Ten Reasons Why I’m Going to Turkey

1) The people

Almost without exception, EVERY Turkish person I have ever met has been not only nice but extremely friendly and helpful. A Turkish stranger at the embassy actually lent me $20 so I could pay for my visa without running to an ATM and refused to take my check for $25. If this is a sign of things to come, I am really in for a wonderful eight months.

2) The history

Istanbul is the former capital of THREE past empires: Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman. Need I say more?

3) The geography

Turkey is pretty much the center of the world. It’s the bridge between so-called Europe and so-called Asia (I prefer Eurasian because any person with eyes can see that it’s a contiguous landmass, which equals ONE continent). It borders Greece, Bulgaria, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Armenia, and Georgia as well as the Aegean, Mediterranean, and Black seas.

4) The politics

Turkey is a very complicated country politically. I can’t speak to it too much because I’ve only begun my studies, and the books I’ve read so far are woefully out of date. Suffice it to say that I find it far more interesting than what passes for democracy in the United States.

5) The cost

I think it says something (bad) about the system of higher education here that it’s actually cheaper for me to get my Master’s in Turkey (including travel and lodging costs) than it would be for me to get it here. Sometimes I think all we get in return for our American citizenship is a lot of empty rhetoric about freedom and opportunity while we get advertisement after advertisement waved in our face as if our only purpose in life is to buy the next iThing so that we can ignore people on the Metro.

6) The timing

It’s not like I’m in a long-term relationship. I’m also not getting any younger. I have to do this while I still can. Plus I really, really don’t want to be here for this whole election nonsense. Bad enough I have to hear all of this fawning over Michelle Obama…as if her speech wasn’t written by some overpaid political operative.

7) The fact that it’s not D.C.

I get tired of being in one place for too long.

8) The march

I got this Mozart piece stuck in my head.

 

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