Home
Welcome

Please select your city:


Username
Password
Remember
Click here to register
Forgot Password?
     
Move to Turkey
Relocation Companies
Where To Stay
Hotels, Aparts, Suites
Learn Turkish
Instructors, Courses

Member interviews
What about yours?
Lisa from Kadıköy
Sarah from Sisli
Claudia from Fenerbahce
Nilgün from Suadiye
Aaron from Çekmeköy

From Members' Pen
Members' columns
Be a Correspondent
A Weekend Escape to Edirne
Siirt in Istanbul
Lemon Cheesecake
A Visit to Aya Yorgi and Heybeliada
Angelique´s Latest Trips
Advertisement Advertise here/Buraya reklam verin

Forums
Moving to Turkey
Relocation
Law & Legal
Health
Money affairs
Vehicles (Cars, boats, motocycles etc)
Communications, electronics, media
Children / Les enfants
Pets
Turkish Language
Tourism / Travel / Sightseeing
Educational Topics


e-coupons

Free newsletter

Your Name

Your Email

We will send regular newsletters to our members who have signed up for receiving it during the registration. In 'mymerhaba' newsletter, our editorial staff provides updates, with regard to any information related to places worth visiting, viewing, or otherwise worth knowing, for those who care to know more....

Amanda from Bursa

 Untitled Document An interview with Amanda Coffin

Tell us about yourself. What made you come to Turkey?
I had been working for twenty years in the US as a systems engineer, spending as many holidays as possible in Turkey. A couple of years ago, I realized that I no longer loved my work or found it rewarding. At the same time, two friends about my age died suddenly. I realized that I might, in fact, work at an uninspiring job until the standard retirement age, or I might drop dead at my desk in the meantime. Neither of those prospects appealed to me. Life is capricious, and I decided to follow its example. What I really wanted to do was live in another culture and write. I sold my house and my car, left my job, subscribed to "Writers' Marketplace", packed a backpack and a suitcase, said goodbye to my incredulous friends, and boarded a flight to Istanbul.

How did you decide to settle in Bursa?
Accidentally, really. A Turkish acquaintance in America had suggested to me that Tirilye, a village on the Sea of Marmara, might be just the place for me. As she described it, it sounded lovely. I'd traveled around much of Turkey, and I like the eastern Mediterranean very much -- Anamur still takes my breath away -- but I thought I might feel a bit too isolated living down there. I went to check out Tirilye. It didn't take long. It is indeed a beautiful village, but very small. It wasn't where I wanted to be. I decided to go into Bursa for a few days to think things over. I wasn't going to live in Bursa, of course -- none of my guide books had particularly flattering things to say about it. One of them pointed to the city's automotive manufacturing industry and suggested that Green Bursa would more aptly be called Grey Bursa. Nonsense! The first thing I noticed about Bursa is the number of enormous, ancient trees shading the many pedestrian-only streets and parks. Bursa was first capital of the Ottoman empire, and the city is packed with history. It has great, authentic character and dignity. Bursa doesn't put on airs for tourists.

What do you do in your daily life?
I write. I read with greater appreciation than ever, given the cost of obtaining Engish-language books. I knit -- Bursa is a textile center, and finally the economics of knitting work in my favor. Unlike the US, I can knit a sweater here for less than I could buy one. I explore.

Family?
None. It horrifies my Turkish neighbors and friends, of course.

Has living in Turkey influenced your approach to life?
Absolutely! America is, by and large, a fretful, high-strung country. It's very easy to get swept up in that, even if your nature is more placid. The children playing outside my flat run with sharp objects, don't have bicycle helmets, and ride in cars without child seats or safety belts. Bursa's sidewalks often have a set of steps where you least expect them. Dolmuş drivers whip through traffic while making change and talking on their cell phones. These things would have American parents and tort attorneys in a frenzy. I suppose one could say that I have more things to worry about here in Turkey, but without all the constant reminders to worry about them, I don't.

