Hello Istanbul!

I have been in Istanbul for 4 days now. Man, I love it. What a beautiful city. There is no other place like this, with beautiful old buildings and mosques dotting the skyline, and all surrounding a vibrant blue sea. As you walk around the streets, among the maze of cobblestone roads, you may just stumble on a pair of gates leading to a 100-year old courtyard. And the street musicians play these amazing, other-worldly tunes that sometimes send a chill down my spine.

I am currently staying with a friend in Cihangir, a neighborhood that has a reputation for its bohemian, artistic appeal. I really love it. Imagine cobblestone streets, and tastefully colorful buildings with ancient-looking facades. Cute little bread shops, fruit stands, and flowerboxes. And the best part– through my (friend’s) window in the evenings, I can hear gypsy guitar music from the restaurant across the street. The weather is perfect– it’s that cool fall breeze that seems to bring about change, and when you breathe it in you just feel alive.

And I fit in so well here. I’ve had so many fascinating and unique conversations already, and I feel like I’ve known some of my new friends since forever because we are right on the same wavelength. I definitely am going to have an active social life here– in fact, my evenings are already booked for the next 5 nights.

One amazing thing was that I found a decent job the second day I was here. I’d often heard before coming here that so many young people want to live and work in Istanbul, but that means that there are never any jobs and many people end up having to leave after a short time. The first few places I talked to were obviously trying to exploit anyone who was desperate enough to stay. One place offered me a job 12 hours per day, 5 days a week, just for room and board. I guess some people want to stay badly enough that they can get away with that. But then, miraculously, I found a job working at Beykent University for the upcoming school year. One of the teachers they had hired needed to back out and so the spot needed to be filled quickly. Pretty posh, right?

Well, I won’t say anymore now, since I need to get ready to go meet a friend for tea. But I just wanted to check in and say what a great time I’m having!

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