Ladies and gentlemen, I've done it. I've finally finished my teaching certification course, and I've found myself a cosy and bright little apartment in the thunderous, beating heart of Istanbul. I've been running around like crazy, signing leases, changing locks and learning that apparently, a single foreign female moving into an apartment alone can be misinterpreted as something completely different than what it is, by older upstairs neighbour ladies. I was warned, with a furrowed brow and dagger-like eyes, that I'd better not be bringing home a different man every night. Often it seems that people here— and in other parts of the world, whole-heartedly equate single foreign female with promiscuity. Being a solo female yabancı in Turkey can be a real frustration sometimes, so can travelling alone. Assumptions are made, and people just can't wrap their heads around why a nice girl like me isn't married and popping out the çocuklar. At times like these, I admit I miss the States, where nobody cares who you are and what choices you've made or plan to make— but this is what it is to live in the world; you learn to adapt and to bend to cultures which are not your own, and in that flexibility, you find strength. You hope that perhaps, by just being yourself, you might be able to open some minds and hearts.
I'm already devising strategies to win this lady over.
She's going to love me.