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Everything posted by Giraffe

  1. I don't know if it was expired, there's no date on it. But I've used this brand successfully before so I have to guess it went bad, expired, something. There's actually a less burned spot on one shoulder where I sprayed it on, so there was some efficacy, just not 100%. Oh well, lesson learned. As painful as this is I'm really glad DD didn't get burned. She's got tough skin, thanks to her daddy!
  2. Remind me never to shop for clothes in Malaysia! If size 8-10 is King Kong size, what on earth would my 22-24 self be?! Godzilla? (I really do need to lose weight - I can't find clothes anywhere here either!)
  3. About 30 minutes a day of math and phonics with a goal of reading by summer's end. I don't think it's too much to ask and DD loves the math, tolerates the phonics (Little Miss just wants to READ already!).
  4. Exactly. When I was in Paris everyone couldn't help but notice the guy screaming in the Eiffel Tower elevator, in English, but no one paid attention to the two quiet Americans speaking French in the same elevator.
  5. Didn't think of this. Taking something now. Maybe tonight I'll sleep. Thank you!!
  6. Please don't think you're being smart or thrifty by using up last year's sunscreen bottle this summer. I spent yesterday on a boat and thought I'd do just that. I diligently applied and re-applied several times over the course of the day. SPF 50. I am a lobster, a well-done one at that, today. I am in agony. Thank goodness DD is half Turkish and has "tougher" skin than I do. She is fine, just a little pink across her cheeks and nose.
  7. I'm not trying to discourage anyone from traveling. Please do travel, and experience the amazing wonders of this world. No, you won't be reviled for being bigger (taller, heavier) than others, or for wearing shorts and sneakers. All I am saying, and I think most of the others here are saying, is that it's much more likely the locals will know you're an American. That's not a problem, just a fact. I'm an American. A tall, obese, fair skinned American. I live in Turkey and am married to a Turk. I don't speak Turkish fluently, but I do try. I almost always am identified by the locals as a foreigner as I don't look very Turkish, and almost always as American. This isn't an issue. In fact, it's often to my advantage because the taxi drivers, shopkeepers, neighbors will go the extra mile to help me if I founder. They get it that I don't always understand. But what makes all the difference is that I go the extra mile too. I make an effort to understand them, to understand body language, local customs, traditions. Even as a tourist in other countries (France, Germany) I make this effort. All this thread was intended to do, I believe, was discuss in what ways one can attempt this "blending in". Was the original post phrased less than elegantly? Perhaps. But I believe the OP's intentions were honorable.
  8. I'm an American living abroad in a high tourist area. I can spot Americans by their carriage. And their size -not just weight, but height. We're just bigger overall. Germans and Swedes are next (though Swedish women are the tallest of all!). Shoes - definitely. I changed my shoes and despite my overweight-ness I blended in much more. Hairstyle, glasses, jeans, tshirts - all giveaways. But for me, it's the way different nationalities carry themselves. I can't explain it, but I know I when I see it. When I was MUCH younger I went to France. I wore skirts or dresses the whole time, spoke as much French as I could, no sneakers (and I was skinny back then). I actually had to produce my passport a couple of times to convince people I was American. They all thought I was Scottish!
  9. And here I thought pools were for cooling off from the heat! Hot tubs? Needing to use one to warm up from a swim? :svengo:
  10. Grew up all over, never heard of it until I moved to Texas as an adult. Now I know.
  11. Hadn't heard of it but it makes sense and I will start to take one before our marathon flights. On my last trans-Atlantic flight I developed awful muscle cramps in my legs and HAD to get up and move. The flight attendant recommended tonic water - the quinine relieves cramps. It worked!
  12. Yes, it's completely phonetic. What you say sounds familiar; that must be why they've suggested it.
  13. I fell of a sidewalk and broke my left foot and right ankle. Was in a wheelchair for 6 weeks from a simple fumble. I burped in a quiet classroom. Everyone heard. I had no warning, it just happened. I sent my daughter to school for a school assembly/show in the wrong outfit. When I first moved here I tried to compliment someone here on their meal by saying it tasted like there was a ham hock in the broth. This is a Muslim country. Pork is seen as unclean, disgusting. The compliment fell flat. That's just what comes to mind at the moment. There's more, lots more!
  14. Listening to "The Mists of Avalon". Reading/Listening to "The Iliad". Nothing like a little "light" reading, eh?!
  15. So sorry I haven't responded. The Internet has been a little spotty and was non-existent at the beach. Amazingly, it went well. We ate, did our school, and went on with the day. The cousin wanted to do school with us so she "helped" me teach DD which was really her learning too. Keeping it to 30 minutes, being direct but friendly, and helping out at other times worked. For those who wonder at the order of things (English before Turkish), I'm wondering too, but going with it. I have the time and resources and DD is ready. I have made one concession: on days we go out on the boat we will do our schooling there. Oh geez, having to do school on the Mediterranean, such a sacrifice.... :p Truly crabby, the family is not traditional, but the grandpa is a porcupine, all bristly even when he's being sociable. It's just his style. But yes, I'm the "gelen", the foreigner, the only DIL. I get points for wanting (insisting) on living here so that DD learns Turkish language and culture and making sacrifices to make that happen. Somehow it all works.
