Monday, December 29, 2008

2 weeks since my last post

Well December is almost over and a new year is about to begin. It's been a while since my last post so I guess I'll fill you in. In the past 2 weeks I have got completely addicted to "Lost". A friend at school let me borrow the first season sometime last week and I just completed the 3rd about 5 minutes ago and am going to try to get the fourth as soon as possible.

A few days ago, as most of you should know, Christmas came along and that wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. If fact I often forgot that it was Christmas day. Heck I even went to school on Christmas.

This past weekend I had turkish lessons like every Saturday and on Sunday there was a "Christmas" party. Or at least thats what they called it but there wasn't really anything Christmas oriented about it. Everyone had to make a meal from there home country and bring it in. So naturally I made chocolate chip cookies. We also had to give a presentation on our home country...in turkish. Surprisingly though that went fairly well.

Today proceeded like a typical school day. I've definitely settled into thing. When I got home I decorated the new year tree because my parents asked me to. They figured I had the most experience in decorating trees. Also in these past few days Ekin and I have finally begun speaking, not in any conversational way but I'm not being ignored anymore and today I was even graced with a friend request on facebook.

I probably wont post again in the again this year so I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas and will have a happy new year.

İyi yeni yıl
-eric

Monday, December 15, 2008

Annoyed

I'm going to see how well I can write this right now. It may be difficult because I am thoroughly annoyed with my brother. Everyday when I'm on the computer, completely in the middle of something like talking to a good friend, writing an email, or posting a blog, he comes down and sits next to me and tell me to get off. Now this didn't bother me at first to much, but it kinda bothered me that as soon as I told my friend that I had to go because my brother has to do something, he gets on and plays PES. for hours. I figured this was because its a new game but its still going on. I was eventually able to get him to ask me to get off in a few minutes instead of insisting I get off immediately. But now he's stopped doing that and when I don't get off as timely as he would like, he sits next to me, tries to force me off, or just in general reads whatever I'm typing to my friend getting mad every time what I write isn't "goodbye". I don't have anything to hide, i just don't like people watching what I do on the computer. Even now he is telling me to get off and insisting I write this tomorrow. ugh. I swear I feel like hitting him. If it was kyle I would have by now. I guess that just shows I'm not quite comfortable here yet.

I wanted to write about what I did last week, because I've got a few funny stories but I really just can't focus on writing anything besides this vent.

I'm getting so annoyed recently.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Another short post

I've decided to write a blog entry cause I'm bored so this will probably be short. I'm doing a lot better than I was the last time I wrote. I'm much happier and such.

Recently I found out that my I can transfer purchases made on my itunes account to 5 different computers so I now have all of my new music on my computer here and am in the process of downloading all of my other music so I can finally sync my iPod to the computer here and be able to adjust my memory and such. So Kyle if your looking for a bunch of new songs ask me and I'll give you the password to my itunes account so that it transfers my recent purchases to your comp too.

Yesterday I went to the mall with an exchange student who was visiting İstanbul for the holiday. (I'm on a 10 day holiday right now) She bought an english book and a movie and I bought a cheap videogame (don't worry mom its not on my list) and the new J. K. Rowling book, "Tales of Beetle the Bard" which is a really interesting read.

Right now I'm killing time because my brother is tired of losing to me in PES. hehe.

well thats it for me, hope everything is going dandy o'er there in the states

iyi bayramlar!
eric

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Three months down already...wow

So this should be a fairly short post. (especially compared to my previous) There's just something about those month markers that make me feel compelled to blog.

Things are going well in Turkey, I can tell that I am soooo close to being able to understand most of the things that are being said. I listen and I recognize the words but I just can't gather the meaning quick enough. But I am sooo close. Speaking on the other hand is still very difficult.

Today I called my friends and that was nice. Unfortunately my phone cut me off because I ran out of minutes.
stupid international calling fees.

Even though things are going well I don't feel nearly as comfortable as I once did. Days are getting redundant and I can't help but miss my home often. I've made myself a promise that I am not going home early so I hope this gets better.

I feel I should write more and not end this post on such a negative note...but I dont know what else to write. uhhh yo-yo-ing hippo snorkeling smurf. There that's not negative. =D (or that)

-eric

Sunday, November 30, 2008

This Should be a long post....we'll see how much of an attention spand I have =D


Huh, that was a long title...anyways I havent posted in a while and honestly nothing notable happened until Thursday, and I have simply been procrasinating ever since...even this post will probably be done over the course of this entire day because I really want to get everything in and not forget anything becuase I've got lots of stories to tell. So I hope that you either:

A) Have some time
B) Are a fast reader
C) Enjoy reading these enough to consider it worth it
D) have superhuman abilities to gain knowledge on an entire subject just from reading the title
E) all of or any combination of the above

So this past week has gone fairly well, my Turkish is still improving (of course) and i defiantly feel comfortable at school. bored but comfortable. So as I stated nothing really happened until Thursday which would have been Thanksgiving for all you USers.

