March 2010


Today I had to pick up my residence permit after class. I hopped a dolmus out there and picked it up no problem. It looks like a little passport, kinda really adorable! xD Just as I left, an ODTU dolmus pulled up to the stop a little bit away from the police place, the Ankamall stop. I flat out ran the thirty feet to get there, which kind of felt good, and when seated realized I was on the same dolmus that I took to get out there!

At Cati, the best place to get food on the academic side of the campus, you can eat outside. You don’ t have to do anything with your trays though, you just leave them out and the workers (plentiful as they are) come around and pick them up. Sometimes though, the birds get to it before the workers do!

This is the view of Ankara from the walkway from the campus gate to Yuz.yil as I was going to meet up with Claire.

We decided to make stir fry.

It was quite delicious. I also tried raki, as my sculpture professor had encouraged me to do. I don’t think it’s quite for me though, too much of a black licorice taste to it.

Boring days yay!

~Han

Daylight savings time started here today. Woooo, haha.

The weather today was absolutely amazing, so Hanne and I decided to go to Ulus to study in the park. We unfortunately got kicked off the grass, so we studied on a bench and then walked around the fair.

All the rides were 3TL per ride, which we thought was a little steep, so we just wandered. Some of the images were kind of graphic, and it was weird.

I walked around and saw SO many gorgeous flowers. You can click this to see it larger.

And I’m not sure if I just like this patch because it’s purple and white…….

Men kept stopping us to talk to us in English (or French) and invite us for cay and ask if we needed a guide. Only, they most certainly did not come across as friendly, but as very creepy. Hanne’s blonde hair I’m sure gave her away, but unfortunately made us both “targets.” At about 5:20 I wanted to go back to campus, but Hanne had some more to do in Ulus for her photography class. I was tired, so I went to the Ulus dolmus terminal. I sat. And waited.

And sat.
And waited.
And asked if the ODTU dolmus was coming.
And sat.
And waited.

After about 2 and a half hours, I started getting really upset. The guy in charge made several phone calls about the dolmus, but it still never came. One of the dolmus drivers who had seen me there for so long tried to help. It was starting to get dark and I was blubbering non-sensical Turkish words and phrases. I was upset and nervous. I had spent the last 2 and a half hours sitting by myself, being eyed at, cat called at, appraised, rubber necked and I’m positive people who walked by me were talking about me to the people they were with. It was uncomfortable to say the least.

The poor dolmus driver didn’t understand me, I didn’t understand him, someone shoved cay in my hands (I don’t think I’ve ever drank cay so fast) and a student with a small amount of English was found. I didn’t know where Kizilay was from where I was, or the metro, and I don’t have the bus tickets so I couldn’t use the buses. I was led to the guy who was in charge again, who put me on a dolmus to Yuz.Yil. Unfortunately I don’t know the stops in Yuz.Yil, but as they were metioning places, they mentioned a mall I knew of, and I KNEW there was a Kizilay>ODTU dolmus from there. The driver didn’t charge me for the first leg of the trip…I’m grateful. I was also very frazzled.

Anyway, I got home at about 8:40, exhausted and aggravated and swearing to never wear a skirt to that part of the city ever again.

Or to go there with another girl.

Or actually, to bother going there at all.

In the end, Hanne walked to Kizilay and took a dolmus from there. She and Nina came over, and we made pasta and ate strawberries with Nutella for dessert. I haven’t quite decided if that made the entire thing worthwhile P:

~Han

Today, Hanne and I had a mission to buy her a new pair of shoes. We went to Kizilay, and as we were wandering around locating ayakkabi stores, when all of a sudden I realized we were walking right next to several columns of about 40 or so polis officers in full riot gear. There is normally a police precense in Kizilay, but usually not so heavy, and,…usually not in FULL RIOT GEAR, with BLAST SHEILDS. Hanne didn’t really see a probnlem with it, but I was really uncomfortable. We continued to walk forward, but then I happened to look into the street…where there were 3 armoured vehicles and a POLICE TANK. I decided that we should probably not be there and steered us immediately onto a side street.

curious?
Oh yes.
Safe?
MOST likely not.

Anyway, we ended up finding Hanne a pair of shoes, and went to the park in Kizilay. We bought juice, som esimit and strawberries. I wanted some cay, but the guy who walked by selling it wanted 1lira, and I didn’t feel like paying 1TL for a cay I could get for 25 kurus out of a vending machine .__. So I said no. Another guy come pay, and wanted 1TL as well, but when I said no, he offered for 50 kurus. This, I didn’t mind. We got some cay, and about 10 minutes later the first guy came around and saw us with cay and asked why we had it. So we laughed and I told him I got it for 50 kurus and he seemed angry, lol.

Sorry I didn’t really get any pictures….I didn’t think snapping one of the police guys would have been such a great idea!

~Hannah


-acne cream (I know it’s here, I’ve seen commercials o.o;; )

-index cards (Dr. Paces gave me some from Istanbul though, yay!)

-extension cord (I just need a single plug, can only find multi-plugs)

-peanut butter (it apparently exists in Yuz.Yil, but only creamy)

-One-A-Day Women’s (they have Men’s…they have Over 55…they have Weight Control…no Women’s)

-plastic spoons & knives (got forks!!!)

This all amuses me. =)

~Han

Life seems to be settling down here. Getting into a rhythm of doing things (or not doing them) and things aren’t quite as exciting as they were at first.

Random guys were playing instruments by the sculpture today. It was really fun sounding and kinda interesting to watch. xD

I had errands to run by the carsi (market/shopping area). I had to go up to the phone store to buy Kontor for my phone, and when I came back down this kitty was just like “Hey! Chillen’ on the pillows!” It was really adorable.

I went to the carsi to do some work on my proposal for Dr. D. I had this to eat. Doesn’t it look delicious? Fresh squeezed OJ and an apple…thing. xD

Cars on campus will park ANY WAY THEY CAN FIND ROOM. It’s actually kind of interesting. So in any given parking lot, there are 3 rows of cars. I swear to you, all Turkish drivers are either absolutely crazy or the best drivers that exist. They can get in and out of any and every possible situation in their vehicles. It’s kind of incredible.

~Han

I have started teaching myself to cook. Can you believe it?! Today I made pasta with tomato sauce. It was alright. We’ll see where this goes. P: All the food in the kantin seems really extra super duper fried, and I’m just tired of it. 😦

NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM!

We started our Sunday a little later than had been intended. Last night, various people got ill at the bar, and they did not make it back to the hotel until 2AM. I’m glad I stayed in. We started in a village of old Greek houses. It was famous because one of the houses was the location where a television series was filmed.

Gokhan and I went searching for the Upper Greek House (there were signs with arrows) but did not find it. Instead, we found Kemal and were going to go look at the mosqque, but I got distracted by an old beaiutiful Ottoman building still being used as a high school. It was so strange seeing modern stuff (like a room full of computers) inside such an ancient building.

Later we visited “new” ruins, only found about 5 years ago. Rotary paid for the cover of the place (likely a church or meeting location) and I thought that was awesome.

We went to the underground city as well. Not so bad when everyone was moving along, but very bad when you stopped with seventy people in a small passageway.

We visited Pigeon valley, where people carved houses for pigeons so they could collect the pigeon poop which was used for various things in the ancient times.

Then we went to a wine tasting. The wines were not very good, but Kristin and I bought some pumpkin seeds to eat on the trip home.

Then it was back on the bus and back to Ankara~

~Han

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