I’ve officially been on break for a week and it’s been really nice. Maybe China ‘prepared’ me for humidity, but it’s not too bad here right now.

I looked at my list from my post in May and after some research, I realized that some of these items were a bit expensive so I am rethinking the list:

1) Take an intensive Turkish language course
Yes – 9am to 1pm, Monday – Friday, plus homework. Fantastic but hugely time consuming!
2) Get a swimming pool pass from one of the hotels
No. Anyone have an extra $800 to $1,00US to spare for a six month pass? Crazy prices. With this money, I have decided to take a mosaics workshop in Italy in February. Not a bad trade off.
3) Get Google Certified
Pending – only been on break for one week and need to get settled into Turkish class then I will look into this.
4) Take ceramics course
Yes and I found another ceramics artist, Mehmet Kutlu, and he is having some workshops in September. Funny story, I popped into his shop and saw that he was making the same types of ceramics that I was (bird in the bowl) so his assistant brought me over to his studio. I met Mehmet and showed him some of my work! Two things: I want to live in his studio and if not too expensive, I want to take the workshops!
5) Continue with Pilates
No. In the interest of saving money and since I have more time, I am going to try and do this on my own and figure out some free exercise alternatives. Plus, nothing beats a walk around Istanbul!
6) Explore the outer areas of Istanbul with new language skills
Yes. I have plans to go to an area called Balat next week with some of the other students in my Turkish class. Be ready for some pictures!
7) Relax and get ready for new job
Check. I love naps.
8) Take a Turkish cooking class for desserts only
Maybe. I find that I am doing this on my own so I may not need a course. This might be something for the Fall.
9) Develop a circle of friends outside of school
In progress.
10) Continue to be awesome (sounded good)
Ummm, obviously!

For me, the most interesting aspect of all of this is that people fly in from all over the world to take ceramics and language courses here in Istanbul. I am literally walking to these places from my house.

Speaking of my house, below is an updated video of my apartment. I recently bought some new/used furniture from teachers who are leaving. I hope you like what you see enough for a visit!


  1. Hi Claire! I love your appartment, it looks so different from last time I saw it. Great taste! Did you get Meric’ high chairs after all? I recognized them, they look great the way you put them! 😉 Enjoy your Turkish classes, next time I will write in

    1. Thanks Hulya!
      I know, I got rid of all the school furniture – it is mostly Meric’s things; including the bar stools! You will have to come over for dinner and dessert after the summer. I am perfecting my cooking skills… particularly desserts!

  2. Susan Wachowiak

    Love the “new look” in your apartment–dining table is a very nice addition. Makes the whole place look so comfortable. Also think your up-dated goals make sense. Ebb and flow, ebb and flow — that’s how it goes!!!

  3. I love feeling like I’ve been there. Certainly, there would be nothing like actually being there, but your apartment is so you.

    1. Debi – thanks! I do love my apartment… and you are always welcome!!!


  4. Jude Pidgeon

    Apartment looks great. You seem to be getting to know the ceramic community. It will be interesting to see how things might change once you speak a little more Turkish. Like your idea of going to Italy for the mosaic class. Where in Italy? You are so international!

  5. Hey, Claire! Love your ‘new’ apt. setup. Love the table, bar stools, console ($50!), and the chair-bench at the foot of your bed. Screen door is terrific, too – good idea :). Thanks for the tour and update of your goals/activities. I’m so very proud of you, Claire! Your favorite oldest sister, Kate.

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