We left this morning at about 1:30AM. mad crazy early and I hardly slept on the bus, even though I had two seats to myself. We arrived in the region by 5:30AM, and drove through with the sun rising. After arriving at the hotel, I roomed with Charlotte and re-met the German girl I met in the museum with Cynthia. We ate breakfast, and I managed a quick shower before we left at 8:30AM.


(the center rock far far away is supposed to be “Virgin Mary.” To the right of her on top is a curled snake.)

Our tour guide was really sweet and I loved the way she spoke. First she took us to Imagination Valley to see shapes in the rocks, and then to another area to see and learn about the rock formations.

After that, we went to a village to explore some rock buildings. People still lived here only 60 years ago!!! It blows my mind!

After that, we saw a pottery demonstration. I took a video of it, but of course, we were all “really mature” (myself not included) about watching it happen. We had the chance to buy some pottery for 50% off, and lots of us ended up with extra discounts which was shweet.

This is their Red River, with the moving bridge…I kept singing “Red River Valley” while here, haha.

Finally we went to the Goreme open air museum. I find it most interesting that the history of this place as I know it differs from what the Turks know to be true.

Tonight’s party was to be “Turkish night,” with cultural stuff and a belly dancer. Really cool, but with the lack of sleep, I wasn’t feeling up for it. When everyone else napped and got ready, Charlotte, Kristin and I wandered through Urgup looking for wine. We bought a 6TL bottle, figuring we’d try the better wine tomorrow at the wine tasting before we leave Cappadocia. Charlotte wanted to find the way to the top of a bluff overlooking Urgup, but Kristin and I were too tired. We poked around in an antique store and then settled in a pastanesi with cay, sahlep and baklava. We both ordered in Turkish, so I’m extra proud of us! Charlotte found us there and we wanted to some other shops.

It was really strange though. The shop owners all spoke decent to relatively good English. I’m so used to talking about them and their prices right in front of them without them knowing it, so it was really strange not being able to do that!

After dinner, I was not feeling well. Charlotte, Kristin and I got together in Kristin’s room to drink wine and learn Backgammon! Charlotte taught us, and Kristin won, haha.

Moree traveling tomorrooowww~

~Han

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Today we went to Ankara Kalesi and the Anatolian Museum of history. I looked up the names of these places in Turkish so I could get around alright, and we departed for our adventure at about noon. We took a dolmus to Ulus and taxi’d to the Castle.

We wandered and explored the castle some.

Much of the stone used to build these walls were taken from other buildings. Somewhere around this place, there’s a toilet in the wall xD

Amazing views of Ankara from here.

We went to the market right outside, where we ran into Ali, Keka, Merve and an architechture class on tour! That was so random. We hung out in the area so Cynthia could see some of how the professor taught.

We spoke with Ali some, and his friend from England (who is Turkish, and had a veeery interesting English/Turkish accent).

After, we walked to the museum and explored. It was so cool–the main building was an old bazaar! I got a Muze Kart, or Museum Card, which is a 10TL card that I can use to get into any museum in Ankara for 1 year pretty much for free. I only had to pay the cost of the card. They scanned my ODTU ID and put that picture on my card, so there’s a Study Abroad stamp across my face, hahaha.

No idea what these pots are do.

We walked back to the taxis and hopped one to Kizilay because I wasn’t quite sure how to get to Kizilay from where we were. We walked some and found the Ankara mosque, it was so amazing and impressive.

On the way to get the dolmus back to ODTU, I saw this store. The name made me laugh so hard. xD We went back, took a rest, and then went for dinner in the Carsi. Then we walked next door for some cay/coffee, since she had to stay up until around 3 to board her plane. After that, we wandered to Arkabace for a final baklava, and so Cynthia could grab some food for on the plane. We talked a lot about study abroad requirements and such, and we decided that days like today, where I had to get us around based on what I’ve learned, language barriers and such, should be worth credit as well.

I made sure she had my number in case she got in trouble, since her plane was leaving at 4 and she would have to get there via mostly public transpo. I didn’t hear from her, so I assume she got home safe. =)

~Hannah

My choir’s concert was today. It took place in the “Architecture Amphitheater,” which I was expecting to just be an auditorium. No, this was a legit amphitheatre. So cool! It reminded me a little of the Little Theatre in HCRHS…but so much cooler.

