Jan 4, 2010

It Snowed!

This morning, the Monday after a long weekend, I was awake and grouchy at 6:30 am. On the shuttle bus to work, I exchanged sleepy nods with the other teachers and buried my nose in a paperback. The sky had lightened to a denim blue by the time we reached the hilly neighbourhood of Buyukcekmece, just west of the city. I traced a lazy finger over the condensation on my window, when I saw long blurs of white on the ground below. There was snow in Istanbul. The first snow of the year.

My childlike reaction was a definite cliche, and can only be described as such. My heart leapt, my heart sang, visions of sugarplums danced in my head. Snow! Beautiful white snow, capping the solemn pine trees; weighing oddly on the fan-like palm trees; topping the bland apartment block skyline like the white icing rooftops of a gingerbread village. Here in Istanbul, where I often wonder if I've even scratched the surface of understanding the culture, snow appeared like a trusty ally, a gesture of welcoming. It felt like bumping into an old friend many miles from home, at a terminal in Heathrow or at a juice stand in Bangkok. It was a surprise, and then, seconds later, I couldn't imagine it ever not being there.

A perfect way to start the work week. If only I could get my students to stop bringing snowballs to class. How do Canadian teachers do it?


  1. Wow, gorgeous photo. Did you take it?

  2. I loved reading that. You are so right about it, I haven't seen any but if I did, it would be like my buddy was visiting and I had to show him/her off.

    Also, you are a great writer. Keep doing that!

  3. The photo is stock Istanbul tourism stuff, but I regret not running around with my camera when I could. It's all melted off today.

  4. We shake them by their ankles before they come in the door!

    Not really...luckily, elementary school kids can't bring stuff into the classroom (their boots and bags stay in the hall), so unless they put snow in their pockets, you're usually safe.

  5. the night of January 4th I was spending my night in Sabiha airport, & in the 6 of the morning I was little surprised because It was so cold & snowed last couple hours!
    then I started my 3 weeks trip in the beautiful country Turkey!