3 other exchange students and I decided to skip school and go around İstanbul sight seeing. Skipping wasn't a big deal because 1) none of us do much at school anyways, 2) we got permission from our families and 3) It was Gabe's last week here. Yes unfortunately Gabe has decided to go back home. Gabe is another AFSer from the US and we will all miss him. But we did have a lot of fun thursday.

I got there about 2 and half hours early because my parents had to go to work, so I walked around the city, listening to music, from 7:30 to about 10:00. That was very boring but I got to know the the area I was in fairly well so it worked out. When they arrived we all went to McDonald's to eat because it was close. The group consisted of Gabe, Morgan (girl from Alaska), and Nampom (Thailand). After we ate we went to starbucks and got coffee. While in line a group of girls behind us were all speaking English. That made my day. It felt so good to here English in the background that wasn't being spoken to me. Afterwards we got on the tram and proceeded to Sultan Ahmet. This is a large mosque and I got pictures! Don't worry I'll post them.

After checking out Sultan Ahmet a little Gabe went to a souvenier shop nearby to buy gifts for his friends and family back home. I got bored quickly but Gabe insisted we spend about an hour there. But I did find a hilarious bracelet that I bought for 1 YTL.

For those who can't read whats on the bracelet. It says "I <3 Iraq". I thought this was funny and look forward to showing it in the USA. hehe. Okay after that we got a taxi and went to the grand bazaar. This place is insane. It is soooo crowded and there are tourist everywhere. For those who don't know what a bazaar is, it is pretty much a shopping mall without rules. People set up shops and sell pretty much anything they want. You can and should bargain for prices. If you so much as look at a person selling something he will try to pull you into his shop and cell you stuff. It's ridiculous. There is nothing like it in the USA. I'll post pictures don't worry.

At the bazaar, Gabe had a large list of things to buy, and we all ended up buying things for friends and family. I bought a key chain for my friend Will because he collects them and I promised him I would get him one and i bought a present for someone and I'm obviously not going to say what that is here because the person may read this.

While at the Bazaar I accidentally dropped my cellphone and by doing so it had turned off for the first time. When I turned it back on I learned that I needed a pin # to turn it on...crap. I didn't know the pin number. And now I don't know my parents number to find it out because their numbers on the phone. And now I cant contact them to tell them where to pick me up. Naturally this stressed me out. Luckily I had my afs contact card so I borrowed a phone and called my counselors...no answer. I then called the AFS office and got my dads number from them. Problem solved.

Unfortunately this wasn't the only unintelligent action I preformed that day. You see at the bazaar i bought a cell phone card so I could get more counters. My cell phone is a pay as you go so you need to buy the cards, scratch off the thing on the back to reveal the number your supposed to call. Unfortunatly I scratched a little two hard and scratched about six of the numbers off. Way to go eric. Luckily though a friendly man helped me out and brought us into his shop and called a number and was able to get my counters. I'm not going to lie though, despite the kindness it was a little creepy. You see he approached us, looked at the phone, grabbed it and beckoned for us to follow him. Well now i certainly didn't have a choice, so the four of us went into his shop where he told us to sit and be quiet. He was on the phone for 10 minutes. 10 awkward minutes. But I got my counters so it worked out.

After we were finished shopping we decided to head back to Sultan Ahmet and eat. So we got in a taxi and headed down. Unfortunately the driver was a complete butt head and tried to cheat us. First of all he charged us 20ytl when our drive there cost 10ytl. second when we handed him the twenty he slickly switched it with a 1ytl bill and puts on a sham of getting mad at us for trying to cheat him. This was very stressful but eventually he figured out that we knew he was trying to cheat us and accepted his money.

That's pretty much the end of Thursday, I didn't get to eat with them because I got picked up earlier and went home. Okay so now onto Saturday.

Saturday, we had our weekly language class but this lesson would be Gabe's last. Our teachers were an hour late because they had exams so all of us just enjoyed each others company. When we had the lesson, me and gabe talked pretty much the entire time and didn't pay attention. What can I say, I'm studious.

We all wanted to do something after the lesson but the plans didn't come together so we all just ended up going home.

Today has been a fairly boring day. The day has pretty much consisted of slowly writing this blog, eating, and listening to stand up comedy. I suppose I should just post this already because my mom is hinting at me to finish already.

-eric

PS: only one more week of school until the holiday then i get a week of =D

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

AFS does oh so much for us

I figured I should post a new blog for those worried that I was possibly in danger because of my lack of posting. In fact there just simply has not been that much to tell, I've just been settled in here so it feel redundant to post a lot (birçok). Pretty much I go to school and slowly pick up on turkish. I'm getting better and can speak simply and do things like describe my life in the states of what i did on the weekend in turkish. I also understand simple sentences as long as they are not spoken to quickly. So I think that I will be conversational by the end of my 10 months (aylar). I think at this point I'm probably almost as good at turkish as I am in spanish (I can speak more turkish but I can understand more spanish) .

