Classes at BAU are winding down and before I know it I will be thrust into the tight inescapable grasp of finals. For many people in the program it’s come close to the end, but it’s not close to the end just yet. Kim and I have decided to stay in Istanbul to take a summer class and continue working on our respective internships. I’m thankful we have more time left because I finally understand this city, not everything but I’m getting there.
I don’t feel the same hesitation I used to when ordering food or asking a question in a store. Shopkeepers on Dereboyu recognize me and ask me how I am. I no longer feel the same sense of paranoia of getting lost I felt when getting on a bus that’s not the DT1 or DT2. Neighborhoods outside of Ortakoy area feel less distant although I haven’t quite reached the same level of familiarity of this space Joe.
The most surprising thing I’ve noticed is how kind and helpful everyone in this country has been toward us. Not to say that I though Turks would be mean or volatile people, but I wasn’t expecting this level of kindness one exhibits to strangers.