One week passed by, the first week of my exchange has been a lot of ‘getting-to-know’ the place and see how things are done here. My room is perfect and my roommates are very nice. I feel lucky to have ended up here.
Since there are literally no biking possibilities, I had to get a public transport card to be able to start exploring the area. I immediately began a beginners mistake by charging the card with 100 TL, which is about 50x of taking a bus. The machine did not change my money.. I also got a Turkish simcard to be able to reach people. Believe me, these two things only took up about two days.
Together with my roommate or with a girl I met here but also studies in Holland, I went on a lot of daytrips. Just seeing where the bus takes you and getting out whenever a place seems interesting. We went to Beşiktaş, Ortaköy, Bebek and the old center. This city is so enormously big! Getting into the old center from where I live takes up to two hours. However, the area where I stay is very nice. There are almost no tourists and there are a lot of nice restaurants and bars.
Since the classes are not starting until September 22, I have a lot of spare time. This is the perfect opportunity to see and do as much in the city as possible, but also makes it a bit difficult to meet people. Coming Thursday and Friday the registration and orientation start which will probably bring everyone together and create a feeling that it’s finally all starting!
My challenge for the coming days is to find a nice gym with English instructors and for now: fix the water..