Tag Archives: Daily Life

Captured by Cameraphone

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From the days of the half-megapixel camera on my old middle school flip phone, cell phone cameras have come along way over the past several years. I’m constantly amazed that my iPhone can often capture a better photo than my Canon point-and-shoot can, without the fancy lens or mechanical zoom.

And so, over the past month or so, I’ve captured a good amount of photos using my phone. While I’m still using the indestructible Samsung phone that I bought in Turkey last semester––sans camera, a pain to text on, yet comes with a nifty Bejeweled knock-off––I tend to often have my iPhone on me as a portable way to connect to the internet or take photos on the go.

Here’s a selection from my January photo stream:

In the air

The tundra of Chicago on my layover from San Francisco to Frankfurt on the flight out.

The tundra of Chicago on my layover from San Francisco to Frankfurt on the flight out.

Apparently, this was enough snow in Chicago to delay transferring the aircraft from the hangar to the gate by two hours...

Apparently, this was enough snow in Chicago to delay transferring the aircraft from the hangar to the gate by two hours…

WHOOHOO! Look at this leg room! I think I could get used to this.

WHOOHOO! Look at this leg room! I think I could get used to this.

Chasing the sunrise.

Chasing the sunrise.

On my Lufthansa flight from Germany to Italy, the flight attendant handed me this. I guess I looked like I was/could speak Italian? (Score!)

On my Lufthansa flight from Germany to Italy, the flight attendant handed me this. I guess I looked like I was/could speak Italian? (Score!)

Now too shabby of a view: sunrise over the Alps.

Now too shabby of a view: sunrise over the Alps.

Strange chocolate/nougat dessert popsicle thing that Lufthansa gave me for dessert after breakfast.

Strange chocolate/nougat dessert popsicle thing that Lufthansa gave me for dessert after breakfast.

In Fiesole

The view from the lookout on my first day in Italy.

The view from the lookout on my first day in Italy.

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After every pranzo (lunch) during the week, we have espresso and dessert––my favorite part!

After every pranzo (lunch) during the week, we have espresso and dessert––my favorite part!

What my everyday walk to school from the bus stop looks like.

What my everyday walk to school from the bus stop looks like.

Sunset from the Villa. (I have a feeling this will be a theme this semester.)

Sunset from the Villa. (I have a feeling this will be a theme this semester.)

Not a bad view for a Monday morning.

Not a bad view for a Monday morning.

The best cappuccino I've had so far from my favorite bar in Fiesole, named Alcedo.

The best cappuccino I’ve had so far from my favorite bar in Fiesole, named Alcedo.

 

CAFFEINE.

SO GOOD.

The burning of the olive groves around this time of year make for some beautiful sunsets!

The burning of the olive groves around this time of year makes for some beautiful sunsets.

In Firenze

Poetry street art posted on some city walls.

Poetry street art posted on city walls.

During the first week, I tagged along with the Art History class on their field trip to the Bargello and Uffizi.

During the first week, I tagged along with the Art History class on their field trip to the Bargello and Uffizi.

Someone get her some clothes.

I think someone forgot to get dressed this morning.

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Awkward Medieval wooden statues.

Awkward Medieval wooden statue. (Almost as good as the many mannequins I photographed last semester in Turkey… maybe this should be my new theme.)

At home

Every morning, my host mother puts out a breakfast spread for us. We eat the traditional Italian way--with a light breakfast of tea, yogurt, cookies, or a pastry.

Every morning, my host mother puts out a breakfast spread for us. We eat the traditional Italian way–with a light breakfast of tea, yogurt, cookies, or a pastry.

Another view of the kitchen.

Another view of the kitchen.

The refrigerator and TV, which we usually have on in the background during dinner.

The refrigerator and TV, which we usually have on in the background during dinner.

Cabinet in the kitchen. So homey!

Cabinet in the kitchen. So homey!

Photos from when I first moved in... Here's my desk.

Photos from when I first moved in. Here’s my desk.

