Dream: When I’d planned my move to Turkey, I’d always dreamed of living somewhere green and rustic, close to the earth, immersed in structures of rough-hewn wood and cosy kilim furnishings. A romantic notion fuelled by memories of wide-eyed travels through amazing rural places such as Safranbolu, Sirince and Cumalikizik, amongst many others.
Reality: So where did I end up? Cell Block H. This concrete monstrosity. 🙂
Under the pressure of a ticking “ikamet” clock, I bowed to the weight of public opinion – safety (wave to the guvenlik guy/girl who springs into action every time I set foot outside), convenience (directly opposite Turkey’s glistening answer to a Dubai Mall) transport (comforting din of horns and sirens day and night, just like London Town) and the comfort of a deluxe fully-furnished 1+1 (only had to wait 1 week for running water/toilet to be switched on, and the promised bed will surely turn up any day now) in the “nice” part of town.
University colleagues reassure me it’s the right decision – that I‘ll be surrounded by “educated” people, “business” people and “professionals” here. Uggh. They obviously don’t know me very well :). This is not why I came to Turkey.
What has surprised me most of all is the extent to which Turks, in general, aspire to this style of glass, steel and concrete living. They call it “modern” or “Western” and scoff at the pictures I show them of beautiful old Turkish villages, homes and traditional furnishings.
On a serious note – my little 1+1 is modern, it is convenient, it is a start, and hey…it’s my first Turkish home…finally I’m here! And once I get my feet on the ground I’ll be back amongst the woods, kilims, and koyler, scractching around in search of the real Turkish soul, the one which drew me here. I hope it exists 🙂