This is my very first post from Turkey, Izmir.
On Saturday I left Dortmund with the train to Düsseldorf at 4:40am.
Then I took the plane to Zurich and then continued to Istanbul, where I arrived at 1:30pm local time (there's one hour difference).
I was a little late at the airport, but otherwise everything was fine.
In Istanbul I had to take a bus to Taksim square. The trip took the bus over an hour! Istanbul is such a large city, it's so incredible. It has 50 [wrong! only 12 to 13] million people!!! You can't imagine how huge it is.
Well I brought my carneval guard dance uniform and - typical me - I was so tired and exhausted ( I only slept half an hour from 3:10 to 3:40am ) that I forgot my uniform's hat on the bus.
My contact person here in Turkey - Özge Güler - instructed a taxi driver, but unfortunately the taxi driver misunderstood her and brought me to the wrong place of the university. So I had to take another taxi and some students instructed him where to bring me. Finally I arrived at the right place and carried all my luggage inside - my hands hurt like hell, because I had been carrying around my rucksack and two large luggage bags all day long - everything together was about 40kg at least. I also had to pay extra at the airport, because my luggage was too heavy...
Well, I arrived, everyone was already in the opening plenary and the Turkish people explained about some huge trips we can take part in - one is skeeing and the other is a sightseeing trip in the blue agean sea area.
Then every country presented itself, okay, the students from these countries presented their country. There were sooo many people from Asia! Lots of Chinese and Taiwanese and also some Japanese and Indonesian and one guy from Singapur. There's another girl from Germany as well - Conny - but she isn't staying in Izmir. There is one very nice girl from Canada - Julia - and a very handsome Brazilian called Caio. They are both staying in Izmir with me, too. We hit it off right away.
The Turkish are all very, very nice I'm really lucky with my host family, but later more about them.
In the evening we were all very tired, but still we went out to party. Istanbul is so different to Germany. The buildings are all very small and narrow, and for instance my single room at the hotel was also very small - I'll upload some pictures later on.
The bar we went to was at the top of a house and we had to climb at least 5 stairs - but the view was wonderful. When we danced and jumped the whole floor was moving :D very weird...
On the next day we visited the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, which is very beautiful and an amazing building. Unfortunately it was raining a lot, so we couldn't see much, but the place we had our breakfast at promised an amazing view from the mountains over the city.
Later on we went to a Starbucks and in the evening we took a bus to Izmir. The bus drive was very different, too. I.e. Turkish buses don't have any toilets, but you have service, like there was this guy walking around serving beverages and cookies and pretzels.
We went to the AIESEC office in the morning and had breakfast at the seaside. For 5 Lira (2.50€) we had a large Turkish breakfast with unlimited tea. By the way, there is lots of 'cay' everywhere :D Turkish tea is very good. Also, you have lots of olives, especially Izmir is famous for its olives.
Hm, oh, in Istanbul the prizes were nearly the same as in Germany, but that is because Istanbul is very expensive. Here in Izmir everything is cheaper.
Just this morning I went to the hair-dresser and got a new cut, it looks very nice and I'm gonna upload pics, too :D
My family is very, very nice! Cansen is a German student and her mother was a Chemistry teacher. Her father works as a designer for kitchen and bathroom decorations. Therefore it's no wonder that the whole apartment looks really, really awesome. They are very modern, like most of the people in the cities and in the west of Turkey.
I will talk about this later, cause right now we will leave for the bus to go to the AIESEC office and have a good-bye party for one of the Japanese trainees and a welcome party for us new trainees from the Meet My Friend Project. I will be going to a Turkish Highschool and present Germany and talk about Aids.
So, have fun!