The past two weekends now I have spent a day shopping at the malls that are just north of campus here.
The first time that I went into the mall I was shocked because there was a security check to walk through, and put a backpack through, at the entrance. Though it is different from what I am used to (when it comes to malls), it is a good thing to have security procedures, I feel.
I was also surprised at just how big these malls are! These two malls, called Cepa (said in English like Jepa) and KentPark, were each four levels and had pretty much everything you can think to buy. My favourite stores were Carrefour in Cepa, and Pull and Bear as well as Decathlon in KentPark. I liked Carrefour a lot because it had lots of groceries and household supplies, as well as other things! It was kind of like a a Turkish version of Walmart. 🙂
KentPark is also a great mall because there is a bowling ally and laser tag area inside it!
Betül, Uğur, Alex and I went bowling this past Sunday. I was really proud of how I did, actually. I got two strikes and one spare in the game and broke 100! It was all 10-pin bowling and, maybe, 5-pin (which is what I am more used to) is actually hard to find in places that aren’t Canada? **Comment below if you know where 5-pin bowling can and can’t be found because I am curious now 😛
As you probably noticed, I titled this blog post “Shopping and Sleeping”. So, now I will talk about my (and what I have heard from others) sleeping arrangements here!
For the most part I hear people complaining that dorms here suck. People have complaints about how they have no space and they are stepping over each others suitcases in the small room, which are shared. I also hear that they are really expensive for what you get, which I do agree with, somewhat. For me, I just really wanted the residence experience, my exchange advisor and I thought it would be safer to live on campus, as well as I didn’t want to have to commute in a city I am unfamiliar with (full of a language that I also don’t speak very well) every day.
I really wanted my own room when I was applying for this exchange. I was going back and forth a bit on having roommates (over the year between being accepted to go and receiving the email to actually decide on my room) or not to have roommates. I did eventually decide very heavily on having my own space to go home to each night to unwind. When it came time to choose rooms there were no options for single rooms for females. The options were as follows:
DEMİRAY DORMITORIES (either 4 people in a room of 34 metres squared for 212 lira per month or a room for 2 people of 20 metres squared for 285 lira per month). These were my number one and number two options, respectively, on the form that they sent us.
ODTÜ GELİŞTİRME VAKFI KONUKEVİ (a room for 3 people with a washroom in the room of 28 metres squared for 962 lira per month). This was my third option.
KONUKEVİ2 (this was a room for 2 people in the size of 18 metres squared for 862 lira per month). This was my fourth option, and is actually the dorm that Alex ended up in!
There were three other options for females, but I really didn’t know what to expect in any of them, so I chose them pretty blindly. It just made me upset, at the time, that males had double the number of room options, not only this, but three of their options were single rooms!
I ended up getting my third choice. I found this out in Poland, and I was freaking out suddenly thinking “It’s really great that I get a bathroom in my room but I’m probably going to end up being third wheeled. Why would I pick a three person room as a preference?” – Because with three people, there is always the potential that two people team up against the other, kind of at least…
Thankfully, though my two roommates are from Istanbul and already know each other very well, they are both very nice and I can even practice my Turkish with them!! I actually feel very fortunate to have been selected to be in this dorm, and in this room. My roommates don’t actually even spend all that much time in the room anyways, so I often have time to myself here, which I like. But I also do think it would have been a lot more challenging to have a space all to myself. There would likely be no one consistant to ask to help me or to understand the numerous things there are to understand here.
I was very curious (and anxious) to see what my space would end up looking like! Now, I can honestly say that I couldn’t be happier with my living arrangement here: I really love having a private space for the bathroom, and I even have many of my own cabinets to store my things and a nice desk space. I couldn’t find a single picture of my dorm in a google search! I want to change that for anyone as curious as I was about what the room would look like, so below are a few pictures!! 🙂
Note: This dorm was called “ODTÜ GELİŞTİRME VAKFI KONUKEVİ” on the form I was emailed, but it is known on campus, for some reason, as EBI 2 (pronounced Eh-Bee).