This is it folks, the last three months of this amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience. I refuse to anticipate the end; I am simply enjoying each day and moment here in Bursa. I find myself smiling to myself still, each day, realizing what a gift I’ve been given to get to live for a year in a city so different from my own.
Okay, anyways, I’ve been doing so many cool things lately and I have not kept up. Here are some pictures and reflections.
From sea to summit: A grantee from Çanakkale came to stay with us for the weekend and was game to adventure with us. Unfortunately my roommate M went to Antalya for the weekend to run a half marathon along the coast- we missed her but she crushed the race so all is well.
Late on Friday evening, we trekked to our favorite restaurant, Little Korea, only to find it closed for the evening. After wracking our brains for an appropriate restaurant, we remembered this cool fish restaurant street- a pedestrian street lined with fish restaurants with bright lights, live Turkish music, delicious food and just a fun atmosphere. We had an amazing fish dinner and I couldn’t believe we had never eaten there before. On Saturday morning we got up and headed to Uludağ, the local mountain with a poppin ski resort. Despite never having skied before, our guest, A and my roommate, F both suited up and I gave them both a beginner lesson. It was so beautiful up in the snow and mountains, but the experience was even sweeter since just getting to the mountain, getting clothed and skis felt like a tremendous feat. It was such a sweet weekend where we discovered new parts of Bursa, which is always a treat.
2 weeks ago, 10 amazing American women (fulbrighters) came to spend the weekend in Bursa. We gathered all of our pillows an blankets, pulled out our couch and prepared for a weekend of chatting, exploring, eating good food and enjoying good company. We did all the typical
Bursa-y things including eating the deliciously amazing Iskender Kabab, visiting the important mosques, the silk market, and a local village for an amazing breakfast. The weekend made me realize how lucky I am to have met such cool and interesting people through this program.
Finally, last weekend my roommates and I traveled to the beach side town of Çanakkale. One thing that experience has taught me is that the cities in Turkey are so diverse and different (a truth about many countries) but in a way that your time here is primarily shaped by your random placement. Anyway, Çanakkale really is a small community, right by the sea, only 35 km from Troy- the city made famous by Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. It’s more liberal than Bursa, smaller, and smells of the sea. Another feature of this experience is that, since there are Americans in 35 cities, we have built in places to stay and tour guides in each city. A, who came skiing in Bursa a month ago, graciously hosted us, fed us, and proudly showed us her charming city. I’m hoping to get back again when it’s a little warmer but the weekends are really numbered, folks!
Coming up: my college roommate and best friend is coming next week!! I’ve been looking forward to her visit since she promised she would come when I was awarded the grant last March. Also, more weekend trips and my last few weeks teaching!
Thanks for continuing to follow along on this journey!