My Expat Life in Izmir

1st Feb 2015
Photo of My Expat Life in Izmir 1/16 by Deepika Arora
Photo of My Expat Life in Izmir 2/16 by Deepika Arora
Photo of My Expat Life in Izmir 3/16 by Deepika Arora
A complimentary stay at Hilton, Istanbul
Photo of My Expat Life in Izmir 4/16 by Deepika Arora
Office Lunch 1
Photo of My Expat Life in Izmir 5/16 by Deepika Arora
A small junction metro station like Delhi's CS
Photo of My Expat Life in Izmir 6/16 by Deepika Arora
Photo of My Expat Life in Izmir 7/16 by Deepika Arora
Loved these ferries
Photo of My Expat Life in Izmir 8/16 by Deepika Arora
Happy Expat
Photo of My Expat Life in Izmir 9/16 by Deepika Arora
Office Lunch 2
Photo of My Expat Life in Izmir 10/16 by Deepika Arora
Pride of Izmir - Izmir Clock Tower
Photo of My Expat Life in Izmir 11/16 by Deepika Arora
Kordon...My Favorite Spot
Photo of My Expat Life in Izmir 12/16 by Deepika Arora
Turkish Coffee, White spoon = sweet(I had already)

College over, what next? Since always I have been a confused girl and in this confusion, I took coaching for MCA, government jobs (OBVIOUSLY!), thought of MBA (I still do) but none favored my luck or you can say, none interested me. One fine day, I came across an article for internships abroad online, my eyes gleamed at the word - ABROAD and I was glued to my laptop screen for next 5-6 hours, grabbing as much information as I could trying to find a contact.

Finally, I filled the query form, got a call back and the journey started!

It wasn't easy, I had to get my resume in place - not the one we freshers make where we mention our hobbies, our captianship term that we served or mentored a group of fellow students. It was a lot different and very informative. I went through a large number of skype interviews at 4AM in the morning and even at 2AM in the midnight, in the coldest of winters. You know? Dillli ki Sardi. I wasn't finding just the RIGHT country for me. It was after a few months that I realised the wait was worth it. I was packing my bags and leaving for Turkey.

Photo of My Expat Life in Izmir 13/16 by Deepika Arora

After a not-so-peaceful-infact-hell-scary infinte hours of flight, I landed at Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport.

My host family were waiting eagerly and the happiness is inexplicable when we met. I was finally in my apartment which was going to be my home for the next 3 months. I was laying in my bed when i realised - oh! my mom is not here to make me aloo ka parathas, I was supposed to get up and cook for myself. That night I knew, I have entered a new phase in my life.

Next few days went in memorizing my way to and fro office and home, exploring the place I stayed in - Fahrettin Altay, using a translator for simple things like food products name and my favorite one was - Sut'(Pronounced - Sute) for milk. Finding wheat flour was the toughest job, after about a 2-3 weeks, I found its called - 'Kepekli Un' and i finally had my Indian home cooked meal. It took me about 3 days to pronounce my home address and about a week to pronounce my turkish flat mates' name who was also the owner.

Photo of My Expat Life in Izmir 14/16 by Deepika Arora

My office colleagues were extremely kind and helpful, I had one russian and one thai intern and innumerable turkish colleagues. The turkish elderly women are such gentle ladies, they give you that calm smile that warms your heart. There were so many people with whom I couldn't converse but the morning smiles and Mehraba, Gunaydin (Hello, Good Morning) did all the talking. This was in itself a very new experience, a feeling that is in my heart till now. Someone said, if you have love in your heart the cruelest of barriers can be broken.

Photo of My Expat Life in Izmir 15/16 by Deepika Arora

The best part of my time at office? The turkish lunch I had daily in office and this absolutely lovely Thai girl I met - 'Sufee'. Indeed, she made my office hours much more blissful. We started hanging out, sharing secrets and in no time, we came very close to each other.The friendship didn't end with my internship, we are planning to visit each other's home country soon..

I learned Turkish step by step, word by word so much so, that now I could roam the streets of Izmir alone. Weekdays were office, home, dinner, sleep. Weekends were travel-travel-travel, exploring the whole city- now I had my favorite corner in the city - KORDON, where I started spending my evenings after office.

Photo of My Expat Life in Izmir 16/16 by Deepika Arora

This city never fails to amaze anyone, Izmir is one city which has everything, from beaches to the metro part to the cultural heritage sites - I would always backpack Turkey, given one more chance.

What I gained from this experience? - A friend for a lifetime, infinite memories and a love for travel because when you live somewhere else, you realise - what a tiny place you occupy in this big-big world.

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