Cultural Adjustment, Living Abroad, Student Life Abroad, Tips for Studying Abroad

Travel Sickness

September 20, 2015

I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve been both sick and busy, which is probably not the best combination. Last week I had the unfortunate experience of running to a bathroom to throw up and passing in and out of consciousness on the floor for hours. Luckily this was at my university. A couple of Turkish students spoke to me but I couldn’t understand them. Eventually someone called the security guard, who also could not speak english. I used some key Turkish phrases I had learned: Benim çok hasta. And they tried to call an ambulance but I explained that it was probably just some sort of stomach bug. After he left I started feeling sick again. I found someone who spoke english and she kindly lead me to the student health center where I spent the night miming “throwing up” to my doctor. From what I have been told my body just needs time to adjust to the different bacteria in the food I am eating. (And no, I have not been drinking the tap water.) I realize this makes Turkey sound like a third world country but it is really just a  very different country with very different food. Every Turkish person I have met has been kind and helpful to me. My mentor visited me in the hospital. My roommate bought me food.  I’m working on finding healthier vegetarian options and easing my way back into Turkish food. (I even ate a few brussels sprouts yesterday.) I’m feeling better and healthier each day.

Unexpected Things:

All the grapes have seeds here and I was stupidly confused

I have never been so excited to go to a Starbucks. I became the American girl stereotype and bought anything with an english label.

I went to a restaurant in a mall in Istanbul and I was terrified to find a sign that read “Chinese Sushi”.

Also in the mall I found a ridiculous amount of American and California t-shirts. They have better tourist t-shirts than we do in our own country. I found a Mission San Francisco shirt and I nearly bought it. Those are hard to find in the Mission!

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