Time flies! I have been here for two months already and I must say I’m getting used to Istanbul, Turkish people and Turkish temper more and more. I will give you a general update about some of the things that are going on in my life.
I have been working for over a month now at Uzaklar. Uzaklar is an international transport company. I’m responsible for the international sales & marketing. This means all kind of communication with customers and the professionalisation of the company, for example LinkedIn, the website, presentations, mainly in English. It’s an unknown sector for me and I’m learning new things every day. My workday starts at 09:00h and I’m leaving at 18:00h. Most of the companies here start at 09:00h. At 12:00h we have a daily prepared warm meal, which I have avoided so far (afraid of gaining weight). We’re situated next to a shopping mall (Marmara Park) and at the other side of the road there’s another shopping mall with a Starbucks in it. I try to walk during lunchbreak a few times a week to soak up some sunshine. Uğurcan is dropping me off in the morning and picking me up at 18:00h. Our companies are close to each other. It’s a 15 minutes ride from our home to the office and we’re really lucky with this. It’s normal to spend hours in traffic here in Istanbul. I think I’m doing fine at my new job. The first two weeks I concentrated on learning the sector, but now I’m constantly busy and I like it. I can only be positive about my new job and the office! Oh small detail, we have a cute little dog called Latte at our office and not to forget a perfect wooden floor I would love to paint white and take it home with me 🙂
One thing I can really be irritated about here are store workers. They have a huge attitude, they do not apologize, they don’t greet, they are not helpfull and they always look sleepy and tired. They have absolutely no idea of what they are selling and they are too lazy to search for the things you want. It really doesn’t matter what kind of store you’re at. I experienced this at a big international store, but also at a small grocery in the neighbourhood. Ofcourse there are exceptions, but most of them are just like I described.
To end positive about shopping; you can shop here every day till 22:00h. There are so many shopping malls nearby. You can’t compare Amsterdam to Istanbul when it comes to shopping. Istanbul offers so much more choice, especially when it comes to clothing and shoes. The only store I’m missing here is & Other Stories.
The city is always alive, even on sunday. Everything I need is in a walking distance. No stress about closing times or things that you suddenly need. You can buy anything anytime.
I got some questions about the prices here in Istanbul. Prices are almost the same as in Holland. A lot of people think you can shop for less in Istanbul, this is not true. People who think this way, must have been here as a tourist once and bought fake designer clothes for almost nothing. People living in Istanbul don’t shop like this. We usually shop in malls with normal stores, without any fake designer clothes. It’s not even allowed and I hate it when Dutch people say shopping in Turkey must be so cheap. We have the same kind of stores here in Istanbul, H&M, Zara, Mango, Sephora, Douglas, Pull & Bear, Rossmann and many more, all for the same prices. Ofcourse it’s possible to buy cheap clothes here in Istanbul, but it’s no different than shopping at a Primark for example. Prices are in line with quality, just like everywhere else.
Import products are really expensive here. Different kind of sauces, cheese, pastas and fruit from outside Turkey. I can almost find anything here, but there is a difference in price. Calve peanut butter is about 25 to 30 TL for a small pot. This is about € 6.00 while you can get the same for only € 2.00 in Holland. Eating healthy here is way more expensive than it is in the Netherlands. And one thing I am really dissapointed about; the price of Nespresso cups here in Istanbul. It’s twice as expensive as in the Netherlands. We drink it every day, so we have no choice. I recently ordered a lot of packs in Holland, so my family can bring it over here.
It’s getting prettier every day! I had two projects going on. The first project was my photo wall. It’s finished and I’m so proud of it. I ordered all the posters from Etsy in high resolution. I brought it to Özalit (a big copy store) and they printed it all out for me. Printing posters is so cheap here. I paid € 8,- for all of my posters, while I can’t get one poster printed for the same price in Holland. My frames are from Ikea and Bauhaus and my passe partouts are made by Bauhaus. Almost everything is done during lunchbreak 🙂 I placed every frame on the wall with 3M command stripes, to avoid holes in my wall and they stick perfect! Even my 60 x 90 cm frame sticks perfect!
The result is just what I thought it would be. I guess it was the only thing missing in our living room. It doesn’t look that empty anymore and feels more of a home now. I don’t have any other big changes planned for our living room, so you can only see small updates from now on.
My second project is the guest room. My husband gave me his sofa, which was initially made for his playstation and movie room. He changed his mind and now he wants a corner seat which can be transformed to a bed in his room. So the sofa was moved to the guestroom. I ordered an old fashioned rug for this room and we bought a big mirror and new lightning. We already bought the Hemnes day-bed last year. We ordered two matresses online and the room is almost finished. We have a beautiful painting made by the uncle of my husband. I would love to hang it in the guestroom, because it will suit the carpet so nice. I need to find a frame in the size of the painting and the room will be finished.
We try to eat at home as often as we can, but once in a while we like to discover some new restaurants. We have a lot of great restaurants over here. Step outside and you can find restaurants literally everywhere.
Food in general is a positive thing here. I have a few favorite sweets, so if you’re here in Istanbul, try to taste them.
Antep fıstıklı atom is heaven for me. It’s really expensive and can be bought at Malatya Pazarı. I usually buy 3 or 4 atoms in two weeks and eat one during lunchbreak or in the evening. Another thing I’m addicted to is Çizi crackers with cheese cream. I just love it! I could eat a whole package a day. It tastes so damn good! I have forbidden everyone around me to buy me these crackers, cause I can’t stop eating once I start.
It may seem like I’m constantly eating here, but I’m not. My breakfast from monday till saturday exists of yoghurt with banana or kiwi. During lunch I eat salad or an apple. We eat healthy in the evening and I try to eat a really small (baby) portion. I continue to workout here, not as often as in Holland, but I do workout when I have enough time. I only post on social media when we go out for dinner or when we have something nice to eat, but this is an exception. Don’t be fooled by social media :))
HOUSE CLEANING + COOKING
This is probably the hardest thing for me here in Istanbul. Most of you know I never cooked before and I’m still learning. I don’t have the inspiration to come up with something different every day. I don’t even prepare difficult meals, I try to keep it as simple as possible, but still I find it hard to cook. Cooking and working fulltime is not a good combination. Respect for anyone who can combine it, but it just isn’t my thing.
At the moment I still clean the house myself. Every saturday morning I clean the house from A to Z and during the week I try to do small things. I don’t like to spend my free time on cleaning, but I have no choice right now. Wednesday we have an appointment with a cleaning lady, so wish me luck! Hope she will fit us and I hope she will do the ironing too. It will give me more space to do other things and I hope I can have more of a routine in my life. Especially now the weather is getting better, I find it a loss of time to spend my free hours on cleaning.
In general I think I’m doing fine. I still miss Holland and my family so much, but I can’t complain too much about my life here. It’s just another culture and mentality and I need to get used to it. I will try to share a monthly update about living here in Istanbul. My next blog will be about more fun things. I will share an update about my favourite hotspots here in Istanbul.