I might actually be able to say we are settled in now, the journey to Izmir and our host families is complete, we have beds and rooms and kinda know what tomorrow will bring. After another period of classes and workouts we packed up and prepared to move on. Our final night in the hotel we walked the streets and witnessed yet another circumcision party at the hotel: a is video included below.
Us and YES Abroad with language teachers. Nothing has been heard from them since. By me.
The plane trip was just an hour, and we parted ways with the students heading to Gaziantep and elsewhere.
Our host families met us at the airport and we headed home. Here’s my room:
Ody, one of our dogs
It is more than enough and I am incredibly satisfied, I like my home and my family a lot. My host mother is a coordinating doctor and my host brother is 14 studying German at the moment in a Germany sponsored immersion school. With their knowledge of english, communication is available if we need it and turkish is available to me as much as possible, with clarifications simplified. Their knowledge of learning english allows reciprocal explanations of the process of sentence structure and grammar. I am speaking whenever possible and need turkish often in my daily routine, although I am barely a functional speaker. The first day I was incredibly sick, which I knew would happen at some point, and I spent a day without food, mostly without water either. Recovery was quick and I attended language classes at Tomer in Alsancak which required a 30 minute walk 35 minute ferry ride, and another 5 minute walk twice a day. I’ve done this all week so far alone and it has helped me appreciate the city and gain incredible independance. Timing ferries, paying and getting the right one is initially concerning but becomes easier.
On my route are parks and an Ataturk monument with a square where the ‘rollerbros’ (my nom de spor) are rollerskating. They are skaters in every way but rollerblade. There is also real skateparks and a huge farmers market on my way. I also pass rustic fisherman before and after the days catch. Traffic is good in Izmir, you can drive anywhere quickly, and I plan to try the Izban today to shorten my commute. I will say though that conversely, there are no crosswalks in the entire city, and pedestrians have to run between cars, they do not slow or brake for you ever. This is just Turkey. In our neighbourhood, although we are on the second floor in an apartment, we have two amazing dogs. Stray dogs here are no very common and are mostly tagged and spayed, but stray cats travel in herds. Kittens too. This is a new concept for me. An area is measured by the friendliness of the stray cats, if they are treated and fed well by homeowners in an area they will approach you.
Other new concepts are no processed foods, a lack of grains compared to americas engorged grain consumption, and slippers on inside at all times. Homes here are exceedingly clean. I also attended a birthday of Ata’s cousin, ate banana cake and other awesome sweets, the european influence in the area is great. Dessert though is not daily at all. Sugar is fairly limited to tea in the home. Towels also are replaced by robes. None of these things are remotely bad, they are just change. As we do homework and await residence permission forms we need to go to class, we study Turkish and tour the city alone and together with families and friends. Today I bought a dictionary and notebooks finally. They will excel flashcard production nicely. Thanks all for reading, I’ll update this thing for sure when Bayram Holiday gives me some free time!