To the surprise of everyone I’m sure I am actually getting fed up with human contact. My flatmates in Aber will tell of long torturous times when I annoy them inadvertently for hours on end because I need to talk to people. But now I’m the one who needs space! I am getting used to living with a roommate, but it is hard. You have literally no privacy. I feel bad if I play music out loud, so I just don’t. I don’t answer calls from my friends if my roommate is in because I don’t want to disturb her.
It’s been a while since I wrote my last post. I’ve managed to fit in some travelling. We did go to Ulus, where we went to the citadel. It was actually really sad: the area around the citadel is really run down. It was snowing when we were there, but we noticed some of the houses did not have glass in the windows and they were literally falling to pieces. The cold must be dreadful. At Ulus market there were some crowds of beggars. My friend who has been here for a semester already said they were probably Syrian refugees. This really did remind me of the crisis that is hidden away from us on campus and the wealthier areas of the city.
We took a day trip to a town called Eskişehir. It had a fantastic old town, very well preserved. The mosque we visited was small, but it was better that way I think. The other exchange students complimented my headscarf tying skills, which made me very pleased. Again, it was a very cold day when we went. The wudu facilities actually had icicles hanging from the taps and the seats were surrounded by solid ice. The dedication to use those must be high!
Erasmus Student Network also organised a trip to Cappadocia. Famous for its “fairy chimney” rock formation, cave houses a beautiful landscape, it’s a popular tourist place. We only spent a night, and someone *cough* consumed too much raki on the evening, but a fantastic time was had. A casualty of the weekend was my coat, as it somehow acquired a massive tear, so RIP coat.
I’m settling into life here quite nicely, though there are times I’m missing home. The food here is really nice but my god I miss the variety from home! Even in Aber, which I think of as a cultural desert, you can get half way decent international food meals and ingredients (if you know where to look). But here, nada. There are a few Asian places, but it’s very westernised Asian food. Apparently there’s 1 Indian restaurant in the whole city. I miss you Beef Ho-Fun!