I needed to go out to Çankaya today to get my cell phone from Mustafa. I had an idea of it, but I wasn’t positive so…I headed out. ;D

Took the Kizilay dolmus out and looked around the dolmus depot for the name of a dolmus that my roommate had given me. But as I was looking, I found a Çankaya dolmus! And it had the other name Mustafa told me to look out for, Yildiz! So I hopped that and rode it all the way out to the neighborhood they live it. It looked very familiar so I got off and started walking. I wasn’t positive where I was going. xD I walked around for maybe an hour or so and finally found their apartment building, but they weren’t home. ^^; So I went up to Rahime and Gokcer’s apartment, and Rahime called Mustafa for me. He was at his office, not too far away. So we walked out to there as well. And now I know exactly how to get to his office and to their house. I feel soo accomplished! It was rather exhausting though, I will say that, haha. So I retrieved my cell phone and Mustafa dropped me off at the Y.Aryanci dolmus stop, which goes straight to METU.

When I was walking around Çankaya though, I saw this “thing.” I’ve never seen anything like it. Rahime says people use it all the time….to move into apartments! The movers place stuff on that flat thing at the bottom and then lift it up using a mechanical pulley system. So cool!!

I conked in my room a bit after returing, and then picked up Cynthia for dinner. We got pide at a restaraunt in the carsi (shopping market on campus) and some baklava at another place. By 8PM we were both exhausted and went our separate ways. And now I’m ready for sleep =)

~Hannah

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Well sleep last night was a nice change: rather than awakening restlessly half an hour before my alarm, I slept for a lovely 9 hours.

Mustafa and I left to pick up Dr. Cynthia Paces from the airport. Mustafa waited in the car and I inside. However, Cynthia did not get off at 11:05 as she should have. I asked the info desk if they could tell me if Cynthia got on in Istanbul, and they told me to take my handbag to lost luggage. They didn’t understand that I had lost a person rather than a bag! Mustafa came in and we figured out that she was on the next plane! So much for making it to Turkish class today….With Mustafa’s help (he is invaluable) we got her settled in on campus and she came to see my sculpture class.

My professor invited her to see the class. Pita was on the roof again. Cynthia really likd the class and hung out with the professor for a while before going to her first meeting with METU people. I am trying to figure out how to make my sculpture lean forward, but I keep hitting the nail on the support stick when I try.

The bass section of our choir is not very good. They gut-sing everything without any sort of musical influence. I wonder if this push for pure volume without any form of musicality is a masculinity thing. Also, I keep trying to sing with the Altos. Whoops~!

Cynthia and I went to dinner at the place where you weigh the food. It was quite good! We got there at about 8PM and stayed talking and such until around 10PM… I like her a lot. =)

I accidentally dropped my phone in Mustafa’s car today, so I have to go Cankaya tomorrow to pick it up @.@;

~Hannah

Woke up early this morning to someone just coming in our dorm and settling in the empty bed. It was really strange! I looked at my clock and thought it said 8:35, and we had to leave by 9AM. I was nervous, hopped out of bed and started my day. I let Keika know, because we were going to eat breakfast together. I showered, went downstairs, and met with some other girls and their host. We were sitting around eating for a while and I thought we were late but it turns out the time was an hour earlier than I thought. Yay! I like being early.

First lecture bore me to sleep. It was so terrible. I think a small part of me died a little. Interesting, somewhat, about internal migration and such, how everybody is moving towards the cities, but the concern about rural life seemed lacking. She was more concerned about the gecekondu, housing that was built overnight and evolved into “ghetto” areas. Understandable I suppose. Room was huge. Best quote of the day though…

“But for the moment you may have some hot questions for me.”

Skipped the next class to walk to the mall with Claire and try to get a new phone so I could give the other back to the Gokdogans. No success, but it was an adventure. Got a taxi back =)

Bought a huge bottle of water today. I was spending half the money for a third the amount of water for a while…that was dumb. P: I felt like a gigantic baby sucking on a bottle.

This is the board from my Turkish class. In two days, we’ve covered: counting to 1,000,000, alphabet, greetings, asking how are you, goodbyes, times of day, how to tell time, how to identify objects, 50+ vocabulary words, asking and telling names, various responses for “how are you,” telling phone numbers, speaking formally and informally, ordering food, asking how much money, and some polite things to say/do. h’omg. ;__;

Had lunch today with Hanne (Hah-nah), Claire, and Charlotte. We went to the general cafeteria, and it wasn’t that bad. Wasn’t great, but it was super cheap, especially for how little food I tend to eat. Setting up computers was a great move to get people to talk to me, and so was hooking up with Claire, who was in a circle already. xD I’m feeling much more welcome here now.

Communication here ranges from poor to non-existant. This is the “financial meeting” we were supposed to have today. We got to the room and discovered it had been moved to the study abroad office, and arrived there to find out they wanted us to pay the 40TL that we owed them for “orientation week expenses.” Without telling us. That we needed to pay. Oh, and also that we needed to have an additional 15TL and a passport sized photograph. Frustrated Han a little bit ^^;

We register for rooms early tomorrow in our permanent dorms. I hope my host is here to help me: no one in dorm offices speaks English and my Turkish is of no assistance here and/or now. Also, I don’t know what dorm I’m in. xD So I hope to hear from her tomorrow.

