Today we got a fantastic tour of Bursa, and got to ride the metro which was impeccably clean. We ate this dish which I won’t venture to spell or remember correctly here but what I do remember is that it involved about half a cup of melted butter dribbled on top and it was damn good. We walked by a farmer’s market and Skyler even got his shoe fixed (sewn etc) on the side of the road from this little shop for like $1.50. We then went to this huge mall to get cooking and cleaning supplies.
One thing that we did talk about last night was traveling as buddies at all times, and one of the reasons they talked about was an incident with a past REU student when she was “approached” by someone when she was on a run because she was A) alone and B) wearing revealing exercise clothing. I can get behind that, as guests in this country we should absolutely be dressing more conservatively or otherwise modifying our behavior to respect local customs and culture.
That being said, the way it was framed was pretty much that Americans expect other people to accomodate their culture (which I think is true) and don’t respect other cultures enough (which I think is true) and so when they’re choosing to make themselves alone and scantily clad and that sends a message in another country then it’s their responsibility if someone “approaches” them (which I think is:
Maybe this is culturally insensitive, but damned if I agree that there are places in the world where you ever should feel unsafe alone exclusively because you’re a woman. It’s pretty sad that unfortunately that is true in many places, but certainly it shouldn’t be something that’s complacently looked at as part of a culture, or something not to be tampered with/argued about. No effing way, dude.
Still, I kept my mouth shut because it was said in passing and I wasn’t entirely sure what people were saying, and for the most part I agree with the idea behind what was said (Americans should respect other cultures more). It was just hard to quell the other half of me that’s just like ehhhhhh do I pick this battle? Another time perhaps.
12:04 pm • 18 June 2013
Today we spent the whole day traveling from ferry boat to bus to bus to minibus until we arrived at Uludag University, our final resting place! Our generous hosts were kind enough to take us into town after we got settled into our dorms and took us to this fantastic restaurant (for only 7.50 Lira! aka like 4 bucks—I’m predicting that this will become a regular place for us) and to the grocery store to start getting some food to stop the wallet hemorrhaging that’s been happening because we go out to eat for every meal.
The university seems great, and there are still lots of students around because their semester’s not over and Gorukle, the city nearby, seems like it’s got a lot of restaurants and stuff that’ll be great to go to.
11:36 am • 18 June 2013
Happy Father’s day, Dad! Today we got a chance to see the island for the first time (we’ve just been going back and forth from the worksite mostly), and for anyone who knows how much I love driving with the windows down the country drive alone was a highlight. We went to the other side of the island and stopped at two different monasteries along the way, then went to the beach (beachside Calamari) and the petrified forest museum (where we ended up collecting some bees—I have a feeling that narrative will follow us in most of the stops we make).
The monasteries were cool, but at one of them “Ladies” weren’t allowed into the church part “because of tradition.” I think I can pick my battles (and a monastery church is certainly not one of them), but looking at all the ancient artwork of the apostles, and saints, and pictures of old monks, and then that “tradition” bit, I just started thinking about how part of the reason it’s so hard for me to get into a lot of religions is because of the more marginal role women have had in it throughout history. A lot of religion’s power and appeal I think lies in the fact that it’s built on thousands of years of history and tradition, and I get that, but unfortunately that means that you can’t always pick and choose some of that history and tradition that carries onward (e.g. the role of women).
I would consider myself a spiritual person and not an atheist by any means, but when it comes to dominant religions it’s just really hard for me to get into cultural traditions when women are so absent (or take on such an “other” role) from much of that tradition’s history.
11:30 am • 18 June 2013
Longest field day yet—left the hotel at 5:30AM and then got back at the end of the day at 8:30PM! Even through some major delirium on all our parts, we finally made it through.
I spent most of the day collecting and taking nectar samples. Our site is in this little valley on the side of a road which I call the Valley of Death (Death Valley was already taken), because heat just collects there and stews like Lesvos’s horrible stagnant armpit. That being said, there was no place I’d rather have been because I kind of like stifling heat, and it sure as hell beats a desk job. We also got a chance to dip in the Aegean Sea during lunch, which was awesome, and I find that the hotter and longer the day the more rewarding and refreshing the shower.
When we finally got back to the hotel, I showered and changed into new clothes and sat under a lattice of grape vines, reading a book with a beer as the sun set. It was one of the best feelings I’ve had yet this trip.
11:13 am • 18 June 2013
Second field day we continued getting stuff ready for our experiments and collected some data on the plants we’re working with.
11:07 am • 18 June 2013
We woke up this morning and got a presentation on the overview of the work we’ll be doing on Lesvos, and then ended up running errands and hanging out around the hotel and exploring the bay down the road. Everything seems pretty empty for this time of year, which is either kind of sad or just how the beginning of the season is here. The hotel (Malemi) is incredible. At night we had a talk about grad school, publication, and pinned a bunch of bees we collected. These entries are becoming increasingly diary-like/record-like as time goes on, I’m noticing… so welcome to my innermost thoughts, everyone!
I researched a lot of International development stuff which I haven’t touched on in a while bc I’ve been more swept up in ecology, and watched about 3 hours of interviews between Richard Linklater Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy about Before Midnight. Okay maybe not three hours worth, but a lot. I rewatched Before Sunrise and Before Sunset in Oklahoma before we left and was hit just as hard by them but in a different way, kind of distanced. One thing I really liked that Linklater said was how Before Midnight happens removed from their jobs—as an adult so much of your time and thoughts are consumed by your job, but when you strip that away sometimes you’re the same you’ve always been, and even though your expectations of yourself and others’ expectations for you have changed there’s this essence that’s still there of youness. That use of time that way appeals to me a lot, and also I always like seeing people vaguely romantic and lost.
We also had a chance to talk to some of the kids that live here and they were complaining about how there’s nothing to do here, and it was so weird hearing them say that because I feel like there’s tons to do here, as a visitor. Made me wonder if I’d ever be able to live away from a city and feel content.
2:31 pm • 13 June 2013
“Just remember; someone loves everything you hate about yourself.”
— Frank Ocean (via wearebarebones)
3:53 pm • 7 June 2013 • 16 notes
midnight in paris vs term paper.
stay tuned for the sequel: raging bull vs term paper, and—in case you missed it this morning/afternoon/evening—the prequel: survivor season 8 vs term paper. given the precedence, my money’s on midnight in paris
1:17 am • 29 April 2013 • 1 note
G R I M E S: I don't want to have to compromise my morals in order to make a living
i dont want my words to be taken out of context
i dont want to be infantilized because i refuse to be sexualized
i dont want to be molested at shows or on the street by people who perceive me as an object that exists for their personal satisfaction
i dont want to live in a world where…
10:41 pm • 28 April 2013 • 18,439 notes