Saturday, August 22, 2009

everything seems so fleeting

in my short 6 month stay in istanbul, it seems impossible, with relationships, to not consider how temporary, shifting and fleeting time with new friends is. this probably has everything to do with the one month increments of life i have here. first, one month with uc san diego, right now i'm doing a month in cihangir (which expires at the end of this week). and september is just a loose ends month: i'm finishing up intensive turkish language courses on the 4th, and then on the 5th i'm taking off to travel for 10 days. coming back on the 15th for bogazici universite orientation -- but classes don't start until the 28th so who KNOWS what i'll be doing. getting to know other students, i guess? hopefully a little more travel?

in october, i'll finally settle into a slightly more regular life with 3 months of classes. but until then, i'm just a fleeting part of the busy istanbul time-space continuum. in some ways this is just part of my experience -- hopping around istanbul, literally moving up the coast to a new flat every month. (sultanahmet, cihangir, and friday to hisarustu). but when my roommate aysha left for her masters in belgium, i began to think more and more about this fleeting nature of my relationships here. at once, sad and novel...aysha and i, for example, knew each other a total of 21 days and yet i feel like she's made this great impact on my time here. keeping me energized, challenging the way i think about things, simply by virtue of letting me into her life for this brief period, my path has shifted and changed. well, at the very least, i'm grateful for the chance to meet great people - short as our time together may be.

volkan, aysha and tony on the terrace at besinci kat (my favorite terrace in istanbul), enjoying aysha's last night in town.

aysha's last breakfast at akyol. volkan came home from work with some borek and we had a few good laughs before leaving for the airport.

my verryyy used copy of the turks today, with aysha pointing out a real life example of a turk, today. i really wanted her to do this, haha.

aysha and her best girl friends (and me) saying goodbye.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

where to go

aysha and i started the day off with a stimulating conversation about israeli policy, the occupied palestinian territories, birthright trips to israel, and she shared some of the really tragic things she saw in palestine, and i shared the challenges of even discussing this issue in the states without offending a friend. more to come on this later...i've been mulling that post over for a while.

a few days ago i posted on facebook that i am pretty determined to travel in the 10 days between the end of my intensive turkish language course and orientation for university. i've been exploring the different places i want to go, and here is my official list!

places outside of turkey:
1. cairo
2. damascus
3. beirut
4. jerusalem

places in turkey:
1. fethiye
2. cappadocia
3. anywhere and everywhere east

after chatting this over with everyone who will chat with me about it, i think i've decided to stay in turkey (or very very close). fethiye is becoming more of a reality by the day. hopefully somewhere good this weekend as well -- ankara maybe.

okay that's it for this post. i'm going to switch up the pace of this blog a bit in the posts to come. burgeoning topics: my political opinions about the israeli-palestine conflict, news from saudi arabia, kurdistan, iraq, afghanistan, and kuala lampur. also, i'm going to talk about my most recent research project, and i'll finally explain why i'm really in turkey, why i'm studying the history of this region and what i think lies ahead for me.