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

So my neighbor, who yelled at me for showering before 10AM a few weeks ago, also gave me a dirty look for trying to shower at noon today. At this point….I couldn’t care less what she thinks. I’m going to shower when I want to. I’m not the one leaving dirty, used dishes in the kitchen for a week plus at a time.

In Sculpture today, I learned I am not really allowed to use my hands to sculpt. I have to beat the clay into place with a stick. Since I’m sculpting a torso, I sometimes feel like I am spanking her!

No one else in the class is doing the torso, and I’m not particularly sure why. Everyone else is doing the man’s head. It’s rather interesting.

Kitty was on the roof again.

The professor got her down.

She’s very sweet, but yowls for attention alllll the time when on the ground as well! We are calling her PITA. I’ll let you guess why.

Whenever I am confident that I can say something in Turkish, the woman at the reception is the only one who can speak English. So when I try to struggle through pronouncing something, she switches to English, haha.

I went to Akife and Mustafa’s for the night tonight. Professor Cynthia Paces is coming tomorrow and needs help getting from the airport to campus. The man at METU that she has been in touch with just isn’t exactly the brightest crayon in the box. So she’s pretty confused.

Akife asked me some very interesting questions tonight about my experience here since I’ve been here for a month. Mustafa and I discussed differences in sociality between home and here, and how learning it makes relating to people in the future so much easier. He also mentioned that since by room is of the more expensive variety, it is likely that the girl is from a higher class and simply expects others to do whatever she wants for her. Which I totally believe.

I discovered these vaguely cheese flavored sticks today that remind me of salty-type pocky. They excite me. And are quite yummy.

I was also informed that I’ve lost weight. I’ve been eating a LOT! But….I’ve also been walking much more than I am used to. That is probably why. =)

~Han

Rahime and Grammy and I went shopping today! Well, first I moved from Yurt 1 to my permanent dorm. Fastest, easiest move I have EVER done. xD After that, we met with Rahime and went shopping.

We went to a pizari. It was so fun! I bought a lot of things I needed:

mini alarm clock

slippers (are we surprised with the pink?)

key chain

hangers (not interesting enough for a picture)

and some things I didn’t need…a tunic, and a new trendy dress (in picture), scarves, and a hair pin. Only a few things left to purchase for my school stuff, like a dictionary and index cards, but I hope to take care of that tomorrow.

Looking for a size

Trying to bargain

Definitely a unique way to showcase underwear?

Clown selling for charity we think.

We went on a car tour of Ankara, and went to METU’s lake. It was so gorgeous. ❤

Had a snack at a cafe on the lake. This is Gokcer’s family

Two tired shoppers!

Another shot over the lake.

Grammy’s old house in Turkey~

Found this picture hiding on Grammy’s camera! So sweet.

My new bed

My new closet

Our kitchen

Our lovely LARGE bathroom!

That’s all for now.

~Han

Registered for my new dorm today. Most likely going to be more comfortable than where I am now. Definitely bigger, huge plus. I’ll share one room with 2 other girls, and a kitchen and bathroom/shower with them and 1 girl who has a single. Kitchen is a little cramped, but the room itself is much roomier.

Was unaware I would need about 8 bajillion passport sized pictures here. Need 3 for the dormitory registration (so I haven’t finished it yet), 1 for the student ID card, and I think 3 or so for the residence permit. Phew! So one of the host students took me to get that done. We finished with not a whole lot of time left before meeting up for a trip to Ankara and Ulus (shopping neighborhood). On the way to the meeting place however, I started to feel very very very stomach ill again. The trip was postponed by 1 hour, and I went with Hanne to the dorm. We talked it over, and Merve came by. We came to the conclusion that most likely, I didn’t want to go if I thought I was going to be needing a bathroom. I went to my room to try to sleep some, and of course, vommed a little.  (This time I made it to the toilet) So, no trip today for Han either. =(!

Called Grammy and arranged for Gokcer to pick me up at 7. So I sat in my room and read my book for most of the afternoon. I packed up my bags so I’d be ready for Gokcer (bringing my laundry to the Gokdogan’s) and headed downstairs. I called Mom and Dad at around 7A their time, thinking Mom would be leaving in half-hour-ish. We talked for the rest of my phone card, and Dad got my Skype name. When I got online and Skyped Dad, Mom was not leaving for work. Delayed opening I suppose!

This is the candy bar I’m obsessed with. It’s wafer-y and DELICIOUS.

My new cell phone. It looks depressingly ghetto, but it’s actually pretty nice. It takes and sends pictures and lots of stufff! =)

This is Kitty. I want to bring her home.

Went to Gokdogans, had yogurt soup and I feel better now. Bed time!

~Han

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

Arrived at Ankara. New airport. Very pretty.

Man who checked my visa read it for a long time. I was very nervous he would say no. I got through.

Luggage got through alright. Did not have a matching set so I could not clip them together but I MacGyver’d something that worked.

People think Turkey is flat. It is not flat. Hills everywhere. Snow too. Very cold.

Used to be the ghettos. Mustafa, family friend, picked us up from his airport. Gave small tour through town center. Turkish drivers are scary. Will try to take video.

In Germany, everything was in German and English. In Turkey, everything is just in Turkish. So many people are fluent in multiple languages. On the plane, the stewardesses all spoke 3+ languages. This terrifies me. If the US wants to stay on the forefront as an influential nation, we really need to jump that bandwagon.

Had dinner. Was chided for not eating enough. Will serve myself next time. Saw Gokcer tonight and had many good discussions with him and Grammy. Was also chided for not serving tea. They are trying to make a proper Turkish girl out of me. We’ll see what happens. 😉

~Han

PS: By chided, I may or may not mean teased. I believe they tease me, but they may also be serious. I will get back to you on this.