Wednesday, September 01, 2010

"Forgive the Lack of Originality, But One Feels Compelled to Toss Out the Title of 'Ice, Ice, Baby'"


There is no clearer evidence that Groom and I are adrift in a new place, casting about for moorings, than the fact that we've become The World's Cheapest Dates. Seriously, it takes nothing to delight us.

Case in point: we are tickled-Ottoman by the way many Turks--if they have any desire to do so--make ice. For the most part, ice isn't seen, isn't done, isn't a thing. If a drink is "cold," it's been refrigerated. The idea of "take that cold and up it a tidge, please, 'til my teeth hurt" is purely a foreign, Western, touristic concept.

For business owners whose livelihood depends on making foreigners' wallets pry open, ice, then, is a thing. And, well, yes, reusable ice trays do exist. I saw them in a shop last week. Mind you, I've been in 73 shops in the last few weeks. Apparently, though, the preferred method of Those Who Need to Make Ice is

the plastic bag approach.

For sale, in many stores, is a box of ice bags, wherein small bits of each are sectioned off to make the cubes.

Once I'd heard about this method, I told His Groomishness, "I know this is one of those things that is crazily impractical, and it will make you nuts to even think we paid out money for, but, Toots, I'm charmed by the notion. So if you see these bags, grab a box, will ya?"

He did.

Even better: he was the one to make the cubes.

Even, even better: making the cubes was the best time he'd had since ingesting his first Efes Pilsen a few weeks before. He opened the box. Chuckled. Chortled. Whirled like a dervish. Filled the bags, one compartment at a time, sealing the whole thing off with an optimistic, "Freeze up now, My Lovelies!"

The next day, with no work, school, friends, or schedule to disrupt our thinking, we opened the freezer carefully. Yes. Yes.

As you might imagine, we're now faking heat exhaustion and spritzing our torsos with mock sweat in private, just to make the case for Ice Need.

Because then we get to dive into the freezer, take out the bag of smooth eggs, and tear them out of the plastic...

thus proving that, in a time when we don't speak the language, when we have virtually nothing to give us direction, it all comes down to the odd Holy Moment,

like cracking ice into a newly-bought glass,

and looking forward, in the near future, to doing some cracking with a friend.



How to say, "on the rocks" in Turkish?

16 comments:

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I wanted to see more about these bags, so I googled it. Natch, a search for "sectioned ice bags" leads one directly to . . . you!

haphazardlife said...

We have (had?) these here for the longest time, my mom used to buy them when I was young. The bags came packed in a blue box - they were called "Scubes" I think. The idea behind them was that your ice would never "melt" in the freezer since they were sealed. No more pulling out the ice tray to find the cubes half gone. I think I still have a bag of those lying around somewhere.

"Melting" ice isn't an issue at my house since, well, you need a lot of ice in a shaker don't you? And in a G&T, and and and....

Bob said...

You might have mentioned this, you might not, so....

I know that Turkey has a sectarian government, but I also know that it is majority muslim. So - do they sell beer & liquor in regular stores, or do you have to go to the special government-run liquor stores?

Bahrain (my only experience with a muslim country) has the special govt. run ones. And liquor is EXPENSIVE! As Manama is the capital and it is full of infidel foreigners who spend lots of money, the bars and restaurants all sell alcohol, but when you get away from central downtown you run into villages where the restaurants are "family-friendly" meaning - no alcohol.

So - since you are in a village, is there easily obtained alcohol? If it is gotten with difficulty, is it hidden from the neighbors, to be consumed in sinful privacy?

Jocelyn said...

Jenn: Wow. I have a monopoly on the topic. Who knew?

Jazz: Again: who knew? I'd never in my life heard of nor seen these things...but, like you, I'd never had the issue of ice evaporating out of the trays, either.

Bob: Turkey is such an interesting place in terms of the "We're 98% Muslim, but you can do what you want" vibe. It's very Western and very Eastern, and so all things seem tolerated. There is beer, wine, and liquor everywhere we've been--then again, we're in the literal middle ground (less Western and hip and open than Istanbul, but nothing like "The East" of the country, which seems a whole new trip unto itself). My guess would be that alcohol isn't much seen in The East--over towards Iran and Iraq. But I could be wrong. The liquor is crazy expensive, like $60 for a smallish bottle of whiskey. The wine, though, can be had for roughly $9 per bottle. We've been relying on beer for the most part, which comes in at about $1.75 per pint.

kmkat said...

Tell those Turks that sectioned ice bags are horrendous for the environment -- all that plastic being used once and thrown away. But you and Byrom go ahead and amuse yourselves! Live it up! You are only in Turkey once!

The word haphazardlife/Jazz was looking for was "sublimate". That's when a solid changes to a gas without ever going through that annoying liquid stage.

unmitigated me said...

It totally sucks when someone beats me to the geeky science explanation.

Becky C. said...

Hmm, all this makes me strangely thirsty. Think I'll go crack some ice into a little dessert wine! Just before bed.

Deborah said...

I have seen those bags in Canada - usually in dollar stores or Sears catalogues. I do believe. I guess the environmental aspect isn't great, as kmkat pointed out, but in a (literal) sea of plastic litter, a few more ice cube bags could hardly matter. So you just go ahead and ENJOY whatever it is that brings you pleasure, Jocelyn!!

I love your sense of humour. and I love the fact that after a month in Turkey, you still have a sense of humour.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

One of my favorite sounds is when ice cracks in a drink.

Pearl said...

Only people from Minnesota know just how funny ice can be.

Rock on, baby.

Pearl

Fragrant Liar said...

Your very own individual ice cube? What will they think of next over there?

I do hope you're putting those cubes to best use. Perhaps when the kids aren't around???

Steve said...

I bet they last longer, with now sharp edges around which warmth can collect. Great for Easter, too.

secret agent woman said...

I've never heard of those. And I was intrigued that Jazz had - why would ice melt in a freezer if things in there are, um, frozen? But I do like the idea of spherical cubes.

alwaysinthebackrow said...

I would think that frozen, cold, wonderful ice would be crazy popular in hot, dry, parched Turkey. It's not?
Soon Duluth will be awash (?) in ice. And everyone there will be crazy jealous of you in Turkey.

geewits said...

It's funny how we take ice for granted. I'm glad you found a way. You gotta have ice, ice baby.

Speaking of finding a way, that should be your motto for the year: We'll find a way.

choochoo said...

Hehe. We have those. Haven't used them since I was a kid, though. I remember having developed a teqhnique with sorta kinda tieing the ends to the fosset so that it would hang while you filled it. For minimum spillage, ya know. Course, they'd stick to the walls of the freezer and you had to dig the cubes out of the bag with a spoon...