Last week was a weird sort of week; I still cannot decide if it was a good one or not. I spent all week trying to sort out my residence permit and as anyone who’s been through it can tell you, it’s basically the equivalent of hell. When I first came in September, I was expecting to be issued a 3-year permit rather than the 8-months-long one they gave me, which expired last week. It still doesn’t make sense to me: my school year finishes at the end of June so you’d expect to get a residence permit at least until then. Well Turkish logic doesn’t quite agree. Since last week, I’ve been down to Emniyet, the police station, more times than I can count just trying to get them all the papers they want; it really never ends. Continue reading Just go with it
You’re walking down the road – practically running to be honest – on your way to work wishing that your student had cancelled again not that you can afford such luxury. Just a few metres a car stopped, pulling its windows down. Probably another lost soul looking to ask for directions. You remember the times when you used to ask for directions every five metres not that you’d understand anything the people were saying. Turks seem to think that if they repeat something again and again loudly, one will end up understanding what they’re saying. Uh people, that is not how it works. You do consider walking past the car hoping that some other person will come to his rescue. At some point. Continue reading Absolute charm.
There is very little to do in Ankara other than food and shopping. Fact. If you are not out trying yet another restaurant here, you can probably be found in one of the many shopping malls or on one of the high streets. Sad life indeed. Out of everywhere you’ve been, Tunalı Hilmi Caddesi (Avenue) must be an absolute favourite. A mixture of Turkish brands as well as international ones, it has everything one needs: from shoes to spices to wedding dresses. Walking down the street, you can see a group of old men drinking their çay (tea) at one of the cafés while enjoying a smoke probably talking about the changing politics of Turkey and how it used to be in their days. In front of you, a young woman wearing high heels is struggling to carry her heavy Mango shopping bags – you make a mental note to check out the latest indirim (sales) over there. Elizabeth (fictional Starbucks name she uses so they don’t butcher her real one) makes a quick comment about showing the said woman how it should be done really. For one, one shouldn’t really be wearing heels if you’re out on a shopping trip but then you’ve noticed quite often that Turkish women tend to favour style over comfort. Quick snicker before we both overtake her to go find a place to eat, happy that your Turkish classes finishes late enough for you guys to miss lunchtime rush hour. Smiling as you observe all the office workers hurrying back to work, you make your way through the still busy café trying to find a way to sit. Continue reading Shopping, Turkish style.