Well anyways sunday was a pretty cool day and I would have blogged about it then but İlbars recently got PES 09 and has been playing that for the past week non stop on the computer. For those who dont know that is a immensly popular football game but since the US doesnt really like football most people probably have never heard of the game. When I say football I mean soccer for you americans. Football comes more naturally for me now. Any ways I was talking about sunday.

On Sunday AFS took us to on of the Islands around İstanbul and we spent the day there and biked. The island was absolutly beautiful and I really wish I had my camera. Luckily I think Gabe (another AFSer) took some pictures so perhaps when he post them I'll steal them and post them here. hehe. Biking through the island was very relaxing and calming. I dont often stop and take in my surroundings but I'm glad I did here. Also I got to try an amazing turkish waffle. A turkish waffle is very different than in the states. It is not a breakfast item it is a very sweet snack. It starts as a soft piece of dough that looks like a ego but a lot sweeter and tastier. Then you pick you toppings. I picked to put white chocolate on one half and a hazelnut cream on the other half then topped with bananas and kiwi. It was then folded and taadaa a turkish waffle. For those curious (KYLE!) there are about 20 different toppings to choose from. for you to further understand kyle think The Office episode with Pretzel day when the vendor names all the different toppings to micheal. but better! yea it was that good.

Today at school there was a play put on. It was actually really well produced with great props, lighting, acting, and sound. It blew anything that HPC has ever done recently out of the water. sorry drama kids but your budget is just not that good. Anyways just seeing that really reminded me that i was attending a private school, which im not used to. I realized just how many cool things a school can do with money. I think that if I have time im going to try to get into whatever club tries to raise money for the school when i get home. anyways İlbars is waiting for me to be done so that we can play PES.

iyi akşamlar
eric

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Long day

Would you look at that. I'm actually writing another blog the day after I wrote one. Crazy right. I'm going to try to write more often. they may get to be shorter post but oh well. (my English is soooo declining)

I woke up this morning at 545 because my host dad was taking me into the city and needed to drop my brother off at his school. Today I would receive my resident permit. Around 830 my host father dropped me of at a mall and told me that I needed to be in Taksim by 130 to meet afs. I would have to navigate the metro on my own because he had to go to work. So for the next 5 hours I needed to find a way to entertain myself in the mall. Now unfortunately none of the stores opened until 10 so I killed an hour and a half my doing laps around the mall and getting a coffee at star bucks (they are everywhere!) . When the stores finally opened I found a book store that actually sold English books. FİNALLY! So I bought 3 books (don't worry mom none were on my Christmas list). Unfortunately I figured out that English books are very expensive. 53 lira. ahhh. But it was too late so I bought them I just need to hold back for the next month and not buy any more cds on itunes. At around 11 I went into the movie theater and saw bangkok dangerous (the Nicholas cage flick) to kill the next 2 hours. the film was surprisingly entertaining. I don't usually like Nicholas cage.

After that I made it to Taksim without a problem. It actually didn't take to long to receive the permit and I was outta there. My family picked me up and we ate then went grocery shopping. Afterwards we saw a new Turkish film about Atatürk called Mustafa. It was all in Turkish and I was very bored but you know...it happens. Apparently the film wasn't very good and my parents ended up rambling about the film the entire way home.

Now I am very tired and think I will check facebook once more before hitting the hay.

iyi geceler
eric

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

fighting procrastination

So I was really really tempted to wait till later tonight to blog. But I think that if I do that I'll end up not blogging today because that happens every time I follow through on that though. It occurs quite often. Anyways this is supposed to be about my experience not my work ethic sooo onward to the previous week. Which reminds me I need to figure out how much replacing my camera will cost, don't know why I got reminded from that however.

So last week passed fairly normally. Thursday evening I went to Taksim Square where I met most of the other exchange students and some volunteers. We were to eat then head over to one of the volunteers house for the night so that we could wake up bright and early the next morning to go receive our residents permits. Which are apparently important. I had a good time and met a few knew people. It was defiantly better than being stuck at home. When we went to the persons house we watched a popular Turkish film but the subtitles were poorly translated so no one really enjoyed the movie. We vowed to try the movie again when we learned the language.

In the morning we went to the Police Station which acts in Turkey like the DMV does in the US. Coincidentally its just as fun, friendly, enjoyable, brief, and stress free as the DMV. It was a veryy long day. When we arrived we were given our numbers. mine was 242. after about 30 minutes of waiting I inquired what number they were on. the reply i received was baffling. 50.

50! Like, half of 100! i replied dismayed.