The American choir came and practiced with us on the 2 songs we would sing together, then on their own. Then they went to get food. I hung around to try to talk to them some. But they were completely disinterested in anyone except the people they came with. There were 2 or 3 METU students who were accompanying them around, acting as translators and such. They were the only non-US people that the students really cared to talk to. Only one spoke with me…to ask me how she could buy water from the kantin. I was really disappointed. I kept trying to tell myself that they were just tired but…couldn’t really bring myself to fully believe it, you know? It was beyond just being tired but reacting to things around you. They wouldn’t talk to me when I tried to start conversation, and would only sit with and talk to the people they came with. =\

Claire, Charlotte and Nina came to see my concert though! 😀 They took pictures for me, lucky you! ❤ Gokce Gokdogan also came, and it was so wonderful to see her! I didn’t get to talk to her for but a few moments, since she had to get back to campus before her curfew.

There was a really huge crowd here actually! It was awesome. I’m still trying to figure it out. =) Two composers were here, one that composed a song we sang with the other choir and one that did a song that the other choir sang on their own.

So this is the American choir in their performance-gear. They had some really lovely songs with great harmonies and melodies and sounded fairly good overall.

And this is our choir, in all our loveliness…and I still think we sounded better 😉

I found out that our director, Haser Tek, is actually a famous Turkish tenor in the opera. He doesn’t have a falsetto, and has a really lovely voice. I do enjoy listening to him, and I’m usually not a tenor-type of person!

And this is all of us together.

After all that was over, I still had to get my second series of the rabies vaccine. But it was like 9:30 by that point, and I hadn’t heard from Gokcer about it all day (I had texted him in the AM). So Claire offered to go with me. I went back to my room and found my hospital papers, changed into pants (that skirt was cowld!) and went to the lady by the desk. Since it was 10:15 by this point and I wasn’t sure how long it would take, I wanted to let her know where I would be so I wouldn’t have to sign in on the tardy paperwork. And I actually told her in Turkish that I was going to the hospital and she understood and I was so happy!!! So proud of me. So I went and met Claire outside the gate by a bar called “Drunk.” It was pretty funny xD I hear it’s actually a decent place? Will check it out some time.

We caught a taxi outside the bar and I gave him the paper with the name of the hospital. He didn’t quite know where, so he took us in the cab and drove around calling and texting people to find out, hahaha. He pulls up to a hospital that isn’t the one we needed, and asks for directions. So we get to the right one, and when I go to pay, he told me (in Turkish) that he would wait. Claire and I got out and went to the security guy to let him know where we were going, who gave us directions. I was so happy (again) that I was able to say “Biliyorum” for the first time, which means “I know”! So proud of me, hahahaha. Went and got the shot, which was really easy. I think I’m beginning to not be phased by them, so long as I don’t look at it, haha. Either that or the nurses here are really good. It’s funny though, two shots are in my arm with 3 moles, each right next to one of the moles. I hope the third is next to the last mole, because that would just make me laugh.

We hopped the cab back to ODTU (seriously just wrote TCNJ) and I decided to go with the girls to Beypazari tomorrow. Very exciting, should be an ultra fun time.

~Han

but I had a LOT of pageviews today, thank you! 😀

This morning there were blue skies….. (view from my dorm…that beige line in under the dark blue line is Ankara buildings.)

but by the afternoon, it was split. And then it rained. .__.;

These two little boys were playing soccer with a tennis ball this morning 😛

“DEVRIM” means “Revolution.” This is on the soccer field. Sometimes, I think people probably think I’m crazy for taking pictures of the most random things.

Like this tree. It’s very strange, is it not? I keep expecting an old, wise man’s face to warp out of the bark. But people look at me very oddly when I pull out my camera to take pictures.

Vending machine. It is like a small store. I spy with my little eye…..sandwiches, water bottles, juice boxes, snacks, and…a tissue pack. (You can click on it to view a bigger picture.)

This beauty was hanging out in the lobby of the library, sleeping on the heater. Sooooo sweeeeet! I was at the library to meet with my new friend Ali. He is Pakistani (I believe), and lived in England for 7 years. He had trouble when he was here with courses not being taught in English, and having to fight for himself to be able to take courses and understand the professors. He introduced me to Thomas, who is in what I believe is the equivalent of the Student Council. I gave him the courses and professors who wouldn’t teach in English, and it’s something they’ll be discussing/working on hopefully. If TCNJ is planning on having a program with METU, teaching in English is really important. Ali and I talked a little about how he is experiencing METU, and what he does when he’s stuck in a situation where he can’t understand something (IE: signs all over campus telling you stuff, but they’re all in Turkish.) He’s been a really great help, and I’m glad to have [acidentally] met him.

This is a little park area by the shopping center. I’ll take another picture when there are leaves on trees and such. It’s just generally pretty. There is sooo much MUD here though. I had to buy new pants because my other pants are all muddy just from walking on campus. It’s ridiculously difficult to avoid.

