A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of undergoing the complete Turkish Salon experience. Holly and I decided that we would go to the Universities salon and get our nails done because we were bored. little did we know what would actually happen to us…. Yes, I got my nails trimmed and painted, but I also acquired many bloody wounds throughout the process. Apparently in Turkey the way to stop a bleeding cuticle is to smother nail polish remover all over (it hurt so freaking bad I can’t even tell you)---- Oh yeah I forgot to mention, there is a complete language barrier here because they don’t speak any English and we don’t really know any Turkish. So in the light of getting our nails done we thought it would be a great idea to get our eyebrows threaded as well. This was a great idea until they WAXED my mustache off! I had no idea this was going to happen. I was laughing so hard and Holly was laughing and the two Turkish girls were laughing all at the same time (although I have no idea about what, probably about how hairy we are). It was the most ridiculous thing ever. I left the salon with pretty red and bloody nails, perfect eyebrows and a skin irritated handlebar mustache.
Phase one= brutal, but on the weekend we decided to go to a traditional Turkish bath (hammam) and lets just say that was a much more relaxing experience. The one that we decided to go to was originally built in 1444 and restored in the 18th century and had a light blue interior with high domed ceiling. Basically you pay money to hang out in a bathhouse all day where you can socialize with other women. We walked in with nothing but bathing suit bottoms on. It was really hot and misty, kind of like a sauna but not that hot, and we were told to pour water all over ourselves (in Turkish). Then they scrubbed us down with this rough pad-like sponges to get rid of all of the dead skin cells (it was so gross) and then gave us a full body massage. It was pretty freaking cool. There were women of all ages and statures. The most beautiful were the elderly large women who sang old Turkish songs. There were little boys and girls running around everywhere playing in the water. It was such an experience I think we might go back sometime because my skin has never been so soft in my entire life. I think I might open one back home after I graduate if I have nothing else to do.
Last weekend I did something mah mama and papa told me not to do… I went to some protests (and they were so awesome!) Currently Turkey is privatizing many of its national companies to pay money back to the IMF, and in the process many workers are being screwed over. I am by no means going to dog any government’s country that I reside in, but it was a very sad thing to see. One particular company (TEKEL)’s workers decided to protest this decision (because they would basically have no money or way to get another job as a result of this privatization) and have been camping out in downtown Ankara in the district of Kizilay for over 65 days. They created this shanty-like town and have been living and sleeping outside for so long. The Communist Party of Turkey decided to help these workers and have been staging protests and walks that thousands have been participating in. The particular protest that I went to almost felt like a festival with music, dancing, and flags being flown. Famous musicians and party leaders reached out to the crowd with such enthusiasm and passion. I have never seen so many people with similar ideas and beliefs come out together and support a group of people they may have never even met before. These people are exercising whatever rights they have to try and make a change, a difference for themselves. At this point the workers have nothing to loose. Chants and fist pumps filled the crowd and workers with the energy that was needed to stay motivated throughout the cold night. I’m pretty sure Holly and I were probably the only Americans in the crowd (I was wearing a hat for sure). This was pretty Fucking cool---
So yeah, I’m 21 now. My birthday was yesterday. I feel pretty much the same, maybe a little older. Unfortunately I didn’t get to do a crazy bar crawl like I would have in the States, but I think it’s almost better that way haha. I did have a great day though. On Friday night I had a party thrown in my honor where all my friends and people I chill with came. It was very fun and entertaining. On Saturday I just relaxed in the morning, and went and walked around downtown in the afternoon. At night I went to this really nice and yummy restaurant called Tapas. I thought that it was a Mexican or Spanish restaurant because of the name, but that was not the case haha. I ate a hamburger and drank sangria, then got some dank deserts ( sooo good,-- cake-like things). Went home watched a movie and chilled out. Very successful if you ask me.
Turkey is the tightest—I’m going to Istanbul next weekend for 4 days and let’s just say I’m ready to get out of Ankara for a while☺