Christmas miracles

When I decided to move to Turkey I was fully aware that it was a Muslim country and therefore I had no expectations of Christmas-anything. So you cannot even begin to imagine my surprise when I found myself experiencing an overwhelming amount of holiday cheer followed by nothing short of a smorgasbord of Christmas delight as soon as the clock struck December. Part of this was due to the fact that the other expats that I have befriended in Izmir are awesome and organized all sorts of different holiday inspired events. But also, for some unknown reason, Izmir itself decided to try on some Christmas outfits -- apparently for the first time ever this year. Lucky me!

While I loved every Christmas-y thing that I came across here in Turkey, I have to admit that observing all of "the Christmas" was similar to seeing a small child promenading out of her mother's bedroom with red lipstick smeared across her face and size 10 pumps strapped on her tiny feet. Precious, but just a little bit not right.

Obviously I took some pics.

I think that this guy was a snowball with fur boots. He was yelling at people.
This lady with the pretty striped holiday lipstick appeared to be built into the table. I was not entirely sure of her purpose other than rotating at the waist so that she could keep her eyes locked on the people passing by - perhaps her role was to protect the "Christmas Artifacts" laid before her?? She communicated exclusively through gang signs.
These Christmas nightmares jumped around the crowd on pogo sticks. And why, may I ask, does the one with the green blouse have her head on backwards?

Hey Santa. I'm glad to see that you survived that fire.
Also, I noticed that your cell phone cover is a hand.
And that you are a woman. Word.

So I went to Bucharest, Romania to ring in the New Year with the hopes of getting a huge, traditional dose of Christmas laid on me through the holiday markets and incredible fanfare of lights. And I did!!! (Did you know that Bucharest uses all of the same lights as Paris? True story, absolutely gorgeous.) However, things were still really weird.

Homeless Santa

Christmas Clowns

Friendly Frosty -- that steals balloons from children. 
That's right - I saw it go down.

Rudolph may or may not have seen me stalking/taking photos of him for approximately two and a half hours...
however, I'm pretty sure it's against some law to take off your mask 
when you are still dressed up in a character costume. 
That really scars young children. 
An illusion has died. 

The placement of random, severed, plastic hands atop wares at small Christmas markets. 
I swear to GOD I didn't stage that. 

So overall my first Christmas on this side of  the Atlantic was a huge success. Usually I spend Christmas day by myself driving across America. (Depressing.) This year I got to wake up with displaced friends all around me AND live out a real life version of Tim Burton's Christmas! I didn't even know that I wanted to experience that -- but I did! 

Happy 2014 y'all!

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