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Quinn

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Everything posted by Quinn

  1. I just recently saw the Özdelek Shopping Center when I was on AntRay, and so am looking forward to checking it out. Indeed, I like the Doğu Garajı neighborhood and thereabouts. Everyone we knew was pushing the neighborhood around the 5M Migros in Konyaaltı and so we did see it. But I don't get the appeal, especially compared to various places in Muratpaşa.
  2. Thanks Hobbit, I'll check it out. Sadly, Flashcard Exchange was sold, and the thing I loved about it (and paid for!) was the way it allowed one to use the compartments. Most flashcard programs have such compartments, but they dont "remember" where you are at when you close a session. I've been looking for a replacement, but haven't found any, and have just been making due with the file in Excel. I do a tiny bit of programming as a hobby, and so it's on the backburner as a future project to make an app that would mimic the old Flashcard Exchange but . . . meh. I'd rather keep learning Turkish.
  3. Thanks, IslandGirl! Those are really good tips. Where in Muratpaşa did you live? I'll look to see if I can find a map online of the Tram line. Is there a stop in Çağlayan, do you know? Or how long it would take a bus to go from Çağlayan to the city center?
  4. How far away is Fener, Çağlayan, Şirinyalı and Yeşilbahçe from city center, both in terms of in terms of traffic (do the main roads between this area and city center have heavy traffic during rush hour?) Are there buses from/to this area from/to the city center and if so, how long does it take to get to city center? Do you know the neighborhood name that has the 5M Migros in Konyaaltı?
  5. Yes, it appears perhaps that individuals may have a year reprieve: DEAD LINK That is a bummer about VA pensions, Hobbit. It seems to me vets should be entitled to count on their checks, after their service.
  6. Thank you for your reply, Hobbit. Thanks esp. for the info on superonline. Good to know, esp. because superonline want a 2 year committment/contract that sounds pretty punitive if you cancel. I will check your suggestions out one by one. We have called TTNET at least 5 times, but haven't even gotten a call back, much less a visit from a Real Person. Sigh. But your suggestions give me some positive steps to take. thanks much--
  7. Here's one link, Tatertot. I now can't find the site that quote the 330 day rule though. :-( DEAD LINK Maybe I'll limit my time to less than 35 days if it turns out to be true that you can only spend 35 days back before being forced into the system . . . I'll see if I can find anything else . . .
  8. I just read somewhere that between October 1 and March 2014, everyone (Americans) have to sign up for health insurance under Obamacare, or be fined if you don't. I've done a little research and saw that if you are living abroad, you are exempt, but "living abroad" apparently means living away from the US 330 days a year, and between two vacations--one in the summer, one in the winter--I overstay that. Just wondering how others are dealing with this/making sense of the rules.
  9. Hi all-- So I've had TTNET for over a year now. During the winter, my connectivity was very bad. It seemed like it was a lot, lot worse whenever it rained. Example: some evenings I would be on Skype with family/friends and my line would be dropped as many as a dozen times in a half hour. It was very frustrating. I Turkey for a vacation in the States in June and came back at the end of August. For several weeks, the internet was sheer bliss--not one problem. I forgot all about my former internet problems. Then it rained last week, and it's been hellish since. Didn't have the internet for almost 24 hours. It was extremely spotty for several days after that. It seems much worse than i remember. I mentioned my problems to a friend and she said that she has superonline. She said that she has had only one problem in a couple years, and that they came out right away. Also, it's cheaper. She sent me a link: http://www.superonline.net/kampanya-detay?k=59&d=fiber-hiz-etkisi It is 59TL for a month with a 2 year contract. My husband is wary of the contract. We are not certain that we are going to stay in Izmir for 2 years (i.e. could move to Istanbul or possibly back to the States). It is not entirely clear what the penalty is from breaking it. Does anyone have this service? I did read other threads regarding this and it seems like others have found superoneline to be unsavory or that they just go through TTNET anyway. We have called TTNET three or four times and they haven't come out. I feel like I'm at the end of my rope with them, very, very tired of having such unreliable service. Any thoughts?
