Istanbul, being such a unique city, has a very unique network of transportation. There are SO many ways of getting around: bus, taxi, ferry, tram, metro, metrobus (not the same as metro or bus), trains (sometimes), and good old walking. Last semester, I lived in the neighborhood right next to my university so I could just walk to class everyday. This semester, I moved to a different neighborhood, which is farther away from campus but more centrally located in Istanbul. My new home, Besiktas (pronounced besh-ik-tash), requires me to take a bus to class everyday. Having public transportation to use is a godsend after having lived in Norman, Oklahoma, where a car is pretty much essential to get around. Yet, I have encountered some difficulty getting accustomed to using the city’s transport system. This morning, I had a rougher than normal experience on the bus, and would like to voice some tips for Turks on how to ride the bus in a way that does not affect other passengers (a.k.a. ME) negatively.
1. Pick a spot! When you get on the bus, if there is no place to sit, then you have to stand. Find a spot where there is enough room for your entire physical being to be positioned and then stay there. If there is not a lot of room in a particular spot, don’t stand there. Don’t lean on me. Don’t find a spot where every time YOU move, my backpack moves also. If we are both holding onto the handrail, our hands should not be touching for the whole bus ride. Sorular var mı?
2. The buses can get really hot when so many people are on them. Therefore, do not wear your WINTER COAT if you know it’s gonna get hot! It makes you hot and everyone else on the bus hot. Plus, it’s May. Do you really think it’s THAT cold?
3. If it gets rully hot, open a window. The sweat dripping down my face should be a sign to you that something’s up. I know I sweat a lot so sorry, but if we could keep a nice breeze going up in here, it might not be so bad.
4. DO NOT FART WHILE ON THE BUS! (EVER)
5. Don’t stand in front of the door if you’re not going to get out at the next stop. It makes both of our lives more difficult.
6. Have your money ready when you get on the bus. Not when you’re on the bus and preventing the 20 people behind you from getting on.
7. Don’t ride the bus when you’re getting off two bus stops later. Walk a little. It won’t hurt you.
If you can follow these rules for bus etiquette, I think all of our lives will be 100 times better. It can be cramped when 15+ million are all trying to get around the city, but let’s try to make the transportation experience as pleasant as possible, tamam mı?
I’ve been in a funk these past couple of days and feel that I owe an update to you. Last week was our spring break and I spent my time traveling with my fellow Gs through Georgia, Armenia, and the Eastern part of Turkey. With my roommate Julia, fellow Sooner in Istanbul Matt (Princess), and one of my besticles straight off the plane Seth (Avril), we somehow accomplished everything we set out to do. Two days in Georgia, two days in Armenia, and 41 consecutive hours of non-stop traveling to Van, Turkey tired me the fuck out. It was an awesome G4 Summit and some of the things we saw were amazing, but it’s good to be home back in the ‘bul.
Some very important observations I have:
1. Georgian men>Armenian men
2. Armenian men love to wear all white. Maybe they all virgins.
3. The best cure for explosive diarrhea is to not eat anything=not fun.
4. Never travel in Eastern Turkey by bus. Everyone’s a liar and everyone stares.
5. I lost my residence permit. And I’m fucked. Fantastic!
I miss Seth. ☹ My room smells too clean. Please come back and bring more alcohol from duty free. I’ll take you to Machine and Tek Yon. We can give each other Kataturk (temporary) tattoos. Please? Pretty please?
But I’m not emotional.
I guess things are downhill from here in my study abroad experience. It’s weird to think that in less than two months I’ll be back in the states and in most ways, back to reality.
These are some of the things in Turkey I will miss though:
1. Eating out all the time
2. Bad English
3. Being able to get some
4. Wet hamburgers and mussels
5. Public transportation
6. My apartment
7. Being close to Gizmo
Things I won’t miss:
1. Bad English “Yes, please!”
2. Vicious dogs that bite
3. People who walk slow
4. People who always ask how much the bus costs (Ne kadar?)
5. Stares o’clock
6. People cheating me out of money
7. Not having a dryer
8. Squatty potties
9. Assholes at the residence permit office
All of these reflections stem from the realization that soon enough, I actually have to stop living in this fantasy world where all I seem to do is eat, drink, and travel. I found out that I was offered an internship at the American Task Force on Palestine in DC. I’m uber excited about the opportunity and hope it will be a great experience. My first day is June 13th. My last final exam is June 9th…Jet leg and I are going to be best friends for the first few days after I get back. I also don’t have a ticket to go home. I’m hoping that maybe something will cost under $900 eventually…maybe…please? It sucks balls looking at ticket prices. I think my flight home might actually cost more than what I have in my bank account. So essited for credit card debt!!! Maybe if someone gave me the PITF, this wouldn’t be a problem, now would it?? ☺ Whatevs. Life goes on. At least, I won’t be spending the entire summer watching iCarly with my little sister while getting shitfaced off of mimozas. That does actually sound kind of nice right now though.
But I’ll leave you with that for now. Just ate a fuck-ton of kebab and had a waffle for dessert. Now, gonna watch some Desperate Housewives. Life is just so difficult when you study abroad!