A New Phase: Marshmallow-ic

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Everything has started like a story of Umut Sar?kaya (one of Turkish comic writers). The idea of going abroad after my graduation was kind of an obsession on my mind. And I’d rather not to come back again, if it was possible! My application process to EVS started with this determination. I was like a cyborg; waking up, eating, writing a thesis, giving final exams, searching, searching, searching for an appropriate project for hours and sleeping. This abrasive situation took 3-4 months of my life. Finally, I got accepted a project about environmental protection in relatively small city; Braila, Romania, for 10 months.

Actually, it was so clear at the beginning, my hosting organization had many troubles. Despite of all warnings of my sending organization, I didn’t listen them and insisted to go because theme of the project and timing were exactly fitting with me. Then I found myself at Bucharest Airport with my luggage which is bigger than my size. From the first day, alarm bells began to ring! S.O.S!!! We were ten volunteers at the same organization. According to HO’s plan, they will pick us up from airport and then take us to our new city which is 3 hours far away from Bucharest. This sounds caring and thoughtful, right? But according to same plan, the volunteer who comes from France at 11 am has to wait thirteen hours for the last one at the airport. Hopefully I arrived at 7 pm, again hopefully I could eat two times at my flights sponsored by Turkish Airlines. That rescued me of starving and I could take under control my bad emotions about the last volunteer. Of course this was not her fault!
After then, this is the part sounds like Turkish funnies. One French, one German and one Turkish… At the same flat. At first, we were trying to analyse each other by short glances and our behaviors were quite artificial for being kind!! I don’t know what happened suddenly but in our first week, we found ourselves in kitchen ,we were imitating our Romanian teacher meanwhile dancing in a crazy way with a song of Britney Spears: Oops I did it again! And the rest came randomly. After two weeks, we felt like we were friends since our childhood times. Of course, there were annoying moments and people as well. Most important of them was our ‘big boss’. There is no way to make her listen us if she doens’t want. She was closing doors to our faces or just shouting and yelling sometimes. Don’t worry she was not a monster. But after two months, I was also yelling because I had to go many irrelevant places like kindergardens, elderly homes and center of authistic children instead of places my project requires. Where was the my eco-project? Somewhere over the rainbow! Actually, we could do something ecological so hardly. Nothing is given to you on a golden tray so we worked a lot and coped with many obstacles to put our ideas into action. Yes, we couldn’t save the world but it worthed for what we did.
Beside of these, Romania means freedom, living without boundries and being able to hitchhike to anywhere you’d like to go. You can feel that whole country is your “home”. It means you can do a road trip just with 30-40 € in your pocket for 9 days and still get back home with some money. My first big travel was with my flatmates. We reached 1408th km by hitchiking or walking and didn’t use any accomodation facilities except couchsurfing or people we met on the road. We tried to find couchsurfers especially in villages so that we could see rural and real life of Romania. Couchsurfing in the village! Hard to believe it. During this trip, we didn’t face with any big problem also so many good things happened and changed our perception of life somehow. Then, these trips became indispensable for us, the only thing we had to do was to decide where to go and best of all this situation; money never was a limiting factor. While we were waiting for a car on the top of some mountains in Transylvania, Hans who was a driver of a minivan could pick us up with his big family and also host us in their lovely guest hut. Then you can say to yourself that these things can also happen in real life. You can trust someone you don’t know before more than the other ones you know for years. Especially, if you are in love with movies of Emir Kusturica and Tony Gatlif, you can believe that you make your own movie there ? And this continues with a great precession. After, you look at yourself. What is that? You are in France, in the middle of Paris with many friends of your french flatmate for Christmas holiday, next is you are knitting with your new french mom while celebrating Noel. The air is full with many “je t’aime”s. Then what comes? After 3 months, you visit Italy from one side to the other just with plane and train tickets for 9 €! Ciao Bella. One, two, three, four… you can’t count how much “gelato” you ate there. Then you understand that you are exactly what you wrote in your motivation letter; most concrete evidence of intercultural interactions. Thus, one day, I figured out that I was telling the love story of my Estonian sister and explaining how sad she is to a Turkish truck driver who picked us up from Hungary through Romania and then listening about the love story of this driver’s eldest daughter. Kind of soap opera but background is quite different.

I can not end my memories by telling you. I can show you only frame for the moment. I guess the most beautiful thing during that 10 months was experiencing that human is just human. It doesn’t matter German, Spanish, black, white, muslim, christian, homosexual or heterosexual. We are just what we are. When you live in this way, sharing between people reaches incredible dimensions. The one, even you don’t know nothing about his/her language can become your best friend. You can feel great sense of trust for many people around you even if your parents taught to you that it is a feeling which you shouldn’t feel for anybody, anytime. Everybody can act like just theirselves. You can sleep on the roads, parks, houses of people that you never met before and feel like “World is just yours.” Ahh, and also alcohol can be extremely cheap :)

So EVS is lots of things like those I told about on the top. Luckily, my EVS was like a dream – ok, except of HO-. After 10 months in Romania, I didn’t want to come back to Turkey and life seemed to me so pink and sweet as a marshmallow. Is it good or bad? I still don’t know because sometimes it is hard to fit somewhere with my over-extended horizon. Now I have many meaningless stuff to do, job, responsibilities, blablabla.. And people name them as real life. Hopefully, there is also new colours, friends and loves as well. Life is not an institution that gives you something or take something away from you. You can evaluate the opportunities or not. It has been almost 10 months after my return to Turkey but still everyday I remember at least one memory and smile on my own. There is no doubt, there were no time like my EVS that I feel so limitless and free with whole my body, soul and mind.

Fifth Edition

5While closing the 4th edition of Scriptamanent, after the final meeting in Izmir, we are already preparing the new call for the next edition of the project. Stay tuned!

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