  10. Fil! That's fantastic! Congratulations! There is, though, a bit of a difference between you and most of us who are teaching EFL in Turkey. If I remember correctly, you are a bona fide academic with a Ph.d and an impressive set of credentials, teaching in an academic department, not the hazirlik school. That said, maybe it is different in your school; maybe they would hire a dual citizen and consider that person a native. (If this is the case, I'd love to know!) Dilem23 did indicate that she was specifically looking for work in Izmir, and at least in two of the state universities and one of the private universities in Izmir, having dual citizenship is a disadvantage. One private high school also balked; they decided to make me an offer, but I wouldn't be "official," I'd have to hide/not work if the government regulatory body visited, and they would not give references for me as a teacher (but would as a "worker" there) in the future. I haven't pursue leads with other high schools to confirm that dual citizenship is a problem across the board. I think it's important to communicate both the advantages and disadvantages of having/not having Turkish citizenship, especially vis a vis employment opportunities in teaching English, which is such a major source of employment for native speakers. A good friend of mine here in Izmir, American-born with Turkish citizenship, recently gave up his Turkish citizenship, when he met the same walls I did. I'm not quite there yet, but I've considered it. Certainly it would open up my options if indeed what I want to do is teach English at a hazirlik school for a university, especially a state university. This all said, I did get on with a private university last year, Dilem. And other places that are not state schools, (i.e. the high school I mentioned and another private university) while disappointed to hear I had Turkish citizenship, have offered to try to find a work-around for the problem. Of course language schools are also an option, one that will welcome Turkish citizens. So there are opportunities and possibilities. It was just really surprised to find that my citizenship would work against me at all in terms of finding employment.
  11. Actually, I have found it to be a huge disadvantage to have Turkish citizenship in terms of teaching English. Two state universities in Izmir offered me a job and then had to rescind when they found out that I actually have Turkish citizenship (I'm American and got my Turkish citizenship last year through my Turkish husband). Basically, because of the Turkish citizenship, I cannot be considered a native. That means that in order to be hired at a state university, I would have to take the tests all the Turkish teachers have to take in order to get hired there, unless I want to work part-time, which pays very, very, very little. Some private universities may still be willing to hire a person with dual citizenship; also high schools and elementary schools, as well as language schools. In my experience, the best jobs are not advertised. The best way to get a job is to visit schools in person when you are in Izmir. Once living here, you will make friends and meet people and new opportunities will arise. Hope this helps--
  12. Hi everyone! So after a good 8 months here, I have yet to have a decent cup of coffee. Why? Because in my world, this requires real cream, what in the states is called "heavy whipping cream" in its liquid, pre-whipped state. I would settle for what in the states is called "half and half" which is to say, half liquid heavy whipping cream and half whole milk. I have tried many avenues to find this here. What I'm looking for is not kaymak, which is clotted cream. I have tried to explain what I want to the milk manager at Migros who seemed baffled by my request (or maybe he was just baffled by my mangled Turkish!) In the past, people have tried to steer me to Coffee Mate, which is something I totally do not want. I have been told by another American who isn't sure what the name is that cream comes in 250ml bottles, so I've looked for things with that description and ended up buying Kefir, which is not cream either. I don't want "krema" which is whipped cream. Tureng is of no help. When I was at Migros, a Turkish woman who spoke English intervened in the conversation with the milk manager and told me that my Migros doesn't carry it but another store in the next neighborhood might. I'm going to that neighborhood today. If any of you or your Turkish spouses (my husband, too, doesn't know) know the word for "cream" I'd be eternally grateful . . .
