Thursday, June 22, 2006

Day Two

Istanbul, Turkey

The second day of classes has come and gone. We're moving fast, and the four hours of class I have in the morning pass quickly. My teacher is really nice. On the one hand there are so many words it's hard to get all of them, and on the other hand I almost want to have class over the weekend because I want to talk to people now. I'm hoping that in a week I'll be able to actually make sentences and maybe have a semi-conversation. Today we did telling time, and numbers, including three digit numbers, as well as more of what we did yesterday, and we started with how much.

After class I went walking with Meghan, one of my roommates, so that she could get a plane ticket to fly to the east. And then a bunch of people were hanging out in our common room when we got back, so we joined them. And there was tea, cake and jam and cherries. The dorm here is set up with suites. Each suite has a number of bedrooms which are just big enough for a bed and a desk. And then there's a kitchen, bathroom, and a room with a table, chairs and two couches. It's definitely the nicest dorm I've stayed in.

Tonight we walked down the (very steep) hill to Bebek and found a cute place to eat. It was very yummy. And they gave us magnets. We walked by the water for a while. And then came the downside - going down a steep hill means going up that very same steep hill. We got up to our dorm in 15 minutes and I think I must have been bright red by the time we got here. Time to do my homework and learn these words

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Classes Begin

Istanbul, Turkey

So I'm in Turkey. The DC orientation was not that helpful but I got to meet all the program and stay in a fancy hotel. There was a lot of walking around DC and we went to the state department to hear one of the assistant secrataries talk.

For the first few nights we stayed in a hotel in Ortakoy. It was also a fancy hotel. But I was in the only room without two beds, and so I had to share a bed. The first day here we did a tour in the morning and went down into the cistern. Lots of the other museams were closed though because it was a Monday. We went to the kapili carsi and had some food. And then went up to ARIT to have more orientation and get maps and Akbil. That night four of us went up to Taksim to explore and walk around.

Unfortunatly, on the bus ride back from Taksim my wallet was stolen. Grrr. So I had to cancel my debit card and credit card. Fortunatly, all the people in my group are really nice and have offered to lend me money until I can get a new card.

Class started today. There was an introductory lecture (the fourth orientation so far) and then the beginers (like me) left and everyone else took the placement test. Our teacher didn't use much english. The books we got are exciting though. They're in color and have a story. These foriegers are supposed to find a copy of a hittite tablet that's somewhere in Istanbul. They get clues that are in Turkish, so they have to learn Turkish. There are also Turkish people and some bad guys. Most of today we did very basic stuff - hello, nice to meet you, how are you, etc. We seem to be moving pretty fast. We're supposed to get through volumes 1 and 2 of this book in the next 7 weeks. Time to go do my first homework assignment

Thursday, June 15, 2006

A New Adventure!

I've just finished packing one of my two bags, so that tomorrow I can leave on another adventure. This one is much more planned than the other ones. But I have no idea what to expect. If I haven't told you, I'm going to Istanbul to learn Turkish. It's with the Critical Language Program which means it's your tax dollars at work. I'll be at Bogazici University for almost two months, and during that time I'm supposed to learn a years worth of Turkish.

First though, there's an orientation in DC. The dress code is business casual, because part of the orientation is meeting an assistant secretary of state. And we get to stay in a fancy hotel. I'm really's like the first day of school.

I guess I should finish packing. I'll write more when I actually get to Turkey.