Turkish language?
Yavaş, yavaş. Slowly, slowly. My biggest barrier is stage fright. When I start to speak, I can sense my hard-won vocabulary and grammar exiting my head. I admire the Turkish language tremendously -- it is the most logical and regular language I've ever studied. I will certainly keep striving, especially since I've met very few people in the Bursa area who speak English. My flawed Turkish is the only means of communication in town. Most Turks are genuinely patient, helpful and good-humored as I muddle along. I was speaking with a Turkish Cypriot once, trying to explain what I did for a living in the US. Reaching into space for the Turkish word for "engineer", I grabbed "enginar", telling the man that I'd worked for twenty years as an artichoke.

Let's talk about Bursa, tell us your discoveries.
I'm still discovering, but my favorite things include stopping for coffee in the 15th-century Koza Han, or silk market; going to one of Bursa's many hamams every couple of weeks (I go to a normal hamam. I haven't tried the thermal mineral baths yet); strolling around Muradiye, the Sultan Murat's vast tomb complex -- the tilework in some of the tombs rivals that in Topkapı Palace; wandering aimlessly through the maze of covered markets, hans and bedestens; going to the Karagöz shadow puppet theatre...

Have you traveled in Turkey?
Yes. I've spent quite a bit of time in the eastern Mediterranean between Adana and Anamur. I walked and mountain-biked through Cappadocia for two weeks. Since I've been living here, I've made some short trips. I went to Antalya this summer to see La Boheme at the Aspendos amphitheatre, which was extraordinary. I've explored Kütahya, the Marmara coast, and of course, Istanbul. I spent August of this year making a big, sweeping loop around easternmost Turkey. That was an intense trip, very difficult to summarize -- eastern Turkey defies description in many ways. I stopped for a short time at Sinop on my way back west, and that left me wanting to explore the Black Sea region further.

What is your preferred characteristic trait of Turks?
I'll cite the same characteristics that nearly everyone else does -- the genuine kindness and generosity of the Turks. My neighbors are endlessly dropping by my flat with food, strangers are quick to smile and strike up a conversation in the market. I wish I could be more original, but this quality is so striking, especially when one comes from a place where people are much cooler and more reserved.

What was the annoying one?
As an animal-lover, I struggle with many Turks' fear and loathing of dogs. I understand our cultural differences, but I still go a bit mad when I see a flying rock and hear yelping.

Turkish Cuisine?
Turkey is a culinary paradise. I lived in the cold, snowy, northeastern part of the US -- "fresh" produce came from California, Florida or Chile for most of the year. I delight in walking around the pazars to shop. It's especially easy to be a healthy, happy vegetarian here. Honestly, my only wish is that Turkey could grow coffee. The imported stuff is wickedly expensive!

Any suggestion to people planning to visit Bursa?
First, if you are traveling by bus, be aware that the otogar is over 10km away from the city center. Terminal buses run back and forth frequently. I was horrified to hear from a travel writer that she'd hated Bursa -- she'd only wandered around the otogar and dismissed it as a dismal city. She didn't realize that she'd been nowhere near central Bursa. After that, it's only a matter of your preferences. Bursa is rich with the earliest Ottoman history. Mt. Uludağ is here, if you like to ski or trek. You can wander the markets for days, until you can't shop a minute more. Soak in thermal baths, or one of several normal hamams. Bring comfortable walking shoes and just explore!