Another Turkish test tomorrow. @>@ Wish me luck!!!
~Han

I went to the store yesterday to buy some nommage. I found nutella, but there was one size bottle.

I’m taking bets. Who thinks I can actually finish this by the time I leave in June?

Math class this morning. I have NO IDEA what’s going on….and I don’t think I can do it after all =\ Altogether I have about 20 hours of classes per week, so I’m hoping that I don’t have anything to worry about in terms of credits, but I have time to make it up if I have to. Plus…Angie said she’d tutor me in Maths next semester 😀

I had my first Chorus rehersal today. It was so good! We’re singing 2 songs in Turkish, one in French, one in Spanish and one in English. So far, lol. I’m a Soprano now apparently?! Lol it’s fun. Gokce is in it actually which is cool. It’s nice to see her again. I can’t understand a majority of the words that the professor is saying, but the cool part is that I fully understand what is going on in the class. It’s great! We have a concert next Wednesday with a choir from Hartford University, very cool. Unfortunately we now have rehearsal every day until then xD

I’m obsessed with sour cherry juice. It’s so good.

Milk here comes in little boxes. xD I feel like I’m probably the only student here who buys it on a regular basis 😛

Today was seriously normal, and it was really amazing. Such a nice change from the batcrazy I’ve been going since I got here!!

~Hanners

Turkish class. Second test. This class moves SO fast @>@ We cover at least three new topics every class and do only vague reinforcements of everything else….that part is up to us. But it’s hard to do with the vocabulary we have. We can ask stuff like “Does your table have a pen?” but that’s not useful in real life, come now 😦

Also, the choir listing. Homygoodness. @____@ One of eight. D: This will be more difficult than I thought it was going to be.

Tree lit from within? Kinda cool.

~Han

So I got to my first class, Intro to Philosophical Concepts, and settled in the room, everybody around me talkin’ in Turkish and having a ball, and the professor walks in and begins speaking in Turkish. She talks for several minutes and there is interaction with the class. I have no idea what is going on. Finally I raise my hand to ask, “Is this class being taught in Turkish?” She has me repeat it, so I did. Her answer? “Probably.” Someone makes a comment and everyone laughs. I start packing up and the professor asks if I’m leaving. Um, yes? I don’t speak Turkish? Someone says something and again the class laughs. I hear another round of laughter as I closed the door. I get the feeling they were making fun of me as I left the room. It was pretty hurtful. I’m rather frustrated about this because ALL the courses here are supposed to be in English, and now here I am, emailing professors left and right to make sure their class is in English so that I can actually take the course. Even though they’re all listed online as being in English, they’re not allowed to list under anything else so it’s one of those “well it doesn’t actually matter what is online because the professor is going to do whatever they want” things. And I’m really upset about this.

Some people have said they told their professors they only speak English, and the professor had to switch to teaching in English and apparently the whole class shot her death glares. I don’t know, maybe people were making fun of me for that? Or laughing because they wouldn’t have to have a class in English? I’m really not sure.

So I spent pretty much the rest of the day emailing professors and asking if they teach in English. So far so good, but the one class I really wanted to take I haven’t heard back from the prof. I guess I’ll just show up tomorrow morning, huh?

I took a detour through the shopping center after I left class. Picked up a phone card to call home (I was wrong before, its 3.75YTL for 50 minutes) and stopped by the grocery store. I got this bowl/plate and a cup for 1.75YTL, just a bit over 1USD. I was looking for paper or plastic, and the same with spoons and knives, but couldn’t find any. I’m going to keep an eye out for that, and hopefully buy just one sharp knife so I can cut my meyve. (fruit!)

When I left, I found a whole slew of cats. They were all over the place, looking for food. I found even more around the corner from where I took this, including two Boncuk-alikes and a Spike-alike. Someone had left out a few containers of food, and they were taking turns eating, chasing each other, and cleaning themselves. It was quite sweet.

Had a quiz in Turkish today and am very confident that I did well. However, I have another quiz on Wednesday and I am very not-confident in that quiz. =\ Wasn’t there on Thursday due to the Uludag trip, and can’t seem to find anyone who has the notes from class.

That pretty much sums up today. I hope classes get worked out, and I do hope I can stay in the Turkish course. She says there are too many people in it, and they need to cut down on the number of students in the class. She wanted us to turn in our schedules to her, but I don’t really have any set schedule yet. It’s kind of a problem at the moment. I hope to change that tomorrow though. We’ll see what happens.

~Han

(in terms of pictures, this entry is terrible. xD Sorry!)