There are two kinds of cities in the world – one that takes your breath away the minute you set foot on it, and one that cloaks its charm behind a facade of blandness which, if you are careless, is easy to dismiss.
Ankara was the latter.
I didn’t have much expectation before I went there, as people have been telling me how the city isn’t much of a charmer. And turned out I wasn’t disappointed either. It was all true – Ankara was all about the concrete buildings, dusty streets and organized architecture. Though somewhere among those unexciting and flavorless order there were glimpses of a city pulsating with shy enchantment and hidden gems. It was also interesting to witness the refreshing secularity of a country so deeply rooted in religion.
On the work side, Ankara exceeded my expectations. The school was a success and I actually enjoyed teaching more than I thought I would. So it is true that we learn the most when we are teaching. I was reminded of my childhood dream of being a teacher and I think I still have it in my blood to be an educator.
Marvellous food, Raki, Salgam, Turkish hospitality, Lokum, Baklava, crazy cab drivers, Atatürk, mysterious mosquito attack, lazy after-meal conversations about everything and nothing, table tennis, (re)new(ed) friendships, changed perceptions, scattered discoveries and all, Ankara now resides quietly in one of my memory boxes, uncategorized but weighty.