Lisa from Kadıköy
Aaron from Çekmeköy
Adrian from Istanbul
Agnes from Gümüşlük
Aida from Nisantaşı
Aisha from Istanbul
Amanda from Bursa
Andy from Izmir
Anke from Kemerburgaz
Antonina from Bulgaria
Arlene's Secret Paradise
Ashley from Kadıköy
Borahan from Taksim
Bruno from Datça
Brandts from Holland
Carmel from Bursa
Carole from Kalkan
Caroline from Kuzguncuk
Claire from Izmir
Claudia from Fenerbahce
Cornelia from Florya
Cumali from Adana
Cyrus from Istanbul
Dace from Ankara
David from Van
Dmitri from Beşiktaş
Filiz from Beyoğlu
Fred from Adana
Frederic from Ankara
Hana from Istanbul
Harry from Antalya
Iben from Alanya
Ingrid from Tesvikiye
Isa from Istanbul
Jan from Kuşadası
Jane from Manavgat
Janine from Izmir
Jennifer from Istanbul
Jennifer from Sultanahmet
John from the Bosphorus
Kathy from Izmit
Kayla from Bostancı
Kenya from Beyoğlu
Leela from Nisantasi
Lisa from Sydney
Marc from Kosuyolu
Maria from Moda
Maya from Izmir
Michelle from Göztepe
Molly from Galata
Nilgün from Suadiye
Omar from Ankara
Omar from Umraniye
Paolo from Beşiktaş
Pat from Göreme
Pat from Yaniklar
Patricia from Kartal
Patrick from Bodrum
Paul from Antalya
Pennie from Çengelköy
René from Izmit
Robbi from Dalyan
Rosalind from Alanya
Russ from Gebze
Ruth from Cappadocia
Sarah from Gundogan
Sarah from Sarıyer
Sarah from Sisli
Sophie from Istanbul
Susanne from Fethiye
Steve from Tarabya
Tara from Cengelköy
Trevor from Side
Winter from Australia
Birsen's Horizons
Fred's Trip Logs
Bahar's Views on...
Business World
From Members' Pen
Interviews with Members
Moms & Kids Corner
Pets with Dr. Demirel
The archives of The Guide
The Archives of Turkishtime
Teen's world

Latest comments about this article

 By Paroshep  11.3.2009

An excellent report, Amanda, thank you. As an expat in Greece I emphasize that attitude is all important to satisfaction with a foreign environment. You certainly have the right attitude. Cheers,

 By cassie  16.1.2009

oh sorry my email:[email protected]

 By cassie  16.1.2009

Hi Amanda love your article, help i have just arrived in Bursa and could do with some good advice ect... safe and good hamaman. look forward to hearing from you cassx

 By mordikus  11.10.2007

I LOVE AMANDA SHE´S SO SWEET...........

Would you like to add your comment about this article? Click here!


Editor's Picks

Şile On the Asian shoreline of Bosphorus, just 70 km away from the city center, Şile’s widespread sandy beaches. more...

Summer and Child Health Pediatrician Beril Bayrak Bulucu’s article is titled “Summer and Child Health”. more...

Home Sweet Home Wondering how to change a house into “Home sweet home”? Here are some clues to help you settle in a foreign town. more...

Burhan Doğançay Burhan Dogançay is primarily known for a body of work that grew out of his fascination with urban walls. more...

Piyaz – Haricoat bean salad Zeyda would like to share with you her Haricot Bean Salad recipe. more...

What Gift to Take When… In summer number of wedding, engagement and circumcision ceremonies increase. What gift to take when... more...


Latest Articles
Puppet Festival in Ankara
Filmekimi 2018
Istanbul Design Biennial
Contemporary Istanbul
Istanbul Clarinet Festival
Bilkent Brass Festival
Ayvalık Choral Festival
25th Aspendos Festival
Bodrum Jazz Festival 2018
Summer Festival at Bachçe






 

