Thursday July 16th,
I woke up this morning determined to clean my room. My laziness this week got the best of me and both the rooms I now have are horribly messy. I methodically began cleaning and finished both rooms and my laundry within a few hours. I spent the afternoon talking to some friends and family. Some of my friends doing this internship are in India and it is really cool to be able to talk to them about cultural things and have them completely understand. It is also interesting to see what they find different. Over the years I have become so used to both Indian and American culture that I have forgotten what seems weird from an outside perspective.
At 5:30, Joe and I caught a minibus into town. Every time we go to town I am taken away by the beauty of Eskisehir. I could sit in that bus and stare out the window for hours. I made conversation with the bus driver and asked him about his plans for Bayram. It was great to see people in the city center. Almost everyone in the institute has left for the holiday weekend and it feels like a ghost town. The playground across from the guest house that is usually filled with screaming kids, is very quiet this weekend.
Joe and I wandered around for a while finding a currency exchange center and then walked along the beautiful river pathway. It was getting close to dinner time and Joe was feeling fast food, so we went to a burger joint. I told them I was vegetarian and they said they would make something for me. They came out with heart-attack on a plate. I had a sandwich with fries, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, and a few more vegetables. It was drenched in ketchup and mayonnaise. It was delicious, but I should probably start eating a little healthier.
Since the fasting is ending, I am going to try to make chocolate crinkle cookies for my lab. We went to a Migros to get baking ingredients. Instead of a vanilla extract they had a vanilla powder and apparently they don’t use measuring cups here. I am a bit skeptical about how they will turn out but I plan to make them on Sunday so I will keep all of you updated.
We had to get a taxi to get back to the guest house since the last bus had left by the time we finished shopping and eating. Joe refused to let me carry all of my groceries. He really is becoming my protective older brother. When we got to the taxi, the driver seemed very excited that we spoke English. As soon as we got in, I greeted him in Turkish making the jolly man (Hussein) even happier. He made a call and handed the phone to Joe. Apparently his son-in-law lives in London and Hussein wanted us to be able to talk to someone in English. After the phone call, Hussein gave us his phone number and told us we could call him anytime we needed a ride. He proceeded to invite us to his house for the Bayram feast the next day. He said we could go for a nice picnic on the University campus! Hussein also said that we had become his family. All of this happened in the course of 10 minutes. It is amazing how friendly everyone here is. Knowing just a few words in Turkish gets you a long ways. When we got to the institute, we profusely thanked him.
I so badly want to take Hussein up on the offer of dinner, but I can’t. Recently I have been getting Facebook friend requests from Turkish guys I meet for less than an hour. I am sure their intentions are just to be friendly and welcoming, but it is always better safe than sorry.