I have been in Turkey now for a couple of days and it was very rough at the beginning. I, unfortunately, got in an unusual situation where the bed I was supposed to be sleeping in was still occupied by a student who was supposed to change rooms but hadn’t yet. So I was told to sleep in a room a few doors down that had a bed someone wasn’t using yet because she was back at her home in Turkey. I slept there and was trying so hard not to get attached to that room but it was difficult for me because I really wanted to make it my space but I knew I had to continue living out of my suitcase and not get too settled. The girl whose bed I slept in came home early the next morning. She was very nice and I am so glad that she wasn’t mad that I was in her bed. She even made me a breakfast because I literally got there the night before at 11 pm and had no idea about the campus layout or where to get food. She was very nice, and again I was trying to not wish that she was my roommate. She already had two roommates that she had been living with and was happy with them. So… I still didn’t have a place to call my spot the next day because the girl was still there in the afternoon. She told me she would move out to give me my space but all of her stuff was still everywhere when I looked in the room in the evening around 6 pm but she wasn’t even there anymore… I was getting impatient to have my own space. I didn’t know which bed I would be sleeping in and I really didn’t feel like being shuffled around so much.
The staff at the front desk here speak almost zero English (even though it is an English university technically…) so they would always call over other people to translate for me and then I would explain the situation to them and they would tell the person at the front. I even took a picture of her stuff everywhere where I was supposed to be and showed it… It was very hard to be in the middle of a conversation that I only knew one side of and I didn’t know what the lady behind the desk was saying and the people who spoke Turkish would kind of translate for me but it was hard being in the middle of it and not having any power to resolve this situation on my own.
This really got to me. I just about began crying in the lobby (because that is the only place I have figured out how to get internet) when I was explaining all of this to my sister over Skype at 8 pm or so. Thankfully this awesome game called Agario and some awesome music called Taylor Swift helped to calm me down.
At 9 pm, or so, she came into the lobby. The lobby staff asked her to move out and, just like in the afternoon, she said she would. But I figured I would believe it when I saw it. I just waited in the lobby and played and my Agario and listened to Taylor. Finally around 10 pm, or so, the lady at the front motioned to me that I should go back up to my floor and that she was gone. Maybe? And I was very happy to see that she was, indeed, moved out of the space that was hers but is now mine for the next four months.
I spent the next two hours listening to friends play on my laptop and scrubbing the counters of the desk below the bed, on the side leading up, the cupboards and the bed frame. I used a face cloth that I brought, hot water from the sink, and some soap from the bathroom (shh because I know it was one of the other girls here and they don’t have toilet paper in the washroom so that sucks a lot for me but thankfully, I am a napkin collector).
Now I am very happy with my spot and I am eagerly (or dreading, or maybe a bit of a mixture) awaiting the return of my Turkish roommates from their countries. From all the crap they have around everywhere here it seems like they are really good friends. So that sucks in my option but my host student here says its better than them being enemies (which I suppose is true!)
My host student has been one of the best things so far here. She picked me up from the central station and we took a taxi together to campus and she helped me to find my dorm and get settled into the one that I slept in the first night. Really glad she helped me to figure out that whole situation!!
Today I continued to attend the orientation session things that they have here and thankfully I have managed to make two friends. One of them I ended up sitting beside yesterday and her name is Narmin, and the other is Alex and he is also from Canada (though we are on opposite ends of the country but we still clicked pretty quick and easily). It is great because Narmin went to a Turkish high school in her home country Azerbaijan and so she speaks Turkish very well!
Today the three of us went shopping. Alex got her a full week earlier than the orientation so he knows his way around this MASSIVE campus pretty well, which is also a huge bonus! It sucks that he had to explore and be by himself all of last week but I am happy that he is confident in navigating around here because the signage sucks and it is actually so big. I keep asking or thinking “Are we still in the campus?!”. Alex took us to a store on campus about a half an hour walk away and I got so many things that I need, including the necessities for a shower (a towel, shampoo, soap, and razer), a bit of food, a bowl, mug, milk, cereal, tea, and a kettle!!! I am currently enjoying a cup of home made tea by me and it is so wonderful! Also I played some ukulele here and that was very wonderful too! I learned how to play a Dala song by ear 🙂
I was on the bus to go on the evening event but my body just took me off of the bus. I think I was a bit nervous to go with a whole group of people I don’t knew even a little bit yet. I couldn’t see Alex, Narmin, or my host student. The guy behind me on the bus is one who I have noticed watching me very intently the past two days. He actually grabbed my hair.. I turned around and called him out on it. He said he just wanted to touch it so he did. But I was a little creeped out and there is a lot to do anyways; so it was weird but I just got up and left before the bus did.
I found my way back to my dorm tonight all by myself and very confidently after that. It is taking time but I am definitely beginning to feel more comfortable here. 🙂