The nice people at Google.com have bestowed upon me the honour of managing my very own new email account.
Friends that leave comments with names that I recognize will get a neatly packaged little email from the afore mentioned account.
If you have a blog and I comment on it then you are welcome to use my email address if you so care.
Have a great evening everyone!
I recently posted about wanting to learn Turkish. Ideally I'd like to master German, Greek, and Turkish (and eventually dabble in Italian, Arabic, Thai, Japanese, and Hungarian). So I've spent some time researching various means of acquiring the language. So far there is the quick-speed method that the CIA uses, the lessons published by a Turkish linguistics school (TTSL), and the Rosetta Stone curriculum. All of the above cost money, which doesn't work so well for me. Also, there aren't any advertising Turkish linguists in the area.
This evening I went on one of my drives around the area; specifically the outer limits of the city. I took a side road that branched from Rutherford that I'd never used before just to see if it connected to another familiar road or something. So there I am, trucking along at a very legal speed, when I spot a familiar arrangement of star and crescent. It was the Turkish flag! On the side of a strip-mall store-front! And fairly well lit!
I turned around and pulled into the somewhat vacant lot. There was a hair salon, a small church, a donation center and a few dark windows that must have closed before I pulled in — way before I pulled in. The words brandished over the Turkish flag told me that it was Muhamad's Mosque. I wasn't really surprised that it was a mosque, I actually expected it to be a haven for Turkish immigrants of one kind or another. The lights were on and there were obviously people occupying themselves with something inside so I decided to try my luck. I went up to the door and knocked.
Two gentlemen quizzically welcomed me in. There were crude posters of various (what I assumed to be) religios events from the life of Muhamed and Mary. The place was smaller; it was obviously built for another purpose. The arrangements of curtains and screens further partitioned the room into bite-sized pockets of space. The prevelent odor was clay with a hint of dieing linoleum. There were folding chairs everywhere filled mainly with men and the occasional burqa.
"Can we help you?" the first man asked while looking askance at his partner, aparently looking for answers himself. I told him how I was interested in learning Turkish and how I saw the flag out front and that I thought I might 'inquire within' (as it were) and asked if he knew if anyone would be willing to give lessons.
"No," said the one with the answers. I was somewhat disappointed that they lacked any foreign accent.
"So, there are no Turks that attend here?" I probed again.
"No, it's the flag for the Nation of Islam" The first gentleman gave me directions to the public library. I attempted small talk, but it only seemed to disturb them. A few new faces glanced at me from their folding chairs.
I pulled out and followed their directions until I was out of sight. Then I went to a wireless spot and looked up the turkish flag. Moon on the left, star on the right. I looked up the Nation of Islam. Moon on the right, star on the left. Also, the National history included a small biography of Malcom X (which partially explained why everyone there was black). After a little more research I came to realize that I had stumbled upon a rather rare sect of muslims. A firend of mine told me that I was basically like a black man at a KKK meeting.
I wonder if they have posters of Mary at KKK meetings.
I did it too
Your Linguistic Profile:
|40% General American English|
|5% Upper Midwestern|
I am very interested in mastering Turkish.
If anybody knows of a Turkish expatriot living in the Greenville, SC area or of someone fluent in Turkish who would be willing to tutor biweekly (you know, over a meal or something) after May ninth please direct them to leave a comment on this post.
I've been playing with a neat little tool that Google has developed: http://maps.google.com. I enjoy it for a number of reasons:
1. When you type in an address it will show you the street layout (as expected) and it refreshes quickly when you drag the map around in the window to see what landmarks/roads are in the general vicinity.
2. When you click on the 'satelite' link it will show you an arial picture of the place for which you are looking. This is great for me because I'm generally bad with directions and it helps to see things before I drive past them wondering if they were the landmarks where I'm supposed to turn left.
3. It's cool to take pictures of your friends' houses and attach them to emails after disguising your sender's address and saying scary things about their front lawns (not that I would do that, but the option is still there).
Anyway, here is my church in South Carolina:
and here is my church in Vermont:
and here is the Wahington Monument:
The islanders that live a few doors down from me have accepted me into their circle of friendship. They have taught me a new strumming technique that is comonly used on the ukulele. But, assuming the uke is tuned in the key of G, you can play island songs on the last four strings of a guitar that's been tuned to the standard E/A/D/G/B/E.
In related news I have pretty much mastered a simple way of playing 'Leaving on a Jet Plane' and a the chords that support a newer melody for 'Victory in Jesus.'
Since I have expanded my repetoire to 3.5 songs and a few random compositions of my own I am offering my talent for in home entertainment. I play for chocolate.
Some of the most intelligent people will tell you that humor is nothing more than percieved incongruity.
Tonight upon returning to my room a friend of mine accosted me with a rare treasure he found in the Bob Jones University library (let it be known that not all the viewpionts, opinions, or contents of this book can be fully endorsed by Bob Jones University).
I am unashamed to admit that I read a couple chapters out of this thing. It's actually a rather soberly written little paperback that in many ways reflects the writing style of Dr. Berg with frequent case studies, personal examples, and visual aids (unfortunately it lacks a Biblical world view that I personally appreciate in literature of this nature). The book will be available again in two weeks.