So we ended up waiting about 5 or 6 hours.

On Saturday I went out with some friends. Yes I actually went out with friends. It was a lot of fun even though I didnt have much time and it seems like plans may become more consistent for now on. which is good because I've been awfully bored.

Now I have fallen out of a writing mood and just want to be done so I will. If anyone has any questions just post them as a comment and I'll see about answering them in my next post.

-eric

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pictures of AFS camp

A few of the AFS's posing for the camera
Not quite sure what Lisanne is doing
The AFSers forming AFS on the steps ( I'm on the top of the F)
Me learning the National Anthem of the Malikulas
My tree group

Monday, November 3, 2008

Falling into place

Things have been going fairly well for the past few days. I'm not homesick anymore and I don't really miss people anymore. I mean I do but I'm not sad about it. I've actually been surprised because this past week I actually have missed my family the most. Once again I'm not sad but I can still miss people. Anyways things have gotten better. I went to the open bazaar on saturday, that was pretty crazy. It was sooo crowded. Afterward my brother, one of his friends, and I went to go see Saw 5, which I thought was pretty amazing.

Sunday I stayed at home and chilled on the computer, becuase most of the family was out. At lunch a family friend, who is also my counselor at school, came over and we had a long, late lunch. It was pretty enjoyable. I also found out that day that the reason Ekin doesn't talk to me much is that she doesn't feel comfortable with her english. So its nice to know that it wasnt anything about me. So I'm going to start speaking to her in Turkish, whether I know how to or not.

School was pretty good today. I felt like I was making friends and I got invited to hang out with multiple people soon so maybe now I won't be as bored, which should be nice. Hmm this has actually been a fairly short post. I'm pretty anxious about the election tomorrow and will definatly be up watching as the results come in. For those wondering, I'm supporting Obama with the rest of my international community. Well I'm going to try to blog more frequently this month becuase the computer is now fixed so I should have more opportunities to get on.

-eric

oh fun fact: today marks the 2 month point since I left...wow the time is going by quickly

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

AFS Camp in Izmir

Okay so I finally was able to get a hold of a computer about 5 days after I returned from Izmir. As I said in my last post, I went to an AFS camp this past week with the other 34 exchange students. And I must say despite some of my bad luck there (you'll here about it soon), I had an amazing time. It was possibly on of the best weeks of my life. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Us exchange students get along really well! There wasn't a single person there that I disliked.

One thing that I really liked about this camp was that I got to get to know all the other non-American exchange students much better. I felt so comfortable there and was able to just be very open with the people there, more open than I have ever been with some of my friends in the states. I can honestly say that I am going to miss them all terribly when this year is over.

Anyways, the hotel we stayed at was AMAZING! It was sooo green everywhere and all the rooms were seprate houses so the hotel felt more like a resort. We were right by the beach which was cool but very clear. The food was very tasty and they had backgammon board galore (its a very popular game in Turkey) and a table tennis table.

So what we did there...Every morning we had Turkish lessons from about 930-100. The starting time always varied, depending on when our couselors got to bed. After the Turkish lessons, we would eat lunch and then have sessions, in which we were split up into small groups and discussed different topics. The topics ranged from the difference in values between Turkey and your home country to Pictionary with sterotypes. Although at times they seemed stupid and pointless, I think we all got something out of it whether we realize it or not.

However this week three things happened that I could have done with out. The first of these happened early Tuesday morning, when I was getting ready to go to bed...at 3 in the morning.

I enter my room ready for some sleep and begin to empty my pockets. When I'm done I turn off the main lights and head to my bed in the pitch black dark to turn on the lamp above my bed. I fumble for the switch and eventually find it. Realived, I flipped it. nothing. I flip it again...and again.......and again. still nothing. So naturally, as any other clear thinking person would do, I search for the lamp in the darkness. My hands find there way to the spot where the lamp should be above my bed and search around that spot. When my hand slips into a hole full of wires. A blue light illuminates the room and I feel a jolt of electric energy run through me. Next thing I know I'm on the other side of the room, my arm shaking. Don't worry though I was okay, it didn't hurt it was just...shocking. Granted I had a hard time sleeping after being energized like a battery. The worst part about it was that I went through that traumatizing experience and didn't even get super powers out of it.

The second thing happened when I woke up. I had felt much better that morning and was ready to tell my story with as much epicness and exaggeration stuffed in. I do all my morning routines: shower, dress, wake up my roommate, get my iPod, stuff pens in my pocket and find some paper, and grab my camera. After getting my camera, I remember all the pictures I had taken the day before and decide to check them. But alas I could not. Somehow from the time I had last looked at my camera and that morning, my LCD screen had devoloped a disease I like to call shattered. Naturally I was upset and storm out to discover the perpetrator. After excersising my ingenious detective skills I discover that on of the AFS volenteers had accidentally dropped it and didnt notice the shattered LCD screen but promised to pay for it so no harm done. I still have the photos but have yet to be able to put them on the computer because the only computer we have at home right now is my dad's work computer. So when we get the other computer fixed I'll start posting more pictures. In the meantime there are plenty of nice pictures on facebook.

