Looking out the window on Saturday night, MK and I were surprised to discover that the horizontal waves of rain had begun crystalizing into snow. Thus winter began in Nevsehir. Just like that, all of the Christmas carols I have been playing while grading essays and planning lessons no longer seem out of place. I did not expect that winter in Turkey would be much different than winter in the United States, and in many ways it isn’t, but I wanted to share some of my first Turkish snow experiences with you.
1. Kids love sledding. There’s nothing shocking about this. I was surprised, however, to see the neighborhood kids flying down the hill riding scraps of wood and empty laundry detergent bottles (I don’t think they were P&G brand, sorry HL). And boy, do those bottles fly on the snow/ice mix.
2. Adults love sledding. I love sledding. I, however, draw the line at extreme-body sledding. A few of my (grown-up) neighbors are into laying on their backs and hurtling down hills with no regard for personal safety (at least they don’t have to go too far to ice their bruises, right?).
3. The snow selfie is a grand tradition amongst university students . As I trudged across the university in the snow, I saw dozens, no, baker’s dozens of students posing in the snow. Men and women alike took this opportunity photograph themselves looking gorgeous in the snow while I ambled by with my snow-matted hair and silly pink hat. (Full confession: I may have photobombed one of my ELT students while she was posing for a photo after class.)
4. Everybody slips. Some guy running for the bus slipped. A lady walking by my window slipped. I slipped with my groceries (nothing was damaged but my self-respect).
5. I feel very fortunate that the first week of snow coincided with the first week of working heat in my building at school. Nevsehir Haci Bektas Veli University is still something of a work-in-progress. Did I mention my school got a new name? Yah, that happened about a month ago, and I assisted with the English translation of the university’s name (which is not as impressive as it sounds since there was actually nothing to translate because the new addition, Haci Bektas Veli, is a person’s name). Anyway, I still walk down a (now snow-covered) makeshift gravel walkway to my building and sometimes teach over construction noises.