Thursday, May 19, 2011

day 6

So i've been in Romania for six days now, have been working for four of them. Definitely been long days, wake up at 640, out the door by 710, work ends at 6 p.m. at night. Usually we go out and walk around, Bucharest is a beautiful city, there are parks everywhere for you to walk in. So much green space, going out after work to walk around is great, and the conversion rate is really nice for getting food. Beer and the like is cheap, if you buy it at the stores, but at the pubs, its probably comparable, at least if you're looking for the standard domestic draft, or local bottled brews like I am. It's kinda funny, SAB Miller owns one of the most prominent local brewers, Ursus, which is pretty darn good I'd say. It's all made in Romania, and probably mostly drunk in Romania, it's just another reminder that international companies have their fingers in everywhere.
In any case, I can say today was a good day. The kids at the kindergarden were well behaved for the most part, and after work myself, the other EP who's working there, Adam, our Coworker, Nicoleta, and the daughter of our host family, Andreea went out walking around, got kinda lost and had a good walk in the rain, (yes, locals got lost, we got off at the wrong subway, a subway where we actually got separated from Adam because he didn't get on in time... met him at the next stop.) But in getting to a pub from being lost, we ended up doing more walking, stole a ride on a tram car, luckily there weren't any cops around, we didnt have any tickets, and then we got to visit St. Nikolas' remains in a beautiful church in Bucharest. Yeah, that's right, Santa Clause for all you folks out there. It was an awesome church, and kinda cool to go and just be there at the remains of a Saint you know? Beyond that, when you're in a church like that, it's really easy to see the appeal of being religious, the draw a structure and culture of the church would have had back in the day, and how it can continue today.

But, now it's late, i'm tired, full of good food, and tasty euro beer from the pub.



Sunday, May 15, 2011

What up AIESEC?

I landed in Romania yesterday, was greeted at the airport by a few friendly chaps, and we drove the 15 minutes or so into the city. Got to see their little AIESEC office, where they have three fish, fish without names. Walked around the city with my host families daughter and her friend for around 5 hours yesterday, and today, after waking up at 1 in the afternoon, to the smell of two cakes, fried breaded pork, french fries, and salad, we, myself and the host daughter, the AIESEC incoming exchange staff member, and the AIESEC buddy, went to the airport to pick up Adam, a new trainee who will be staying with the family with me, who also unfortunately had his bag lost in transit, so he's sleeping on the couch with nothing. <- that's a long sentence that uses lots of commas, I've been reading literature from that era, and I think it's getting to me. But anyways, we walked around for several hours again today after we picked up adam and ate. Lots of walking in a beautiful city. Start work tomorrow, but i'm still jet lagged as could be. We'll see what happens. Should be a good time though...

Yussef Gheriani

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Hi From Turkey!

Hello all this is Henry. It’s been about a week since I came to Bursa, Turkey, and I found the experience I had here completely different from what I expect it to be. With the template their reception officer gave me, I first took the metro, transfered to the bus, partly on a ferry, and finally met up with an AIESECer. It all went smoothly, and I even made my first Turkish friend on the bus when I tried to borrow a phone to inform AIESEC Bursa about my arrival. It was just amazing that I could have a “conversation” with a stranger just by clumsy body language, though I never really understood what he was trying to say and I believed it was the same case for him. Anyway we had a good time.

When I met Osman, the reception officer, I was told that my host family was not back from travel yet so I would have to stay with another AIESECer for a couple days. It turned out that my temporary host, ILket, was a really nice and funny guy and we had great fun in the days that I stayed with him. I met many of his friends; we drank Chai(tea), played football (soccer), and enjoyed fruit and sang Turkish songs (I really just hymn along) in circle. I found it interesting that the distance between Turkish is so little that they treat all their friends like their own brothers and sisters, which was not I had experienced in my culture. Maybe it’s because of their religion that they have this intimacy between friends, but no matter what I enjoyed them treating me as their kanka(brother, buddy), especially that they didn’t even know me that well yet.

I realized on the first day I arrived that English was not such a common language among Turks, thus I’ve tried to pick up some basic Turkish when I’m here. It’s not likely for a person to get around without knowing some Turkish, and that was also one of the challenges I encountered when teaching English. Though I’m teaching at a language school of kids as old as me, their English level was quite low that I’ll have to try really hard to explain in fundamental English most of the time.

There are still things that I’m trying to get use to, like their public transportation, their smoking culture, or just their language. I look forward of the rest of my time here and hopefully I’ll have some time to travel around.