thoughts before class

Category: , , , , By freshouttatime
This weekend was pretty fun i guess. Actually nothing extraordinary, but may as well write something.

One thing about Turkey which i haven't mentioned is that you get to meet a TON of people from all over the world and all of them have preconceived notions about the US or have unique spins on life, similar but different view of God and of course all the same great food taste! haha.

Thats 3 days in a row i missed Suhoor. Fun. But no worries I think i eat more than enough at dinner to make up for it.

On Thursday we ran into a debacle for our residency permits. This thing enables us to come in and out of the country several times without question. Usually all the students applied for a single entry visa so this Residence permit is important to being able to travel to neighboring countries and come back.
So there was about 20 of us plus one host student who would take us to the appropriate government building. We ended up at the head police quarters, went through the whole security shabang and formed a queue (they use this like water here!). It took us about 40 minutes for everybody to file their paper work, and we were then on our merry way.
As we were waiting, some lady came up and offered us tea and biscuits, which is really funny/cool/normal, they're just walkin around with trays of tea.
i diverge, but our host student is soon made aware that we were at the wrong office, and that these people shouldn't have filed our paper work. Great! So where to now? We deduce that we have to go to some DMV like place another 20 minute ride down. So we get there and its about 12 o clock. We form the queue all 20 of us, and then someone loudly informs us that the workers are going on a lunch break and will be back at 1! haha a Muslim country, during Ramadan, taking a LUNCH break. Oh ironies.
So we were reduced to waiting an additional hour, and by the time it was all said and done, our bus brought us back to campus at 3. But some interesting things is that even though these people were maybe stingy about break, they were really friendly when filing paperwork, some officers started yelling at the others and pointing towards me. He gets up and starts rolling out the Turkish. I find out that he thinks I'm Turkish or Pakistani, and when he finds otherwise kinda just sits back at his desk. I find it amusing that anyone of color can be assumed to be Turkish, happens to Kian alot and some other kids.

When we got back, me and bryce quickly resolved to hit up the pazar and pick up some essentials. I picked up some fruits, and other assorted food items from the grocery store next door.
Ughhh we (it was turkish for most of the xchange students) had class at 530, but our teacher let us off early. But these later afternoon classes wont cut it for me.

For dinner we had a motley crew (muhaha) me, frank - american guatamalan, unal - turkish german, marc and marcos - german german and bryce - american something. everyone brings something funky to the table. well maybe not the germans, theyre always finding themselves having a laugh in german to the exclusion of everyone else. its kinda funny. so i guess us americans ended up doing the same.

Friday was my complete off day, i woke up and went to jumah, which upon learning about the state ruling religion, everything makes sense; the fast khutba, the seemingly ritualistic motions everyone has, and of course the reason why Taraweeh is short and sweet, you cant build a relationship with Islam if its fed to you fast, and broken, and in big group sessions. You will notice at the mosque no one really has individual devotion time, even sunnahs everyone kinda does together, group dhikrs and etc.
But after jumah, i walked around a bit and got to know the neighborhood a little better. Three grocery shops next to each other, and one across the street. Each seemed to have its loyal customers. The last one was clearly the most expensive, and had books cds and etc in it.
After that i found a little park and was chillen out on the bench next to like maybe 10 old fogies who were having some sort of discussion. One man approached me and started askin me questions, i tried my best to answer him, and then he went back to his group and i sat for a bit longer. It was nice, it was the first time that something in Turkey reminded me of home.

Friday night we somehow ended up playing bball, me daria -swedish turk, james - british brit, and 3 other kids one from lebanon, philistine and a turk from adana. Afterwords we just chilled out had tea and played checkers at Sunshine since none of us could really remember how to setup the board for backgammon.

Saturday saw the performance of the Carmina Burana by the presidential symphony. It was really impressive. 2 lira was the admission price, and they had us seated at the stadium. I couldn't guage how many people were there, but there was ALOT. So i learned that the Carmina Burana is a set of German pagan poems from the 12-13th century and a man composed it in 1935-36. Its most famous piece is "o fortuna" that is instantly recognizable if you youtube it or something. But what was impressive to me is everything, from the coordination, to the different styles, chorus, orchestra, band, piano, to the two soloists. All sung in Latin i believe. At night i ran into Nur a deen the lebanese chap and we had dinner and joined up with the Germans Marc and Marcos. Hahah Nur a deen drops a line like "oh i hate the us and iran, but you know who i like? Hitler" hahahah and Marc was like ehhhh politically incorrect politically incorrect

So here it was interesting to learn other people's perspectives. Noor only said it to get a rile outta the Germans. and the Germans seem pretty sensitive maybe, not quite the word. But talking to Marc he's saying that Hitler left a terrible legacy on the German people, and this stigma is very alive in the minds of the Germans.

yeah hmm i'm runnin short on time. Sunday bryce comes a knockin at 11 and was headin over to the bazaar, he's like some kids from angola will meet up with us at sunshine. We go to sunshine and theres like 8 or 9 germans waiting too. Hahah this weekend was totally shaped by the Germans. Its interesting you would think the Americans are the most cliquiest, but so far i've found the Italians and the Germans always hanging out together, i mean its not bad at all, everyone chills with them, but they are always found together. The German language seems like its too fun and chattin in english is just a let down, so i can see why.

Anywhoo we go to the pazar me and unal split the cost of pots and pans and plan on makin pasta that nite.

But before that, a few of the kids wanted to have iftaar at kocatepe masjid, so we decided to meet up for mahgrib. it was me, lata-u.s. but finnish? robert-irish-british (kinda reminds me of timmy), mel-turkish-british, erin-canadian calgarian (yeah bret hart), and bryce. Like i said this line was HUGE. Mahgrib came in at 650ish we didn't get food til 730ish. On line we met up with these two azeri-iranian kids from ODTU. Again their thoughts are revealed: they were saying they thought Muslims in America dont fast or practice. People have funny views of the states. Noor the lebanese (theres another noor from tanzania) is of the opinion that the US has infinite resources especially money, and he's right of course. The azeriis alluded to the same. Well we ate dinner, which was good, but the portions were small, but mind you they are feeding alotta people.

afterwards we caught dessert at this place reminiscent of Finales in Boston, but much more relaxed and the prices (5 to 7 Lira) were commensurate with the size of the dessert. Since it was kinda late, they offered only variants of Cheesecake and not icecream.

Then i trekked home and we cooked pasta. Finished at around 1130 ate until 1230. Dang didn't sleep til 2. No wonder i didn't wake up at 430. Now here i am, i just uploaded pics on fbook, and am about to leave for class.

salaam shalom peace.