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  1. So what's the cheapest way to ship things from Turkey to the US? I've always just used the PTT for sending home Christmas presents and stuff. It's a little slow sometimes, but everything has always been delivered just fine. The price with PTT isn't too bad, but it still seems expensive to me. I saved my shipping forms from X-mas, and for example, one package was 1090 grams, and another was 1202 grams, and both of those were 44 TL with surface mail. Two other packages, one 620 grams and the other 690 grams, both went for 34 TL. How does that compare to companies you guys use? Is PTT the cheapest method, or are there other companies that do it cheaper? I know I've seen UPS here, but I've heard there are some other cargo companies in Turkey and I don't know anything about them. Anything really valuable will be coming with me on the plane, this would just be stuff like winter clothes and some books for work, so it doesn't need to be registered, insured, or delivered in any particular time frame.
  2. I did a search for carpets and read a thread about buying carpets, but I didn't see this answered anywhere. Forgive me if I overlooked something. So after two years in Turkey, I'm preparing to head back to the US in about a month. As a parting gift, a very, very, very good friend of mine has offered to give me a carpet that his mother made. He has several carpets, kilims, and other woven knicknacks that she made and he wants me to have one. I am honored and touched by his generosity and would love to accept it, but I'm wondering if I need any paperwork to get it into the US. I've heard that taking things more than 100 years old out of the country is illegal...these carpets aren't that old, but how do I prove it when it is a gift like this? I assume that there must be some kind of paperwork/system that gets handled by carpet shops when you buy one there. Does anyone know? I don't want to get in trouble and I don't want to lose a precious family heirloom to customs. The one I'd be taking is the small 60x90cm size, if that matters. They're just made by his mom, as I said, so it's not like they're some super high quality, pricy piece of art...it's value is much more sentimental. Any thoughts? Do I need any paperwork? If I do, where/how can I get it done? Thanks guys!
  3. I was hoping to pick up some extra money this semester and heard that the British Culture school by the university was looking for a native speaker for some classes. I went by to talk to them today and the girl there said they could offer me five hours a week (spread over three different days) and that they pay all their teachers 15 TL an hour. Is that really normal or was she playing me as the naive foreigner? That seems terrible! I guess maybe I'm a bit overqualified for that kind of thing. I thought it might be nice to work at a place where I didn't have to worry about finding my own students and stuff, but 15 TL just doesn't seem worth my time when I could get so much more organizing my own private lessons and doing proofreading for other professors at the university. Anyway, I was just wondering if that's really what the private language school market is like or if she was low-balling me and I had room to negotiate. I told her I'd think about it and get back to her. What do you guys think?
  4. I've heard there's a lake about an hour from Denizli with a sizable flamingo population. That's too cool not to check out, but I don't want to drive an hour and back if it's the wrong time of year for flamingos. Is there a particular time of year for them, or do they stick around all year in Turkey? Does anyone know? I've searched and searched and can't find any info on the best times to see them.
  5. Just wanted to poke my head in and say hi. Everything is going marvelously here. Work is hard because there are so many students, but everyone is so friendly and helpful that I can't help but remain in good spirits. I'm getting a feel for the city and settling into routines. I've been braving the buses recently, and so far I haven't had any huge problems. My apartment is filling up with all those little things we need to get by like sheets and towels, pots and pans, and some decorations. I finally got my boxes of winter clothes that I shipped from the US, so I don't freeze in the mornings anymore when I walk to work. In my free time I've been trying to travel and see all the things there are to see around here. I've been to Ankara and most recently Izmir over the bayram, and locally I've seen Laodicea, Pamukkale, and Aphrodisias. For fun I'm working on learning Turkish and of course it also comes in handy outside of work. I've been going to the class they have at school for the foreign exchange students and I practice with my co-workers and students sometimes as well as over tea with the apartment manager and cleaning lady for my apartment building. Everyone seems very impressed with my progress, so I think it's worthwhile just to show them that I appreciate and value their culture. My program is already asking about my plans for next year, and while I was very firmly in the 'this is just a one year thing' camp before I got here, I now find myself wanting to make it two. I don't have to tell them for sure until the end of this month, so I figure I'll see how I feel after missing Thanksgiving. That'll be a big test.
  6. Howdy again folks! This week I started teaching, found an apartment, and moved in. It's been exhausting, but it's going well. Anyway, I have a question about my Turkish apartment...about the front door actually. Kind of random, but I thought it couldn't hurt to ask... It's a nice, lovely door, but there is a hole in it. Two holes actually, but one is obviously the peep hole so I can see who's knocking. That one I get. The other hole though is much smaller and just goes clear through the door. I can see through from both sides, so if someone is standing outside my apartment they could put their eye up to it and see into my apartment a little bit. It's kind of creepy. They're in everyone's door though and it's got a nice little brass plate around it, so I know it's *supposed to* be there...but why? I've never seen anything like that...is it a Turkish thing or an apartment building thing? I've also never lived in an apartment building, just houses. It was creeping me out earlier, so I taped a small piece of paper over it from the inside. Hee. Any ideas what it's there for?
  7. Can anyone tell me about how much it would cost to buy an iPhone in Turkey? And about how much to use it? I need to get a local phone soon and there are so many features on the iPhone that would help me out day to day like translation apps and the ability to look up directions for places. None of it is absolutely necessary of course, I can do without it and get a more basic phone, but if it's reasonable then that's the direction I might go. I read some older threads about how they're very expensive, but I was wondering if maybe they'd gone down in price since then...a girl can dream, right?
  8. Well, I'm here! I arrived in Denizli last night. It was a fairly easy trip, all things considered and it has been a smooth transition so far. The university has been very welcoming and I have many new friends ready to assist me if I need help. I'm looking forward to a great year. It's so beautiful here right next to the mountains. Just gorgeous. The one funny thing that has come up is that I am half Mexican-American, and apparently that makes me look Turkish. No one realizes I'm not Turkish until they see my blank stare when they try to talk to me. They're all fascinated when they hear I have no Turkish ancestry at all. It's nice to be able to blend in though, and my Turkish will get better as we go along. Anyway, thanks so much for all the information provided here. I'm very happy to have found this forum and I'll try to keep up with things throughout my stay. My co-workers have been very impressed with how much I already know about Turkey and most of what I know was learned here!
  9. Hi guys, I'm moving to Turkey from the US in about a month and I know I'm going to be meeting a lot of new people for work and also in the community. I know it's a nice custom here in the States to bring a little gift for friends and family or anyone hosting you. Is that a common thing in Turkey as well? I've been trying to think of some things to stock up on before I head out. I have a good idea of some professional things to bring for people I'll be working with, but I was wondering if there's anything you guys would suggest for people like new neighbors or children. I was thinking maybe there was some kind of American candy that people might like but can't get there? Bags of M&Ms or something like that? Maybe small boxes of Crayola crayons for kids? What do you guys think? I've never been to Turkey so I don't know what's available there or what's acceptable to give.
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