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

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There are cherry blossoms all over campus, and they’re all turning pink and budding and it’s so pretty!

These little sparrow-y birds are really cute, and all over the place. Sometimes there are a lot of them on the ground and they make the ground look like it’s alive ❤

This little puppy is all over campus and begs for food and stuff. He’s pretty cute, but I think he was dumped 😦

~Han

I love having adventures!

Okay, so Sunday, nothing happened. Literallyyy. So, onto today’s adventures!

I thought today was going to be dull, but it was actually fun. First off, got a good mark in Turkish. yay! Then, Claire had to pick up her residence permit, and I had yet to turn in the paperwork for mine. It’s basically a teensy passport-type-thing that just says that you do live in the country at the moment, and should you have to leave, you’ll be able to get back in. (I also stil lhave to pay for my student ID; the one I have expires soon but I need a new photo. whoops x 2)

We adventured out via the Ulus dolmus. We had to go to the polis station basically, but it’s a huge building, haha. It was also fairly cold out. First we went to the Polis kantin to purchase a very extra super specific pink folder. It was very odd! Then I turned in the paperwork with no problems. I simply have to pick up my permit in 2 weeks. Yay!

Then we took the metro. That was actually fun. The whole thing was so clean, open, fresh. So different from what I’m used to!

When we got off at Kizilay, we found some fake converse being sold for SUPERCHEAPS, so I nabbed a pair in burgundy. I’ll share a picture later. We found DOST, a bookstore, so Claire could buy her ticket for a film festival movie. There seem to be a lot of those here. We were running out of steam, so we got some cay (and I got sahlep of course). When she asked the waiter for lemon, he just laughed in her face. o.O It was strange. I bought a great fuzzy-hooded Engrish sweatshirt with a huge ? and a saying “Do you like any girlfriends?” We also tried these street-food fried potatoe-chips-on-a-stick which were quite wonderful. A guy heard us talking in English, and came over and started talking to us. It was a little awkward, but he wanted to practice his English which I can understand. But then he started following us some, so we told him we had to get back to class and kind of ditched him a bit.

On the way back to campus, we got invited to have dinner with Hanne and Charlotte, so we had potatoes, eggs and onions. It was fun. =)

After dinner I had them over to my room for cay and dessert. Very enjoyable. Next time though, I’d like to make dinner for them. ………..I just don’t know what!!! D:

~Han

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

On Sunday I did literally nothing but sit around, eat and study. P:

Monday I had class, and I don’t think I did anything before or after that either.

Today, I had sculpture class in the AM, a Turkish test in the PM, and choir at night. This is the Sculpture building room. We have our own building, and it’s kind of fun! =) I started actually applying clay to my sculpture today, which was awesome. They also removed the leaking bath, so I didn’t have to stand in a puddle of water today 😀 Huge help in keeping warm!!

This is the sculpture I am trying to reproduce for my class P: It’s so relaxing and fun to start working on the sculpture.

I believe the sculpture building was one that just happened to be sitting around un-used here. There is another building that isn’t used, and apparently one was demolished.

After class I got to do a single load of laundry…..that then got locked in the machine. Oy, lol terrible luck!

In choir, we’re learning 2 new songs this month and 1 in April. The other choir did a 4-part version of Bebek that we are going to try to learn. :3 Pretty much it….

~Han

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