Friday I met a new friend Sinan from Internations for dinner, which was cool because I was able to practice and learn a little more Turkish. What was super funny was that at first he was extremely confused and thought that I was from Argentina! I guess that is what I can expect when I have moved around so much, so of course I explained to him my story, including where I am from, where I have been, and how I ended up in Istanbul.
Then on Sunday, we met and took a ship across the Bosphorus Strait to visit Kadıköy on the Asian side of Istanbul. Seriously, the views from the ship were AMAZING and we had so much fun talking as he helped me with Turkish and I helped him with his English. During the ride, I told him about how I needed to hurry up and find a small Turkish language book to keep in my purse so I can better communicate with people, and lucky for me, as soon as we arrived in Kadıköy, he took me to a bookstore and got me a little book, which was very sweet of him!
Walking around the Asian side was pretty awesome, as the streets are extremely narrow and lined with gorgeous old buildings! Sinan took me into a few different places that were really cute and had those crazy winding staircases that remind me so much of something I would see in Amsterdam! All of the places were quite unique with unique artwork and excellent music playing.
Fortunately, we were able to communicate quite well between his English skills, his phone’s translator, and my new little Turkish book! We laughed a lot and talked about all kinds of stuff as I learned more Turkish and helped him with his English questions. At every opportunity, I was sure to use my new words to communicate with the waiters and people at the places that we visited.
After taking the ship back to the European side, he was thoughtful enough to take the bus with me to ensure that I made it home safely. Thankfully he was with me, because we ended up getting off at a stop after the one I was supposed to take, and somehow, I got seriously turned around and totally lost! It was kind of funny, because we were super close to home, but I just couldn’t remember the street or where to turn, so I was really happy that he was with me to help me to find my way. Since I still have not gone to get my phone registered or to get a Turkish number, I was very appreciative to have a helper to get me home so that I could end my day with a smile on my face instead of freaking out being lost!