30 DAYS, 30 DISHES – DAY 22: Çay (Turkish Tea)

Çay is probably the most popular drink in Turkey. It is strong, fragrant black tea, grown in the black sea region. It’s brewed in a special teapot, called a çaydanlık, and you can get really beautiful decorative ones! The tea is served in small tulip shaped glasses, usually a cube or spoon of sugar is added.. It is drunk literally everywhere, in all seasons and at all times of day but especially at breakfast – it’s just not breakfast without a glass of tea! When visiting the village, I am served tea all day long, and it’s considered rude to refuse. By the end of my visit I’m pretty sure I have tea flowing through my veins!

When I first moved to Turkey I didn’t like çay at all, but there’s only so many times you can politely drink something you dislike before actually growing to love it. I absolutely love it now and we often drink it at home here in London, although it just does not taste the same here!

Apple tea has become associated with Turkey too, but it’s mostly a tourist thing, very few Turkish people actually drink this.

My 1 year blog-birthday!

A year ago this week I started my blog.

I made my first post on 18th August 2013 and started out with 0 views, now here I am a year later with 125 posts and 190,000 views. It still amazes me that so many people are interested in what I write and my experiences. I’ve met some people I consider ‘friends’ through writing this blog, and I receive lovely messages from people almost everyday telling me how they love reading about life in Turkey from a different perspective and that it’s refreshing to read something that is honest. Some people read every single post and comment on each one, I am so grateful. I’m grateful for everyone that reads, likes, comments, shares… anything. It baffles me that people take time out of their day to read something that I’ve written, I’ve always been painfully shy and have trouble getting my thoughts out in person, that’s one of the reasons I started this blog, so knowing that my words are read by people who I’d never normally share my ‘story’ with is a weird, but lovely feeling. I also started it to try and show I’m not just a naive 22 year old girl living in Turkey with her ‘Turkish waiter’, although that’s up to you readers to judge.
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It’s been a year of many emotions, most of which I have written about on here. A lot has changed in the past 12 months, but somehow, I find myself in exactly the same position as I was in this time last year – trying to make the most of everyday I have in Turkey before its time to go back to the UK. I haven’t mentioned that much as it’s not something I’m looking forward to in the slightest, but it’s something that is inevitable, as Berkay is off to do his military service.

People in my ‘real’ life have mixed feelings about my blog. Some of them read it regularly and are supportive, my grandparents have even printed off every post I’ve made and collected them all in a folder to show their friends! (Hi Nan & Grandad, I know you’ll be reading! (: ) But I’ve had others say that I’m just writing posts for sympathy and that the people who comment don’t have my best interests at heart, how can they when they don’t know me? I don’t know what to say to that, but I do know that it’s often easier to open up to people who don’t know me, and that a lot of them can actually relate to my feelings since they’ve been in similar or the same situation – it’s not sympathy I look for, it’s empathy. But, besides anything else, I write my blog for myself, so that I can say what I need to, look back and see what I was doing this time last year, or see how things have changed! I also just love sharing my photographs and experiences of the beautiful country I currently call home.

I’m going to continue writing this blog for as long as I can, I enjoy writing and interacting with people through here, and I’m proud of how far it’s come in a year. Thank you all so much for reading and being a part of it.

Here are some of my favourite posts from the past year, with many mixed emotions!

https://livingtheturkishdream.com/2014/02/09/howdiditbegin/ – Explaining how our cheesy holiday romance story began!

https://livingtheturkishdream.com/2013/08/24/one-big-holiday/ – Although this was written nearly a year ago, most of it is still true. It’s something I’m constantly trying to explain to people, but something that people constantly dismiss as ‘one big holiday’.

https://livingtheturkishdream.com/2013/09/26/movingbacktoengland/ – Not a happy post, made a day before my flight back to England last September – at the time I had no idea I’d move back to Turkey 9 months later.

https://livingtheturkishdream.com/2013/09/28/back-in-england/ – An even unhappier post, trying to convey my thoughts and feelings after being back in the UK for just 24 hours.

https://livingtheturkishdream.com/2013/11/16/adaptingtotheuk/ – Written after I’d been back in the UK for 2 months and my experience of ‘reverse culture shock’ – something that is very real and that I definitely experienced.

https://livingtheturkishdream.com/2013/12/18/reunited/ – The moment me and Berkay were reunited again at Stansted airport after 3 months apart!

https://livingtheturkishdream.com/2014/01/06/saying-goodbye/ – And the moment we had to say goodbye after he went back to Turkey again just 3 weeks later.

https://livingtheturkishdream.com/2014/03/31/reunited-again/ – Another ‘high’ on the rollercoaster, when Berkay visited England again in March, just in time for ….

https://livingtheturkishdream.com/2014/04/01/weddings/ – My mum’s wedding. Interestingly, someone who regularly read my blog messaged me after I wrote this post and said ‘OMG your mum married my nephew!’ It’s a small world!

https://livingtheturkishdream.com/2014/05/10/moving-back-to-turkey/ – The moment I decided I was moving back to Turkey!

https://livingtheturkishdream.com/2014/06/06/back-in-turkey/ – Being reunited with Berkay and our doggy and my first time back in Turkey for 9 months.

Who know what the future brings? I do know that I’ll be documenting it all on here.
Happy 1 year birthday www.livingtheturkishdream.com, and here’s to many more! (: