Late on Friday night, I made my way to the otogar, bus station, to catch a bus to Adana. I slept for about half of the 9 hour ride and admired the pretty views of mountain and sea during the second half. Rebecca was waiting for me at the bus station with Biral, a distant host-family relative who generously drove us home.
Fresh, piping hot pide bread, green olives that were super lemony and sweet (I usually don’t like green olives much, but these changed my mind), fresh veggies, and a delicious cheese spread. We ate and ate and ate, talked and talked and talked, drank (çay and çay and çay). All in all, a solid morning before heading out to explore the city. In 2009, Rebecca lived in Adana for 10 months – she was a fantastic guide, and it was neat to check out some of her old haunts and see the streets/food vendors/parks that she’s described in stories.
Adana is known for its food – while I didn’t eat Adana kebab (I know, shameful), I did eat muzlu süt (like a banana milkshake), çiğ köfte dürüm (steak tatar-esque meat spread in a wrap), sıkma (rolled up gözleme, homemade içli köfte (minced meat meatballs with a doughy exterior), and baklava.
The day did not only revolve around snacks – we also visited the Sabancı Merkez Camii, the BIGGEST IN TURKEY, and peaked inside Adana’s only church. Culture!
We ended the day at a hip bar, Blackboard, where we listened to canlı müzik (live music; literally, music with soul) and sipped Efes and talked loudly in code (in case anyone could understand English) about the post-grad life. Living with 15 undergraduates, it’s so comforting to talk with someone in the same boat as me. We both had moments where we started a story with “This is so embarrassing, but….” and laughed when the other said, “ME TOO!” It’s uncanny how our lives and challenges and victories still overlap, though we live thousands of miles away.