on cups of çay and paper fans

Day four in Bursa. It feels as though I’ve been here a month. My mind is nothing but a jumbled mess of broken Turkish and deteriorating English, recalled through a cloudy haze brought on by summer heat.

It was only today, though, that it really hit me that I am well and truly in Turkey, strolling through the Ulu Cami and feeling inexplicably insignificant against the majesty of its domes. It felt nice in the same way one feels nice after a good cry and a warm bath, almost as though you’re a different person by the end.


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merhabas and metro tickets


Crossing the Sea of Marmara from Istanbul to Bursa, 36 hours after having departed from Dulles. The smell emanating off of our collective group can only be described as “ripe.”

I am currently writing from a very comfortable couch in a quintessentially, Turkishly furnished living room, floor #2 (which is actually the third) of an apartment complex situated in the heart of Nilüfer, one of Bursa’s three main districts.  I have been here (in Bursa, not on this couch) for about all of one full day, and I have four main observations to make about Turkey at this point in my two-month visit:

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