Moving to Ankara and First Impressions

We were very glad to arrive in Ankara! It was great being home in the US and our family were all amazing hosts and hostesses and so accommodating, but we needed to get settled into our own place and start a normal routine.

Our flight to Ankara was Dulles to Frankfurt on Lufthansa and then Frankfurt to Ankara on Turkish Airlines. We had 6 hours in Frankfurt. Our other option was 2 hours, which just isn’t enough time for an international connection when you really, really, really want your luggage to make it! Our first flight was a nighttime one, leaving at 6:15 pm. Kids played on their tablets a bit and then slept and ended with a movie. Seven hour flight doesn’t lend to a lot of sleep, but they got a few hours, which is more than I can say!

Frankfurt has some nice play areas and we found a cool helicopter in the International B Gate area they liked. It also had some good seating nearby and we dozed, played, and hung out until our flight. Second flight was about 3.5 hours and went smoothly. We got picked up by our sponsor and dropped off at our new house. Kids had some pizza for dinner and then crashed!

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Overall, we traveled 24 hours from my mom’s door to our new door! Phew! All our luggage made it, and we only had one small meltdown from DS the whole trip. They even helped haul out luggage at the end when we had 8 checked bags, a stroller, a carseat on a wheelie frame, 4 carry on bags and 4 personal items! DH and I managed luggage carts with the luggage, DD pushed the stroller with luggage in it and DS pulled the car seat. No fuss!

We have been really pleased with our apartment. Lots of great views (we’re up high), greenery, playgrounds and shopping nearby. Lots of kids around too, American, Turkish, and foreign. Always someone to play with!

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We have a lot of sunlight in our apartment which I love. Tons of windows! The apartment is a bit smaller than we are used to, particularly in the bedrooms. There also aren’t closets except for an entry closet, so we have wardrobes in the rooms which make small bedrooms smaller. It will be interesting when our shipments arrive and we have more furniture and items to fit in here!

One thing I love is we have a kitchen table. Kids can actually be eating while I finish up food and we are in the same room! In Cairo, we only had the dining room table and I couldn’t see the dining room from the kitchen.

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At a mall they have fish and sharks!

Compared to Cairo, it is much greener (no surprise! It’s not a desert) and more organized. Sure, traffic doesn’t always obey the laws, but it is much more orderly than Cairo (which was better than Delhi!). It is MUCH hillier than I expected. I knew it was a bit of a basin shape, but there are a lot of ups and downs! A short walk can seem much longer when it is a significant uphill. We’ll be car hunting soon and I really need an automatic for these hills! I drove stick as a teenager and I am sure could learn again, but hills + winter weather = No Go for Me!

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If you are my personal friend on FB, you already saw this, but I figured I’d repost for those of you who aren’t!

One thing I have found challenging here is that the appliances are all European (other posts we’ve had American appliances in the apts) AND they are in Turkish. So I have no intuitive ability to use any of them AND I can’t read them.

So my use goes something like this:
Thinking: “I should make nachos to bring to the potluck. That is pretty easy. Oh wait, but I don’t know how to turn on the stove to cook the meat.” Looks up owner’s manual and determines somehow the child lock feature was on and fiddles around with it some and eventually gets it off and then starts to get the stove on and heated.
“ok, great. Now I need to preheat my oven…oh wait….” Looks up oven’s owner’s manual and notices there are ten thousand options rather than just “bake” and tries to figure out the best option. “Annnnd crap, it is in C. Let’s look up the conversion. OH, and it is tiny, so the original dish I picked out won’t fit in the oven.”
“Ok, good. now I have the nachos in the oven…..ahhhhh, they’re burning! Clearly I didn’t pick the right setting”

Now let’s do some laundry (btw, the washer and dryer are stacked in the kids’ bathroom, and are tiny).
“Huh, all in Turkish and ten thousand options. Let’s look up that manual again….” Can’t find one in English for that precise model, but finds one similar enough. Mostly guesses at options and hopes I don’t shrink things. Sets mental reminders to empty the water catchment each time I use the dryer.
And of course, I don’t have my drying racks as that shipment isn’t here yet. Has clothes hanging over all the doors…

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The microwave did come with an English manual, so I added taped translations on the buttons and that is working much better now!


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