I mentioned in my last entry that Jamie and I arrived in Anatolia “off-cycle,” meaning we came in winter, rather than summer, when most Foreign Service Officers deploy.
Prior to our arrival, I didn’t worry about the seasons. The Ankara post video by the Foreign Service Institute’s Overseas Briefing Center warned of long, chilly winters with little to no snow fall. After winters in DC that included the Snowpocalypse and Snowmageddon, plus growing up in the Chicagoland area, where the school bus stop often reaches into the negative teens, I figured I could handle anything.
At first, I was right. Most of December was in the high-40s to mid-50s, or between 5 and 12 degrees Celsius. But after New Year’s, the temp plunged and the record books, not only for Turkey but for much of Europe, began to be rewritten. Several inches of snowfall became the norm, weeks record freezing lead to shortages of all kinds, from salt to heating gas. Jamie and I experienced Istanbul for the first time during the worst weather in decades.
Soon enough, the oppressive winter became the second most popular topic of conversation among diplomats in the country (after the driving, of course). To add salt to the wound, I’d see headlines from the States proclaiming one of the warmest winters in Illinois history or an entirely snowless winter in DC.
Thankfully Spring is in the air! And with it Jamie and I hope to start using the ol’ Blazer to take weekend trips outside of Ankara to see everything this unique country has to offer. I hope you’ll come back regularly and often as I chronicle our adventures!