There is a great adventure and tradition that every university in Turkey, nationwide, partakes in, Spring Fest. Just as it sounds, a festival to celebrate the coming seasons and a few days break from the redundant classroom work. Typically the university will hire famous singers to perform for a night. MFO a rock band was chosen by Yasar University. Other campuses: Dokuz Eylul had Mirkelam; Istanbul Bilgi University held my favorites: Sertab Erener & Emre Aydin; Ege University had one of my favorite rock singers: Sebnem Ferah; Izmir University: Beduk.
I came to school with little sleep and helped the international office with some errands and was planning on going home to take a nap. However, things changed drastically when my friends called me and asked me to go to Bornova. Bornova is a 5 minute metro ride and hosts MANY little cafes and bars. So as a true fighter I chose to go partake in their activities and later attend the concert of MFO.
I soon had NO regret! My friends made me laugh hysterically. We stayed at a bar for a few hours telling stories, practicing Turkish and English respectively. ;) The fun thing about being in a foreign country is the language barrier. Words and phrases NEVER seem to mean the same in another's language, and one thing I have learned from the beginning is that American's have a very sarcastic way of talking, at least I do. So things that are meant to be comical or metaphorical seem to get a laugh or wide-eye expression. Having learned some Turkish I can now make my remarks that are funny and relieving in their cultural sense.
After the cafe, we chose to grab a couple drinks and drive to a nearby underpass and open the doors, blare music, and dance. Oh how much fun this was! Listening to the popular and not so popular songs, singing at the top of my lungs in another language, it was refreshing!
We made our way to campus, which was unbelievably packed with more people than it could handle. Honestly, I wondered where they all came from. To be honest the campus during school hours is hardly busy, only enough friends to make it pleasantly welcoming, and is quite peaceful. With the music, however, came the people. The band was good. I had never heard of them, but was a great new group to listen to. The crowd was of course swaying, raising hands and lighters in the air, and singing at the top of their lungs.
After the day/night had ended I was happy to find out there was a metro to go elsewhere. I met other friends in Alsancak, where I would then have a car ride home.
Overall things I have learned from Spring Fest in Turkey:
- Never plan things, and when you do, dont stick to them, live at the moment.
- Dance like no one is looking and have a blast doing it.
- Never let tiredness get in the way of fun and opportunities.
- Listen to new music groups; you never know who you may like. Always branch out and try new things.
- There is a metro around Izmir until 12AM.
- Always bridge the language barriers, and laugh when others make mistakes. Live once, learn always.
- Spring is a time for refreshment and a new stage. Break out, the sun has come!