Sunday, June 10, 2007
This pair belongs to none other than yours truly. My time here in Turkey is drawing to a close & this will be my final post. I would like to preface this by thanking you for reading. I think I have the blog bug now, so maybe I will start another thread for my next adventure- who knows. Since the journey has almost come full circle, I felt like it was an appropriate time to finally include myself in this whole story. I have had so many amazing experiences here. I will miss many things, but mostly the people. I can’t say that I will morn the absence of scary drivers, pushy people on crowded streets/sidewalks, waiters that take your plate while your still eating or constantly being followed by people saying “yabanci” (foreigner) or speaking random sentences in English without actually addressing you. However, I must confess that my heart breaks a little bit every time I realize that I will leave her in a few weeks. And that with all those miles, I leave behind sweet little covered ladies in villages offering you tea (& their sons for marriage). Little old men, in small towns giving you tours of the city, rides back to town from the hillsides & of course more tea. I will miss colorful old houses strung with laundry and carpets, little children playing in the streets, the beautiful sound of the azan and numerous friendly faces greeting you with intense, soulful eyes & open hearts. Turkey is part of me now & I will be forever changed.
This is my friend Taner. He is in the graphics department & one of the first people to speak to me at school. We ran into each other at an art opening a few days after our first introductions & ended up hanging out the rest of the night with he & his friends. We have been paling around ever since. He is always pleasant & smiling- a happy soul. He is also very easy on the eyes... A strapping lad, well over 6’ tall (very unusual here) with actual meat on his bones (even more unusual here) with big, sultry, brown eyes -- Lovely! (inside & out). His girlfriend Ceyda (Jay-da) is a lucky gal & adorable too, so it works. The great thing is that he & his friend Ozan are coming to the U.S. for working travel over the summer. While they are there, the will look into the possibility of studying with us at our university. I really hope it works out, because, I am (once again) really going to miss hanging out with him too.
It is only natural that I post this girlie with Seckin. Eda & Seckin are like two little peas in a pod- always together. I met her on our Cappadocia trip & she is fabulous. Picture a fair skinned, slightly freckled, Turkish girl with hair down to her knees (extremely rare here- maybe because it could be seen as a big slap in the face of the traditional covered women). She sort-of has Goth look to her (black eyeliner, combat boots, black lace & accents of red or hot pink typically). She is almost always dressed in full regalia- everything color coordinated. On top of these elaborate costumes, she is amazingly peppy- dancing spinning, chatting. I love to be around her- her energy is awesome. I especially love the fact that her personality is in direct opposition to her preferred fashion style. There is not an ounce of pretentious surliness (like Goths in the U.S.) in her & I love it. I have really enjoyed being in her presence & I will really miss her too.
This is Seckin (pronounced Sechkin), probably one of the first Turkish girls to acknowledge my existence. We met at an Erasmus gathering & hit it off immediately. She really renewed my faith in the female part of society here- thank goodness... I needed some hope at that point. She is super smart & fun (not to mention she speaks great English, which is always a huge plus for me- as I continue to struggle with learning Turkish). She is just finishing her Master’s degree in TV Production. Unfortunately, this has made it very hard to get together with my new friend because she is always writing her thesis. Luckily, we managed a trip to Cappadocia as well as a few meetings over tea, coffee & beer. School ends soon, so we will try to squeeze in a few more before I have to leave. I will miss her :(
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
These baby blues belong to Kloe. She is the alter ego of my American teacher here. Doing these blogs were her idea and I am so glad she assigned it. It has been a great way to share my experiences with friends, family and hopefully anyone else who is interested. It has helped me reflect on my travels as well. Really, I owe Kloe and her husband a million thanks for the opportunity to be here (they started the exchange program). Thank you for pushing my creativity and making all the wonderful memories possible :)
Monday, April 30, 2007
To complete the picture, I will introduce you to the third lady. Curious about the commotion outside, this little woman came to her window as well. It was so funny because next she brought her newborn grandchild over to the window, I assume to show her off & she was beautiful- perfect little face & full head of black hair- cok guzel! After ample show casing of the new baby, the proud grandmother made her way out to chat with us as well. Even though she said very little (she was the shy one of the group), she seemed content to be part of the action. After sipping tea & talking for quite sometime, we realized we should be on our way. We gathered the dishes & took them down for the sweet little woman who had traversed the steep stairs in her feeble condition to join us. As we said our good byes, we got their address & promised to send copies of the photos. They showered us with big hugs & Turkish kisses (on both cheeks) & wished for us good husbands & marriages for the future. We giggled & thanked them, knowing in their world, this was the greatest gift a woman could receive. I will never forget that chance meeting, it was wonderful & I am so glad that we wondered down that crooked street.
Soon after the first lady went inside to fetch our tea this one came out to get a closer look. She was a happy, energetic woman with tons of personality & a little round body to match her little round face. Many Turkish women (especially the traditional ones) are leery of us, but not her. She came bounding out of her house with a big smile on her face & instantly started chatting us up. Luckily Serkan was with us to translate. She told us about how much of her family now lived in France, including her son, who had recently divorced his French wife. I think she wanted us to know that she was worldly, even if it was vicariously. She apparently took quiet a shine to me, because she kept patting me on the back & face. She even said she wished she had another son, so that I could marry him. You just have to love these people... they are amazingly genuine.