I belong to the world: Letter of love to all expats out there

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Some days I feel that I don’t belong here. And then I remind myself that I don’t belong anywhere anymore.

Funny thing about being an expat, running away from a well-ordered life at home to face new adventure, new cultures, new difficulties. For people like us there’s never enough of the world.  Continue reading

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Pazar pazarı

While in Turkey one simply must take advantage of the street markets. In some cities they emerge in different areas on different days of the week and then there is pazar pazarı (Sunday market) and here, in Turkey, I made my habit to visit the market weekly and stock on fresh local fruits and veggies. To be honest, the market is literally 100 meters away from our home so it might have helped me with motivation :D

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The Turkish Hustle, or Yabancı crash test.

No matter how much I love Turkey, it is a fact that a lot of tourists get ripped off on various occasions and amounts can vary from 20$ to hundreds of dollars. Last week I had a chance to experience this myself and also to crash test my knowledge of Turkish language. And it was more or less successful :)

fish-market

A friend of mine was visiting last week, so we spent a couple of days together in the touristic areas of Istanbul, where the most rip-offs usually happen (thought, probably leather and gold stores in Antalya area in summer can easily beat Istanbul in this “competition”). Beforehand I was prepped to remember the simplest rule – 20 TL (turkish lira) for a local is 20$ for a tourist. And I am sure that a nice transparent umbrella we bought on Istiklal caddesi, caught in an expected rainfall, for just 5 TL, would have a different price had I asked the man in English instead of Turkish.

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Lost in translation

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My relationship with Turkish language in the last couple of months went to the “it’s complicated” kind of state. Or to the “animal” phase if you please – when you understand, but can’t talk.

In the privacy of my own home or my own head for that matter I can make up grammatically correct sentences. I am the master of Turkish. I can communicate. I can make sense. I know so much. Next time I will be able to answer questions quickly and properly. and then… BOOM! Once I’m faced with a stranger who’s asking me something, I get confused, all of the words and tenses in my head mix up and I can only call what comes out of my mouth a gibberish. I am having a really hard time.

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Skiing in Uludag, Turkey

Until winter season 2011/2012 I hadn’t heard anything about Uludag mountain, moreover I had no idea there was a skiing resort in Turkey! I was introduced to it by my godmother who found this winter holiday destination perfect for her, her daughter and many of her friends – everyone had different level of skiing ability and this resort fit everybody’s needs. Yes, if you’re an advanced skier, I’d say you will quickly get bored, but for intermediate and beginners it is a great choice to combine skiing and relaxing winter vacation for family and friends.

Uludag skiing

Uludag mountain rises to 2500 m and it is a national park with rich flora popular in summer for camping and day-trips, but in winter when it is all covered in beautiful snow (the snow level in winter gets up to 3 m) it becomes a very popular ski resort. The ski runs are located within the altitude 1700-2500m.

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How to survive 12’000 km of traveling in a week

Seems like I did the impossible in the past week. Well, at least that’s how it feels.

8 days, 550 km train ride, 1120 km in the car and 11200 km of flights between continents and countries. Plus countless hours in taxis and buses, waiting in the airport for boarding, carrying suitcases, not having enough sleep, jet-lag and enormous fatigue. How did I manage to attend my friend’s wedding meanwhile to help her in the pre-wedding chaos and still stay happy, look alive and pretty on the pictures? Well, now I can share some tips that help me to get through a crazy traveling week.

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