Izmir is Here

This past weekend, while my host family was vacationing in Dubai, I went back to Izmir, my previous home in Turkey for a visit to see a couple of old friends.

Upon arrival, I had a typical Connie (mis)adventure. I had turned off my Turkish cell phone for the flight from Istanbul. I was supposed to call my friend Gürhan when I was on the Havaş (shuttle) from the airport to Alsancak, expecting to meet up around 2:30-ish. I turn on my phone and realized that I needed a pin code to get back into the phone. I had no idea what it was. So, I decided to guess. My first attempt was incorrect and I was advised that I would have three more tries. I guessed again. Still no luck. Two wrong guesses later, I’m now not only required my pin code, but also a PUK code to get into the phone. I didn’t even know what PUK was supposed to stand for!

Not sure what to do and obviously getting desperate, I asked the gentleman sitting next to me as if he, perchance, would figure out my PUK and pin code. He couldn’t but offered to let me use his phone. Wonderful. Except Gürhan’s phone number is stored in my phone. Mrff…

I finally arrive at the predetermined meeting spot but no Gürhan which I suspected since I hadn’t called him. I decided to run into a Turkcell store and see if something could be done. No one spoke English. Arg… They pointed me to another Turkcell store and I was able to communicate that I had locked myself out of my phone and that I didn’t know my pin or PUK code. They looked up the account and saw that I wasn’t the name on the account (Serra, my host mom had gotten the phone for me). They said that she would have to come and get the phone unlocked. I told them that she was in Dubai. I guess just to get me out of their hair, they decided to unlock the phone for me anyway.

So now I’m back in my phone. I eventually get a hold of Gürhan and another friend, Ali (cue the Prince Ali song from Aladdin because that song always plays in my head when I say Ali’s name). Ali meets me and then we head over to a church to meet Gürhan. He’s acting in his friend Andrew’s movie and was in the middle of shooting.

The weekend was really fun, just hanging out with Gürhan and Ali. It had been almost four years since the last time we saw each other while we were working at the Space Camp in Izmir. We hung out all weekend going out drinking, eating, karaoke-singing, and catching up. We also watched a Fenerbahçe fütbol game (we won), which I found pretty fun and interesting to watch. I suppose it would be when you hang out with people who are so into it.

Izmir was much the same as I remembered it. Nothing far too exciting, but still it was nice to go back to my old stomping grounds.

The weekend was much too short, but there are some tentative plans to hang out some more in the next five or six months so there will be some more good times ahead.

*Additional pictures from my Izmir weekend are posted on my Facebook.

© Connie Hum 2009

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