Friday, June 24, 2011

O Müzik Sever (She Loves the Music)

I honestly have to say that I love Turkey. I haven't left yet (and nor do I know where I'm going...) but I already know I'm going to love it.

I love Turkish food - when we go to Mediterranean restaurants, I will give a jaunty 'teşekkürler.' Granted, half the time the waiters look at me as if I have six heads, but sometimes I will get a grin and a 'bir şey değil' back. I could eat kebaps and aşure 'till I croak.

I love Turkish history - we went to the MFA (Museum of Fine Arts in Boston) and instead of sticking with my parents to see interesting art (not that I don't love art) I abandoned them to go on a hunt. I found the Middle Eastern wing, and in it I found Iznik tiles, which are the most beautiful and intricate things ever. The pottery is famous for blue designs of leaves and flowers and utter gorgeousness.

I love the music - my Turkish friends have been plying me with all sorts of music. Pop, rock, jazz, anything and everything. From songs about ice cream to romance, passion, and random other cool things. I'm in love with how artists blend traditional rhythms with modern ones, creating a time warp with past and present an future. I'm in love with how cool a guitar sounds next to a kemençe. It makes you want to dance and dance and dance.

I really, honestly cannot wait to go. I'm excited that shortly I'll be picking up my bags, my visa, and my passport, boarding a plane and flying off into an adventure. I'm looking forward to new friends, family, fun, and amazing. IT WILL BE A BLAST!!!

See you soon, Türkiye!!! <3

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Getting to Know You

I know I've been whining a lot lately. I'll try not to whine in this post. Instead we'll discuss why I love modern technology.

I love Facebook. It may be the mother of all procrastinating things everywhere, but it really is a godsend. You can chat with friends, send messages, poke people, and a number of other things. You couldn't do that  even ten years ago. Then you had to make a phone call, write a letter, or walk up to them and give them a good prod in the shoulder. For exchange students, Facebook is fantastic. I've already made friends with everyone else going to Türkiye. I've befriended people from all over the world - Brazil, America, Mexico, Taiwan. We all know each others' names and we haven't even met in person yet! My mom was complaining that when she went on exchange, she didn't even really speak to her exchange family before she got there, let alone know who the other exchange students are. This is why I love Facebook.

We have daily chats where everyone pipes in with a 'Merhaba! Nasılsın? Iyiyim siz?' and then we muddle through finding out where everyone is from, where everyone is going, and obviously whether or not we can make tacos for everyone when we get there. We have Skype-ing Turkish lessons where we try to all somehow speak the same language.

I'm so happy that we have Facebook and Skype and modern technology in order to connect to my other exchange students. Getting to know them is so much fun! We are a fantastic group! <3 <3 <3

Guys, I can't WAIT to meet you all in person. We will have the BEST time ever!!! :D

Saturday, June 11, 2011

You Can't Dot the Capital İ... Or Can You?

I was always told that you can't dot a capital 'i.' They simply are meant to be barren. Isn't that sad? I wanted to give the big 'i' a dot just like the little one had, just so it didn't feel left out. In fourth grade I dotted my capital 'i's for a week before the teacher caught on.

"Isabel (İ), why do you insist on dotting the capital 'i's? That's just for the little ones. You simply must stop." I must stop?
"Teacher, it looks so lonely though. Shouldn't it have something to keep it warm?"
*Tsktsk* "Dots don't keep letters warm and anyway, it's an adult 'i.' It grew out of its dot." If you say so...
^Special letters!!!
This must be a sign. I was meant to be a Turk. Maybe I was one in a past life, or maybe I simply have a calling to Türkiye. But, that's where I'm meant to be. Thank goodness I caught on and decided to go there.


On a side note...

Every time I go through my blog  I see that picture of the the baklava. Oh my god, do I want some baklava. Delicious and honey-drenched, sticky, walnutty - baklava is up there with chocolate as one of my favorite desserts.

Friday, June 10, 2011

You Can't Bribe A Turk

Apparently you can't bribe the Turks. Well... I'm sure you can. But the ones who have the city list are un-bribeable. Even with cookies. Sigh.

My little birdie said I might be going to İstanbul. İSTANBUL!!! Now wouldn't that be fantastic? A fantastic city, so rich, so vibrant, SO MUCH HISTORY!!! <3 (Squeals of joy from the history buff archaeologist chick...)

