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Riding da Bus!

Riding da Bus!

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.
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?

“When the Bootycalled Becomes the Bootycaller” (Title of My Autobiography)

“When the Bootycalled Becomes the Bootycaller” (Title of My Autobiography)

Between the end of last semester and now, what has happened? I WILL TELL YOU!

Trip #1: Lebanon with my fran/now roommate Julia for about a week in February.
1. I’m a badass for going to L-non after I’ve been to Israel. Wha what! Didn’t let them stamp my passport in Israel.
2. Where all the people in Beirut? It was like a ghost town there. I feel like I saw more police officers and army peeps than actual civilians.
3. EVERYONE STARES AT YOU. In Turkey, people don’t really notice that I’m not foreign unless I start speaking English. And even then, they never make a big deal about it. But in Lebanon, people just STARED at us from a mile away. People walking on the street, driving in their cars, old people, young people…I felt like I had whale tail or something! ( It might just not be that common to see a couple of whiteys roaming the streets but damn, didn’t yo’ momma teach you anything?
4. Every single taxi honks at you. “Taxi? Taxi?” they say. Do you think I want a taxi if I’m walking the opposite direction and trying to avoid eye contact with you? NO!
5. Randomly ran into someone I went to high school with in Costa Rica. The UWC world is SO small!
6. Lebanon really is a beautiful place. My previous comments might seem negative, but it was a nice trip. Biblos and Baalbeck are awesome. Wiki that shit!

Trip #2: Bordeaux to visit my friend Seth.
1. Speculoos is the shit! Brought two jars back with me.
2. I want to be Irish so I can say weird things like “your man”
3. People buy me drinks at the GCs (gay clubs) there. Not such much in Istanbul.
4. Best part of entire trip: walk of shame home alone in the rain through the streets of B-town. Guy wears make-up and put his Facebook status as “American Boy” the next day. Awkward much? Plus, I came home with a sore throat…Please judge me.

New Semester
Bogazici needs to get off its high horse. Their registration and scheduling process seems like a 3rd grader designed it and it took me almost three weeks just to get into four classes. Love Isty still, kind of over BU although your campus is really pretty.
P.S. Turkish students do not know how to walk! Get out my way!!!

Positive: Made friends with two of the OU kidz here this semester. Hardcore shoutouts o’clock to Courtney and Matt! <3
Negative: The Bogazici University Gay Club still only has four members:
Co-presidents: Julia and Myself
Drunk secret teller: Matt
Turkish outreach liason: Courtmew
If you know anyone who is interested in joining, please tell him or her to come to an informational meeting in my bedroom. Directions: walk up four flights of stairs and walk through some rainbow streamers. Trannies are welcome also.

Trip #3: Netherlands and Belgium to visit our very lekker Erasmus friends from last semester. Miss them again already!
1. Rainbow flags everywhere!
2. Bought a space cake and then lost the bag. Dumb bitch me.
3. Moving to Amsterdam or Brussels at some point inshallah ☺

Fun Facts:
1. Got bit by a dog because my phone rang. Apparently, they don’t like my ringtone. Had to get four rabies shots over three weeks. However, I did not have to pay for anything. #cheap4life
2. Got bootycalled by a Turk right after we got back from Brussels. Turned it down because I was tired and had class the next morning. The very next night I tried to return the request. Didn’t even get a response after texting some very explicit messages. I don’t understand. #confusedfatgirlalone4eva
3. G3 Summit is happening. Gerogia, Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh, and eastern Turkey best watch out! #pleasedontshootus

End of the Semester: The Sequel! (Burfday and Franzz)

End of the Semester: The Sequel! (Burfday and Franzz)

Do you think I passed my mofo Human Rights class? DO YOU? Well…I did, but we’ll get to that in a sec. First, I want to give you the scoop on my life since Trabzon-istan.

The very next weekend after our T-zy trip coincidentally was my burfday! Usually, I think birthdays are fun and all, but I really hate mine, especially because I was turning 17 (or 22), which is just a shitty age. Who wants to be 22? Twenty-one is cool in the US because everyone buys you alcohol but at 22, everyone expects you to buy yo’ own booze…and you just plain old! I did end up having a really good day though. That Saturday night (the bday), a group of about 20 people and I went to a really cool restaurant on the Anatolian side of Istanbul (that in Asia). I invited my friend “Maranda” for the night. Here she is:

Yeah, she’s pretty slutty, but she likes to have a good time, so I thought, WHY THE FUCK NOT? She was under my clothes all night (the little tramp!). Speaking of which, I had a dragon temporary tattoo tramp stamp going on that night too. So, I was a damn hot mess and am glad I didn’t go home with anyone because they would have thought I was tranny shit. But, my friends and I ate good food together and then went out for the night and had some fun. I didn’t get all 22 kisses on camera like I wanted but momma got enough.

