• Beginnings in Istanbul

    June 11th, 2010adminUncategorized

    Tonight, I had my first lesson in Turkish grammar (note: You don’t say, “I love ice cream.” You say, “I ice cream love.”). The lesson was conducted by Murat, a new friend, who only speaks Turkish and French. I only speak English and Spanish. It is a pure miracle we can communicate at all, blending romance-language universals, basic phrases and a series of dramatic hand gestures. Murat wears very nice shoes. He also likes Montesquieu and Alexis de Tocqueville. We have known each other for 24 hours. He does not possess Anglo-Saxon social guards. It takes some getting used to. Even for me. And I’m kind-of out there.

    Since I arrived last night, I’ve felt the spectrum of human emotions: overwhelmed, excited, disappointed, intrigued, confused, confident, frustrated, awed.

    But here’s one thing I can say: In Turkish, the words for “foreigner” and “outsider” are the same. Or at least from what I can tell, in my basic phrase book.  But I have felt nothing of the sort. Despite the language gap, and despite my current unemployment (though I *did* only arrive here last night), I feel welcomed. Incredibly and sincerely invited into this new world.

    Now, it is just a question of how to make it all “work.”

    Objective #1: Find a job.

    Now off to bed.

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