  13. Hi everyone! Well yesterday I finally got internet service at home! Yay! And not a minute too soon, either. I know my title sounds a little melodramatic, but I've already ruined some clothes, and my husband left for the States this morning, and so I don't have my go-to translator on hand to explain to the nice people in Migros what I'm looking for. I don't know about product availability/brands in Britain, but in the States we have products specific for stain removal. Two brands that come to mind are Shout! and Easy Wash. They come in spray bottles or bottles with an applicator, and you apply the product right on the stain. In my experience, if I don't do this, stain sometimes don't come out with detergent alone. Last week we got our wash machine and I bought what I thought was detergent and stain remover from the same brand, as one is in a largish bottle and one is smaller with an applicator-like tip. Well, apparently I was wrong, because when I pulled the clothes out of the wash machine, the clothes were two different colors. Yes, I am a grown woman who has (successfully! uneventfully! in several countries!) done laundry since I was 13, and apparently I willingly put bleach on my clothes. I did detect a (slight--not strong) clorox-like smell (and so, thankfully, only ruined a single pair of pants--I thought I would "test" it after I applied a little and was suspicious) but the consistency was like regular liquid detergent, so I thought I was only imagining it. What I bought was: Domestos brand "Ultra Yogun Kivamlı çamaşır suyu". "Temizler %100 hijen saglar" it says. What is this stuff? Is this bleach? The "topnote" of the smell is very pleasant and I don't detect an obvious bleach smell, but then when I touched it and rinsed it off, the smell was definitely Clorox-gibi. Can anyone tell me if stain removal products are available and what the brands are/what it's called? And also the name/brand of a normal detergent? I would love to do some laundry today, but now I'm scared that I'll have a repeat session if I try to buy some detergent without knowing what to look for. Thanks for any and all help--
  14. Hi everyone-- I posted this question as part of another thread, but after a few days there has been no response, so I thought I would try my luck here. My MIL has asked us to bring in a phone for her. That would be okay, but I'm going to be coming over in a few weeks to live in Turkey and my husband will be joining me in February. (He's coming in a few weeks to help set me up, but will be returning to the States after a couple weeks. He'll then come permanently, inshallah, in February.) So if we buy a phone for her (and have to register it in, say, my husband's name) and if I register my phone in mine, that means that we won't be able to do so again for 2 years, and thus my husband will be without his phone when he comes over in Turkey. This wouldn't be so bad if we knew we could bring in other phones in the future. As of right now, I have at least 6 family members or friends lined up to come visit me in Turkey, and I think at least 4 of those are certain to visit. So I could just order the phone I/he wanted from a US website, have it sent to them it the US, and they could bring it over and register it for me. I know it would be in their name. Would that matter? Does one have to prove one is the registered owner of the phone for any reason in the future? Could they register their (my) phone on a tourist visa? Thanks for any help or advice.
  15. Hi everyone--I was wondering if anyone could tell me how big the biggest bed is in Turkey? I tried to research this on my own, but have come up empty-handed. I looked up "bed sizes" in Wiki, and while they have numbers for many nations (including Malaysia) there aren't figures for Turkey. I went to the Turkish IKEA site, but while they say "different sizes available" for SULTAN FLORVAG mattresses, for instance, they don't give the dimensions! (http://www.ikea.com.tr/urundetay/30139741/sultan_florvag_yatak.aspx) I then went to the bed proper, and clicked on the most expensive (thinking that this is also the biggest?) and it was only 160cm, which is 62 inches, which is very slightly bigger than a Queen. Is that as big as it gets, does anyone know? I love my king-size bed, and am hoping to find one in Turkey. But the bedrooms in many of the apartments I've seen seem tiny, so I thought I would also bring a measuring tape when I apartment hunt, to make sure they would fit, or fit the way I would like it to fit (i.e. to be able to get out of either side, preferably with two bed-side tables.)Thanks much for any help--
  16. Hi everyone--I started learning Turkish last September. At the time, I decided I'd try to learn 25 words a week, which seemed do-able and would allow me to build up a beginning vocabulary over time in some kind of systematic way. The thing that I found that worked for me the best is to use flashcardexchange.com. Membership is free, although for a one-time fee of $20 you can get additional services which I'll touch on briefly later. (I do not have anything to do with flashcardexchange.com nor profit from it in any way, and indeed, there are many other reputable flashcard programs available.) You can make your own flashcards or you can copy the flashcards of other users who have made their cards public. (There are many, many flashcards stacks that others have made for Turkish vocabulary words.) Because I wanted to have control over the vocabulary I acquire, I made my own stacks. Each stack corresponds to the vocabulary at the end of the chapter of the Turkish grammar book I'm using, (Kurtuluş öztopu's "Elementary Turkish.") Since I was starting with very few words that I knew on my own, I chose to use the vocabulary in the back of the chapter because