Friday, March 29, 2013

Mother of Five Evades Death and Celebrates with Sushi

Today I screwed my courage to the sticking place and ventured out to downtown Adana. My goal was to practice driving to the places I would need/want to visit while my parents are here. I took along my good friend Karen who has lived here for nearly two years and will be leaving this summer.

The first place we drove to was the airport, which I will have to go to in the middle of the night so I wanted to be very comfortable with the route. Luckily the construction detour that made it tricky is now mostly finished so getting there is fairly easy.

Next we drove to the Roman bridge. Along with the big mosque, this is one of the places I have seen from the road but haven't actually visited yet.  I do want to be able to take my parents to both places though. We didn't go to the mosque today because it is Friday, the Muslim sabbath so it was packed. But I know where to park now and think I can do that one on my own as well.

The bridge dates from 384 AD and until 2007 was one of the oldest bridges in the world open to motorized traffic. Since then its only used as a pedestrian bridge and a venue for events. Karen showed me where to park at the Hilton to be able to walk across the bridge.  Instead of parking there we drove down one more block so we could get some pictures of the bridge and the mosque.

As we walked we came across this:
 And this:

 That's a sheep carcass hanging from the tree. Just to the right is a sheep market. I'm sure the sheep was purchased there, then killed and skinned right there. The skin is on the ground to the left.

Once past all the lifestock, we were in position to take some great photos.
 Pretty great, huh? The Turkish name for this bridge is Taskopru which translates as stone bridge.

Next we drove to Old Adana which was terrifying. Friday must be a big shopping day because the whole district was packed with people, cars, and buses. All the cars and buses were trying to kill me and all the pedestrians were trying to jump in front of my van. Seriously. Everybody was honking and merging lanes and Karen was trying to tell me places I could park and which streets had which shops on them but all I could think was "We're going to die, we're going to die!" After driving through twice and still feeling like nothing she said was sinking in and there was no way I was ever going to be able to navigate this on my own, I cried uncle and we left.  Maybe in another year I will be able to do that one on my own but for now I'm still going to need some kind friend to take me.

Our next goal was more successful. I wanted to be able to drive to the women's market by myself. I sort of remembered the way and after Karen's coaching the first time through I was able to drive it without her help a second time. On the way home she showed me where the sushi restaurant up by the university is. Since we hadn't eaten lunch we stopped in. It felt so good to be out of the car and out of the traffic. By this time I had a splitting headache but a soda and some sushi were just the ticket!
I like Turkish food but it was fabulous to have something that wasn't turkish food or base BX food court fare. And I happen to love sushi.
Right outside the restaurant was this beautiful tree which along with the lunch and great conversation, help calm my spirit and my blood pressure.

Little by little I feel like I'm getting better at getting around here. Its still challenging but there's hope. (Except for Old Adana on a Friday.)

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