The City Center

June 20

I woke up at 9:30 this morning and it felt great to sleep in. I spent the morning catching up with some friends and getting more organized in my room. In the midst of all of this I forgot to eat breakfast. At 12:40 I attempted to eat the eggplant curry and rice I had made the night before. I forced myself to eat the thick slimy food.

So far I have only been in my room and the kitchen so I went to explore the rest of the guest house after lunch. I discovered a living room area on the main floor with couches and a TV. Behind this room is a work space with multiple tables and chairs and a large TV. Next I went to the basement which was a bit sketchy. I went through a door that led me to a bathroom followed by two rooms with green carpet. It wasn’t until I went into the second carpeted room with rosemary beads that I realized it was a prayer room. I felt awful because I was wearing shoes and my hair wasn’t covered (both forbidden in any Mosque or prayer room). I quickly came out and went through a short dark hallway that led to the washing machine room. There is no dryer but clothes-lines stretch across the room.

After this little self-tour, I went back to my room and got a call from Gul Abla. She was on her way back to Eskisehir with Joe and she planned for all of us to meet in the city center and get groceries. I went with Ekrem to the train station to pick both of them up and it was great to see Gul Abla again. She greeted me with a warm hug and took me straight to a currency exchange center where I got Turkish Lira.

Gul Abla, Joe, and I then went to Migros which is like a big Super-Target or Wal-Mart. After discussing the rice situation with my parents I realized that we eat Basmati rice at home so I went on a mission to find it at Migros. It was a huge relief when Joe found Basmati rice and showed me where to find it. Migros also had a lot of spices used in Indian cooking that I did not expect to find here so it was a very pleasant surprise! I came back ready to cook a great dinner but was invited to dinner with Ümit’s family again. Cennet Abla’s cooking is so great I couldn’t deny the offer. They have truly become my adopted family here; Ümit calls me his daughter. Joe joined us for dinner as well. As soon as I figure out how to cook well, I will make dinner for everyone.

After a splendid dinner, I hung out with the kids and Joe before calling it a night. I still don’t have a strong Wi-Fi connection here. I am not able to access internet from my laptop and only a few apps on my phone work with the internet so tomorrow Joe and I will got to the market again to get a Wi-Fi hotspot. I expect it will be quite the adventure because we have no idea where to go. Either way it will be fun!

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