I have returned from a wonderful Christmas lunch at Janette and Marino’s. More about lunch later. Here is a rundown of my ‘Christmas experience 2003’:
For dinner I cooked stir-fry vegetables and chicken with rice.
The ingredients included: garlic, ginger, carrot, spring onion, cabbage, red cabbage, leek, broccoli, chilli flakes, light green capsicum, spinach, whole peppercorns, 3 eggs in an omelette, chicken breast, roasted peanuts, soy sauce and rice.
I overcooked the meal, per usual, but it still tasted great, although not as great as the 8 Tim Tams!
After a wonderful bath, I opened my present from Annie and David – I received a packet of Tim Tams, some silver tinsel and a Christmas tree wall hanging. The wall hanging and tree are now decorating the entrance ‘hall’ and the Tim Tams are finished – mainly by slurping coffee through the centre in the traditional way – the Tim Tam Slam. Thank you very much Annie and David!
My former flatmate, Umut, rang from Istanbul late last night and we chatted for almost half an hour. Earlier in the month he became engaged to long-term girlfriend, Beysun, in her hometown Usak. Congratulations Umut!
I woke up around 8 (a sleep-in!). The sun was shining and it looked a beautiful day. As an infidel I was given the day off work. For breakfast something healthy was required to recover from the Tim Tams and prepare for lunch. I ate my final persimmon, 2 mandarins and an apple accompanied by a cup of tea.
I then remembered I had 4 Tim Tams remaining. Boom! In a moment, none were left and the health wish was delayed for a day. Hey, it is Christmas, and one day of overeating in Turkey is far healthier than one month in Australia!
After breakfast I wrote several postcards before getting dressed and heading to work at 11 or so on this great morning. In my boss’s office I called the family via an Internet phone system work was testing. The telephone call was incredibly cheap at about 100,000 TL per minute but the quality was poor. I chatted to Mum, Dad, Liam, Anna, Shannon, Marga and Poppop in the house I grew up in, Price Street, Thevenard. They were finishing the prawns and pudding for dinner after earlier eating roast pork and other goodies. I don’t remember the other foods as thoughts about roast pork took priority…. I was on the phone for 40 minutes – about $4 Aussie worth! Unfortunately, the quality of the phone call is not enough to justify work keeping the Internet phone service.
After 12:30 it was time to catch the bus to the Marina apartment complex and grab some wine and cola for Christmas lunch at Marino and Janette’s. At this lunch were another Aussie, Katarina – the Hilton Manager, Central Americans, Ukrainians – Natalie and her son, Italians – including Bruno, the local Catholic priest, and others. It truly was expatriate central. The menu was potato salad with prawns, sliced meats, two types of lamb, roast pumpkin, potato fritters, zucchini, wines, some fantastic sweets from the Hilton and topped off with expresso coffee. Some great discussions about living in Mersin versus Istanbul, philosophy and other topics were aired. Afterwards, Natalie kindly dropped me off back in Camlibel.
Thank you Marino, Janette and all others who prepared the special Christmas meal of 2003.
So, that was Christmas 2003.
Bring on 2004!!!!