Oh The Places You Will Go...

Naomi Waltengus Kadir Has University, Turkey


March 10, 2015

... or Have Gone to and Have Been Too Lazy to Write About

I apologize for the late post. Every time, I am due for a blog post I feel struck by a lack of inspiration and no ideas seem to flow! Anyways, I realize that what I should have written about is the fact that I have officially been in Istanbul for a month! In actuality, I’ve now been here for about a month and a half but, this is what happens when you’ve got writers block. I think I want to talk about my expectations of the city, how I felt when I first arrived, versus how I feel now.

Here I have a couple of rules/things I realized and jotted down in my journal, from my first week in Istanbul:

  • Eye contact is not a norm here, don’t make eye contact especially with men
  • There are stairs everywhere, get used to it
  • There are adorable stray animals, you will want to rescue them all (you can’t)
  • Layering is very important because it might be 60 out in the morning but by nightfall it will be 40 out.
  • Because you are a black woman people will call you names like chocolate girl, and will try to touch your hair. There is nothing you can do to avoid this. 

Most of this is still true although now that I don’t have long blond twists in my hair, people do not try to touch it as much. I will do a post on my experiences with race in Turkey at another point in time. 

Hmmm. Oh yes, the reason this post is called Oh The Places You Will Go (or have gone to and have been too lazy to write about), is because I want to talk about all of the sights I have seen and want to see. So far I have seen: 

  • The Hagia Sophia (but we didn’t get to go inside)
  • The Hippodrome
  • The Blue Mosque/Sultanahmet Mosque
  • The Patriarchate/ Greek Orthodox Church
  • The Chora Church- what was once a Byzantine Monastery
  • Prince’s Islands
  • Pierre Loti
  • Istanbul Modern Art Museum
  • The Grand Bazaar
  • The Spice Bazaar
  • The Tarlabasi Market
  • The Istanbul Archeology Museum 

And I got to attend a screening that was a part of the Istanbul Independent Film Festival. It’s been a very action packed semester and I cannot wait to see what else the semester has in store for me!