Burası Türkiye!

Posted on April 18th, 2011 by

The translation of this title is “This is Turkey.” As a foreigner, I’m technically not allowed to say this, but I doubt many Turks read my blog so I think we’re okay. Turks often use this expression when something frustrating but very Turkish happens…the dolmuş never shows up, you wait in line for hours to get a metro pass only to realize you need one more signature, or your companions are on Turkish time and show up half an hour late to a planned meeting. I have been extremely busy the last few weeks with all things Turkish, hence the title. 1-2 hour bus commutes, cooking, homework, trips to Eskişehir, Ankara, Holland and Belgium, tutoring, classes, attempting to maintain a social life and get in the occasional work out…I haven’t had much time for blogging.  I will attempt to summarize the past month, via some Turkish proverbs.

Gençliğin kıymeti ihtiyarlıkta bilinir. The value of youth will be known in old age.

This was the whole reason I came to Turkey! I originally thought it would be too expensive, but I decided that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that only happens when you are young with few commitments. So here is me, experiencing my youth:



Cory, who has been a friend since 3rd grade, came from Colorado to Istanbul for her spring break! This is us eating waffles in Ortaköy, which are basically regular waffles stuffed with everything delicious: kiwi, strawberry, chocolate chips, chocolate syrup, sprinkles, nuts, bananas, whipped cream...so delicious.

CIEE took us to Eskişehir, one of the oldest cities in Turkey (built in 1000 BC). This is the view from Anadolu University in Eskişehir, which has 1 million students!!!! (including distance learners)

The city is ancient but undergoing a fast and ambitious urban renewal plan. This Disney-like castle was at park we visited.

After Eskişehir, a few of us went on to Ankara. This is Atatürk's mausoleum in Ankara.

This is the view from the kale in Ankara.

A classmate treated us to a Turkey vs. Austria soccer game, and we got to enjoy the crazy crowd from our box seats (which we were really happy about when it started raining). Turkey won and we had a good time attempting to learn the chants!

I went to Holland to visit my boyfriend for my spring break, and I also got the chance to meet up with my old roommate Anna in Amsterdam!!!

Dirk treated me to a three day trip to Antwerp, Belgium. The food, weather, and company was amazing! It's a beautiful and interesting, if a bit odd and confusing, city.

ANNA IN AMSTERDAM! We were inspired by the modern art in Amsterdam.

Our friends cheering at the futbol game:


Biking with Anna in Amsterdam:


Bir kahvenin kirk yil hatiri vardir. A cup of coffee commits one to forty years of friendship.

Turkish hospitality is world famous, and its reputation is rightfully earned. Anyone that considers you a friend or guest will treat you with amazing hospitality. I had a one-night homestay this weekend and the family was so incredible! They welcomed me into not only their house but their life for the evening. We ate an incredible amount of food, went shopping, and relaxed in their beautiful home. The father and the daughter were fluent in English and the mother was the sweetest lady EVER so even though it was difficult for us to communicate, the language barrier was more humorous than frustrating. I came back with a new coat, some medicine for my cough, an extremely full stomach, an a new appreciation for the lengths to which Turks go to make you feel comfortable. They were so wonderful!

Ana gibi yar, vatan gibi diyar olmaz. There is no love like a mother’s nor a place like your homeland.

I love Istanbul. It’s amazing in a number of ways, which you can see easily by even glancing through the pictures and stories in my blog. It’s such a different experience than living in Minnesota, but it has also made me realize how much I love my home, country, family, and friends. I love chatting with them about life at home and including them in my life here with this blog and personal  conversations.


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