AND! Because I’m so fekking cool, and I know you all want to see, I took pictures of myself with all my birthday presents!!! I know! All the cool kids are doing that. So here we go:

Cool book and card from mah gurl Julia. (BTW, that is not a true statement)

Brenna done good! Got me a jersey from my fav team. bir, iki, üç, TRABZON!

Nice red shirt from my international ladies. Special guest star: my bear hamper

Bigass poster of the best, Tarkan. He looks at me all the time 😉

Schtuff from the Oklahoma peepul. gloves (Cindy), infinity scarf (Elizabeth), peanut butter (Lauren) Lookin’ fly!

pajay-jay pants and the total pillow courtesy of Cindy Sue, total pillow Olympian

Thanks to all my wonderful bitches for the presents and just for coming to my dinner! I had a really great time!

Now, after burfday, you know what happened?! DO YOU?? Two of my fav biznatches came all the way from ‘Murka just to visit ME (and Turkey). Cindy and Lauren came on December 28th and stayed for about two weeks. I am so thankful them cool gurls came and I think they had a good time too. We went to all the touristy stuff in Isty: Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, Topkapi Palace, Ortakoy, my university campus, Taksim, Besiktas…(wikipedia this shiz if you don’t know it!). After loads of laughs and sightseeing locally, we left the city with a hunger for ADVENTURE! From I-bul, we took a ferry and bus to get the city of Bursa, followed by Izmir the next day. From there, we flew to Athens, the birthplace of democracy and home of many ancient ruins. Nowadays, the city looks like the god of Eurotrash threw up all over it. We saw people shooting up heroin twice, once at night, and once at noon in a public park. Makes me want to democratically elect someone to clean that place UP! The ancient ruins like the Acropolis and the Agora were awesome, but overall, we were not as impressed with A-town as we expected to be. The second night in Greece, we took an overnight train to Thessaloniki, the country’s second largest city and the birthplace of Ataturk (holler). I had expected to leave straight from there to come back to Istanbul, since my Human Rights professor (being a little meanie again) had originally told me that I could miss the final and make it up when I came back from traveling. But! After making all the travel plans, homegurl changed her mind. CHANGED HER MIND! Who does that? WHO.does.that? So needless to say, I needed to haul ass back. My friends decided they had had enough with Greasy Greece anyways so we all took a longass ride on a double decker bus (fancy) back home. The very next day, I had to pack my brain with Human Rights information in preparation for my exam that afternoon. This turned out to be useless because my professor decided to ask questions on the exam that we had never studied before. We studied the Israeli invasion of Gaza from 2008-2009 in class, but she asked a question about the flotilla shit that happened this summer. Who da fuck does that? If I take a class about horses, do you think it’s fair to ask you a question on the final exam about zebras?? NO! That ain’t right! That’s why I was sweating bullets about my grade in that class.

But back to my friends. I had an amazing time with Lauren and Cindy and I miss them a lot. We had lots of fun and it was really cool to get drunk with them again. It’s so cool to think that they came this far for a visit (and to see Turkey/Greece). It’s really nice. ☺

Now, the semester has finally ended. I passed all my classes and somehow even managed to get a C in Human Rights. I could give a shit what the grade is, I just needed to pass to get credit at my university and I did. Never taking a class from that professor again!

Coming up in my blog!
1. New students coming to Bogazici for spring semester. Will there be any cute ones? Will I make friends?
2. I’m going on a mystery trip to a place that may or may not have just been having problems with its government=ADVENTURE/I’m bringing Depends just in case I get scared!
3. Going to France to visit a friend-sicle!
4. I think I’m going to be broke by the end of the semester. DAMMMMIT!
5. I now live in Beşiktaş! Wha Wha!!

End of the Semester: Volume I (Natashas and Bad Grades)

End of the Semester: Volume I (Natashas and Bad Grades)

It’s been a while since I’ve clued you guys in on how my life as an Istanbul exchange student/supermodel/go-go boy is shaping up. My last post let you know that I got fat from eating too much at Bayram and that I was very emotional in getting my Residence Permit. I’m still emotional (will get to this later) but I don’t think I’m as fat, maybe just a lil’ jiggles (SHOUT OUT TO CARRIE! KA-DI-MA!!!)