The third thing that happened...well I dont really feel like making a big story about it so pretty much on thursday we played music and danced a lot my shoes couldn't handle my fridiculous dance moves so they broke. But I had fun doing it so thats all that matters.

On friday we went to Efes which is like this super cool ancient roman city and it would have made some amazing pictures had my camera be in a non shattered condition. After that we went to St. Mary's Place which is where Mary lived after Jesus died. So that was pretty cool. Afterward we hung out in Izmir having fun until it was finally time to say goodbye. It was sad leaving all the exchange students and the comfort of they're comfort and it was hard on many people. Tears were shed, not by me of course, but they were shed.

By the end of the camp I came to the realization that I actually was having problems adapting. I didn't realize it before but after this week I realized that I haven't been trying to intergrate with my family, my school, or the language. That I've been holding on to my memories back in the states too much and need to let go. So as I left I promised myself that I was going to really work hard to learn the language and put myself out there more.

All in all I think it was a pretty good week. I had fun, improved my turkish, experienced electricity first hand, found out I wasn't the only one having problems, OH and there was a bon fire! I forgot to mention that. Really really big bonfire where we all just chilled, sung beatles and campfire songs, and lay on each other. It was a lot of fun. So yea pretty good week. I could go on to talk about how my last 5 days have been but I think it would make this post more cluttered and not as focused. So I'll talk about that later. yay procrastination!

Hope things are going well,
Eric

Friday, October 17, 2008

Finally!

So I know I havent blogged in a while but I promise I have a good excuse! I promise. You see this past friday the family computer broke down. Yes thats right, I have been computer-less for the past week. I've been trying desperatly this week to try to find away to blog but every computer I get on has blocked this site (why would you block this?!) and even my trusty iPod, Edward, failed on me and wouldnt let me write in this pretty box I'm typing in now.
I finally got to get on because my host dad let me borrow his work computer.

This past week hmmmm what happened....Well yesterday the other exchange student and I were going to go to a University with the 11th and 12th graders for a tour. This would have been a cool excursion if I hadn't been forgotton.....oh well.

Oh! one devolpment this past week, the turkish language now seems possibe to learn. Difficult..but possible I just need time. I think that in about 2 and half 3 years I'll be getting the hang of it. So look out Turkey here I come.

My social life is getting better, I've definatly got friends at this point. However there is one aspect of a social live that is starting to bother me. People getting a crush on me. Yup one of my good friends here has decided that she likes me. That's not really I problem but I'm not really looking for a relationship. And I'm definatly not going to enter one if I don't have intimate feelings for said person. So I've decided to play a role which I have undertaken many times and have mastered to the point of art: playing dumb.

Tamam (okay in Türkçe) so tonight I depart for my second AFS camp. I will be going to Izmir for a week. I've heard that it is an awesome place and I'm really excited to see all the exchange students again. Unfortunatly its a 10 hour bus ride....and it leave at midnight.....oh boy. Anyways, I've packed my camera and I promise to take lots of pictures so all you folks back home can see 'em.

Well I think I will wrap this up, I probably will not be able to write until the 25th so don't check up too often because more than likely there will be nothing new.

Bay Bay
eric

PS: Happy Birthday LA!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Pictures

This is our teacher, instructing us in the sacred and mysterious workings of the terrifying Turkish language.

This is part of the class learning the sacred and mysterious workings of the terrifying Turkish language.

And of course, no matter where in the world I am, someone always...always feels the need to mess with my hair.

Tadaa! A work of art? I think not.




Haha that rhymed. I'm a poet and dont even know it. =p

Short Post (unless i get carried away, which is probably likely)

Well I'm planning on this being a short post seeing as its 930 and im not particurally in the writing mood, but we'll see. I suppose its been a while since my last post so I'll fill you in.
The days after my last post I began to feel much more like a part of the family. I had some long, open conversations with my host mother. not about anything being wrong just a bunch of things...everything from me being homesick lately, to language, to politics.
At school, things finally got fixed with my schedule today. I went to my first 11th grade math class today and had to think. Ive done the material before but its all material Ive done recently so naturally I forgot every bit of it. But wow does it feel good to have to use my brain again which I dont feel Ive had to do for the past 4 months...at least not inteluctually. I find myself eager to relearn the math and complete my mountain of catch up work. Of course knowing myself that will probably fade in about....anywhere between a week and two months. My friends will know that Ive made the promise to start trying in school multiple times and also know that its doesnt last too long.
well I dont know what else to write so I guess I'll be done for today. OH! I've got pictures from my last turkish lesson which I suppose I'll post....need to start posting photos. If you havent noticed yet Ive decided that when I do my post I will not use backspace. so that this way my blogs are more....conversational. no thats not the right word....i suppose i mean vocal or rantful(probably not a word). Anyways this has been a long paragraph saying Im done writing this post soooo-
-eric

