Antalya so far, in a brief summarized summary format:
The bus drivers take your bus fare by hand and return the correct change and kindly smile at you as you clamber up the bus steps. I get the feeling they really don't want me to get lost.
Pomegranates grow wild. You can pick them off the trees in your neighborhood. Meaning that you can eat a pomegranate grown on the same street as where you live, which two weeks ago would have sounded like utter madness. Also, figs are really good in their pre-dried form. Who knew?
Even the cucumbers have flavor. I don't need to add any dressing to a bowl of tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, onion, and feta cheese (my new favorite meal, ps) for it to taste good. Egg yolks are dark gooey yellow and I don't know why that fascinates me. They look more real than the neon egg yolks I'm used to.
People stare a little bit. Not much, but just a little. Then I smile at them and a wide grin spreads across their face and everything's okay.
My new Turkish friends don't make me feel like an oddity for wanting to live alone or for not being married - a cross cultural first for me. Perhaps being alone and loneliness are separated here, as I prefer them to be.
Most people think I'm German and say auf wiedersehen to me as I leave, which I find kinda charming and don't mind in the least bit. American tourists are actually pretty rare here, I've heard, which is both nice and confusing. Americans are missing out.
I haven't swam in the Mediterranean Sea yet and feel surprisingly little desire to do so, even though it's the thing to do here. Even though it's a deep azure blue in spots with twinkling little gray stones reflecting the sunlight underneath. One thing I've discovered about myself: I'm not a beach person. I don't want a sunburn. I hate wearing sunglasses. I hate wearing hats even more than I hate wearing sunglasses. Walking around in a wet swimsuit underneath regular clothes feels disgusting.
The mountains are tall and meet the sea. Their tops are an ashy gray color that I've never seen on mountains before. I like imagining my hiking boots and legs covered in that ashy dust, once the weather cools down. I don't mind hiking sunburns.
The heat and humidity make me sweat instantly. Even when sitting still and doing absolutely nothing other than waiting for my tomato, cucumber, carrot, onion, feta salad to arrive. Getting up from the table and seeing damp sweat spots in the creases of my shorts is horrifying. But then I see that everyone else has darkened sweat spots in the creases of their shorts and everything's okay. We're not all peeing our pants. We're just sweating. Which is healthy and detoxifying, right? Plus, almost everywhere has air conditioning and that first brush of air conditioned air is always full of inexplicable relief.
History is everywhere and I want to start learning about it. I also really need to find a Turkish tutor because what I've learned of the language so far (which is minuscule) is blowing my mind a little bit. Suffixes! Prefixes! Infixes!! A whole sentence can be communicated in one gigantor word. Madness!