Friday, September 28, 2007

So I almost forgot, the doctor gave me stronger pain killers and I'll have to go back in 5 days for physical therapy on my back. Since the pain killers are so strong she also gave me a perscription so ease me stomach which she said will most likely be effected.

This was all very expensive and I'm very grateful for my mother's credit card. I'll be sending everything home so it is filed with the insurance, but to actually have to pay is overwhelming. I feel badly because I am so lucky to be able to go to that hospital. There are so many people in Turkey that could never afford to step foot inside and here I am, not even thinking twice because I need it. Well, they might need it too, but care isn't an option.

So although it was an expensive day, it was somewhat humbling.

For Jethro

Today when I went to the American Hospital for my back, they ask me if I was "prego" in Turkish!! But no worries. I'm not pregnant. They took x-rays, a urine sample, and blood. They are very thorough. Although, besides having muscle problems in my back, nothing was wrong except my iron results were very poor. I am very anemic. I bought iron supplements, but really, I just have to eat better. I'm barely eating and when I do eat I get sick. (as in I have to go to the bathroom immediately.) I was told it can take up to a month for my body to adjust to the food and water.

Also, since it's Ramadan people don't really eat during the day. I don't like eating when my friends can't. So I wait until I get home and then I'll wait to go out with them after the sun goes down.

But tomorrow, beans and spinach are on my grocery list. Sorry Jethro, no delicious meat for me!! (Although I did hear there is blackmarket bacon close to my apartment.) Jews and Muslims are more similar than we think, no pig. =)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Great news!

Yesterday we got hot water!!!!!!!!!!! I took a good 30 minute shower......I'm sure my dad will be surprised with that news!! But really, it felt great and after two weeks with no hot showers...I deserved it. =)

My back is still really hurting, so I think I'm going to go to the American hospital here. I think the drugs in America are stronger. The things the other doctor gave me didn't do anything and I've been taking Advil like candy for the pain. Not good, I know.

Can you believe there are still more pictures...

Beautiful shiny face!!
Tanju and me before MADO icecream!! (My favorite place. I'm going to try them all before I leave!!)
Mert, Elif, Martine, me, and Hakan before we went to pray at the Blue Mosque!!
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Walking home along the Bosporus.

More FABULOUS pictures of me!

Registering for classes!! Such a process!! I never thought I would miss good 'ol BSU.
At FGI Friday's to celebrate Dad's birthday and break the fast of Yom Kippur!!!
My really good friend Hayley!! She's CANADIAN!!!!!!!!!!
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Elif, Hayley and ME on campus admiring the view!

Pictures of me from Elif's camera!!

On the bus!
Martine and me!
Out with our big group!
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Freaky, huh?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

More classes.

Today I had my first Turkish for beginners class. It is so difficult for me to say the words correctly, but atleast I know when I'm saying them wrong now. The class is very large, but I am excited anyways. I am going to practice so much!!

Then I had Social and Cultural Studies of Turkey. The class is also a graduate level class in the Ataturk Institute. The professor did not like that I didn't speak Turkish because she told me that the discussions would be in Turkish. But the lectures are in English. Also, the 10 page paper at the end must be in English as well as the final. We're not graded on participation so I'm staying in the class!! I thought the professor was a little hypocritical because she told the students to take notes in English in class and when we read because the paper must be written in English. So in my head, it would make sense to also have discussions in English, but she must not agree.

Tonight we're going to iftar (break the fast dinner) and then to Sultanhemet to the Blue Mosque to pray. I'm really looking forward to it. We have to wear long skirts and head scarves to participate.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Classes so far...

Yesterday I had Foreign Policy of Turkey. It was my first class and very difficult to find. It was from 2-5 and although we got out early, I thought it would never end. The professor, who is fairly good at English, is very monotone. The topics are interesting, but since it is a grad class the other students seem to be a little stuck up. This is definitely not my style, so we'll see how it goes. Even though the class was a 500 level class, I did not realize that it meant that it was a graduate level course, but exciting for me anyways. I think it will be challenging, but not too much considering I will have a lot of time to work on everything for the class. (A lot more time then in my undergrad at least.) We have a write a 20 page paper by the end, give one 50 minute presentation during the semester (mine is in two weeks, I'm going to get it over with.) and weekly one-page responses. My 50 minute presentation is on emerging superpowers challenging the US and how it will effect Turkey.

