We interrupt the Karagoz broadcast to announce: We’ve been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award (twice!)

My goodness!

A few weeks ago, my fellow blogger, Walking Papers: A Long Strange Family Trip, wrote to let me know that she had nominated me for The Versatile Blogger Award (which as she so hysterically points out has been won by at least “568,312 (or so)” other people.  She – and I – were not too sure about what it really meant to be nominated.  Ignoring the obvious, I presumed, in my fantasy world, that I might someday get an email saying that I had won something – beyond the respect of my fellow blogger for which I am very honored and grateful!

And then comes part two.  In the process of catching up with my favorite blogs after a month off the blogosphere, I found that I was doubly nominated for this award! Jack Scott over at the inimitable Perking the Pansies blog (and author of a fabulous new book on the experiences that he and his husband/partner have had as expats living in Turkeyand you can order here) – has also nominated me! Thank you, Jack – I wish I had noticed sooner! Slackerish me!

So, after reading what Jack and Walking Papers have to say about the award – and Googling around a bit – I can see that nobody really gets a sense of the origins of this award – but does it matter? No! This is a home grown, grass roots type of award – which I would argue is the very best kind. So, in keeping with tradition, I am posting the image for this award as well as seven quirky things about me – and I am nominating seven other blogs for this award as well! So – here you go – and many, many thanks (she takes a stage bow, and the Karagöz puppets beam with double-sided pride!).

As a recipient of the award, I must post the image of the award (check), write 7 quirky things about me (about to be a check) and pass on the award to 15 others (just about to be a check).  So, enjoy!

7 quirky things about me

1. I had a purple mohawk hairdo (amongst other colors and styles) in high school but attended both hard core punk shows and Grateful Dead shows to be different.

2. I used to be deathly afraid of public speaking and now I am a professional speaker (well, a professor) – neverwouldathoughtit.

3. In 1984, I visited Tbilisi, Georgia as part of a school exchange – this was before perestroika…and ditched an Intourist guide whilst doing so in order to walk through an ancient castle and into supermarkets and churches (not allowed with Intourist guide).

4. During the early 1990s, I worked on a hospital ward for people at the end stages of living with HIV/AIDS – it changed my worldview forever – the most courageous – and pissed off – people ever. They still inspire me and inform my teaching of social work students.

5. I learned how to spot a drug deal from my bodyguard in Brooklyn while doing home visits as a social worker – no lie, we had a bodyguard.  Leon and I pretended to be boyfriend and girlfriend when things got hairy (say, whilst trying to escape a gun battle in the projects in East New York).  I learned a lot from Leon – but I didn’t buy one of his teachings – namely that Islam was started in America, right there in Brooklyn (he didn’t mean the Louis Farrakhan variety, either).

6. I make a mean chocolate-rosewater cupcake with tangy lemon buttercream frosting – or sometimes old fashioned vanilla boiled meringue frosting in honor of my Dad and Grandma.

7. While traveling, my favorite thing to do is to check out the supermarkets.  This likely comes from the odd practice of ethnography my parents engaged in when we were kids while out to eat once a month at the Chinese restaurant – we ate in silence, observing all around us, and then each made up a fairy tale about what was going on around us for the car ride home.  Explains the puppets, maybe?

My nominations for versatile blogs are:

1) Mozzarella Mamma: Deadlines, Diapers and the Dolce Vita:  About an American journalist-Mamma living in Roma (full disclosure – she’s my stepsis).  I love all of her blog posts – but as she knows – those with the strongest “red thread” ;) are my fave – especially “Mozzarella Mamma vs. Tiger Mamma.”

2)Archers of okçular: ‘Burası türkiye!’ – ‘this is turkey!’ – living, loving and travelling turkey:  The versatile, intriguing and generally gut-splitting musings of a Brit expat slash emiköy on all manner of interesting topics.  I couldn’t possibly choose one favorite – but I knew I had made a true friend when I saw the post entitled “How do you like your eggs, sir (or madam)?” in which Alan coddled an egg in J’s compost bin!

3) Culture Every Day:  Musings on all aspects of culture from an anthropologist and world traveler who is also on a Turkish-American marital roadtrip (to  use my own parlance!).  Right now, my favorite post is the one on globally-inspired holiday gifts – you can check it out here.

4) Pul Biber: With Everything:  A ramble through the versatile lives of two Britpats adjusting to their new life in Selcuk, Turkey – fascinating to watch!  I love tracking the process of these two with each post, but was particularly excited to read their camel wrestling post – as my husband insists this does not go on in Turkey and is not a Turkish tradition (go figure)!

5) Being Koy: A journal of life in Kirazli Koy, Kusadasi, Aegean Turkey: Lovely writing and images about village life in the Aegean region – a treat.  Can’t imagine a favorite – they are all super – but this one captures the essence of what I love about this blog “Village People.”

6) Adventures in Ankara…there’s a new kid in town:  A recounting of the exploits of a Philadelphia-derived expat in Ankara – and a fellow cross-cultural marriage road-tripper that I love to follow!  I am always interested to hear about the latest goings-on in Ankara, but one post that sticks in my mind that I can relate to is  “The Elusive Kekik.”

7) Turkish Travel Blog:  Now this is a blog about Turkey – and it is truly versatile – so many different topics and spins and out of the way highlights – with lovely graphics.  This blog is not only eye candy but it is a public service to all the English-speaking expats out there, I would imagine.  I think my very favorite post is on “The Hard-Core, Street Crew of Herakleia.”

Bravo all of you – and to many others!!!!