Smoking inside buildings is illegal in Ankara now, with a fine of 69.00TL. Yet people sit and smoke in front of these signs. Literally, right in front of them. The ones that say you’ll get fined for smoking inside a building. Ugh. =(

Tonight is a dance party. People here tend to call it a “disco,” and I wonder if that is from outdated English textbooks. I’m mainly going because there’s going to be a karaoke on one of the floors, and I adore karaoke. I hope someone will come with me. It would be lonely if not. I’m bringing extra lira in case I want to go home early…I’m catching a cab if I have to this time.

~Han

I live in Yurt #1.

Impossible to figure out the cell phone info & kontor. I can look at pictures, which are totally unhelpful.

Kitties just live in the dorms here. This one just jumped up and scared a bunch of pigeons off.

First thing today was lecture. I felt as though I would pass out. Met a girl from Cali who kept an eye on me. Very sweet. Global Music studies. Coffee break, then a trip to the health center, lunch, and a tour of campus.

All the girls today wore boots but for a select few. Felt out of place in sneakers, but glad I wore them with all the walking we did and the rain. Girl in black shoes reminded me of my little Megan from the back toooooooo much.

LET KITTY IN THE BANK! I HAS SOME CATNIP TO DEPOSIT PLZ

Is who I spent most of today with. Red tips is Mujgan, host student. Black coat in front is Bilsh(?), Turkish man who goes to school in LA, speaks perfect English and Turkish. Red coat is Nick, from CA. Other guy is Fernando, from Portugal.

“MM” building, general engineering. AKA: Suicide building.

Cati, always packed, good pasteries and paid by the ounce for food.

Floating umbrellas?

Rektorluk’s vehicle. Special plates are red vs. black. Audi A6.

“President’s House” (actually his office)

Computer lecture. Doesn’t actually work, since no one downstairs speaks English and we do not have our usernames and passwords yet.

THEY DRIVE JETTAS HERE TOO

Orange buggy at Rektorluk.

METU (aka ODTU) has a museum of stuff they found as they developed campus land as well as things donated to the school museum, and a collection of outdated technology. Spans several centuries. Medical instruments.

For Grammy. (not sure why)

For Dad.

For Rauren & me.

For Rauren & Bryce.

It looks blue, but this car was actually BRIGHT PURPLE.

Bumblebee?

For Eric.

Party tonight, going to a bar and stuff. I do not plan on staying more than an hour. Dorm is far too hot, and I did not sleep much last night.

~Hannah

Slightly more than I had bargained for.

Late breakfast, spent most of today relaxing w/ Grammy and playing around on the computer. Can’t read the SIM card pamphlet. Mustafa is lending me a phone, I should buy a used one tomorrow.

Tea party at around 4PM. Tea parties rather replace lunch here often. Turks speak quickly and loudly, as though in argument many times. I believe they were discussing the building service person. It may or may not have been a heated discussion…I am not sure.

Gokcer called and offered to bring me to campus. He gave us a driven tour. The campus is two circles that touch on one side…there is a phrase for this in Geometry, but I do not remember it.

When we arrived to the dorm, someone else had taken my bed in my previous room. Another room was located for me. That was stressful. I could not interact or communicate, because all dorm workers speak only Turkish.

I believe this is someone else’s dorm during the year, and they had to pack up everything to make room for us temporarily.

Four people to a room, with one sleeping room and one study room. Two “rooms” to a dorm. So, 8 people sharing one space.

The key to the study room given to you on exchange for an ID…which you can trade back for the ID. You cannot lock anything but the study room.

Piggy piggy protection for here too. Look familiar?

I am glad this is temporary.

I do not have internet access in here. Updates/availability will be staggered. I will go stir crazy until I can get me some ‘net.

It is rather lonely in here. I think 2 other people have brought their stuff here, but they have left. I do not know where they are. I believe I will visit the girls down the hall to hang out. I hope I can speak slowly enough for them.

~Han

PS: Speaking slowly in English makes one realize how many unnecessary words one uses. It is difficult to shorten what I am trying to say, especially when attempting to explain something about America. This is something to work on.

Four people to a room, with one sleeping room and one study room.
The key is given to you on exchange for an ID…which you can trade back for the ID.

Slept 13 hours. Felt lovely, could have slept til 2. Forgot my camera today, and Grammy enjoyed taking pictures with her pretty Nikon D40.

Called Gokce…or rather, Mustafa did. Met in Kızılay, the city center, and picked her up. Very sweet. Went to METU, did quick tour, found my temporary dorm.

Was handed a form to fill out to prepare for when I come tomorrow. I looked at it and stopped, a few minutes later was told to fill it out again. “I can’t read it…”

They gave me sheets, a blanket and a pillow. This room was floor to ceiling with them.

Four beds by way of two BUNK beds. Very small room. There is a separate study room and water closet. Will be here 1.5wks. Had a tough time getting up here!! There was a kitty in the lobby. Looked like Boncuk, but its markings were brown. Didn’t get a picture =(

Went to shopping center. Purchased a cell sim card so I can make calls to people in Turkey, ie Mustafa, Gokcer, Gokce, new friends at school. Mustafa has a phone I can activate it on, and I have to buy minutes tomorrow.

Do you see my eyebrows? I believe they were at my hairline by the time I left. I was not saying a thing and could not understand  a word being said.

The forest is all part of my new school’s campus. It is beautiful.

I get excited whenever someone speaks very good English. I speak too fast. I need to slow down. It’s the Jersey in me, I know. I will warn my new friends at METU to tell me when I speak too quickly.

Gokcer and Rahime came by tonight for dinner and post-dinner. I gave them gifts from America, and the boys had more fun with the ribbon than anything else.

This ribbon is SRS BUSINESS. Grammy and I were kissed by this srs gentleman too.

~Han