It’s been four weeks now, and Istanbul continues to surprise me every day. One thing that is vital to survival in Turkey is patience. Whether it is dealing with Turkish bureaucracy, transportation, directions, weather, or other elements of day to day life, it is better to know that things will just not work out the way you expected it to. You pretty much need the patience of the Dalai Lama to preserve your sanity amidst this seemingly endless stream of frustrations.
However, there is a silver lining to this myriad of inconveniences. Nothing brings people together like complaining does. The U.S was founded over a group of men complaining about embargo taxes. Shakesphere’s greatest works are manifestations of his complaints. Kanye and Kim are both legendary complainers. During the orientation week of my exchange program, I became close friends with another student through our mutual disdain for the terrible class registration process. Through discussions of the faulty software and poor logistical planning, a tight bond was instantly formed. I thought CAESAR was bad, but man KUSIS was something else. The enemy of an enemy is my friend, and KUSIS was certainly the enemy.
I have also grown to embrace the unpredictability of the country. I enjoy taking an over occupied dolmus (minibus, literally translated to “filled”), not completely sure where it will take me. It brings me uncontainable excitement walking up to the cash register of the cafeteria and not knowing how much money I will need to pay for my food. I laugh when I see people casually tossing things out of windows to pedestrians walking by. And lastly, I smile when people yell at me for picking up the “football” and running it into the end zone for a touchdown!
Some of the sights in Istanbul have been absolutely breathtaking. One of my interests is photography, and below is a picture of the Black Sea.