Sunday, May 20, 2012

An Update

So it's been three years since I returned from Turkey and though I would love (and plan!) to write a long-winded, rambling dissertation on how my AFS year has affected my lifestyle, worldview, and self-perception but alas today is not the day for such an endeavor.

After all, I must take my brother and his girlfriend to go see THE AVENGERS in ten minutes!

...

for the 3rd time...

Anyways, the purpose in this post on a blog long-intended to remain in stasis of a year well-worn and meekly won is to give a brief update to those who want to know where an AFS student ends up three years after their exchange.

I am currently attending the University of North Carolina at Asheville; a liberal arts university in the mountains of NC. I'm a 3rd year Literature & Creative Writing Major and my passions lie in creating stories and spreading them amongst the world populous. So in the past semester I have created a second blog where I post the creative works of which I take pride in.

The link to that is:
fridpants.blogspot.com

My friends and I have also recently launched our own web-comic series. The site is still in its infancy and we all would love to hear positive and negative constructive feedback. We have all put all of ourselves into this project.

The link follows:
friendhousecomics.webs.com

I want to give a special thanks to those who supported me throughout my year abroad and also those who have discovered this blog since my return. I hope that any who have stumbled here have found all the answers to questions that they had and, more importantly, the questions they never even thought to ask.

But time is short and I must be off.
Until next time friends,
Goodbye.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Trip to Adana

So I really wanted to write this blog about a week ago but my computer was stricken with a virus so I've been unable to use it and am now using the school computer which I just discovered has unblocked blogging sites. (I use to not be able to blog here) This is the last week of school and the only kids from the 10th grade here today are myself and one other girl. So naturally we are not doing much today.

So as the title suggest I recently went on Independent travel to another Turkish city called Adana to visit some of my amazing AFS friends. I stayed there for 5 memerable days and had a great time. I did not take many pictures unfortunatly (only about 50) but I am tagged in a lot on facebook for those interested.

On my second day there we all went to the Turkish Bath (Hamam) and for those who dont know what that is it is pretty much just the most amazing bath you can take. I highly recommend to go to one if you ever find yourself in Turkey because it is very nice and also quite different. The Turkish Baths are segregated between men and women of course. The first thing you do when you get there is get completly undressed and you only wear a towl-like cloth around your waist. From there you go into this steamed room where there is a big stone in the middle and a bunch of sinks around it. You take bowls and pour the water over you. After you do that for a good 15 minutes or so you then go to this small pool in another room. The pool is filled with cold water and you jump into that and stay there for a little bit. When you first get in its quite frigid but once you get out you feel great. From there you go to the sauna. And sweat. The sauna they had there was about 140 degrees. After you boil in there for a bit you go back to the frigid pool where it now feels ever colder than before. After your done with that you pretty much switch between the various stations depending on what you want to do. From the description some might assume that this experience is unpleasent but trust me, once your done you feel amazing. Turkish Baths are also very social. At one point during the bath, we all(except for alec) got a massage. Well kinda. Massage is the best translation but really its more of someone taking a sandpaper like cloth and scraping the dead skin off of nearly your entire body. That was a little unpleasant seeing as it hurts a little but also when you are done you feel great and your skin is super smooth.

Of course we did more than just the turkish bath. It seemed every night we would all do something. On the first night we went to a Karoke bar where we guys had a great time singing a drunken "Help!" by the Beatles. Speaking of which I learned a life lesson in the alcohol area which I will not go into here but to any that are interested just send me a message or ask me about it when I get back. I'll try to spin it into a good story.

Now onto the second part of my blog.

I only have 20 days left! I'm not sure if thats a happy or sad exclamation mark. It's so strange thinking that I'll be home soon. In fact my feelings towards it are quite similar to my feelings when I was leaving for Turkey. Excited but not ready to leave. It's strange, whenever I think about being "home" it doesn't feel like home anymore. Turkey is my home now. All my friends are here, sure I have friends in America but I haven't seen any of them in 10 months and few of us are that close any more. I can't imagine that I'll be gone soon. I just can't wrap my head around that fact.

Yet everyday I do more and more to prepare for my return. I'm getting my transcripts, talking to my family and friends a lot more and just in general slowly switching lives. Just like when I was leaving for Turkey. I know when I get back I'll quickly get back into the rythm of American life but right now I don't feel American anymore, I feel Turkish. Sure I still have my accent but turkish comes so much easier now, my english is better but whenever I start to speak the first thing I do is talk in Turkish.

Well I got to get back to working on my H.I. for Speech and Debate so I will end this blog. There will probably only be one or two more, which I think I'm looking forward to but not quite sure.