My class today was History of Nationalism in the Balkans. I think the class will eventually be interesting, but today I wanted to shoot myself. He lectured about the history of theory of nationalism, which is actually sociology. The prof today was even more monotone than yesterday. When we get into studying specific countries, I think I will like it more.

Then I had tennis class, but the instructor never came. I learned that the class is really for beginners and I think I will drop it. I don't want to waste my time. I could be traveling around Istanbul or doing something productive.

We will see. Now I'm waiting for the gas people to come. AKA - waiting for hot water yet again.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Saturday, September 22, 2007


I had been keeping a few notes while we didn't have now that we offically have internet here they are!

So today I met my friend Mert. He has been very helpful so far. The apartment that he found for me and Elif is barely a five minute walk from campus. There are nice white walls and Ikea wooden floors. There is a toilet in the bathtub, which is suppose to be removed very soon. There is not an oven or a refrigerator. Nor is there any furniture, so shopping I go. =) We should have everything by Saturday and we’ll get everything, including myself, moved in!

I’m living in the apartment, but the toilet is leaking and the bathroom sink has water, but not drainage, it just falls on the floor. I went to the lady’s apartment above me to use her toilet. They called the plumber, but so far, no one has shown up. Elif is getting here at 8:30, but I’ve been here until 10am this morning, now I’m going nuts alone. Plus, I’m hungry. There are still a lot of things that I have to figure out. But my room looks great.

Everyone here speaks English, but not a lot and usually not correctly or not saying what they want to say. I passed a grandma and her two grandchildren on the way home for an errand. They waved me over and started giggling. The grandma wanted to ask me a question, but only the two little girls knew how to speak any English. It sounds like, “she – question – you.” Then “nation,” which, of course, I say American. Then I get responses, “ooooooh, ya, ya.” Then “where – from.” Now they don’t really know where Chicago is, but they have heard of it none the less, so they nod. They try to ask something else, but the girls don’t know how to say it and the grandma shoos me away with a smile.

Not to get my own hopes up, but I think we’re going to actually get internet today or tomorrow. We bought the modem and the telephone is working so we went to the internet store and got the passwords and things.

Tomorrow is Yom Kippur which will mean that I’m fasting, or at least try. I’m a little worried because we do so much physical activity everyday. Not by choice but there are so many hills here. Lots of sweat involved to get anywhere. But lots of people don’t eat all day because of Ramadan, so at least I won’t have to watch people eat all day. I tried to find a synagogue to go to, but there are some unique ones and I don’t just want to walk in, nor do I think that’s allowed.

The grandma that waved to me the other day is still waving everyday. I really like seeing her.

I’m slowly….really slowly learning some Turkish. It helps to have Elif because I can ask her what things mean and how to say things, but other times I rely on her Turkish too much. Next week I’ll start the actual Turkish class though and that should help a lot! The Rosetta Stone program is coming in very handy now because I do it at home and then hear it on the street and practice with Elif. But it’s hard to understand things when people speak so quickly.

My favorite night!


I need a tripod!
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Thursday, September 20, 2007


Courses Selected


I'm pretty darn excited!!!

So many things have happened this week!

Don't worry about me...look at the HUGE mall!!

Cows!!!!!!! Just like the Windy City!

Elıf, Mert, Martına on our Telecom adventure!

Elif had to go to this goverment building so we could get a telephone because they lost her citizenshıp papers. It was soooo rundown. I couldn't believe it was government run!

Mert, Elıf, and Martına! It was our first family dinner!! I made/bought the chicken!! haha

Me! at the university. Behind me is the hiras, or fortress.

Tanju and Belka (I'm not sure if that is how to spell her name. She is from Brussels and we're friends because we but have blue eyes and people stare at us!!)

We went out one night. Everyone is smoking huka, drinking tea, and watching the futball (soccer) game!

Look at the beautıful display...they made everything from scratch. It was so delicious! It was like break-the-fast...but since they fast everyday, they have these great meals every night during the month of Ramadan.

Dutch guys who were at the dinner too! They had blue eyes like me!

The "mom" that cooked the awesome dinner!!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Room and Roommates!


My room!

Martina (from Holland) and Elif (from Germany, but she's Turkish!)