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