Friday, October 3, 2008

one month

yup thats right I have now been gone exactly a month. I feel like I shouldnt be counting down but I cant help it. I'm hoping that things will get better so that I eventually dread the day I leave as opposed to look forward to it now. not taht things are going bad...its great. I just think I prefer my old life right now.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Movies in Turkey

Well this will be a short post I just thought I might as well do a update. Saturday and Sunday I did absolutly nothing. I surfed the web, read a book, and watched tv and that was it. Yesterday we went to go see a movie. We saw Babylon A.D. which was fairly bad. It was in english with turkish subtitles. In turkey about 2/3 throughout a movie theres a break for 10 minutes. No one told me about this so it was fairly surprising...at first I was like well this is stupid, a comercial break in a movie theatre! But after some thought ı realized it was the perfect opportunity to go to the bathroom and buy refreshments. Yes thats right in turkey when you go see a movie you dont have to desperatly hold your bladder for 2 hours! But unfortunatly popcorn at movie theatres are not as good. still tasty but not as deliciously buttery and such. And theres no such thing as drink refills or different sizes for drinks. You order a coke and they hand you a can of coke. Ive seen 1 soda fountain since I've been here. They are pretty rare. Well I got to go eat breakfast. Oh and I dont have school this week because of Byram(not sure how to spell) which is the holiday that ends ramazan. I'm not sure exactly how long it is but I think it last about 5 days. So I'll be having updates about that.
Eric


wow this has got to be the most ADD post I've done yet. haha

Friday, September 26, 2008

Party on the Bospherous (spellchek please)

Wow, today was a lot of fun....well school not so much but afterwards. AFS did this dinner thing this evening and it was sooo cool. We had dinner on a boat on the Bospherous, which is the straight of water between Europe and Asia in İstanbul. There were so many people. AFS volenteers, ex AFSers, family of theirs, current exchange student. the whole shebang. After dinner there was a huge party full of music and balloons on the roof. I took a video that I'll post eventually (got lots of pictures too). I made friends with a lot of ex exchange students and have already begun to make plans with them.
However a tradgedy did befall me tonight. I lost a friend whom I have had for three years, one who has kept me warm and comfortable through long winters, whom although was made fun of by plenty of people at Central I still loved. Yes that's right the Girl jacket is now somewhere on the Bospherous. To those who don't know it by that name (such as my parents) thats the nice poofy black jacket I had. I left it outside on the boat when I ate but while I was eating wind picked up and blew it into the sea. :(
well I'm exhausted so I'm going to wrap this up.
-eric

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Saturday in the City

So yesterday was a long, fun day. To start I had turkish lessons which were enjoyable because I got to hang out with the other exchange students. After our lesson we ate lunch. It was very tasty, bread here is so much better and so is kebab. Then after that we crossed over the water to tour the historical parts of İstanbul. We met other volenteers at Hagia Sophia and walked around the city. There are cats everywhere. everywhere. I would have taken pictures but I forgot my camera (yea I know, way to go!)
I finally got to experience İstanbul during ramazan. As soon as the sun went down a ton of vendors on the street opened up selling everything from Doner to what they called Magic Corn. It was ridiculous, it was one of those moments where I was kicking myself for forgetting my camera.
Well I've got to work on a presentation of America which my school expects me to give on thursday so better not procrastinate.
-eric

Friday, September 19, 2008

Update

So wendsday I went to an AFS dinner. There was sooo much food. It was crazy, I always said that one day I would end up getting fat but I never imagined it might happen this year. I got to talk with the other two americans there and it felt so nice to be able to speak rapid english and be understood. This past week at school has been much better, I still miss my friends (expecially a certain select few) but I'm making new friends so its getting better. Tomorrow I have Turkish lessons and a tour of İstanbul. Unfortunatly my mind isn't really focused on writing right now and I'm sure that it reflects in my post but oh well. This will be it for the day. I miss you High Pointers (expecially those whose family has been there a long time)!
-eric

Monday, September 15, 2008

Dinner and break out

Yesterday, was less busy and chilled out. In the morning İlbars, my host dad, and I went biking through the country side. That was enjoyable but I think I miss my bike. That evening we went to one of my host family's friends house for dinner. People here don't understand the term ¨full¨ because I had to assure our host that I did enjoy the food but I simply could not fit a 4th serving into me. After dinner we hung out with the family and made a few new friends.
Today I went to school, I feel like I'm breaking out a bit more, more confident and talk a lot more; which feels nice because I don't like being shy. After school I got home and watched The Office and played pool with İlbars (I'm getting better). Now I need to go eat.
afiyat(?) olsun
-eric
oh yea by the way my facebook got hacked so people who got strange messages from me thats why.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Yesterday

was really busy. Pretty much right after breakfast my family and I went out to the city. After doing some school shopping, İlbars and I went to his friends birthday party. It wasn't too exciting partly because I didn't know any of them and partly because they only spoke Turkish. After just a little bit at the party my host parents realized I couldn't stay there because they were about to go ride go-karts, which it's against AFS rules for me to operate a motor vehicle. So I almost came home early.