the author uses high-frequency words that cut across the spectrum in terms of subject and parts-of-speech. I know myself and if I just made cards for the words that most interest me, I would have hobbled myself. My process is that at any given time, I am "pre-viewing" anywhere from 30-100 words. This means that I go through them about 3 times a day, until I cover the English translation and can say what they mean when I read the Turkish. I then work on them from the other way, looking at the word in English and providing the Turkish word. For this, I just use the book, covering the text I don't want to see with my hand. Once I can pretty much recognize the word and give the equivalent, I make a spreadsheet in google documents and upload it to flashcardexchange.com. I then study the words on the flashcards. I prefer to see the English side and provide the Turkish, because I think it is harder and also because it allows me to practice spelling the word correctly in Turkish. You self-correct whether or not you got the word right or not, and in the end of the session you see a neat pie chart of right-to-wrong words. I paid the $20 so I could make "card files" which works like this: There are five "compartments." All the vocabulary words start at the first compartment. If you get it right, it advances to the next compartment; if you get it wrong, it drops back to the first compartment. So if a word is in the 4th compartment and you get it wrong, it gets kicked back to the first compartment. So essentially, you need to get a word right five times in a row to be "done" with it. I like to study a stack once-a-day, preferably every day. You could study the same stack over-and-over in the same day until you made it to the fifth stack with all the words, but I think it works best to give yourself time to learn any given stack, thus my once-a-day preference. Once I'm almost done with a given stack, I start "pre-viewing" the next chapter's vocabulary words. And at any given time, I am also reviewing the vocabulary/actively using its 5-compartment stack for anywhere from two to four previous chapters, because I find it's necessary to do so, so as not to forget the old vocabulary words when so much focus is on obtaining new ones. I'm happy to say I've been able to keep up on my 25-days-a-week goal, and even surpassed it, a bit, as I don't focus on 25 words a week as much as just moving through the end-of-chapter vocabulary as well as I can do so comfortably. I'm up to almost 1300 words now, which allows me to converse on a number of topics including family, food, politics (a little), religion, personal characteristics, pastimes, directions, daily activities, shopping, etc. I've read that the average active vocabulary for Americans in English is 3500 words,and the average number of words one recognizes is 10,000. I don't know what it is in Turkish, but I'd like to continue my 25-a-week project at least until I get to 3,000 words or so. At that point, it seems I should be able to express pretty much anything I need to express. That's the goal, anyway. Just thought I'd share something that has been working for me--
  17. Hi everyone-- I was just wondering if anyone is fasting for Ramadan. This is the first time I'm trying to do the whole month. I'm sort of cranky but otherwise doing okay. Would love to hear about anyone else's experiences.
  18. Hi-- I thought I would post something that may help others. I haven't figured things out/gone through the process yet, but I'll try to keep you apraised as I move forward. I have a couple of medical prescriptions that are apparently not available in Turkey. I found out that one way one can get such prescriptions is if the pharmacy or physician mails it to a specific place in Turkey; i believe the place is some kind of state place/pharmacy. Anyway, I asked my doctor, and she agreed to do so (only physicians or pharmacies may send the medication--you can't ask a relative to do so, it's against US law and I also think it may be against Turkish law, but I'm not sure.) So this is great news. When I get to Turkey, I'll move forward on this and will fill you all in on how it's done. Luckily one of my friends' father works for the Ministry of Health, so I'm hoping he will help me cut through the red tape. In any case, I'll keep ya'll posted.
  19. Hello all--I currently have an LG combo washer/condensing dryer. Unlike the more common washer/venting dryer combinations, which are two machines, what I have is one machine. It washes, and then, after washing, immediately starts the drying cycle, using condensing technology. The upside is that this is fantastically convenient--put the load in dirty and it comes out clean and dry. The downside is that it takes a long time to do a load--usually around 3 hours, but sometimes as long as 5 if you are using the "sanitary" (super hot) cycle and "heavy" dirt, do a pre-wash, etc. Still, I love my machine. I will not be bringing it to Turkey with me as I'm flying in and don't anticipate moving bigger items like furniture for at least a year, probably more like two. Is this kind of machine available in Turkey? Almost everyone I know just has a washer. Also, would it be unwise to get this kind of machine, as it takes so long to dry, perhaps the energy that it uses would make using it prohibitively expensive? Any thoughts are appreciated--
  20. Hi--I'm trying to figure out if it is necessary to have a land line in Turkey. Specifically, I'm wondering if there is a big difference in cost in receiving/making international phone calls. Also, I'm wondering what the average cost is for a landline/cell phone, and what kind of cell phone programs are available for smart phones . . . . Sorry if my questions are a bit amorphous. Just starting looking at these things . . .