Istanbul basically has MPD... Every 500 years... What are you again? Byzantium? No, that's not it... Constantinople? Nope? Hmmm... İSTANBUL? That's the ticket...

İstanbul is the largest city in Turkey with a whopping 13.1 million people. That's more than New York City. So... that makes it... kinda huge. It's the 20th largest city in THE WORLD. The city is on two continents (I'll have to find the divide... and prove I've been in two continents at once.), both Thrace (the European side) and Anatolia (the Asian side). It has been the capital of the Roman, Byzantine, Latin, AND Ottoman empires. İstanbul is famous for Topkapı Palace, the Hagia Sophia, and hundreds of mosques, churches, synagogues, fortresses, and walls. So we got everything history-buff-archaeologist-chick could ever want. It rivals Boston as a university town with more than 14 recognized universities. There are so many museums, park and gardens. Sounds fantastic to me!!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

On the Inability to Breathe

I'm not going to lie. Every time I check my email, my breath catches in my throat and I give a little gasp.

'You have mail!' I HAVE MAIL? I click on the mailbox icon, hoping it will somehow load faster. So you know- a watched icon never boils... or loads... The spinny wheel of death circles and circles in a doom loop. COME ON, COME ON, PLEASE, PLEASE, PUHLEEEEASE LOAD!!! *bing* My eyes glaze over as I scan the list of new mail... No mail. Well, none that I am absolutely dying to have. It's probably a good thing that I can hold my breath for some time. When the email actually comes... I just might faint. :D


New, less distressing topic. There are so SOO many cities I want to go to. Adana, İzmir, Antayla, Bursa, İstanbul, Ankara... okay, so I basically want to just go to Turkey. So sue me. I want to leave right now and live happily ever after, stuffing my mouth with kebabs and baklava until I burst. That sounds like a good life to me.

Umm... ^Heaven much???
I think I could thrive anywhere in Turkey. It has the food, the culture, the language. Everything I want to get out of the experience. I'm just the impatient one, hoping that someday my prince (ahem, EMAIL) will come.

People have been asking me where I'm going. "I mean, I get it, you're going to Turkey. But like... the place with the mountains... oh wait, the beach?! Wait... do they have turkeys in Turkey?" Truth is... I really want to be able to answer their questions. But I can answer one... YES, THERE ARE TURKEYS IN TÜRKIYE. But other than that... I don't know much else...

I wish I did... I honestly wish I did. When I know, dear readers, so shall you.

Monday, June 6, 2011

I Had a Dream

I had a dream this morning/last night that I had checked my email and LO AND BEHOLD there was mail. The mail said 'Congratulations! You are going to Adana!' I woke up almost immediately to check my email. The only email I had received was the SAT question of the day. I'm surprised I didn't cry.
Adana is a beautiful city in southern Turkey. It is 30km from the Mediterranean Sea and is a major agricultural and commercial city. It is the fifth most populous city in Turkey with 1.6 million people. It has been mentioned in all manner of historic tales - from The Epic of Gilgameshto Greco-Roman myths. It was once a part of the Hittite, Assyrian, Persian, Seleucid, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires. (My goodness Adana is a popular place to conquer, isn't it?) Adana has many museums, parks, theaters and gardens.

I definitely wouldn't mind going to Adana!!!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Travel Bug

If there's any disease I'm glad I have... it is the travel bug. Honestly, I feel sorry for people who have no wish to explore - It's all I want to do! As a be-travel bugged person, I can't sit still. I want to go go go and get somewhere. And when I've arrived, I just explore. Everywhere. And then we're off again!

I think the bug is inheritable but also contagious. Either you catch it or you don't. But one thing is for sure... it doesn't go away. I inherited it from my mom and caught it from my god-family. It's in my blood. And the travel bug is certainly one of the things that brought me to where I am today: about three months away from jumping head-on into one of the greatest years of my life.

As of August, I will be a Turk. Not a real one - just honorarily. But that's where I will be. I spend from August 2011 to July 2012 in one of the places in the world with the best food, the best history, the best language. Well, face it. Turkiye is simply the best.

Anyways... I'll talk soonishly... like... when I figure out my city. And that will be some jubilating times, my friends.

<3 <3 <3