I’m not really sure where to start. But things began when I got accepted as an exchange participant of AIESEC and since then I’ve listed countries and which one I wanted to go to. There was a lot to think of, since I also take cooking (oh well) as my consideration. So Italy or Turkey, it was.
I really moved to Izmir on December 23, departed from Indonesia at 8.30PM via Changi using Turkish Airlines. Goddamn long flight in total of 14 hours being up there. No jetlag but yes thank you for the invention of aspirins. I arrived in Istanbul, literally running from the Intl. Arrival to the Domestic Departure and it gave sore to my feet. I had to check in my ticket again and yes, I got the next flight. By the time I arrived in Izmir, I still had this luggage matters as I didn’t know that there’s this different conveyor belt for the transit passsangers. So I got out with my red luggage and Ecem, Cihan, Patricia were waiting already.
We went directly to AIESEC Office in Alsancak, which is like the central of everything in Izmir. We took Izban from Havaalimani (Turkish languange for “airport”) to Halkapinar station, changed into ESHOT (red bus with different destinations depends on its numbers). From here I just knew that Turkish walk as if being chased by demons. Like, super fast!
Then first thing first, currency exchange and lunch. Got my pennies and we walked along the square to this restaurant called Kircicegi. I spent my precious 20 TL just for a meal and a small bottle of mineral water and I felt like I just got robbed. My heart was broken (and my wallet also, figuratively).
Back to the office, I met another EPs and AIESECers I gotta say they’re all so good looking. We just decided to go to the pier and use the ferry to Karsiyaka. Izmir is U-shaped, so it’s practically easier and a lot cheaper to use ferry instead of any other public transportation methods. We needed to buy the kentkard (the transportation card, you scan it thru the system whenever you get into the ESHOT, subways, or ferry and it works using top-up cash). Karsiyaka was fine, I like it. There were a lot of small shops and cafes and somehow it just felt so breezy because I hate big cafes. So by the way, we decided to get cozy in this desert cafe and I ordered my very first sahlep (Turkish traditional drink, made from orchid root and cinnamon and usually only served in winter. Lucky me!) and baklava (sweet as in compact diabetes). I spent 10 TL and no regrets. Back to Karsiyaka pier, we met another EPs from another project and this super super super hot member and he just knew it’d be hard for me to pronounce his name so he let me to call him ‘Justin’.
By the time we all got back to the office, it was so full with hosts and another members. I got introduced to my host and her two male friends. They were all so nice and made me giggle all the night for their hilarious never-ending questions. I lived in 8-floor flat in the fourth floor with two Istanbul girls named Hilal and Oznur. The flat itself is in Buca Koop, which is like an hour away from the central of Izmir using 576 ESHOT. I was so tired and so happy and so cold, I decided to pass out.