Day 1 wasn't nearly as dramatic as last semester, as I all my toiletries managed to make it into my suitcase, and I didn't have to take another 6am frantic run back to the apartment. Fortunately, our flight didn't depart until 12:30, so my housemate Molly and I were able to stop for coffee on our walk to the Metro and actually made it to the airport before anyone else in our class- YAY punctuality. After meeting up with our classmates, checking out bags, making it through security (where I was pulled to the side to be patted down/tickled to death) we boarded our flight, which treated us to a delicious meal of mushroom ravioli. Before we knew it, we landed in Istanbul!
Soon after, we met up with our guide for the week- Koray.
From the start, Koray proved to be the most entertaining tour guide ever. He and our professor go way back, so he's been helping out with DIS study tours for a while. On our bus ride to the hotel, he gave us plenty of practical information about Turkish culture, including a warning against making flirtatious eye-contact with people out at the bars, as this could be perceived as overly suggested. Unfortunately, this tip lead to everyone in our group avoiding eye-contact at all costs and probably looking crazy. Oh well, better safe than sorry.
Our hotel was gorgeous, and in such a great location. We took a short walk to the main walking street, where our restaurant for the night was located. On the way there, we witnessed a minor fist-fight on the street (the cause of which Koray explained probably had something to do with someone's mother being insulted, I guess "Yo Mama" jokes aren't appropriate in Turkey?). No worries though, we arrived safe and sound and began my favorite part of study tours- DINNER.
The first dinner was a bit eclectic and included an assortment of spreads, fried fish, and mystery fruit saturated in honey, but it was tasty nonetheless!
|The world's best baba ganoush!|
|Tiny little fried shrimp|
|Little fishy who you were supposed to eat, bone and all. I did some dissecting instead..|