I’m official!

Boats moored on the Marmara.
Boats moored on the Marmara.

This week marked third month in Turkey–and technically my teaching probation period is up. Since no one has said otherwise, I guess I’m a full-fledged teacher at English Time, now. The school has gotten me my Residence Permit, so I’m here legally (something I couldn’t say in Vietnam, which is one of the reasons I left). They say they have applied for a work visa, so that’s good, too. I like to stay legal! A teacher across the hall skipped her police interview and so she didn’t get her Residence Permit. She was deported a couple weeks ago!

My students seem to like me and I certainly enjoy teaching. Of course, there’s the occasional student that I want to banish from the classroom, but that’s normal. Teachers are well respected here and my students are kind and mostly attentive. They often thank me for being their teacher–I don’t think that would ever happen in The States.

I still got it!
I still got it!

I do, however, spend WAY too much time preparing for class. For every hour I’m in class, I spend an additional hour preparing. And, of course, I’m only paid for teaching, not preparation, travel or paperwork before and after each class. But that is true of all teachers, I guess. The last two weeks I’ve only had 1 day off and most of the days I’ve had double shifts. You have to have some double shifts or you can’t get enough hours, but doing it every day is exhausting. With summer coming on, there are fewer classes starting, so I hate to turn down work when it’s offer now. I’ve been covering for other teachers who are taking time off. But I have this morning off and am doing laundry, cleaning and I slept in–that was wonderful! And I have a full day off tomorrow.

New roomie--Trudy!
New roomie–Trudy!

Final bit of news–one of the teachers that I room with has found an apartment we can share. It’s a little less money than the apartment I’m in now, but it will just be two of us. The current apartment has 7 people in it. I share a bathroom and kitchen with three others and it can be next to impossible to get into either. The living room is shared with everyone, but in practice, the landlords control it, so there’s nowhere to just “hang out.” And I pay for cable that I never get to enjoy. Female renters are not allowed overnight guests, though the men are. The landlords are nosy. They want to know where you are going, where you have been, who you are with. Lately they’ve been particularly nosy about alcohol consumption. I got some negative comments because I had a bottle of wine IN MY ROOM! And the male landlord is a bit too familiar, if you get my meaning.

For me, the most difficult thing is that I have the highest cleanliness standards of the bunch. I end up cleaning after everyone else–particularly in the kitchen. It’s getting old.

I’m grateful to be moving on. I own very little and the new place is walking distance from here. The move should be an easy one. This should lower my stress level. I need a certain amount of privacy and alone time to recover after work. Most people think of me as an extrovert and it’s true that I easily talk to new people and am very verbal. However, I need to be alone to recharge and that makes me an introvert. It’s hard to get alone time in an apartment with 7 people. Trudy, my soon-to-be roommate, works different shifts from me, so we won’t be forced together all the time.

Trudy and some very fresh bread to share--puffed up and hot from the oven.
Trudy and some very fresh bread to share–puffed up and hot from the oven.