The other day I received a card in the mail from my niece, Eilish.

The cover:

The letter:

The word for word translation based on my lower-intermediate knowledge of child-language:

To Joseph, I know you are in Turkey ’cause no you. I miss in you I. Love Eilish

The reply:

Dear Eilish,

thank you very much for the card.

I miss you, too.

Yes, I am in Turkey.

One day I will return to Australia and then we will see each other again.

Love Joe

No. 1 For Petek Dincoz Photos – I Feel So Privileged!

Currently, this webpage is number 1 out of 123,739 MSN Search results for the words “petek dincoz photos“.

This is displayed on the screenshot below (click on the image for a larger version).

Why do I feel so privileged and delighted?

Petek Dincoz is a Turkish singer, but she is not just any singer.

Wouldn’t you be happy to be ranked number one with Petek? 🙂

Hajj and Kurban Bayrami (Sacrifice Holiday, Eid-ul-Adha)

From Thursday to Sunday is a four day holiday called “Kurban Bayrami” (in Turkish: Sacrifice Holiday) or Eid-ul-Adha. Throughout the Islamic world millions of sheep, goats, cattle and other animals will be killed and the meat eaten and distributed to the poor. Tonight I am off to see Toygun in Adana on the way to Aleppo (again) via Antakya.

This time of the Islamic calender (it varies slightly for each Gregorian year) is also the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudia Arabia. Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam that every Muslim who can afford to, should do at least once in their life.

This year, along with two million others, my boss is taking his parents-in-law on Hajj. They are on a three week trip arranged by the official Turkish Hajj agency. If my boss had his way he would have chosen a 10 day trip through a private agency. In Turkey (and probably in other Muslim countries), people who have been on Hajj are traditionally called “Haci” (pronounced: Haji).

The BBC News website has several informative links:

About Hajj

Eid-ul-Adha In Pictures

Your Say on Hajj

As is said in Turkish: Kurban Bayraminiz Kutlu Olsun!

The Last Of The Persimmons

There were no persimmons in all but one of the neighbourhood fruit and vegetable shops I passed. The season for this year is as good as over. To satisfy my hunger for this gorgeous fruit, I bought the remaining 4 kg from the one shop with any persimmons left.

1 kg has already entered my mouth either straight or in a yoghurt smoothy. One cannot get enough!