… which I am still having trouble with.
So I’m writing this and at the same time trying to find a decent youtube proxy site. It is perhaps a deeply tragic facet of my life that even having a super dooper once in a lifetime experience in Turkey I should feel the need to keep abreast with the latest developments in the world of America’s Next Top Model.
I think that’s been the theme of the last two weeks really, now I actually feel like I live here I have recommenced a retinue of dull things I would be doing at home. This is not entirely a bad thing although it has been a shame to renounce the permanently giddy feeling that prevailed for the first couple of weeks. But I still get a kick out of leaving my front door and passing my local café (when I am now in a position to wave at the staff, YUS!) and strutting down the streets of my new Middle Eastern home.
After a very slack first week of university the lectures are now beginning in earnest. The impression I initially had of Bilgi University, that it seemed inorganically organised, has essentially been proved wrong. It wouldn’t be any more difficult than registering as you would at Edinburgh if it didn’t have pretensions to sophistication that are largely just confusing. Still it wasn’t too much hassle to get all that done and get on with some mingling and further exploration of Istanbul.
I am still casting around for some useful way to describe Istanbul. It’s certainly a compelling city which I think is something to do with it’s rather ramshackle arrangement. As I put it to a friend, it’s amazing but also a bit crap. I honestly think that is the best way I can sum it up for now.
I have seen slightly more than the main touristy drag. Once in the name of sightseeing when I went to see the spectacular Church of St. Saviour in Chora, which happens to be one of Istanbul’s classiest attractions located close to a very dilapidated part of town. I am always forced to reconcile with how nicely British and Middle Class I am when I wander about in these places. I’m not really sure how to feel about them, if I should feel this is an unfortunate standard of living or just look about me and reserve judgement. Apart from that I have also found a really fab market where I was incredibly gratified to find I could buy a kilo of olives (just take a moment to really consider how many olives that is) for less than £4! And 6 peaches for less than £1 too! I will be quite content to live of a diet of fresh bread, tasty cheese, olives, fruit and various Turkish puddings for a year.
I have yet to start my Turkish lessons which means I am currently constantly surrounded by a language of which I have absolutely no understanding. It’s quite enjoyably existential. I have yet to make a load of exciting international contacts as pals as my social skills seem to have died, which was what I feared might happen. However the man who works at the car park below my flat and I have been exchanging “Merhaba” in the morning for long enough now that he offered me a kitten the other day. Score!