Friday, August 17, 2007

Extreme Mind Shifts: Portland to Istanbul

So now that we’re slightly past the shock and awe of rejection, we’ve made a new plan. And out of pure necessity we’ve made it fast–we have to be out of this flat by the end of the month. The vision is no longer a move to green Portland, OR, but one to hyper-metropolis Istanbul.

We have lived in the green city of Bursa at the foot of the Uludag mountains for the last year and a half. I like this city and not just for its well-known abundance of trees. Bursa has a feeling of peace and easy-going. I can drive the streets here without feeling as if every trip will be my last (as is true for me in Istanbul). This past winter I got my intro to snow(butt)boarding in the Uludag mountains. These mountains are not of the height of my Sierra or even San Bernardino peaks but they are still the tallest in Turkey and it has given me topographical comfort to have them towering above me.

The streets of my neighborhood have the steeply rolling effect of those in San Francisco. Everything I need is in short walking distance. I can buy fresh fat peaches, a slab of meat and hot bread right across the street! A bus stop lies about 30 feet from the front entrance. My favorite restaurants are a mere 2 blocks down the hill. From our penthouse flat, we have wonderful views of the city and the green zone (which is an area of trees and fallow fields in a non-development zone).

Yes, I will miss Bursa. It’s where I grew into Turkey. But I’m also ready for a change. Istanbul offers a wider array of career options as well as great Turkish language schools (which are unavailable in Bursa). I wish I could skip the whole moving process. It’s on my top 10 list of least favorite things. Ooef, need to find boxes.

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