It’s been a few months since I’ve posted anything about my life in Istanbul and the day-to-day adventures that sugarcoat my life. In a few words: life is grand. There’s no where else in the world I’d rather be right now. I don’t want to bore anyone with trivial details, but here are a few of the highlights:
Work life: I’m working an average of 20 hours a week, which is enough to sustain myself financially because my cost of living is so low. However, I currently have a wonderful mix of students. I’m teaching two middle-aged managers at Vakif Bank, which is one of the largest banks in Turkey; Eight managers at UNO Bread, which is THE largest bread company in Turkey; a man who does logistics for IKEA and is currently studying to get his masters in International Logistics; two children whose father is the CEO for Microsoft’s division in Turkey; a first-year student at one of Turkey’s most prestigious universities; and a nine-year-old girl who’s attending a Turkish-American primary school. This eclectic mix of students keeps me on my toes and helps keep my job interesting and exciting.
Personal life: One of my dearest friends from university contacted me earlier this year asking me to provide her with more details about what I’m doing here in Istanbul. Now I’m happy to say that she has joined me here in this lovely city. Marie moved to Istanbul during the last week in August to start work as a primary school teacher. It’s been so nice to have a “partner in crime.” I hadn’t realized how much I had learned about Istanbul until I had the opportunity to show her around the city. When I first arrived to Istanbul, my friend Ashton was my tour guide and I followed her around like a lost puppy. Now I’ve adopted Ashton’s role and Marie has adopted my role. Pay it forward, right?
Social life: My group of friends continues to grow and as it grows, so does our list of adventures. I visited the aquarium, rode bikes along the Marmara Sea, strolled through the Belgrad Forest, ferried out to the local islands, schmoozed a Veet promotional event, danced the night away at a small music festival near the sea, wandered around the archeological museum, went underground to see the Basilica Cisterns, partied on a boat through the Bosphorus at night, had dinner with the president and founder of International TEFL Academy, and participated in a 5K mud race at the Black Sea. The great thing about my job is it allows the flexibility to chase adventures when they arise, so that’s exactly what I’ve been doing (see pics below).
Living situation: I moved into an cute little apartment during the first week of August. This was my EIGHTH (and hopefully final) move. Now I’m living with a fabulous roommate who is a flight attendant for Turkish Airlines and is a shining example of Turkish hospitality. She often cooks me dinner, folds my laundry, picks me up from work, asks what I need from the market, invites me to go out with her friend group, and checks in to see how my day is going. I feel like I won the flatmate lottery.
Minor incident: One evening, as I was standing in front of my friend apartment building attempting to send a text, I saw a hand appear over my shoulder and quickly snatch my iPhone out of my hands mid-text. I quickly turned around only to see the man sprint down the street and around the corner before I could even process what had just happened. Although I was upset, I was thankful he didn’t hurt me and I told myself “it’s only a phone.” My friend answered the door a few moments later and I decided to crash on her couch and figure out my phone situation in the morning. However, 30 minutes later, her phone rang and when I answered it, I heard the policeman say, “We have your friend’s phone here at the police station.” I couldn’t believe my ears. I said, “That’s MY phone! But how?…” I quit asking questions and instead, I hurried to the police station, where sure enough, they had my phone. Apparently, the police spotted a group of suspicious-looking men and asked them to empty their pockets only to find several stolen phones; one of which was mine. I’m pretty sure I’m the luckiest girl in the world.