First Run in Ankara

Today was an enjoyable one. One thing I look forward to is that even though I will have a routine once I find my rhythm, I will experience something new everyday. This morning Azusa (the Japanese exchange student staying with the same host family) and I went on a little run. Not until I was running did I realize how hilly Ankara is. Illinois – flat, Ankara – not so much. I guess I’ve been tired too so didn’t really think about it. Our run started off going up a massive hill, definitely wasn’t ready for that. However, the hill brought us to a gorgeous park that I ran around a few times. It has a great view of the city (will take camera with next time) and even has outdoor exercise machines that were quite busy. Not sure how long or far I ran but if anything it felt super nice to get out and stretch. The park itself was a constant grade change too. A lady walking said “yavaş koş yavaş” meaning run slow, slow – but there was no slowing me down. Gotta burn all the Turkish food calories!

The other big activity of the day was that I went and met up with a girl who I graduated from undergrad with. She has been in Ankara the last year teaching English at a university to elementary age students. It was great meeting up with her  – especially in all places like Turkey (: She is a bit on the outskirts of the city so the trip involved metro and a bus but it was for the most part easy to navigate. Azusa came with and was able to speak Japanese with my friend which I think was nice for her because she has mostly only been able to converse in the little English and Turkish she knows – sometimes the brain just needs a break!

I got some good Turkey travel tips and will definitely be putting those to good use. Hoping to plan a trip to another city for not this weekend but the following – maybe I’ll meet someone at school who is interested – in the very least Azusa would probably be up for it.

Lastly, and quite possibly the most important – dinner was phenomenal tonight! Dolmas – stuffed leaves and oh were they good. There were plenty left too so will probably have tomorrow and will try to get a photo. We were all just too hungry tonight. Even asked my host mom if I can make them with her sometime and she had a huge smile on her face. Glad I went running this morning and got a good amount of walking in.

I leave you with a picture of my dinner from last night – köfte (meatball) sandwich – super delish! Had half for dinner and the rest for lunch. Can’t beat a 4TL (about $2) meal that lasts for two meals (:

Afiyet Olsun – Bon Apetite!

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and last but not least a hilarious GIF that I is adequate for my situation – except my host mom thus far has been pretty great and not scary at all – she is actually quite the painter and quite adorable (:

Cheers from Ankara

n

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