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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Downgrading life for love?

"Doin' it Her Way" by Pınar, writing from New York, USA

I love New York, the city (I'll let you in on a little secret: New York is not representative of the United States of America).

Coming from one of the oldest and most diverse cultures on earth I immediately related to New York from my heart. I love its diversity, its colors, its aroma, its aura; I feel at home here. Even its weather is almost the same with Istanbul, where I've lived most of my life. The city makes me feel more alive than Istanbul, though. New York always has something to offer to everybody at any age. It has its intrigues to lure you. It gets you out and nurtures your shortcomings about itself. You can feel the culture, the history every place you go. Yet, it is very young, extremely playful, passionate, shiny, and sexy. An endless big party is going on as loud as it can be, yet in harmony. There are ornaments on the windows and stoops, and decorations in the gardens for some reason; Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc. Museums, art galleries, restaurants, night clubs are lively; there is always an event, an activity you can enjoy. Don't be upset, you can't simply keep up with everything; they are too fast and too much. Just try though. That'll be enough to feed you.

I was feeling captured in Istanbul. Crowded roadways with cars were the biggest problem. I couldn't go anywhere I'd like to, since I was spending my precious time in traffic at the weekends. Unfortunately, public transportation options are not enough. At the end of the day I was feeling exhausted and frustrated whenever I went out. Thank goodness I like spending time at home, cooking, reading, and having friends and family over.

Images of Brooklyn

Since I graduated from college back in Turkey, I wanted to live in this city. I made it, finally, three years ago on April 4. I was so excited, so anxious to see the city; I didn't care about much anything else. We, Turks, come to this country for better opportunities, for a new vision. I believe we get what we want mostly. The thing is we don't have houses in New York as big as in Turkey. My husband and I used to live in a 4-room-and-2-bathroom-house in Istanbul. Now we have a place with little 2 rooms and a niché kitchen. We don't have a washer machine and dishwasher anymore. This unbelievable beautiful city doesn't offer its population this ordinary convenience in the 21st century. It is strictly banned to have those machines in most of the buildings, unless it is not built recently. Or it costs you 50% more on your monthly rent, which is already two times more than what we were paying in Istanbul. So we don't have a choice. I was adamant not to accept this reality for too long; it didn't work of course. I had to surrender for the love of this city.

However, this situation started to bother me again. This is practically downgrading my life. Theoretically, Turkey is the developing country, U.S.A is the developed one. So, what kind of joke is this? Is it a necessary price to pay? Or is it just nonsense? I haven't come to a final decision yet.

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