We then went to my host father's sister's store, which is a small movie rental place. After much socializing we rented The Dark Knight and Hancock (yes rented, apparently Turkey is above the law and gets movies on DVD before they even are in theatres sometimes) and left.

Next, we went to the craziest shopping mall ever. It was like an amusement park of shopping. You even had to go through a security thingy to get in (like when you go through security at the airport) One of these days I'll videotape me going there so you all can see what it is like. Unfortunately, I have yet to use my camera much but I'll get stated on it.

The rest of the day was pretty relaxing, we had a late dinner and watched The Dark Knight (that's the third time seeing it for me:p). Well I think I have written enough, and I should probably get stated on my hw at some point so Güle Güle.
-eric

Friday, September 12, 2008

One week down, many to follow

Well my first week flew by. I'm not too sad anymore. Of course I miss my friends and there feels like a part of my life is missing....well my entire life. I'm realizing that this exchange is more than just cultural immersion, it's a complete remake. Starting a completely new life from scratch. I've got a new language, new family, new cultures, new school, and eventually new friends.

Things got better these past two days. I met someone really cool who speaks english very well so I don't have to slow down my speech or choose my words carefully around her, which is a relief. I've started joking around again too, which feels good because I hardly felt like myself earlier this week.

School is still incomprehensible except for my english class; which by the way is the most boring thing I have ever, EVER done; and math class (because they decided to stick me with all the other 10th graders in Algebra and Geometry....yea I did those 2-3 years ago.) Oh and I was put into the 10th grade because that is where apparently all 16 year olds are. Oh well it's okay that when I finally learn the language that school will be a breeze I suppose.

Well I know I was going to write another paragraph on something, but I can't remember what it was so I guess I will wrap this up. Until next time, Güle Güle.

-Eric

P.S. I'm thinking about starting to write again for the first time in two years, if anyone cares.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

???????????

Well I suppose this is the hard part of my exchange. And I knew coming that it would be hard. I had been told by my mom, friends, exchange students, and AFS volenteers that it would be hard. But damn it this is HARD! At school I don't understand what is ever going on and just sit at my desk twidling my thumbs because my teachers just figure I'm the special kid who just hangs out to fit it. English class is mind-numbingly easy. People refuse to speak to me in turkish. My host sister for the most part ignores me. Yes, my family is very nice and friendly but they are not my family. Yes my friends at school are welcoming and helpful but they are not my friends. I want a familiar face. Some one I can chat quickly to in english to and not have to struggle to understand what is being said. I know that this will pass but for now I want to feel happy. Right now throughout the day I get spurts of depression and when that doesn't occur I just feel awkward, stupid, and numb the rest of the day. I'm trying, I really am. I haven't hid from my family; I have yet to call home. I go out with my host brother, İlbars, everyday.
But still the language barrier is too thick. I miss my friends. I miss having friends.
-eric

(I know we are not suppose to vent on the blog but I figured this is part of the experience)

Monday, September 8, 2008

I made it!

Today was my first day of school. Everyone was very friendly and helpful but I hardly ever knew what was going on, what to do, or how to do it. I feel like I need help with everything, that all the independence I once had was lost in my flight over here. I didn't know how to use the elevator at the hotel, I never know what I'm eating, I don't understand half the instructions given to me, and I don't know how to interact with people that do not understand english.

Just an hour ago when I got home, the house maid who know no english sat me down and handed me a snack with a large glass of what looked like milk. I don't know what the snack was but there was a lot of it and it tasted horrible. I tryed the milk...not milk. It was a type of Turkish yogurt which most Turks enjoy. My reaction to the drink is similar to foreiners drinking Root Beer. Not good. It was very salty. A drink! Salty! The day before however my host mother told me in Turkey you must finish your food unless you try it and don't like it. Well I didn't know how to tell the maid I didn't lıke it with out being rude. So I sucked it up and ate it all and drank all of the salty drink. I will have to figure out how to say I don't want to eat this much food so I don't come back fat.