  21. As chance would have it, I have two interviews via skype for two universities. I'm readying myself for the interviews, the first of which is tomorrow morning. I feel prepared to ask/answer questions about pedagogy. I think most of my questions have to do with scheduling, as teaching (at least, teaching English language courses) at a university in Turkey seems to be a very different animal than teaching at a university in the States. (I'm very curious how it would compare to teaching in Great Britain, Australia, or New Zealand. Here, an average course load might be 3 sections meeting 3 hours each with 22 students per class. An undesirable work load would be 5 sections. I don't think I've ever heard of teaching more than 5 sections, even at a community college. In addition, professors are expected to keep office hours, do committee work, and to do work in their discipline, i.e., do research and publish. Aside from the time spent in the classroom and in office hours or in meetings, professors are not expected to be on campus. Summers are off and if one does work the summer, the pay would be in addition to one's yearly salary (which typically can be paid out in 12 monthly portions or 9 monthly portions.) It would be illegal to offer different contracts based on a professor's race, ethnicity, religion, or country of origin. I understand things are very different in Turkey. I understand that those teaching English are not considered "professors" but "teachers" and the conditions are indeed rather more like teaching high school than teaching at a university, i.e. he contact hours I have seen on the forums and in speaking with universities span 12-15 hours that Fil mentioned, to 20-24, which seems to be the average for foreign teachers, to 30. When not actively teaching, it appears one is required to be on campus and complete an 8-hour workday. On the plus side, as with high school teaching, it appears there is no expectation that one do research or publish. I'm fine with all of the above. I would just think of it as teaching at a high school rather than teaching at a college, with the plus side being that hopefully the students are a little more mature. The line in the sand regards the summer. I just don't think I would be willing to teach a high load, year-round. My question for you is what you would consider a "normal" load for teaching at a Turkish university--how many sections, how many hours the sections meet per week, how many students per class. Also, what the homework load is like, in terms of correcting/grading. My experience teaching English composition at an American university is that I would have 4-page papers to grade about 4-6 times per semester I would write a short paragraph of feedback for each paper. That kind of attention wouldn't really be feasible with a high course load. Also, do you teach summers and if so, is the work load the same? I think the information I'm looking for the most is that which I can't even anticipate. It worries me a bit that I really hadn't anticipated any of the above--the course load, the rigidity of on-campus hours, the lack of summers off, or that foreign teachers may be afforded very different contracts than Turkish teachers. Is there anything else that I should be aware of? Any expectations or conditions that are considered so "normal" in Turkey that would be surprising to a foreign teacher? I just want to go in with my eyes wide open. If we move, it will, of course, require a huge amount of risk, expense, and effort on our part. There are many reasons why we might choose to do it nonetheless, but I just want to feel like I know what I'm doing.
  22. Hello all-- Something caught my eye when I looked at the Turkish consulate rules. They refer to taking a pet temporarily to Turkey. Although only God knows and time will tell, when we move we are hoping it will be a permanent move. Does anyone know if this intention would affect our ability to bring our cats to Turkey? http://www.turkishconsulate.org.uk/en/other_services.asp? PageID=10
  23. Hello--I'm new to the forum, having discovered it just last night! So excited to have discovered this. I have many questions on many topics and it seems there's a forum for them all. :-)One of the things I am looking for is a reality check about the political parties in Turkey. A bit of a background: I am American, my husband is Turkish, we've been married for 22 years and have lived all of them in the States save five months that we lived in Turkey 20 years ago. We are thinking about relocating to Turkey in the fall. I do not have any hard-set ideas about Turkish politics. My basic observation has been one of great surprise when I went back to Turkey a few years ago vs. how it was when we lived there 20 years ago. It is much improved on various fronts. It seems (to me; I may be wrong) that the country was on a verge of a collapse 10 years ago, and that it has mightily risen ever since. I have read that inflation is better in Turkey than it is in England. The Turkish economy has been upgraded by Moodys, while the American was recently downgraded. If you look at the complete mess of Greece and other EU countries, Turkey is smelling like a rose. All kinds