Its been exactly one month since we arrived in Izmir and yesterday, our household goods were delivered and unpacked and I am SO relieved.
Living in Alsancak but commuting to Bostanli was an adventure, to say the least. Every morning, I would stroll (slog, more like) with Hawkin to the ferry terminal, climb the stairs to the ferry taking care not to drop the stroller, held in one hand, or the child, gripped in the other, between the metal stairs and the prow of the boat and get on board. Most days the ferrymen would help, often choosing to carry the child, to her delight, and carry her up the stairs and put her on the deck. Other days they’d grab the stroller. Either way it was a great help. We buy a juice box and a tea at the ‘cafeteria’ on board and sit and count ‘birds, buoys and boats’ during the 20 minute ride across Izmir bay to the Bostanli ferry terminal.
Riding on a ferry with a 3.5 year old is an interesting experience. Aside from the eating, drinking and looking out the windows, her favorite activities were playing peek-a-boo with other passengers or the crew or walking outside along the side of the boat. Hawkin is not a shy child by any measure and she easily catches people’s attention then proceeds to engage them in some hide-and-seek play. I was amazed to watch people, especially grown men, actually loosen up and play with her. The Turkish people LOVE children and it is apparent in the ease with which they interact with them.
That was the fun part of the trip. The rest of the journey consisted of walking 25 minutes from the terminal to Hawkin’s school down bumpy sidewalks (sidewalk in Izmir are made of interlocking pavers, not solid concrete) and up and down countless curbs (not much in the way of handicapped access on corners), with the stroller in front and a backpack with my laptop on my back. I’d drop Hawkin off at school, more about that in a later blog, stash the stroller, then walk 10 minutes back to our empty apartment.
I’d say this commuting lasted about 2 weeks but it felt like an eternity. Hard as it was, it was great exercise and I think I’ve lost the 10 lbs I gained in the stressful months before we arrived. And Hawkin was happy to be going to school everyday.