September 22, 2015

holiday week in turkey

i met this syrian girl here, she is taking the IELTS exam soon and i offered to practise english, socialize and share whatever info i have about the exam. we had a good talk and i learned a lot. she has a good university degree and her english is already decent, so that's a start. in addition her brother (also highly educated) moved to the US years ago, before the war, so she might have a chance of going there. or, there could be an option of going to sweden where her other brother just moved a month ago. this, again well educated, brother had a business with his friends in istanbul, and it was doing well and so all was good, but his syrian wife had already gone to sweden a few month prior (on a fake passport if i understood correct). obviously the brother would've had a legal right to go to sweden, using the family tie, but instead, he wanted an adventure and paid $3000 for a boat ride to greece and a fake passport and flight to sweden. so, instead of waiting for paperwork and enjoy life in istanbul, he opted for this 'adventure'. not my words. they had talked about the sister going with him, but she decided to stay here because she has been studying german now and is interested in applying to germany, to further continue her studies. and the IELTS exam is in case she would like to apply to the UK. so, a lot of possibilities, although there is no certainty that any of them would work out. but she has a job here (which is great, most westerners have hard time finding a job here) and a place to live and i personally think she made the right choice of staying here for now. but she said it is stressful because the rules and regulations are changing constantly and you never know if waiting will increase of decrease your chances. what i found also interesting is that her parents who are still in Syria live in a small coastal town which has not suffered so much from the war, in fact it is peaceful and "ok" there, she says. electricity cuts and low salaries, but overall fine conditions minus some tension in the air between 2 sects. so she has even considered going back to her parents. making decisions in this situation can be hard, with your family all over the world, your parents still back home but safe (but for how long?)...

also i learned that a boat ride alone should be around $1000. but the boat + bus to Athens + fake passport & flight to sweden for $3000 is not a bad deal at all, in fact i think its a fair price for starting a new life, and she agreed. of course it is still plenty of money, especially if you are not rich and have a family of 5, but for her brother it was not bad. i do get the feeling there are different levels of these boats, not all of them are crappy inflatables...  because she did not find it super risky, and said that going by foot or land can be worse (referring to the truck found in austria).

there is a new restaurant near here that only makes (home made) lasagna. it is very good, i cannot deny. so i order it for lunch every now and then.

this week is a holiday in turkey. doesnt effect doctors or my working schedule though, yet we managed to get some time off to go to Mersin. his parents wanted to arrange us a turkish wedding party (which we guessed) and so, we set the date for this saturday. so the mother in law has been organizing the party and we will just show up. i appreciate that they want to do this for us, but at the same time i dont consider it to be my 'wedding' (in my head), i feel like its a party they are throwing, and a chance to meet and show myself to the rest of the relatives. so i do want to have some ties with the family, especially since we plan to move away next year and then won't be seeing them much i presume.   

MIL sent a photo of the printed invitation. names of the parents are usually included in turkish wedding invitations. my mother and father ended up having the same surname because somewhere along the line someone had trouble comprehending that parents could have differing surnames. understandable perhaps, since that would not really happen here.


roland deschain of gilead said...

i take pride in the fact that i avoided a turkish wedding at all costs. =)

getting married for "legal reasons" and keeping it down to an "official meeting with a civil servant" is the best reason and way for getting married.

jenni said...

Hehe. I understand, my hubby is not too excited either, but I think if you treat it like a party and dont take it personally, it's fine. Of course its easy for me to say, it's not my country and culture, so I am able to distance myself while he is not...

We feel like we already had our "wedding", if you can call the secret elopement that, so this is just, something... yeah, I really don't mind actually.