In my run around for the Schengen, I feel Turkey got cheated out of a proper goodbye and a grateful one at that. Living and working in Istanbul was everything and more than I had expected. It’s one of those experiences that you keep slightly hidden at the back of your cupboard with your best bottle of scotch and bring it out only on rare occasions. I’m not sure if I want to live in Istanbul again but I definitely do want to visit it again sometime, like a proper tourist.
I’ll be forever grateful to Istanbul, for the lessons, the realizations..;
WE ALL WANT TO BELONG
That one, we as humans despite our different nationalities, religion and culture – have one common goal. We all want to belong somewhere. We all want a home to come back to, we want a future for our children and we want the security that when we wake up the next morning – our worlds are still the same as we left them before going to bed. We all have a favorite sports team be it soccer, rugby or basketball and not always because we love the sport but because it gives us a chance for a good banter with our friends! We all seek that connection with our fellow people. And we all think our mothers’ are the best cook in the world. We all go through the daily grind and it doesn’t matter in what language we speak, the Second Conditional exists in every one of them…”If I won the lottery, I would…!”
Two – After working more than 5 years on the employer’s side, it felt good to be an employee. I had forgotten what it felt like to wait for your pay to come through and whether the bastards were going to dock your pay for something or rather. Because of my sudden (but proper resignation), the school had made me run around for my pay. (added stress to the Schengen saga.) They had asked to me to stay back for one more month as I was only one of the 2 IELTS teachers at our branch till they found a replacement. I just couldn’t. Simply because I was just done with Turkey. The experience has definitely given me more empathy to handle HR issues. Sometimes when following the ‘company policy’ we forget to be humans.
TAKING A SICKIE
Three – I’ve learnt that it’s not a sin to call in sick when you’re actually not! As an employee it is your self-given right to call in sick just because you want to..and can! In addition to exercising this right, telling little whites lies to your employer is also perfectly fine!
BEING AN ENGLISH TEACHER
Four – It’s a humbling experience to be a teacher. Initially it was a job to travel, but it took approximately 100 students to make me realize what a difference I was making in their lives…in their professions, relationships, educations..their dreams.
Five – Cooking! There is no simpler pleasure than buying fresh produce and cooking for yourself.
ARE YOU ALONE OR ARE YOU ALONE?
Six – Loneliness. The penny finally dropped on what everyone had been trying to tell me all these years. You can be alone and then you can alone…
FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!
Seven – Just because you desire, doesn’t always mean the Universe will simply hand it over. Sometimes you have to prove to the Universe that you are willing to put up a fight for it. And even then…sometimes the Universe will drag you through a battle..just to check if you are still standing at the end of it and are truly deserve-able for what it’s about to give you.
And eight – Something I have been bitten by many times and should have learnt by now. Don’t ever, ever, ever again make travel plans and buy a plane ticket during a Mercury Retrograde. Just don’t.
Thank you, Istanbul. For everything.
Live in a foreign country where I don’t speak the language – 16/07/2013 Witness and live amongst one of the biggest uprising of the people against their government in recent times (Gezi Park protests) – check!