After my adventures through Turkey with my mom’s friend Ilknur, I came back to Istanbul, well rested and well fed. I was ready to take on the rest of my semester. RAAARR!!! That’s how excited I was! A couple weeks after returning, I went on a weekend trip with my friends Brenna and Julia to the city of Trabzon on the Black Sea. If you didn’t figurr it out yet, for that trip, we were PB&J. Holler. It turned out to be an awesome weekend although not everything went according to plan. To start off, I made a reservation (IN TURKISH) for the hotel we were planning on staying at ahead of time. After getting tipsy at the airport (because I don’t like flying), and arriving at one in the morning in T-Zon, the man at the hotel told us that there was no room. #1 Someone at that hotel is fekking stupid and #2 Where wuz we gonna sleep? Luckily, the man drove us IN HIS CAR to another hotel (not the best idea) which turned out to be cheaper. It DID look like a log cabin inside and I WAS afraid there were aliens in the bathroom, but we made it work. The other problem we encountered was that our plane on the way back to Isty got delayed more than three hours. This meant my drunkenness wore off by the time we took off and I got a little scurred at times. But, we arrived in one piece and even got reimbursed for the return ticket. This means that for a round-trip ticket to Trabzon (about an hour and fifteen minutes each way) I paid under $35. Suck.On.That.
While in Trabzon, we went to awesome places like a big lake called Uzungöl (meaning “long lake” in Turkish=so creative, I know) and the Sümela Monastery. Feel free to look at my FB pics or wikipedia that. It was some dope shit. It’s my favorite city in Turkey so far and I would recommend anyone to travel there. Just beware of the Russian prostitutes, locally known as “Natashas”. (I don’t make this stuff up)

Transition to me crying:
After a fun-filled weekend in Trabzies, I came home and checked my email. There, I found an email from my political science professor saying that she had FINALLY graded our mid-term exams. I was excited because I thought I did really well…and I’m a big loser who cares about his grades. Here comes the good part. I got the LOWEST grade in the class!! Let me rephrase that, out of ALL the students in the class, both Turkish and foreign, including people who come to class 20 minutes late or don’t come at all, and people who don’t do the reading or participate in class, out of all of them, I (Peter Jones, model extraordinaire) did the worst…by a lot. So, I went to talk to my prof, thinking there had been a mistake. I was wrong. She told me how amazed she was that I did such a horrible job since I seem intelligent. She said to me that, “This paper (mine) is not the paper of an intelligent person.” It took everything I had not to cry in front of her. Instead, I went to the bathroom and cried for like 10 minutes. I know that it’s not the end of the world to fail a class but when I started thinking of all the things that go with it: possibly losing my scholarship, my parents being disappointed at me, the fact that I did all the readings and tried my best, THAT got my tear ducts working. I was a mess and still am to this day. I had my final about two weeks ago and it went horribly. She asked the most frustrating questions and now, I’m wearing Depends permanently because when I think about my grade in that class (which is all the time), I wet myself a little (just a little, OK???)
So, when I find out my grade in the coming week, I will either be relieved that I managed to pass that class or I will exercise my freedom of speech and someone is getting a strongly worded letter. Huh? Whatchu think about that?
(P.S. We learned about free speech in that class. That’s why it’s ironic.)

Ilknur (and Sacrificing Animals)

Ilknur (and Sacrificing Animals)

Let me bitch a little right quick:
“OH EMM GEE! Did you see what Peter wrote on his blog last time? He put up the German guy’s texts! What if he finds out? That’s lyke ILLEGAL or something!!!”

This is what I’ve heard people comment on my previous post titled “Robert the German Asshole”. This irritates me immensely because these very opinionated people, who like discussing MY blog with MY friends, somehow forget to tell ME why they don’t think it’s appropriate. If you gotta problem, you tell MOMMA, K? This IS Erasmus if you forgot. 😉
So, if you are one of those people (with they panties in a bunch) and who BITCH about my BITCHING and the ASSHOLES in my life, please stop reading…

If you are still reading this, thanks for not being a BITCH (and for having your panties on appropriately).
Turkish life has been treating me quite well and I plan on catching you up on all the details, juicy and not.