Interviews with Members
Lisa from Kadky
Aaron from ekmeky
Adrian from Istanbul
Agnes from Gmlk
Aida from Nisanta
Aisha from Istanbul
Amanda from Bursa
Andy from Izmir
Anke from Kemerburgaz
Antonina from Bulgaria
Arlene's Secret Paradise
Ashley from Kadky
Borahan from Taksim
Bruno from Data
Brandts from Holland
Carmel from Bursa
Carole from Kalkan
Caroline from Kuzguncuk
Claire from Izmir
Claudia from Fenerbahce
Cornelia from Florya
Cumali from Adana
Cyrus from Istanbul
Dace from Ankara
David from Van
Dmitri from Beikta
Filiz from Beyolu
Fred from Adana
Frederic from Ankara
Hana from Istanbul
Harry from Antalya
Iben from Alanya
Ingrid from Tesvikiye
Isa from Istanbul
Jan from Kuadas
Jane from Manavgat
Janine from Izmir
Jennifer from Istanbul
Jennifer from Sultanahmet
John from the Bosphorus
Kathy from Izmit
Kayla from Bostanc
Kenya from Beyolu
Leela from Nisantasi
Lisa from Sydney
Marc from Kosuyolu
Maria from Moda
Maya from Izmir
Michelle from Gztepe
Molly from Galata
Nilgn from Suadiye
Omar from Ankara
Omar from Umraniye
Paolo from Beikta
Pat from Greme
Pat from Yaniklar
Patricia from Kartal
Patrick from Bodrum
Paul from Antalya
Pennie from engelky
Ren from Izmit
Robbi from Dalyan
Rosalind from Alanya
Russ from Gebze
Ruth from Cappadocia
Sarah from Gundogan
Sarah from Saryer
Sarah from Sisli
Sophie from Istanbul
Susanne from Fethiye
Steve from Tarabya
Tara from Cengelky
Trevor from Side
Winter from Australia

Focus On
Birsen's Horizons
Fred's Trip Logs
Bahar's Views on...
Business World
From Members' Pen
Interviews with Members
Moms & Kids Corner
Pets with Dr. Demirel
The archives of The Guide
The Archives of Turkishtime
Teen's world




Rhythm of Town

Events calendar
Valentine's Day
Istanbul Live
This Weekend in Istanbul
Ankara Live
This Weekend in Ankara
Social Clubs in Ankara
Restaurants and Cafes in Istanbul
Restaurants and Cafes in Ankara
Sightseeing in Istanbul
Sightseeing in Ankara
Various Discoveries
Best of...
Art and Culture in Istanbul
Art & Culture in Ankara
For Kids - Istanbul
For Kids - Ankara
Hobbies Istanbul
Hobbies Ankara
Sports
Biletix System
Films on cnbc-e


Turkeywide

Sustainable Living Film Festival
!f Istanbul Film Festival
25th Aspendos Festival
International Izmir Festival
Gümüşlük Festival
Bodrum Music Festival
Bodrum Jazz Festival 2018
Ayvalık Choral Festival
Filmekimi 2018
Turkish Ruins
Mount Ararat Trek
Seeing the Truth
XJAZZ Festival
Izmir European Jazz Festival
Filmmor 2017
The Flying Broom Festival
Gümüşlük Festival
Bodrum Music Festival
Bodrum Jazz Festival
Filmekimi 2017
In Other Cities
Baksı Museum
It´s Time to Take Pictures!!
Photo of the Month
Inside Out in Istanbul
Sand Sculpture Festival
Mandatory Health Insurance for Expats
Impossible Fairies - Out Now
Istanbul Contemporary Cuisine
Changes on Work Permit
New Year
Turkey's TOP 10s
Summer-house
Anzac Day
İzmir Wild Life Park
Antalya State Opera and Ballet - March
Izmir State Opera and Ballet - March
Registration of Canadians Abroad
News From The Expat Harem
Latest Amendments in Land Registry Law


Events Calendar

<< Oct 2018 >>
Su
Mo
Tu
We
Th
Fr
Sa
 1
 2
 3
 4
 5
 6
 7
 8
 9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31

Shopping
Shopping in Istanbul
Shopping in Ankara
Product showcase
Shopping corner

Weather

Istanbul

Ankara



Advertising/Reklam
Add "mymerhaba" to my favorites | make "mymerhaba" my homepage
About "mymerhaba"
| Thanks to | Contact Us | Links | FAQ
copyright "mymerhaba" All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
This site is best viewed with Internet Explorer 5 or greater with minimum 800*600 resolution

powered by IDserv
Website Security Test