See you soon,
-Erik

*By the way I had the hardest time writing this blog, I kept writing in turkish grammar. for instance in english you would say 'I want to go to the theatre' while in turkish you say 'Theatre to go to wanting I' very different, I know.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Bu Yıl Nardeyse Bitti D=

So I procrastinated writing this blog entry because last week I had two other exchange students living at my house for a week. A group of fellow AFSers from all over Turkey decided to visit İstanbul over the weekend so I had no time to write.

This past week was a lot of fun, I got to skip school, learn the bus system almost perfectly, and get absolutely no sleep. As I said I had two visitors, Kevin from Costa Rica and McKinely from the USA, stay at my house. We had to wake up early everyday to be able to catch the bus because I live really far away from the city and to get to the Bospherous by bus it takes up to 2 hours. I would often get stressed out on how I would get people to where they wanted to go and get back to my house, and had more than one breakdown over the course of the week.

But when we actually got to where we wanted to go it was always fun. This was really the first week I spent as a tourist in İstanbul. For the past 8 months I've seen a lot but its always been in passing. I had gone to the Grand Bazaar but I never bought much, I've seen the Hagia Sophia plenty of times while hanging out with friends but I had never been inside. (Yes I did take pictures for those who are curious and they will be on Facebook...eventually).

I realized this week that I've changed quite a bit from when I left, or so I'm told. Everyone kept telling me I stress out way too much, something I never used to do; and that I am the rest of the time relaxed and non-crazy, also different than from when I left. But whoever reads this can decide for themselves when they see me next.

Which really won't be to far away. Only 36 more days and I'll be back in the USA. Thats no time at all. My feelings are beyond mixed now, they're explosive. The way I feel towards coming home can change in less than an hour. At one point I'll be dreading leaving Turkey and all my friends but the next I can't wait to return. In fact when I started writing this I dreaded leaving, now I'm excited. Who knows how I'll feel when I finish.

Time is flying by, it seems every time I look at a calender another day has passed. And I know time is only going to start going faster as my last month here will be packed full of activities. From 28 May-2 June I'll be in Adana doing my first İndependent travel in Turkey. I also hope to go to Çanakale and Antalya before I leave. Thats 2 of my 5 weeks right there. Of course theres the last camp too, then whatever else I end up doing.

So to those waiting for me back home, I'll see you soon and I miss you too.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Two Months Left

How the time has gone by. It seems like no time at all since I arrived in the İstanbul airport ready for my year abroad and already I'm preparing to leave. Though I still have 60 day left, I can feel my trip windering down. I now have to start thinking about what I want to get done before I leave because there isn't much time left. I need to figure out what I'll be leaving here and what to take home.

Whenever I talk to someone about my leaving (or returning depending on to whom I'm speaking) they always ask me if I'm excited to be returning home. And yes I am excited, I'm very ready to see my friends and family, to listen to American accents, and eat great American food such as Mexican food. But I also don't want to leave, I love Turkey. It's become my home over these past 8 months (can you believe its been that long?!) and there are so many things I'm going to miss. İstanbul is a great city.

Luckily though, since I'll be returnig soon then I get to stop righting this blog within the next two months! Yippee. I really dont have a clue what to write about anymore. Any ideas?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Almanya'da (In Germany)

A special thanks to Mr. William Carter the First for informing me that it has been 2 weeks and one day since my last post entitled; "Whoops". For those that were staring at your computer screen on the edge of your seat last night at 11:59 PM, waiting for a new post; I apologize.

Anyways, as many of my readers already know, I went to Germany last weekend to visit my great pal Lisa. For those that don't know, Lisa was an exchange student from Germany (duh) that lived with my family from '06-'07. Her and I were very close so it was really cool getting to see her in her hometown.

When I arrived on Friday, Lisa walked me around her village with her sister and boyfriend. Her village is really small, like 1200 people small. There are more people in my high school. After that we ate lunch, which is the main meal in that part of Germany, not dinner. Also we colored eggs for Easter.

I actually had no clue that it was Easter when I went to Germany. In Turkey no one knew because it's a Muslim country so naturally I kind of forgot about it. But now I remember and realize I don't have a spring break. D= Oh well, I'll get over it.

I realize now that the task of writing down everything we did is going to take forever and is quite daunting so I've decided halfway through to just give an over-view.

It was awesome to see Lisa again, I got to meet her family and her friends, who are all very nice. It was also a little weird though to see her in a completely different life. Different family, friends, plans. I don't really know how to describe it beyond weird. So I'll leave it at that.

I've definately gotten lazy with these, but oh well I've got other things to do so I'll stop here. Anyone who wants to know more specifics on my trip can talk to me anytime. Be sure to check back in another 2 weeks in one day for the next possible update.

İyi Akşamlar