Sunday, July 6, 2008

Leaving the campus...

I technically left campus while I didn't have my ID card to get Kebop one day for lunch. I don't really count this because I didn't have my camera and it was only to one place and back. Convenient how not having my camera means it wasn't a real event...

This weekend I left campus three times, once on Friday to see the Armada mall with Canan, then to downtown with Duygu, and then once today to go to the mall for some things.

I happened to need some Cipro the amount that I had brought with me for if I got bad food poisoning (I'll eventually get around to talking about that), and Canan offered to go with me to the Pharmacy to see if they had any. We they did, and it was only 7.5YTL for 14 pills, and the best part is that I didn't need a prescription. I mentioned that I wanted to go find a mall and asked if she knew how I could go about getting there. She said that she could show me right now and said we should take a Dolmus. The Dolmus are a cross between a taxi and a bus. They have set stops but you can get on or get off anywhere in between.. They cost 1.5YTL and the one that leave campus mainly go to Kizilay, which is considered the downtown district.

Canan took me to the Armada mall which is only about 7 minutes from METU. My first impression of Armada was that it was amazing. Then Canan said that they was a small mall compared to others in Ankara. Although it is not as large as a lot of the malls in the US, I think they have better stores here and everything is organized much better. The ground level is office supple and grocery stores. The first (Yes, in Europe the ground floor is the Zeroth floor) and second floors are more upper scale clothing. The third floor is clothing more geared to the younger crowd, and the fourth was where all the food is located.

Damla had talked about a really good Chinese restaurant, so she took me there. It was really good, and I think I'll have the noodles next time I go (that's what she had). All of the food was on the same floor, so I noticed that they have Kentucky Fried Chicken, Burger King, and McDonalds. Now, why anyone would want to eat at those places is really beyond me when they have such amazing food. She then took me to a bunch of stores in search of shoes, jeans, and t-shirts. I brought more conservative clothing because that is what people said to bring. By people, I mean the Professor and Post-Doc who are from Turkey who gave the briefings at the NSF pre-trip conference. Because of this, I wanted jeans and t-shirts. Well, Levis were around 200YTL which is about $160, so that wasn't happening. The cool t-shirts that Canan has been telling me about are at another mall, so that'll have to wait for later. Well, I wanted sneakers because I brought my running shoes and hiking boots because of the limited amount of weight I could pack. We went by the Puma store, but all the shoes were 90YTL and higher. We eventually stumbled on a store that is basically an outlet store. I was able to get a sweet pair of green Pumas for 86YTL. I figure that's a little higher than I normally pay, but then again, I'm not paying for them. :-P

(A picture of my Pumas will go here...)

I met a girl on my flight from Istanbul to Ankara. Her name is Duygu, and she was excited to show me around Ankara because it is her hometown. Since I was finally able to leave campus, she showed my around yesterday. It was a blast and there are pictures posted. I'll write a more detailed description in the morning. Suffice it to say, I had a blast and I am looking forward to the rest of the summer!

Today, I went to back to the Armada mall on my own. I wanted to get utensils, hand lotion, and a fan. I has seen a Carrefour supermarket there when I was there on Friday. Carrefour is a large chain of supermarkets across Europe. I went to one while I was in Geneva to buy chocolate. It was interesting to see a full sized supermarket, as we only have a really small one here on campus. The only thing that caught my attention is that when you buy fruit there, you have to go to an attendant who weighs and prices each one for you. Otherwise, everything was the same as here in the states. Oh, yeah, they are big on payment plans here. A lot of the larger items were sold with 12 month payment plans. You had to look closely to see the actual price. Ok, other than those two things, everything was the same. =)

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