of new innovations like bullet trains are being built, and there is an explosion of new universities. One thing I personally witnessed on vacation in Kas was that a road was being re-built. They did one side of a good 2 or 3 miles in one day and the other side in another. Here in Chicago, that kind of work would have taken months. It was really shocking how fast it was. I just remember "old" Turkey and it was such a completely different story. You wanted to use up ALL of your Turkish lire before you left the country because it would be completely worthless upon your return. I recall my mother in law telling me something like the TL to American dollar was something completely ridiculous, like 600,000 or something, when a few years before when we had lived there it was like 3100 to $1. The roads were so bad, there was only one private university which limited your educational choices, etc. I have been to a number of different cities in different regions in Turkey in the last few years--Cappadoccia, Kas, Serince, Gomusluk, Konya, Safronbolu to name a few, and the roads all seemed completely normal or in fact much better than the roads we have in Chicago. All I am seeing is things getting better and better and better in Turkey. Although this might be controversial, I support the lifting of the headscarf ban, too. I think people should be able to wear what they want, within reason (i.e. I think most people will agree that genitals should be covered for health reasons) but if a woman wants to cover herself, she should be allowed to do so. I have friends who both cover and do not cover themselves, and the ones that do have cried as they told me how humiliating it is to be forced to uncover themselves. I attribute some of the process to the new party in power. Perhaps this is wrong--I am writing to hear other opinions. Myhusband's family is very old-school CHP. His mother makes comments that I cannot repeat here regarding Erodan. The sisters of his brother's wife hassel women who cover themselves, which makes me uncomfortable. His cousins are rabidly, rabidly against AK party. I don't understand. From an outside perspective, it seems Turkey has so improved under their power. But I'm the first to say that I really DON'T know, and that perhaps I really DON'T see or understand. I am very interested in others points of views and opinions. On another note, we are in the process of applying for jobs, some of which are universities that are associated with the Gullen movement. Again, from an outside perspective, I think the Gullen movement is a positive thing. I associate it with (Catholic) Jesuits, who have ideals of education, service, and interfaith dialog. Articles in mainstream American press (US News and World Report; the Wallstreet Journal; Newsweek, etc) seem to be positive about Gullen as well, and the American press is generally pretty negative about Islam. I myself was born Catholic, never confirmed, and converted to Islam in 2004. I don't cover myself, do namaz only once a day. So I'm "religious" but moderate. I welcome any views anyone would like to share.
  24. Hello, all--I am an American in the process of getting Turkish citizenship. My husband is Turkish. We are hoping to move to Turkey in the fall. I have a question about prescription medicine. Does anyone know how to find out if certain medicines are available in Turkey and/or if they are legal/illegal in Turkey? I have narcolepsy, which is being managed quite nicely by two prescription medications, both of which are popular for illegal use. One is Xyrem, which is sodium oxybate, aka the "date rape drug." The other is Adderall, which is brand name for amphetemine. I'm worried on several fronts about both. 1. Is Xyrem and Adderall available in Turkey? Does anyone know or know how I can find out?2. Are they illegal in Turkey? (Xyrem is illegal in Australia, for instance.) I'm hoping that they are legal and prescribed in Turkey. If they aren't, I don't know what I will do. I am currently "normal" i.e. able to lead a perfectly normal life--work, drive, etc. Without the X-A combination, however, I sleep 17 hours a day, am unemployable, can't drive, etc. Before we go, I need to understand what the situation is and assess how feasible a move is for us. Any help anyone can provide is much appreciated--
  25. Hello all--We are hoping to move to Turkey in the fall. We have two cats whom we plan on bringing to Turkey with us. One of the cats is 16 pounds. Apparently the cut off for a cat to be in the cabin on Turkish Airlines is 6 kilos, or 13.2 pounds. Has anyone had any experience bringing their cat on Turkish Airlines, and does anyone know if they are sticklers for the weight limit? We've put the cat on a diet (he IS a little overweight) but it is unlikely that he will get down to 13.2 pounds, nor would we want him to. (The vet says a healthy weight for him would be 14 pounds.) We won't consider putting him in the baggage part of the plane. If we have to, we can fly Lufthansa, which allows animals up to 18 pounds. But what a pain! No direct flight and more expensive. :-( Any thoughts anyone would like to share will be most appreciated--
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