  16. We live here. She sees the grandfather weekly, at a minimum, and she's learning Turkish quite nicely. I understand what you're saying about the reading and agree with you, but there is an urgency in these teachers that leads me to believe they do know of what they speak when it comes to the system here. Turkish is a purely phonetic language - one letter one sound while English is not. The teachers I've spoken to are TEFL/CELTA trained and have been teaching here for a while so they have experience in this environment that I do not. So I am going to try to do what they recommend. DD is ready to read, desperate even, so it's not like I'm pushing her when she's not ready. She went through K here and the teachers at her old school are the ones worried, as is the special education center she's been going to. Her new school is less worried, but more rigorous, so I want to be sure she's prepared. She was accepted into first grade but her father wants to be sure she'll succeed. So do I. And it's 30 minutes, not hours and hours.
  17. Truly crabby, I'm in Izmir. It's not stalker-ish. And I'm not answering quickly because our Internet keeps getting cut. Can't tell if it's intentional or due to high traffic given what's going on here. Sigh... Tea, my lifeblood. As a southern American I was already a tea drinker, but now I'm hardcore. I drink more of the yogurt and lentil soups, but the egg lemon is wonderful too. DH isn't here right now (he's in the US, joining us in a couple of weeks) so I have to address it with FIL. And, strangely, I seem to have the better relationship with him. Who knows. I speak some Turkish, as does DD (better than I do!) and I can do this, I just needed encouragement and reassurance that I'm not being unreasonable. I will be sure to limit it to 30 minutes. You're right, I need to be true to my word. And a checklist will help FIL and DD. Excellent idea. DD loves her checklists! I'll try to get the cousin in on the nature studies, but she despises anything that even whiffs of school. It's worth a shot. The grandfather is not a history guy. I might know more than he at this point, but I might ask him. He's a sweet guy, but extremely brusque. A true porcupine.
  18. I just made my first book with the British version of ProClick and have to say its wonderful, but Tracey is right: it's not something you add and subtract to with abandon. I bound my printed PDF Miquon Orange book that we will carry with us everywhere this summer. I anticipate I will dismantle it for cold storage when done, but not modify it otherwise. It's a LOT lighter than a binder, and easier for DD to manage, but if you are constantly adding and removing pages from your binders you might reconsider.
  19. Exactly. We get a lot of emotional crash, unfortunately, and I'm the bad guy, always, for insisting on downtime. The 9 year old really has a hard time and I just want to scream, but I'm not her mother and I can't control other people. I'm going to insist on it, but I'm dreading it, a little. As the DIL I have cultural expectations on me to help clean up, fuss about, etc., and I need to spend that time with DD doing school if I'm going to be "on time" for the other activities and she's going to be ready for 1st grade. Arrgh. Grrr. Grumble. I'm starting to realize this is a venting post, but I do appreciate any advice.
  20. I also have LibraryThing and love it, but also fell off the wagon. I'm thinking of starting over since I have disposed of a lot of books that were in LT that are no more, and I've purchased a bunch that aren't in LT but are on my shelves. Now you have me thinking....
  21. DD goes to a B&M school during the year (we're overseas and HS is not allowed here) and I'm after-schooling English reading, history, and helping her with math. I want to do a minimum of 30 minutes every morning with her this summer - 15 minutes of Miquon and 15 minutes of Spalding. She'll be fine with this, in fact likes to do school (she's 6), especially math with the Cuisenaire rods. I need to do this because DD has been deemed "borderline" for first grade and I've been advised - repeatedly - to have her reading in English before school starts in the fall to avoid confusion between Turkish and English. She's ready - we just need to do it. My problem - the relatives. We'll be with my FIL and his family most of the summer and they are always on the go - to the boat, to the beach, to somewhere, anywhere, that's not here. FIL is incapable of sitting still. The best time to do school for DD is going to be right after breakfast. Before, she's not awake enough. Later in the day, she's tired, I'm tired, and my nerves are shot from dealing with in-laws all day in a foreign language (this side of the family speaks NO English). So - how do I tell them they have to just deal with the schooling? I'm hoping that I can do school while we're eating breakfast, at least some of it, and while they're cleaning up and gathering their things do the rest. But am I missing something? There is a nine year old "cousin" who is also supposed to be doing summer schooling, but she usually whines and pouts her way out of it. DD is not so lucky and I don't want to give in to peer pressure to "do it later" because I know how this family works and "later" never, ever comes. My adventure starts tomorrow as we are joining them for a few days at the beach. I'm hoping that I can introduce them gently to this before the summer gets going in force, but any advice you ladies have is most appreciated.
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