Sunday, September 4, 2011

First Impressions

Are you hungry?
   "Son Mu?" I ask the women besides me on the bus, "Is this the last?"
she replies in the affirmative so I take my bag and make my way down the aisle to get off. A few hours ealier it had been made very clear that it was important that I get off at the last stop.
   "You have to remember to get off at the last stop," a young man in charge of getting me safely on the bus had said.   " I think you're going to forget, don't forget" He had reason to doubt my ability to remember, just a few minutes earlier I had caused quite a panic when I had forgotten where I had put my passport (in my pocket). But, to be fair, I was very tired and confused at that time.
My first impression of Turkey was that it was very big, very brown, very warm,  and smelled a little like tobacco. From what I've seen so far my perceptions still seem to hold true.  A little later my first impression of the people was made.
"Are you hungry?" was  the first thing anyone asked me, I would be asked the same question many more times that day.
When my family picked me up from the bus stop, they drove me to their home. "Are you hungry?" My host mother asked. Vahide had already asked me in the car.
"No," I replied both times. "I just ate on the plane."
but a little while later it was time for dinner. "Are you hungry?" I'm asked, and this time I say yes.  I am served soup, bread, chicken, rice, salad, and yogurt. I try to work through all the food. It is very good, but I eat a lot slower than everyone else. "Are you hungry?" my host mother asks again, this time in a concerned tone of voice as she  compares my plate of food to my nine-year-old host brother's, who has already finished eating.
"when you meet a Turk." Vahide's cousin explains, "first he says hello, then he says 'are you hungry?'" That sounds about right


  1. This was your first post. Wow, way to set the tone! Although you do not have many pictures here, you really illustrate well through your use of Turkish and your imagery.

    I could have taken a couple points from you in my blog.

    I've read a couple of posts here; I like to start reading things from the start... I really appreciate that you write about the good and bad. You're very talented and you're diffidently helping exchange students and people otherwise interested all over the world.

    By now you might already be home. But, I just thought I'd let you know I looked to see if you had a blog and I really ended up enjoying it. This could easily be a book.

  2. Thanks so much Michelle :-)I'm not home quite yet but it won't be long. oh! I just looked to see who you were. I feel like I'm meeting a celebrity! gah! haha Thanks for commenting :-)