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

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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

Got up early to meet Grammy and Akife in Kizilay so we could get together for Akife’s group that raises money for the poor. The plan was for me to catch a dolmus from METU campus to Kizilay, and walk through the flower shops to the pedestrian bridge and to wait underneath that.

It started with the dolmus. >.< The first one had a list of stops, including Kizilay. Then after I got on it, I saw another one come through that was JUST Kizilay. But the doors for that one never opened. My phone battery completely died in this process. So I got on the first dolmus and asked about Kizilay. The person who answered got off before Kizilay. I didn’t know when we got there, but all I knew was the driver kicked everyone off the dolmus. I found someone and asked where Kizilay was, and he pointed to the ground. Good. Looked around, and saw NO flowers. Asked where Attaturk Blvd was, since Grammy said that’s where the pedestrian bridge was that I needed to go to. He pointed up the street, to the left.

Got up the street, saw two pedestrian bridges. Walked to the one to the left and stood there for approximately 25 minutes. No Akife or Grammy. Saw a cell phone store and showed them my battery, but they did not carry it. Walked to the bridge to the right of the dolmus, and as I crossed another street found another TWO pedestrian bridges. Stood under that bridge for about 10 minutes. No Akife or Grammy. Walked across the street to the third bridge and stood under there for another 25-30 minutes. No Akife or Grammy. I must have angered at least 30 taxi drivers who pulled over to see if I would hop in.

I was really getting upset and frustrated and nervous. I didn’t know where I was, I didn’t know where they were, I had no way of calling them, I finally saw the flowers, and thought I should have been where I was. After a while, I saw another cell phone store across the street and I thought I would try to find a new battery. As I crossed the bridge, I saw batteries that matched mine on sale in sidewalk stalls, but decided I’d be better off getting it from a real store. As I went down the steps on the other side of the street, I see a long brown coat and a fluffy white coat: Akife and Grammy. I was so, so relieved.

After all that, we went to Akife’s group of women. They

make dough, and use it to make

Gouzleme,

bread,

Mati (sp?) and they sell the food and clothing to raise money for the poor. They were all very kind, very very happy women.

Then we went shopping a little for Akife’s friend whose daughter is getting engaged tomorrow night. We drove back towards METU, and Akife called Mustafa who told me I should stay with them tonight since Grammy is going to METU in the morning with Gokcer. I told him I didn’t have anything with me for overnighting, and he told me to wear my Grammy’s clothing tomorrow. xD! I love Grammy, there is nothing wrong with her clothing, but the thought of it is a little absurd!

I need to buy vitamins soon. And an extension cord. We only get internet on our beds right now, but the power outlet is completely across the room! I need an English>Turkish dictionary, index cards, folders, a few more hangers, a command hook, and…I think that’s it. For now, hahaha. Grammy and I are getting a manicure tomorrow, whee~!

Roomies came in. “Tired?” “Very!!!” “What did you do today?” “You have to ask another way, what did we NOT do?!”

Anddd…I think I’ve run out of things to say. Hopefully noms soon.

~Han

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ughhhh. so much for that party 😦

My stomach has been bothering me pretty much since I got to METU. It was fine at the Gokdogan’s house, but not here. I’ve been feeling vommy most nights. Yesterday I started feeling ill early, around 2PM maybe? I ate pretty normal things throughout the day: cheese toast, rice, chicken, a slice of sweet pepper. The Turkish Trots got to me though, early. I even ate the same things as other people, and they are just fine.

I tried eating soup when nighttime came around, thinking maybe that will make me feel better because it did the other day. Nope. Just felt worse. Ended up going to bed before the party started and waking up every hour or so to sit in the bathroom and feel gross. My stomach was making noises and doing dances I never want to experience ever again. Finally ended up expelling some bad into a trash can and thank GOODNESS I found Merve downstairs. (Merve is a Turkish girl who lives in Germany here on erasmus.) She took me to medical, who said I should go to the hospital. I couldn’t get in touch with the Gokdogans or Grammy, and it was the last thing I wanted to do. They gave me a pill to calm my stomach, which it miraculously did. So I spent the rest of the night getting up every 2 hours to use the water closet.

Let me tell you what, that room is tiny and uncomfortable to be in. The door is so close to the toilet that when you sit on it, your knees are against the door and your toes under it. I’m sure it’s creepy looking from the outside. Whereas TCNJ made their bathrooms bowling alleys, METU made them closets.

Register for housing today…hope I stop feeling this way soon.

~Han

Woke up feeling vommy. Grammy says its the food, and she’s right b/c it is a lot heavier than I am used to. She recommended yogurt. Turkish yogurt is the best. I want to find yogurt soup. It’s so yummy and would be perfect.

Skipped the first lecture b/c of my stomach. Really wanted to go to it, but was afraid of another vasovagal episode. Went to second lecture, Beginning Turkish hurray~! Surprisingly fun, learned a ton of new words, need flash cards!

Last night I spent about 2-3 hours setting various people up on the Internet. I used Macs and PCs from German to Russian to Dutch….hooked everybody up to the ‘net. These people were all pretty happy to talk to me today, which was really encouraging. Hung out w/ Claire too, and made buddies w/ her group.

Afterward, I went to the library to hook up a Dutch girl’s computer. It didn’t work the first try, so we walked to the Computer Center since she has a tough time seeing things and finding her way. I wandered through the shopping center, noted things I want/need to buy, and then came back to the dorm. Got some soup, and my stomach felt better. Now I’m hungry again, but I’m not sure what to eat. The signs are all in Turkish xD; Really need that dictionary.

Early night tonight, since I plan on going out tomorrow night and have to be up early on Friday to register and move into my permanent dorm.

~Han

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