Surfboard on the wall. (So I can pretend that I'm a surfer even in Italy.)

Surfboard on the wall. (So I can pretend that I’m a surfer even in Italy.)

Some of the CD collection in my room. Iron Maiden, Radiohead, Pearl Jam, etc.

Some of the CD collection in my room. Iron Maiden, Radiohead, Pearl Jam, etc.

My adopted dog for this semester! She's named Iside (EE-see-day), after the Egyptian goddess.

And lastly, my adopted dog for this semester! She’s named Iside (EE-see-day), after the Egyptian goddess.

Life in Alanya

I like to get up early enough to sit in our living room and appreciate how the light streams through the cloud cover in the mornings, spotlighting different parts of the city from up above. I usually take some time to scan the headlines, check my email, and catch up with my family back home.

After a shower, I head downstairs to the common area, where a delightful woman named Urman always puts out a spread of different kinds of Turkish breads, pastries, fruit, honey, chocolate hazelnut spread, and peanut butter for us to choose from. She’s also shown me how to microwave my simit to eat it warm, and she usually hands me another kind of pastry or bread so I don’t miss what’s fresh for that day. I then pour myself a cup of kahve (coffee) or çay (tea, pronounced like “chai”) and head back upstairs with my plate and mug.

This morning, I sip on my kahve as I mindlessly browse Facebook, then turn back to browsing the New York Times. It’s raining this Thursday morning, which might otherwise be gloomy if I was a tourist here on vacation, but otherwise makes it incredibly pleasant to stay inside all day for classes.

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On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have a class in the morning period, from 9 to 12 noon. Today, it was the first meeting of my economics class on the Political Economy of the Turkish Republic, where Steve gave us an introductory overview of 19th century Ottoman history to set the stage for the rest of the semester. For most of the class, we’ll be discussing the effects of political events in the 20th century on the Turkish economy. In general, my classes are small. There is a total of nine Georgetown students on the trip, and we’re each required to take four out of the six classes offered in addition to Turkish. My class this morning was one of the largest: seven students.

The little classroom set up in the bottom floor of the lojman. (The McGhee Villa needs restoration work, so we're unable to take our classes there this semester. Although, this way we get the benefit of waking up 5 minutes before class and still making it in time.)

The little classroom set up in the bottom floor of the lojman. (The McGhee Villa needs restoration work, so we’re unable to take our classes there this semester. Although, this way we get the benefit of waking up 5 minutes before class and still making it in time.)

We got out slightly early, so I had some time to work on reading before lunch at 12. For lunch, it’s a short walk to a tiny restaurant down the road. The McGhee staff have worked with the woman who cooks there to plan out a variety of different dishes for lunch each day. On the first day, we got to sample a lavish spread for breakfast of all different types of jams; today, it was a kind of lentil soup, rice, salad, and köfte (meatballs).

After lunch, I usually have a small break before my afternoon class begins at 1:30. My afternoon classes meet twice a week for 90 minutes––today, we talked about the history of veiling in my theology class on “The State and the Veil,” which will compare veiling practices in various countries around the world.

Then, every day, we all have our Beginning Turkish class from 4 to 6 p.m., where we’re currently learning how to say basic phrases (how to say hello, good bye, thank you, sorry) as well as form basic sentences. (Ben Amerikaliyim!)

So far, we’ve been trying different restaurants each day for dinner, so we can then choose what we want our schedule and rotation of restaurants to be for the following months. This first week, we ate a wonderful buffet of all types of salads at a hotel down the hill, sliced open fresh fish from the restaurant down the road, and took our pick from a traditional Turkish kitchen. Today, we ate at a special restaurant called “Old House,” where the cook, “Uncle Charlie” as he told us to call him, puts together a new fixed menu each day based on what he finds at the market.

After dinner, we usually hang out in one of the living rooms of the apartments or work on reading. Our days are busy, but honestly, it’s nice to finally be able to settle into a routine.