Daylight savings time started here today. Woooo, haha.

The weather today was absolutely amazing, so Hanne and I decided to go to Ulus to study in the park. We unfortunately got kicked off the grass, so we studied on a bench and then walked around the fair.

All the rides were 3TL per ride, which we thought was a little steep, so we just wandered. Some of the images were kind of graphic, and it was weird.

I walked around and saw SO many gorgeous flowers. You can click this to see it larger.

And I’m not sure if I just like this patch because it’s purple and white…….

Men kept stopping us to talk to us in English (or French) and invite us for cay and ask if we needed a guide. Only, they most certainly did not come across as friendly, but as very creepy. Hanne’s blonde hair I’m sure gave her away, but unfortunately made us both “targets.” At about 5:20 I wanted to go back to campus, but Hanne had some more to do in Ulus for her photography class. I was tired, so I went to the Ulus dolmus terminal. I sat. And waited.

And sat.
And waited.
And asked if the ODTU dolmus was coming.
And sat.
And waited.

After about 2 and a half hours, I started getting really upset. The guy in charge made several phone calls about the dolmus, but it still never came. One of the dolmus drivers who had seen me there for so long tried to help. It was starting to get dark and I was blubbering non-sensical Turkish words and phrases. I was upset and nervous. I had spent the last 2 and a half hours sitting by myself, being eyed at, cat called at, appraised, rubber necked and I’m positive people who walked by me were talking about me to the people they were with. It was uncomfortable to say the least.

The poor dolmus driver didn’t understand me, I didn’t understand him, someone shoved cay in my hands (I don’t think I’ve ever drank cay so fast) and a student with a small amount of English was found. I didn’t know where Kizilay was from where I was, or the metro, and I don’t have the bus tickets so I couldn’t use the buses. I was led to the guy who was in charge again, who put me on a dolmus to Yuz.Yil. Unfortunately I don’t know the stops in Yuz.Yil, but as they were metioning places, they mentioned a mall I knew of, and I KNEW there was a Kizilay>ODTU dolmus from there. The driver didn’t charge me for the first leg of the trip…I’m grateful. I was also very frazzled.

Anyway, I got home at about 8:40, exhausted and aggravated and swearing to never wear a skirt to that part of the city ever again.

Or to go there with another girl.

Or actually, to bother going there at all.

In the end, Hanne walked to Kizilay and took a dolmus from there. She and Nina came over, and we made pasta and ate strawberries with Nutella for dessert. I haven’t quite decided if that made the entire thing worthwhile P:

~Han

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

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

Apparently I’ve woken somebody up by showering in the morning. I’m attempting to find a compromise that we can all shower/pee/do bathroom stuff and still get to class on time…and getting up earlier to shower doesn’t help anybody 😦

Also, I can’t read the washer and dryers here at school. It’s a slight problem xD; Mustafa offered to let me use their washer when I visit them this weekend, which is very kind and helps a lot.

Got kicked out of my first class today because the prof wants to teach in Turkish. Was pretty upsetting, but then I went to math. The professor speaks English. He went to UMass for his masters and Ph.D. I was so relieved to hear English that I didn’t care that I didn’t completely understand what the topic was xD;;; The desks in this class are really tiny though, and they’re all crammed in there and filled up. About 50 or so students per class, in a room the size that TCNJ uses for 25. @__@

Went to sculpture. This neat guy was hanging out right by the door, kind of startling. The professor had little one-on-one sessions with people to find out if they knew much/anything about art and to explain the schedule and class expectations…kind of like an interview to see if you were allowed in the class! The class requires 10 hours per week in the studio…I think it’ll kind of be relaxing when I get into it. He told me that he wanted me in the course, and I’m one of 18 that are in the course now. Besides the one major sculpture for the class, I’ll need to write a paper and do a presentation on some form of art. I’m thinking fiber art ❤

Afterwards, I found Manali and we decided to go to the University Choir’s first meeting tonight. It was at 5:40. When we arrived, we discovered that it was an auditioned group, and this meeting was an audition!! Talk about not being prepared! Then Manali, Claire and I found out….he was only taking 6 girls! Phwhat?! So I resigned myself to just auditioning for fun because I’d already signed up. I did really well in the audition actually, and he liked my voice a lot. He also decided that I’m a high soprano, and told me to come back on Thursday. When the class starts. To be a part of the class. AHHH 😀 I’m SO PROUD OF ME!!! Seriously. xD He complimented my voice several times and I seriously did so well I’m ridiculously happy! Claire says I sang 3 octaves. I’m amazed at myself. I can’t believe I did it. =D

So my observation of the day today….students are really disrespectful here. I thought maybe it was just during the orientation week, they didn’t really care too much for the class, or they didn’t care overall, or it was “just an orientation class.” But even in my math class today, they talk when the professor is speaking, they argue with him, nitpicked over his grammar use of “and” and “or” in a sentence, etc. Students would ask questions in Turkish that the professor answers in English…it seems that METU’s “requirements” and “standards” don’t actually apply to everything that goes on here. Rather frustrating.

Studying for an exam in Turkish tomorrow….cha!

~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!)

My body woke me up unnaturally early this morning and said that it wasn’t about to go back to bed, so I went ahead and got up and started my day. I hung out a while, updated some stuff, emailed my family and some friends, and began studying for my first Turkish language exam tomorrow. Suddenly it was 1pm. What?! I hurried to pack up and put my shoes on–note to self, I need rainboots–and headed out with some friends to the market and the pazar.

I just got some really neat pictures. Domates.

Spices & dried fruits & nuts.

Lentils and spices and rices.

Portakal ve elma.

vegetables!

It took nearly 2/3 of the index cards that I bought (realize that it took searching through around 8 stores to find the single pack that I have) to get all my vocab for my test written out. Oy @.@ I also signed up for the wrong shift of laundry tomorrow….whoops =\ Oh well. I’ll do it on Tuesday, and if I can’t do it then, I will do it in the sink. 😀
~Han