Today was supposed to be the first planned event – the opening plenary – for the Congress Committee, but they postponed it to tomorrow morning so that people who aren’t here yet will be able to participate. Today was not a fully free day for the Marketing team, though. We made our promotional team video. I’m technically also supposed to make a presentation about myself with pictures and music and all, but I don’t know if I’ll have the ganas to tonight. Plenary is tomorrow at 9 AM.
I went to bed at about 1:30 AM, after meeting everyone who was here and giving Tiffany (who I’ve finally seen again after six months) her care package from our LC and her glasses. She got me a sweet tapestry from Kenya. I felt like a jerk for not having bought anything particularly special. I was awoken at 11:50, still way jetlagged and exhausted, with a call to be in a Marketing team meeting at 12:30. This wasn’t planned! But luckily it was just unofficial orientation and planning for making our teambuilding and CC promotional materials. I imagine the video will pop up on YouTube someday.
The cafeteria here at the university (Yeditepe) serves pretty good Turkish food. This is good, since the place in Warsaw last year was really not so good, especially that one time when we all got sick after two bites and had to go to the pizza restaurant across the street. It’s hard to know much about the food though because Turkish is not an easy language, and I’m not exactly going to learn it in a month. It all rests on the mighty reputation of the doner kebap.
After lunch was filming until about 5, though Tiffany and I and some others had plans to go to a place to smoke some shisha (nargile in Turkish). Our plans were foiled regularly until after dinner that night, when we finally went ourselves. The place we intended to go was closed, and a nice man had his young 7-year old daughters show us around the neighborhood to find a place that was open. After two strikes, we found a good place at the edge of the neighborhood. Since no one who said they would come could contact us to find this new place, we were alone. We had a good, long catch-up conversation, along with our usual conceptual developments in thought. The shisha here is the strongest and best I’ve ever had – much stronger than anything I’ve ever had in the US without a doubt. Also, we quit smoking after an hour and a half and I thought my head was going to fly away, but the same bowl was still going strong. Efe, from Turkish Cyprus, told me that the bowls here usually last two hours. We also had two chais, a Turkish coffee, and a soda water (her bad idea) between us, and with the nargile it only cost 13YTL – about $10. Not bad, Istanbul.
We then went one place down to sit with some other CC members, who had piled in without our notice. There was more smoking, and we met some new people who had arrived that day. During our stay there, three policemen came in and demanded to see all of the ID cards of the Turkish patrons of the cafe. When I asked Efe about it he said “get used to it, it’s Turkey.” He said they can do that without a warrant or anything, and they do it often. On the way back to the university I saw two dogs copulating.
I applied for an MC CEED in AIESEC in Ecuador, which I’ll find out if I get that Monday. If I don’t have an electrical engineering job by August 14 (which I’m doing everything to get – I got another possibility in Izmir in Turkey for the fall just from being here) then that looks like the best option.
I’ll be able to blog more regularly while I’m here, I think – and since the days will be full, challenging, and fun, that will be a fruitful task.