Look what I got after only 12 hours of driving classes and a couple days of studying the manual. Mind you, I'd never been in the driver's seat of a car before those lessons either. Well, except for the one hour my uncle took me out to show me the rudimentary stuff. But hurrah, I can drive now. More or less. I should practice.
Heh, you can see my sister's graduation photo in the background of the picture. That's why I came back to Istanbul actually, to see Miss Mina finish high school and for our entire family to joyfully scream, "GOODBYE ISTANBUL INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY SCHOOL," for one final time. Now, I'm not one to brag...no, actually I am. I was referred to FOUR TIMES in my darling sister's speech. We don't have valedictorians or whatever at IICS but student speakers are chosen to represent the grade and say a few words every year. It's a tiny school, my graduating class had 24 people and my sister's had 36, so the speeches can actually be heartfelt and mean something and I also gave one when I graduated too. With two other people but ahem, I did most of the work. I composed a rhyming couplet for every goddamn person in that graduating class even the ones I didn't really know. Mina's speech was really great. It was funny and personal and sincere and not at all sappy or cliched unlike some other speeches we had to sit through that day. My aunt, uncle, and cousin along with my grandparent's and another cousin all managed to come to the ceremony too and we were such a loud, happy bunch. Tons of pictures were taken including one last shot of the banner with my graduating class and my name on it too as we're probably never coming back to that school again. Good riddance.
My sister's graduation dinner left mine in the dust though. We had an awkward meal crammed in some hotel with everyone splitting up and ending in different places at the end of the night while I was stuck in downtown Istanbul at midnight on a Saturday night getting groped at the Burger King as I waited for my best friends to rejoin me so we could go home. Mina's was poolside by the Hyatt and had cocktails first and then while we ate dinner, two belly-dancers, a silly game of teacher facts bingo (which our table; us, Mina's boyfriend, and a boy from her grade and his family, won), and music. The music was such an odd mix of really, really old songs, songs from our parents' generation, and newer stuff but it was so fun. All of us at one point were up and dancing with my sister and her friends and their parents and I've never danced with my daddy but we more than made up for it by prancing around to songs from Freddie Mercury's Berlin/disco years. My dad is a huge Queen fan so it was doubly perfect. After sending my sister out to celebrate with her friends, we happily, though tiredly (my mom and I were still jet-lagged) came back home.
So, my leetle seester is a big girl now and she's off to NYU in the fall. We'll probably visit each other if we can get off our lazy asses as it is only a four hour bus ride between New York and Boston. My poor mommy and daddy are going to be lonely without their delightful, and sometimes trying, daughters in the house. They should get a kitty! Not mine, even though Egg is so in love with my parents she practically drools all over herself in her excitement to get them to pick her up. They probably won't and hey, they will have our 13 year old turtle and our 3 month old goldfish to look after but they should have no worries. Family is forever, we'll never drift apart.