But while we’re on the topic of RUUUU(de) people, let me tell you about getting a residence permit in Turkey/going to the fires of hell and back. So, before I came to Turkey, I applied for a student visa at the Turkish Embassy in Washington DC. That was a pain in itself because DC is not very close to my house, and I had to go there twice for something that took ten minutes each time. But alas, I survived. However, upon coming to Turkey, you are required as a student to apply for a residence permit, which shows that you are legal to live in Turkey and travel to and from the country. I applied online for an appointment to the main police station right away but because there are so few appointments, I had to wait until November until I actually went. On the day of my appointment, I came with all my documents to the police station (which is 2ish hours from my neighborhood), waited my turn for about two more hours and then finally went to the window in hope of applying without problem. I was wrong. The two men behind the counter took my papers and one of the two seriously looked at me as if I had just handed him five sheets of toilet paper. He looked at me like I was the dumbest person in the world because I didn’t print the pages correctly. And no one spoke English well there, so I ended up running around the police station attempting to reprint documents and pay for my RP with misty eyes, trying not to be a loser and cry in the Turkish police station. But finally,I applied and was told to come back in a week to pick up the actual document.
SOOOOO! I came back the next week when I was supposed to, handed the man my receipt to pick up my RP and waited for them to call my name. He called my name soon after and I stood up to sign for my permit. BUT, he just gave me the paper back and said “You come back tomorrow. Thank you.” AH-SKEWZ MEEEE! I DID NOT JUST SKIP MY CLASS AND COME 2 HOURS TO BE TURNED AWAY AND TOLD TO COME BACK TOMORROW! That’s what I thought in my head, but in real life, I said out loud to him “NO” (That’s right, with capital letters) But I soon realized that he had already spoken as much English as he could with me. There was no point in arguing with him. He wouldn’t/couldn’t listen. I left the office, walked outside, sat down, and cried. That’s right: This bitch cried with his sunglasses on because he couldn’t get his RP. I was so frustrated! In the end though, I waited around another hour and tried again. Only this time, it was (magically) ready. Guess crying helped. But if you want to know where all the rude Turkish people are, go to the police station in Fatih.

On a happier note:
Two weeks ago, we had a week off from classes because it is a religious holiday or “Bayram”. My mom lived in Turkey about eight years ago while she was in the military and made friends with a Turkish woman named Ilknur. Ilknur has been peeing her pants to meet me ever since I’ve arrived and invited me to come visit her for the Bayram. I was hesitant about such a long visit because I had never met this woman before. Also, all my friends seemed to be planning cool trips to the beach or other parts of Turkey while I was going home with a middle aged Turkish woman. But, why not? So, I took the overnight train to Eskisehir, the city where my mom worked and where Ilknur lives, on a Saturday night. I arrived at about 4:30 in the morning and met Ilknur and her “mommy”. I stayed with them for a couple of days before we left for Konya, another city where Ilknur’s sister and their family live. Keep in mind that out of everyone in this family, Ilknur is the only one who speaks English. So, it was interesting at times, but I feel that my Turkish has improved a lot.
Bayram is meant to commemorate the biblical story of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son (or something like that). In order to do so, Turkish people kill animals. And whatchu gonna do with all those dead animals? YOU EAT THEM. EVERY. SINGLE. PIECE. OF THE ANIMAL. For the whole week. They just kept feeding me and feeding me. It was quite a change for me since I was a vegetarian back in the States and now, I’m stuffing my face with cow heart! It did get to be a little like Fear Factor at times, but overall, the food was very good. Ilknur’s family is also the sweetest family in the world. Her sister was an awesome cook. Her brother-in-law’s name is Aladdin (no joke) and the two little kids called me “Abi” which means “my brother”. SO ADORABLE! And her mom is cute because she bought me socks.
Besides being fattened up, Ilknur bought me clothes and took me to the sites in Eskisehir. We even got to go to Cappadocia for a day, which is quite beautiful. My friends who roadtripped to beaches in the south stayed the night at Ilknur’s also on their way back to Istanbul. We had a fun little sleepover. And did I mention, I did not spend money for this vacation? Turkish people are (generally) so nice. (So fuck the people that work at the police station!) They don’t let you pay for anything. So, I had an awesome-tastic break if you couldn’t tell. Mommy also sent me home with ELEVEN bottles of homemade tomato sauce, a jar of strawberry jam, and two bags of leftover meat. Turkish hospitality can’t be beat!

Now, I’m back in the Isty and planning when I’m going to leave again. Of course, I love it here, but there is so much of Turkey that I haven’t seen yet! It’s finally starting to change into winter here, and traveling won’t be so much fun or easy any more. But two of my friends from Oklahoma (shoutouts to Lauren and Cindy)are coming to visit next month and we will definitely be traveling/party-partying for a good portion of their time here. Now, who wants to write a 20-page research paper for me while I go have fun? Hahaha-I’m being serious. Neither of us is gonna be laughing if I fail my class.

Let’s finish with some fun facts, shall we?

1. Boy sitch: All I can say is Turkish flight attendant. That’s seriously all I can say because I don’t remember his name. Whoops!
2. While in Konya, I overheard two American girls talking about “Ayran” (pronounced like Iran), a Turkish yogurty drink that tastes like nasty nast salty milk in my opinion. Anyway, this is the conversation between them:

Normal girl: Whenever I see the name “Ayran”, I think “Aryan”.
Stupid girl: I love the name “Aryan”.

