greetings, friends! so i’ve been in istanbul for about 24 days so far, and thus I felt it would be appropriate to draw up a list of observations about my environment and the different ways it has affected/changed me.
(i) I love the air in Istanbul, its so crisp and it lacks that gross Canadian humidity.
(ii) I love grocery shopping here. As of late, I’ve been buying my veggies from this super-nice Turkish man who sells them out of his truck.
(iii) The food in Istanbul is not only cheap, its delicious. Its also visceral. My tomatoes and spinach actually have dirt on them when I buy them. Feels far more organic than buying perfect veggies from large-chain grocery stores back home. The obscenely wide array of cookies in this country has also become a problem.
(iv) I’m getting used to being stared at. It *almost* doesn’t phase me now. I’m still getting used to being randomly touched, especially in relation to my hair. For instance, today as I was paying for my lunch, this older Turkish woman just started playing with one of my braids *side-eye*. But HOW does someone even react to that!? Ya Allah! In situations where I have some control, i.e.. someone asks to touch/take a photo with me, the answer will indefinitely be no. However, I’m learning that in those situations that arise without warning, you gotta put some space between your feelings and the messed-up sub-text behind the actions of some Turkish people. Survival tactics, y’all, I’m telling you!
(v) I’m doing a pretty good job of keeping in touch with my main peoples back home. I’m realizing how *easy* it is to be a traveller nowadays. We have facebook, Skype, instagram, Facetime, Viber, etc. There are a million ways to communicate across oceans, I almost don’t even feel that homesick.
(vi) I received the wonderful opportunity to start contributing to one of my favourite blogs, Voices of Africa! Look out for that soon :)
(vii) I need to start taking school seriously, I’ve been chilling. Its been so odd to begin my semester in what has basically become March, but I’m quickly learning to roll with the punches.
(viii) I’ve kept up with my Turbofire regimen, and I’m still basically in love with Chalene. As much as I hate to admit it, exercise really is good for the soul.
All in all, things are looking up. I’m feeling far more emotionally stable, I have found friends I like, and I’m starting to have a pretty concrete daily routine.