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Monthly Archives: October 2011

DC vs. Istanbul, Round 1: Lions

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This lion will haunt your dreams
Lion. Specifically, Swedish King Frederick I’s lion.

So I was catching up on a week’s worth of DCist, because most of my Saturday mornings are spent getting my GoogleReader count under 1000, when I saw a post that stuck out a bit. As you may have guessed from the title of this post, it was about lions.

Washington, D.C.: According to DCist, citing DC law, the only animals one can legally keep as a pet in DC are domesticated dogs, cats, rodents, rabbits, birds, nonpoisonous snakes, fish, turtles and racing pigeons.

So, no lions within city limits. Unless you are by some chance a zoo or a circus. And that also means the probability of being able to purchase a lion within DC city limits is pretty darn low.

Istanbul: Different country, different rules in the ‘bul. You want a lion? You can buy a lion. Downtown, no less. For Istanbul non-residents and people who didn’t click through to read about the lion found in a van during a routine traffic stop, the lion in the article was bought in Kadıköy, the main central district on the Asian side of the city.

On the one hand, I appreciate that I can be reasonably confident my neighbors aren’t harboring giant felines. On the other hand, I kind of love that you can just casually pick up a lion cub in the middle of a city of 20 million people, no big deal, just part of the daily shopping.

Winner: Istanbul

So of course the big news…

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now that I’m done with orientation, is my first assignment. Next spring, I’ll pack up my Washingtonian life, make sure my suits are ironed, and head on out for two years in

Ankara, Turkey!

Yup, I just left Turkey in September and will be back after an eight-month stint Stateside to stock up on Target goodies and brush up on American culture. And of course to learn how to be a diplomat.

I’m pretty darn happy with my post; it was my top choice and will fulfill several of my entry-level requirements. I love living in Turkey, and moving back to Ankara will be a nice shift after the last few years in Istanbul. Plus, I already know the city pretty well — I still have friends in Ankara and I still have my restaurants, bars, clubs and activities. I won’t need to figure out yoga studios in my neighborhood, or stumble upon ARIT, or not find the football-watching group til halfway through my tenure, as I’ve got all those sorted. So from a logistical/infrastructure perspective, I’ll have a bit of a leg up. This may make my second posting more difficult of an adjustment, but I’m looking forward to that as well.

Until the move, I’ll be in training in DC, using my spare time to develop a to-be-determined hobby and stock up on small furniture items — my belongings don’t currently weigh enough for a full household effects shipment. I blame living the Istanbullu expat life.

Ankara, dönüm gelecek. Hazırlan!