Yes, this actually happened.

3. Guess who I saw at a club the other night? I’ll give you a clue, he’s German and he’s an asshole…THAT’S RIGHT, IT WAS ROBERT!!! It was obvious that we both saw each other, but for some reason, neither of us felt the need to say hi to the other. It was awkward the whole time and toward the end, my low esteem started to come back to me, but luckily he didn’t make a move and I still have my dignity. So there!

Robert the German Asshole

Robert the German Asshole

The juicy shit is coming, but I want to recap a lil’ bit right quick.

A week and a half ago was the Istanbul Marathon. This is really cool because for that one day the Bosphorus Bridge is open to pedestrians. It is normally closed because so many people have committed suicide off of it (drama). Thankfully, there are different race distances besides the marathon, including 15 kilometers and 8 kilometers. There is also a “fun run”…so we participated in that one but without the “run” part. After an early morning wake-up (6am), two bus rides, and some unhappy campers, we made it to the race. It ended up being an awesome day and I’m so glad I got to walk from Asia to Europe. I’m like Bono or something! It must make all the people who decide to hook up the night before and oversleep jealous. You know who you are! (They jealous)

This is what Mr. Bosphorus looks like when you’re on him.
Then my camera died 🙁

Let’s get to some rull drama. I mean DRAMA! Like I have mentioned previously, the boys in Isty have been lining up the block just to watch what I got (can’t compete with “Angel” though). The first guy of importance was Turkish and looked like Gael Garcia Bernal, or at least that’s what my drunken self thought. He didn’t speak the English very well, and by very well I mean, he knew maybe 10 words. He also kept telling his friend in Turkish that he wanted to speak “body language” with me…We’ll fast forward a little because you don’t need to know ALL those details.

I swear he looked like this

Guy #2:
My friends and I went to a party for Erasmus and Exchange students in downtown Istanbul. There was this guy with his one girl friend (not girlfriend) who I saw move closer to me. I thought, “Ok, I must be looking purty good tonight” to myself, and by myself, I mean, I told all my friends. So, they attempted to work their magic and figure him out. Their not-so-good detective skills found out that he’s not gay. What a bummer! Ok, I’ll find someone next time. But he kept standing there, right next to me! And then everyone started pushing me towards him, saying, “Go, Peter! He’s gay!” I thought they all just wanted to make fun of me, but it ended up being true. His name’s Robert and he seemed like a really nice guy. FAST FORWARD!!!

So, we kept texting back and forth the following few days. He invited me to meet his friends and I invited him to dinner with my friends. Everyone was nice blah blah blah.

This past Friday night, I was out with my slutty friend (shoutout to mah gurl!) who I knew was going to go home with someone (who looks like Frodo). And I was like, “Shit I don’t like being the third wheel, I gotz to go!” I texted Robert and he invited me to go to a gay club with him and another girl friend (not girlfriend). I met them there and we went inside. We’re all dancing. It’s fun. Next thing I know, I turn around and he is making out with some guy. AHHH HELL NO! NOBODY BRING ME TO NO CLUB AND MAKE OUT WIFF SUMWUN ELSE. NAHAAA!
What did Peter do? Well, I went up to him and told him he was a “big asshole” and left. When you’re drunk at four in the morning, you don’t have a lot of common sense, so I started walking home, which is like five miles away. I made it maybe a mile (maybe) then gave up and took a taxi home.

These are the texts from the next day:

“hey peter. hope u r not angry with me?! I’m sorry if i’ve hurt ur feelings last night, i didn’t want that.”

and i said yeah, you hurt my feelings. i thought you liked me, etc.

“i’m so sorry for that. didn’t know that it’d hurt u so much, sorry! and yes, i like you, but yesterday i just wanted to have fun, was drunk and didnt think abt you, this is my fault, sorry”

i didn’t forgive him, but i started feeling like the fat, low self-esteem girl that i normally am and asked him what he’s doing that night, trying to get invited. he told me he’s going out and that i should come BUT then he tells me he’s going to a gay club and i asked him if he was planning to get with someone else again and THE BITCH SAYS:

“if i go to a gay club i’d like to have a choice that’s why i go there u know. my feelings acc. (?) to u r not that strong. do u understand? :-)”

he likes emoticons. i told him he seems like an asshole right now and THEN:

“believe me i am a nice guy but i just need my freedom to do whatever i want 🙂 this is erasmus”



P.S. we haven’t texted since 🙂 <—-stupid emoticon