Day 28-G

83

 

Sneaking into the men’s world there. Anyhow, after that we loaded up the bus and headed for Ankara. I think we were actually supposed to stop in another town before we got to the city, but because of the rain blocking the roads and causing the museum to open late, we didn’t have time to make that stop. We drove for a few hours, during which I read a lot more of Up the Down Staircase and this is gonna sound crazy, but a girl in my 9th grade English class named Emma read this and gave a presentation on it. She pointed out that the title came from an infraction the protagonist wrote, but I just arrived at that part of the book, and it was actually an infraction that the principal made and informed Sylvia of so as to explain why one student was late to class. We took a few pit stops as well as a short break for lunch at a mildly shitty buffet because we’d made such poor time – I think we were supposed to go someplace much nicer. After lunch, we hit the road for maybe another hour before we pulled over to the shoulder and just sat there for probably half an hour. Tolga finally came on the loudspeaker and told us that our engine was over-heating and that we’d have to take a smaller bus toe rest of the way to Ankara. Nick spend much of the time we were sitting there to explain to me why going to the demonstrations would be such a bad idea. As for a small update, by the way, the prime minister has started calling for counter-demonstrations so as to pit citizens against citizens, and Ankara is one of the two epicenters (Istanbul is the other), and only a few days ago did the news begin to cover the events – skewed to make the demonstrators look like crazy evildoers, but at least there’s coverage. Nick told me that the Prime Minister noted in one of his speeches that all this rioting is a western thing and that it’s westerners, not Turks, pushing them onwards. So if I were to get in trouble at one, it could ruin the entire campaign for the soldiers of Ataturk in the eyes of the rest of the world. Frankly, I wasn’t so worried about “ruining the study abroad program,” as I think that’s a bit extreme for one student on a short trip for 2 credits. But I so love Ataturk and this country and what it’s been through and stands for that I wouldn’t want my selfish desire of seeing and being in the action to destroy everything. The temporary bus finally arrived, and we enjoyed a slightly squishy ride the rest of the way to Ankara. We were dropped off in a parking lot and then followed Tolga for a walk through a downtown area bustling with innocent children, old men playing cards, women shopping, and teens gossiping. At one point, I guess my earring fell out of my ear, and some young woman came running up behind me to hand it back. On one street, we ran into a couple, who, less

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