Making friends takes on a different meaning when you move to a country where the local culture is so very different from your own. While I’m all about learning new things and living a different kind of life from what I’m used to, sometimes you just want to hang out with someone who gets your pop culture references without a lengthy explanation, and watched the same cartoons you watched as a kid.
Anika was only here for a year, but we’ve known each other for nearly three years, and this was not her first time living in Antalya. I guess I had a delusion that she would be here forever, even though I saw her applying for medical schools in the United States, and I knew full well what that meant. Now she’s been accepted into the medical programme at Pittsburgh, and like that, she’s gone. It was a very bittersweet moment to know that she was getting exactly what she wanted, and at the same time she was going to have to give up her life here, and we would have an Anika-sized hole in our day-to-day existence.
So, there’s that weird mixture of sadness and pride to deal with, but also things can move very quickly here. Almost as soon as we knew Anika would be moving away, another friend from the United States made the decision to wrap up her life there and make the move to Antalya, so now there’s her arrival to look forward to. There’s a huge turnover in a place like this— people coming and going all the time. Some stay for many years, some only a few months. You would think that it would pay not to get too attached to people, but sometimes you just can’t help it. Thank god for the internet and 4G technology, keeping us all in touch.