Ugh! I feel like a 3 year old here!
-A frustrated Eric

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Orientation

So i borrowed on of my new friends macbooks, but I don't remember which because EVERYONE has macbooks, and if not a macbooks, a labtop. I thought I was spending a lot of money for my iPod touch. Orientation has been really cool, it wasn't just Turkey there it's like Turkey, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Ghana so there are like 100 kids here. I was surprised how many people were just as friendly as me and similar, but even here I'm still weird, haha. After just a day hear we all talk like we've known each other for years, I am definatly going to miss a lot of these kids. Every one here is form all over the country, and I realize just how different NC is from just the rest of the US. So it will definatly be crazy when I arrive in Istanbul.

OH! okay so funny story. This morning I wanted to take a shower, so i go to the bathroom (obviously) and I look at the shower. And already it was different than the showers back home, but it didn't look to terribly difficult. Well after about 10 minutes of waiting for my water to finally heat (because it was COLD!) I ask my roommate if the water was cold for him too. He answers "yea, it was really weird man". So at this point I just suck it up and get in. So here I am cowering at the far end of the shower slowly soapifying my body, while trying to avoid the water as much as possible. Well after about 10 minutes of this I decide to try playing with the shower to see if I can get it warmer, and alas of course after turning it the complete opposite way, the water starts boiling. I had the water turned as cold as it could get...woops.

well that's enough stories for today, I think I will probably be blogging a lot more than every other week, so keep checking in.

-eric

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Last Day...

Well I'm looking at the clock and it seems that I only have 22 hours left before I fly off to New York for orientation. Even though it's so soon, I still can't fathom that I'm actually going to be gone for so long. It still hasn't hit me. I'm nervous yes but I can't get it through my mind that I won't see my friends and family for another year.  
Anyways, it has been a while since I last posted. Since then I have had my own going away party which was very well attended. I've never seen my house so crowded.  The following week I worked and visited my friends at school for lunch nearly everyday. 
This last Sunday, my family, my girlfriend Leslie Ann and I all went to Myrtle Beach for the day and enjoyed ourselves immensely. 
I'm very busy today so I'm going to have to wrap this up. I've already got a portable DVD player, International Calling Card, and my bike from work this morning, but I've still got a lot to do. I've got to pack my suitcase, clean my room, get a few books at the library, return a used video game, pay back the country club I work at for the food I ate while there, and get my learners permit. 
Until next time,
Eric

Saturday, August 16, 2008

SURPRISE!


So today I got picked up by my girlfriend to go to our friends house to figure out what we were going to do for our double date. At least that's what I thought it was for. That was until I entered the door and 10 voices shouted surprise. Wow, wasn't expecting that one.  
It feels great to know that people actually care enough to plan a party for me, because I often forget that my exchange will be hard on other people besides myself. So that I don't forget the best parts of this night, I've decided to make a list of the things that stick out the most in my mind.
*Oscar's (dog) obsession with will and making his girlfriend jealous
*The Man Hug
*Me taking Le'Asia Hostage
*Attempting to play backwards "Never have I ever"
*"I kill you!"
*Watching MadTV on youtube "Can I have yo Numba?"
*Trying desperately to find out when Phelps was swimming
*Oscar Showing us how to do a barrel roll
*Executing the Unicorn Pinata in one hit
*Big Booty
*Hannah's Retardation in Concentration
*Getting closelined on nothing
*"You should name your kid Istanbul!"

I can get use to this Surprise Party thing.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Istanbul, eh

So the day finally came when I found out where I would be living for the next year. ISTANBUL. Yes Istanbul, once Byzantium, later Constantinople, and currently Istanbul. Once considered to be the center of the world. How lucky can I get?
I'll be a member of the Kara family for the next year. Eric Kara so to speak. I'll have a host brother named Ilbars and a host sister named Ekin. My host mother speaks fluent english, though I really don't want to use that as a crutch. I will learn Turkish, I will! I'm living in the Beykoz District which is on the Asia half of Istanbul, right on the coast. It is the most peaceful district in Istanbul and is still full of nature and such. So I have the woods at home and the city next door. In the past I've been terribly nervous, but today I am so excited to go. After work today I am definitly going to have to try learning more Turkish, seeing as all I can say so far is Merhaba (Hello), Bir, Iki, Uç (not sure about this one), Dört and Beş (1,2,3,4,5). So it's obvious I have to go study up. 
Gëlë Gëlë
-Eric Frid (Kara)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Killing Time

Well, I've been lingering on the computer for about 3 hours now, yet have done absolutely nothing besides listen to music. I really hate just sitting around like this because it feels like I'm wasting time but oh well. 
I'm no where near as nervous about my exchange as I have been in the past today. In fact I suppose you could call it excited. I've been working tons but I hope I don't have to for much longer because I really would prefer to hang out with my friends (of course), but I still need money for the actual exchange, then I need money for my new iPod. Can't go to a foreign country without music of course.
-eric

Monday, July 21, 2008

Wait a minute...

You know...after looking at the calender, I'm realizing that i only have 1 and a half months left.....oh dear.