It has been just over a month since we married. Been a few growing together pains, but mostly full-on bliss. Nice not having to say goodbye at the bus-stop. Sukran truly darling. The family thing is fine too; her folks very nice and her brothers and respective families nicer still. (My best friend, Ismail, has meet them and agrees too, and we suspect that Sukran might have [unintentionally] exaggerated a bit the extent of her pre-me suffering.)
At the wedding Jeff and Sue played the roles of family representatives perfectly and everyone, including Rebecca and Misha, helped me focus on the matters that were. I was and am very grateful; had been torn, thinking that I would have to juggle two families, but we all came together in a very warm, memorable way -- e.g. Sue in locked-eyed first embrace with veiled-mom; all of us one evening while at Sukran's parent's house, after our religious marriage by an imam (with muezzin), in a animated two or so hour discussion about religion, our lives etc., with me struggling to translate. We all, Jeff in particular, impressed and honored by the fact that Sukran's parents -- both of whom have paticipated in a pilgrimage to Mecca -- shared with us holy water brought back from that same city.
Italy excellent. Nonetheless, Sukran missed family and Turkey a lot. I think the marvel that is Italy will grow in her memory; its one of those plant the seeds kind of things. We rented a car after a couple of nights in Rome, then to Sienna for a night (Sukran found it a bit creepy), Florence for two (I am not a big fan of the place [too many tourists, like us, and related infrastructure] but enjoyed it none the less), Venice for two (a great theme park) then down the Adriatic coast to a sweet little village, Sirola (on a cliff top over-looking the sea), for two more. Crossing the boot back to Rome, we spent a night in another sometimes creepy middle-ages flavored hill-top village called Todi.
Since then, back to a not so busy work schedule at the office. Sukran at her job for another month, then quits to begin a hopefully well-rounded life of quasi-scholarly leisure.
Despite Italy's charms, we were thrilled to get back to Istanbul; Sukran's brothers and their wives met us the airport; after a bit of catch-up chitchat we said goodbye to them at the ferry, then a giddy Sukran and I crossed the marvelous Bosphorus to our new home and life, which is good.
Mark and Sukran
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