blog I have counted close to 40, wait… 41 honks!!!


New Page on the Blog

I’m working on a new page to add to the blog. I think you guys will like it. Stay tuned…

Lodos in Istanbul


Lunch in Ankara


From our balcony this past winter


Do I need a caption here?


Music club in Istanbul


Park by our house at night


Breakfast at Özlem's (owner of Yoga Darsan in Ankara) house


I actually can't remember where this was. :"

Toronto in 8 hours

After passing through Toronto multiple times, this was my first time actually leaving the Toronto airport… With an 8 hour layover and nothing to do, I decided to take the city by storm… or shall I say by stroll:)

With no idea of where to go, I thought a good way to start would be to google “Organic Restaurants.” (When in doubt, let your stomach lead the way!)

I decided to take the subway in since the volunteer at the information booth convinced me that all modes of transportation would take equal time… and he seemed to be a subway man himself, since he grimaced each time I questioned if a taxi or the express bus would be easier… When you only have a few hours, you don’t want to spend them underground looking at all the different subway stops, of which I counted 20! (yes, I took a taxi on the way back:)

Arriving downtown, I exited the subway station and consulted my trusty iPhone and since it does not discriminate between north and south, I confidently walked in the wrong direction multiple times.

Ok… Right here I need to insert massive frustration!!!!! I had finished this entry and then lost it ALL from this point on…. It’s so frustrating when all of your wit and intelligent phrases for the past two hours goes to waste!!!

Perhaps I was not meant to share my 8 hours of wild and crazy Toronto experiences with you?!

So, let’s change it up a bit… Here is a list of words that, like spices in a dish, are the after-taste of my Toronto experience (in no particular order and for no particular reason):
UNICEF volunteers, burgers, Whole Foods, hand made chocolate, very short skirts, more Whole Foods, Save the Children volunteers (across the street from the Unicef volunteers), Italian coffee, outdoor patios, manicure & pedicure (nice hands and feet are part of the job description), high heels – really short skirts (yes, I know I already mentioned it) – and small dogs, a cigar cafe?!, Stella x 2, taxis, a slight breeze, public squares (as apposed to a square public:), more Italian coffee, Lululemon (of course), french fries with a tomato and avocado salad (very eclectic I know, but I didn’t think I was hungry:)

Well, that is my verbal-Toronto-aftertaste:)) I had a great eight hours in Toronto, looking forward to our next visit – soon!


Life in General – Random Acts of Kindness Explored

It’s a beautiful day in the sunshine, sitting in Vancouver bathing my toes in freshly mowed grass and a light afternoon breeze, a perfect setting to hash out a quick bog. I have tried so many times to write even a short blog post but have not been able to get past a just a few lines as workshops and trainings have taken all of my attention and time.

We have just finished Immersion II in Vancouver and have decidedly taken a week off to just take classes and be students ourselves – it’s great to have the chance to be our student’s students – that is of course if they don’t collapse of anxiety before the class even starts ( it’s been known to happen:)

It’s interesting… As I look back over the past couple of months there has been a common thread of experiences in places that you would least expect them to occur… That experience? People being extraordinarily nice!

As you know (if you know me well), I am not one to stereo type, unless of course the stereo type is true or if it helps me make a valid point… That being said, you will agree that the following random acts of kindness, given their location, would seem out of sync with the inherent rhythm of the universe – as we perceive it be, of course.

Random act #1. A stranger held the door open for me as we exited a Paris metro station. I shared my surprise with a Parisian friend who assured me that it wouldn’t last and said that the the nice weather was to blame:)))

Random act #2. Having two packages of amazing buratta cheese and a bottle of wine added to our take away bag at an Italian restaurant in Paris (in their defense, we do go there a lot)

Random act #3: Having an entire row of seats blocked out for Ozlem and I on our flight from Europe to NY (those of you that fly loads will appreciate having two personal screens to yourself to be able watch the same movie on two screens, two seconds apart – it’s what we call in the business, “Lo-Fi 3D”)

Random act #4: After a failed attempt by the concierge at our NY hotel to get us a table at the wildly popular “Peasant,” Ozlem and I walked over anyway to have a look and as we walked in the manager greeted us with a smile and asked the expected, “do you have a reservation.” After I answered “no,” he said… “Let me see if I can make room for you…hmm..yes..hmm..table ….hmm.. Ok.. Come right this way, table for two… Enjoy Peasant!” And that, we did!!!!

Random act #5: Also at a NY restaurant. Ozlem and I popped in to Delicatessen, which was just around the corner from our hotel. It was a busy and beautiful afternoon. We were greeted by the manager who quickly found us a table… We chatted for awhile, he came back every few minutes to talk “yoga” and as we left, we were informed by the staff that the drinks were taken care of, nice! We went back several more times and met the owner, whose family had occupied that space since 1935 or something like that, in fact, his mother, in her 90’s, still lives upstairs! Awesome people!!!

Every once in awhile, it’s experiences like these that remind me of the common goodness that is inherent in the world and that people everywhere just love to connect and be connected with. We had a blast in NY and Paris.

There are many more great experiences and random acts of kindness that I would LOVE to share, however, Ozlem is hungry and she wants her breakfast now!!!!


We got to a rainy Vancouver on Sunday night. We are definitely not packed for the weather. Weather forecasts really deceived us this time. Although today it does look better. Haven’t been outside yet.

Chris has been working on streamlining some of his lecture notes and the homework. He keeps telling me “I think I should reduce the amount of homework.” My only response to that is: I think your students will love you more.

He’s been in this position for hours now: