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Anna in Ankara

Settling in...

0 °C

I've now been in Turkey for 15 days. It's funny because before coming I wasn't so nervous about cultural changes, but rather responsibility shifts. This is my first teaching job, and that's scary. Although I'm living in Ankara, I'm not actually in the city but on the outskirts on a University campus which overlooks it all. It feels like I'm in University again; meeting new people, having potlucks, going to bars, and all in English. I've taken a liking to the Turkish language, which I'm hoping to learn. I've made friends with a few Turkish girls, and there are always plenty of strangers to attempt to converse with.

So far the biggest change specific to country switches is probably the toilets - Turkish toilets are often fancy holes in the ground. They do have above ground toilets too though, so I can always opt for that if I'm feeling lazy (which I typically am). Ankara isn't the most exciting city, although there are two areas I really like. One is called Ulus, and it's more conservative, so there are a number of women in headscarves and one should dress more modestly (which is tough in 35 degree heat). I visited a small, but beautiful castle there. The other area is Kizilay, which has a number of tasty and inexpensive restaurants. Turkish food is wonderful, in particular the ekmek. I've been eating a lot of yoghurt too, and drinking ayran, which is sort of like milk and yoghurt combined with a dash of salt added to the mix.

Tonight I freaked out a bit and decided to start blogging my ten month (to four year - who knows??) experience here, because I found a massive dead spider in the laundry room, in the basement of my building. I'm on the main floor, which worried me a bit. I hate spiders. Having travelled to Australia, Botswana and South Africa I've seen my fair share of massive arachnids, but usually they aren't in residence. This is a different type of travel, because I'm creating a home here - no matter how seemingly temporary it is. Bach's Toccata and Fugue was quite possibly the worst music to listen to after my spider discovery, so I'm now listening to the Once soundtrack. It's been funny because whenever I see that word here in Turkey I think once in Spanish (eleven), and then go to the English definition and then try to remember what it actually means in Turkish. The pronunciation is so different in all three. The trials and errors of picking up another language. French has been really handy so far, even with strange things like elevators.

I'll try to document some funnier experiences I have from my headquarters here :)

Posted by madrugada 12:13 Archived in Turkey

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