Merhaba, Georgetown guys and gals. (Note: merhaba is Turkish for “hello”.)
Some of you might remember my last post about my study abroad adventures (if not, study up). Basically, I have been living an unreal dream that I hopefully won’t wake up from soon!
After spending my summer in Quito, Ecuador (a.k.a. lo mejor verano), I am now spending my fall semester in Alanya, Turkey, at the McGhee Center Villa.
But, like, what is Alanya?
Glad you asked. Alanya is, as my study abroad advisor said, the “night club capitol of the Turkish Riviera.” (Yes that is a thing, I have lived it.) Located on the Mediterranean Sea, the weather here is never above 95 degrees and never below 70. Jealousy is a thing, so don’t worry if you’re feeling it.
The Georgetown villa here is
probably the best thing in the world. We get lunch and dinner Monday through Thursday (thanks to our fabulous chef) and our apartment building (the lojman) has the best view in the city. It is the best Georgetown housing option, in my non-professional opinion.
Basically, being here is like enjoying a beach vacation, with a few classes mixed in.
Turkey is a pretty wacky country. Although it is a secular country, the majority of the population is Muslim. So that means us here at the villa get to hear the “call to prayer” 5 times of day (the best one is at 5:30 a.m.).
Other than the untimely alarms, Turkish society is pretty normal. In Alanya, there are TWO Starbucks (and yes, they do serve iced coffee), local shops, a beach and a million and a half tourists.
I went real basic white girl, just for this pic. You’re welcome.
One of the biggest struggles is definitely the HUGE HILL that we climb up everyday. Only Georgetown would choose an apartment building with a 12-minute walk up and then a villa with another 10-minute walk up. But the view is a sight for sore eyes (and sore legs).
Alanya is a tourism center through and through. The majority of the tourists come from northern Europe, so when Turks see Americans they get really excited. #celebstatus
For some reason, the town of Alanya thinks that pirate ships are the epitome of the tourist experience. So everyday, about ten pirate ships go out on a day-long “booze cruise”. You can hear the music from our classroom. The best/worst part of the day is when they play Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On”, but actually why would you play that song ON A BOAT???
The Turkish language is a grand old time. In my opinion, it is a mix of Spanish, French, Arabic and something else I can’t put my finger on. Our teacher is hysterical and talks in a way too proper English accent. So pluses all around. Right now I am speaking at a three-year-old level so go Coco go.
But seriously, even with everything going on 600 km east of me, nothing seems to be different here. It’s a surreal experience … you wouldn’t understand.
My next adventure? My ten-day European birthday tour. Catch me in Munich or Barcelona. The game of hide-and-seek just got a little bit bigger.
Wanna check out more of my adventures? Talk Turkish to Me.
Photos: Courtney Klein/The Hoya; gif