Merhaba...good news! I was checkıng to see ıf I could access blogger from this computer (the one in my room) and, for some reason, I now can log in, which I wasn't able to do before. This is great. I don't have to borrow my anne's laptop now and email myself every picture I want to put up... slow file exchanges are never fun, so to celebrate this marvelous event I have decided to put up a short video. It's rather unprofessional - I took it on my Lumix* after a walk one night... but I want you to hear what the call to prayer sounds like. There are loads of mosques in this city, and it sounds slıghtly different from each one - they use loudspeakers with different recordings, I think.
Aaah, ıt's not working...I'll keep trying, though!
Türkiye is not, I repeat, not an Islamic state - politics are technically completely secular, thank you very much, Mr Atatürk, but religion is of course very obvious here at times. I have notıced a lot of young women ın secular dress walking, often arm in arm (Turkish people touch one another far more than Americans do... I have no problem with cheek-kissing etc as we did that in England when I was small, but there ıs a very different idea of acceptable distances here and you can see it everywhere), with older women, presumably their mothers, in headscarves. I think this is really interesting... A sign of a changing society?
Whenever I ask people here if I can photograph them, they put their arms around one another...another way Turks are more openly affectionate, I suppose. Around Kızılay, a shopping/cafe area where I get my bus home from school, there are so many couples and pairs of men or women walking around and holding hands or linking arms...
I just wısh I'd gotten their shoes in this shot.
Other than the computer's epiphany - it wants to help me! - things are going on as before. I can't call any of it normal, because it's so special, but it's great. For our aftrenoon lesson today, the teacher took us to the Old Parliament building, where Atatürk and co. dıd a lot of figuring out. I didn't have my camera and pictures weren't allowed anyway, but ıt was very interesting.
I feel so great here. We have a lot of independence, and I love being able to go to cafes or shop or catch buses at will, alone or with friends. When I get home to Maine I am going to have some terrible urban-addiction withdrawal symptoms... and just a week or two after I get home, I start at my new school, MSSM. I'm really nervous, quite excited and still unsure if I've made the right choice in deciding to go there. From beautiful, inexpensive, fascinating, liberating Türkiye to a permafrosted potato field up next to Canada...oh, well. I suppose I ought to get off the computer and enjoy this while it lasts...actually, I should get off the computer and do my homework. We're finally getting into verbs, and I have so many to learn.
Not quite sure what my family's plans are for this weekend...I have lots of homework to do, but I'll post if I'm able to.
I hope that your day is as interesting and less hot than mine.