Monday, December 06, 2010

Izmir Day II

Friday was our second day in Izmir, our first full day in Izmir. JB still had to work for the day so the boys and I hung out around the hotel. Ordinarily, hanging out around a hotel could be a problem. But not this hotel! After a fantastic free buffet breakfast, JB headed to work and we headed to accomplish some major playing. The hotel had a playground outside for the boys and the coolest indoor play area I think I have ever seen. A slide. Shapes that you pull out of the walls and can climb on. TVs. Video games. Lego's (E's favorite.) And, to top it all off, there was no one else there the whole two hours we played! Yipeee!

The boys took nearly four hour naps (plus about a 30 minute "stop playing and go to sleep" time). Good naps after a rough travel day! When they got up, we headed back downstairs to play and wait for JB to get off of work. From there we headed to dinner a few blocks from our hotel. After dinner we listened to a musician in the park for a few minutes before heading home and watching the end of Milan before bed.

I am so enjoying learning Turkish and just amazed at how the brain actually works. I will listen to a lesson on my Ipod and feel like I am not getting anything. And then, as I am lying in bed falling asleep, I feel the words start coming back to me and processing themselves. It's quite amazing. I am able to do most basic conversation now. For example, the hotel front desk called us in our room. I answered in Turkish. The lady asked me, in Turkish if I spoke Turkish and I understood her! I replied in Turkish that I only knew a little bit of Turkish. She then went to ask me how our visit was going in Turkish, and I was able to say, "Excuse me. Could you please talk in English?" And she did. LOL. Success! I have also been told by many people that my accent is very good. I can't tell you what a complement this is. You truly have no idea how you sound since the language sounds so foreign to you. If you ever meet someone who is trying to speak English, and you can understand them well, tell them you can! They will appreciate it.

I have wanted, my whole life, to be able to speak a second language. And now I am doing that. It takes a lot of time. I usually spend at least one hour a day listening or doing a lesson online. I also practice any chance I get with my housekeeper, gardeners, other Turkish nannies, everyone I can. I think the only thing that is frustrating to me is that I know that learning this language is not the most useful language I can learn. I am not going to be able to use it much, if at all, once we leave Turkey, and that is a bit frustrating to me. I wonder if I am doing all this for no reason at all in that case. But it is fun nonetheless, and I enjoy being able to do something better than JB! :)

Anyways, enough about language. Tomorrow ... on to Ephesus!

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