A few weeks ago, I finally decided to write down some of the experiences from my semester abroad in Istanbul. These memories were haunting ones and I’m glad to have them off my chest – but I realized while writing that there are many things I happily recall and miss about Istanbul quite a bit. In those first remembrances of Istanbul, there hasn’t been a lot of room for all the beautiful and inspiring things I found for myself in the city – although there have been plenty. That’s why I want to share some of these experiences with you: Because if someone had asked me yesterday, “Do you want to return to Istanbul tomorrow”, I would already be gone – so I hope the picture I drew before, I can set right today.
When I left for my semester abroad, I was full of anticipation to spend five full months in the exciting city of Istanbul. A mere three months later – after having struggled with sexist police officers, stone-hearted doctors, indifferent university officials, after battling the language barrier in a million confusing phone calls, after tantrums, crying fits and endless hours of conversation deep inside someone elses’s spiritual abyss, after all this incredible madness – I left the country as a desperate mess, looking forward to nothing more than hiding from the world under a blanky at my parents house. A recapitulation of What the fuck. Continue reading