Sunday, September 6, 2009

Summer 2009 Part I

Summer 2009

August 24, 2009 (submitted September 5, 2009)

Dear Istanbul-Tel Aviv-New York Blog readers:

After a long summer break and an even longer time since I submitted a new piece, I have returned to my laptop. Now that the summer has almost come to an end, I sit here in Pangalti, Istanbul, and ponder over what made this summer different than the others. In 11 days, I will return to Brooklyn and to my classes and once again be thrown in current events, which seem more to be a repeat of the past rather than signs to the future.

Growing up Jewish in America, I never really could connect to the Jewish New Year being in September. Clearly, January 1 was the real New Year, and Rosh HaShanah was a day on which know one really knew right off on what day is was going to fall. One year it fell on September 13 (my birthday) another September 5, and then there was those years that it took place at the end of the month. And, it was only years later that as a secular Jew I began to realize what a perfect time it was for the New Year.

Perhaps, even more, the fact that I am an educator and have most of the summers off, September is the time when I return to the classroom. For years, I did not really enjoy summers or long vacations. I also did not enjoy the sea, and at one time I hated the humid heat of Israel. As the years go by, I can claim I am now guilty of all of the above. This summer I spent with friends and family, lovers and companions. Hours and days were spent doing nothing but enjoying the sea, the heat, and beautiful views of the Turkish countryside. While I was only in Israel for a week, I also was happy to sweat to no end and change my soaked clothes three times a day.

Not like past years, this summer I moved beyond Istanbul to discover areas I had yet ventured into. Three trips are worth noting: my trip to the Northeastern Black Sea region (from Kars to Trabazon), the city of Denizli, and the Mediterranean coast close to the city of Kaş. The first trip began in the city of Kars and ended in Trabzon.

In the next few weeks, in addition to reviving the current events sections, I will focus on the new places and share with you my general impressions and thoughts. I will also post photo links for you to see the breathtaking sights. I hope you enjoy.