VIE+W | Living in another country

Like establishing life in another country, rebuilding, being born again. I had this feeling in my first experience abroad. It was really fantastic. I could be myself in another country, which is how it happened. I remember the first day I came to Bulgaria like it was yesterday, I was very excited and feeling great. The first thing I felt when I left the airport was not the cold that hit my face, but the breeze of a new life. We went to my place using an old subway, maybe it was a Soviet-era subway, but it was great in every detail. The day was just dawning and although the subway was hot, the cold outside showed itself through the windows. We got off the subway and walked to where we were staying. The people I shared the house with were very friendly and helpful. It was my first experience abroad and I came across good people. We are still meeting with them. I had a headache because I was trying to sleep at the airport to catch the plane the night before. Even though I knew I needed to sleep, I was excited to travel around, I was in a wonderful city and I wanted to explore. So it happened.

We went out and bought Sim-cards for our phones, then we withdrew money, got a monthly transportation card and started sightseeing. Our phones were active and I felt like I was living here for many years. I was from here now. The weather was very cold, but Bulgaria used to be colder this time of the year. Well, they are not saying in vain, when they present the weather condition as the cold wave coming from the Balkans. It was our neighbor, and even the families on both sides of the border were still relatives. I always thought I could not live in a cold place, but the day I came to Bulgaria, I actually saw how tired I was from the hot weather. I felt that sense of unity in cold places and on the contrary experienced that cold weather brought people closer together. I saw the friendliness of the Turkish people in Bulgaria as well, we were neighbors, after all, we resembled each other. When I traveled around and returned home, I was still experiencing the excitement of not being able to discover yet.

Of course, in the meantime, we had the opportunity to go to the office. Our office was not big, but it had everything we could need. Knowledge, love, experience and many other good things, this place was always a precious place for me.


Our boss was a guy named Ivan Tinev. Frankly, I could not understand because his speech came to me very quickly at first, but then he became someone I always asked for help in many issues. That day something happened that I will never forget until the end of my life. Actually, I didn't think Bulgaria could be that cold because I came in Antalya. That day, when Ivan asked us how our day was, I said 'It's a little cold, I think our quilts were thin. (Actually the duvet was not thin, but I was afraid that I suddenly came across the harsh winter in Sofia from the summer season in Antalya. It was the most emotional moment in my work life and I felt myself belonging to this office. By the way, if we go back to the beginning of the story, it is my story of coming to Bulgaria. I had just graduated from college and had a year looking for a job. The conditions of the country and that dark period when young people were dragged into it had been quite difficult for me. I was living in a small place and kept saying, 'Haven't you got a job yet?' I was constantly exposed to questions of the type. People never end up wanting young people in this country, but when the opportunity arises, it is almost impossible to find someone in the middle.


While I was trying to go abroad, I had a few attempts and unfortunately ended in disappointment due to financial difficulties. In the meantime, I contacted an association where I will leave the web address at the end of the article and they evaluated my application positively. I can say that Kadir Bey from this association named Sitoded Erzurum helped me a lot and opened the door to a new life abroad. (I also describe the time I went to Ankara for a visa in another article.) While the opportunities offered to young people in our country are so limited, of course, one sees such an opportunity. So to summarize, these two institutions were very effective in my Sofia adventure. ICDET so that I can reach Sitoded so that I can love Sofia. It is a beautiful place that makes me feel that I can be myself, that even if the clothes I wear are sometimes incompatible, it does not matter at all, above all because I am human. It is the first time that I feel like I can be myself, I can walk alone at night, say hello to people, have a nice day, sit next to an elderly person in the park, talk about the history of that park and sometimes the history of Bulgaria, a park close to every house and people returning home from work in every neighborhood.


Dear Sofia, a bar where she can sit and have a drink with her friends. I miss you so much I miss the cold days when our boss Ivan Tinev greeted us when we went to the office, after we could go to the market called Kaufland, which is very close to our home in the morning, where we could buy croissants, berliners and coffee very cheaply, and wake up with the cold hitting our faces while standing where there are tables to eat something. Walking the streets alone, examining each building one by one, trying street flavors when I'm hungry, drinking a cup of coffee mostly by mingling with people on the street. And sometimes sipping by thanking every moment in a favorite café. That was life, being involved in life, feeling, not being detached, most of the beautiful things. So is all the beauties to come.


Stay with ICDET,

Stay with Sema.


Sema Topcu,volunteer@ICDET

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