So I have been in Ankara, Turkey for a week already and I have to say that this country isn’t like anything I’ve experienced before. Ankara is… BIG. If you thought London was an urban jungle, then think again. I live close to the city centre; as soon as you come out of the yurd (dormitory), it’s a completely different world. Cars and buses trying to get through the busy traffic, people running around everywhere. – it’s noisy and it’s messy.
Since I’ve come here, I’ve been trying to sort out everything – university, residence, phone numbers etc. But I did have time to go on a little trip with some friends on Saturday. We went to Mavi Gol, a lake close to Ankara. It felt quite good getting out of the city for a bit, just relaxing and more importantly having fun. It was some outing organised by some student organisation so surprisingly the trip was completely free.
Yesterday my Turkish classes started and I have to say, it is quite challenging. Whilst some of the words are quite similar to French and Urdu, it remains hard to try to remember everything. I have a feeling they’ve put us in a fast track course – we have four hours of Turkish everyday, and on top of that, we get homework. By the time I’m done with everything, it’s already dinner time. But then two days of Turkish classes, I already know how to count so I guess it’s effective. I’m hoping to be able to at least have basic conversations very soon. It would be really nice to be able to speak to my Turkish friends in their mother tongue.
For now, the plan is learn the language and and explore the country.
As much as I hate admitting it, every day I am becoming more and more like my mother and out of all the qualities I could have inherited from her, I got the most terrible one – the wanderlust gene. She’s probably the most travelled person I know. Leaving Mauritius as soon as she could, she travelled through and lived in the Middle East and only agreed to settle down in Mauritius when my father proposed. My father (and later I) became her rock, her only reason to be held down in one place. Even then, it took her a few years to adjust to married life and mother hood, travelling through South East Asia during that time. As the years went by, the travels were less frequent. Until I was old enough to understand and experience those new places and cultures with her. And then I became old enough to experience it all on my own.
Exactly four years ago, I moved to London to pursue my Bachelor degree in Geography and that’s where it all started for me. During that time, I’ve jumped from east to west over the Greenwich Meridian Time, watched the Bastille Day fireworks at the foot of the Eiffel tower, drunk an unquantifiable amount of mint tea in Morocco and even took a trip to heaven eating the best gelato ever in Florence, amongst others. Less than a year ago I moved back to Mauritius and realised that my home country had more to offer than I ever thought. As I look back on these past seven months, I now understand that I could never have appreciated the time I spent here if I had not left to begin with.
Now, my itchy feet are once again restless and I’m about to embark on yet another journey. In less than three weeks, I’ll be in Ankara, Turkey to study for a masters degree in, surprise surprise, Geography! And I plan to continue moving around, maybe until I’ve found my own rock.