My Februaries since 2016 have been sort of my new start in a new year. Ever since I came to Romania, this month has been the one putting a stamp to a warmhearted-imaginary-sent-to-myself postcard from an emotional and very realistic trip.
Here I would like to share some of my Februaries:
February 2016: An exploratory trip.
It was the end of my first Romanian language semester in Oradea, Romania. I was not very happy with it and I had decided to take a short trip to Cluj and Bucharest to decide where I wanted to transfer to for the next academic year. When I went back to Oradea, I met Mehmet Ali, an exchange student who later became my best Turkish friend.
February 2017: In love with Turkey.
It was almost the end of my first job contract in Bucharest and as promised, I went to visit my first destination in Turkey: Hatay. The home city of Mehmet Ali (he would be proud of me if I mention that it became a Republic for one year in 1938). Together with him and Muhammet, we visited Istanbul. It made me fall in love with the country.
February 2018: The city of cats, Ankara.
It was my last semester of my master studies in Romania. Through the Erasmus student exchange program I spent it in Ankara, capital of Turkey. Though my first intention had been to choose Istanbul, Ankara was quite okay for me. I learnt how to properly ask for a coffee with milk and no sugar in Turkish language. Also, my ability to count money in Turkish improved a lot. One of the best places I visited was the mausoleum of Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey.
February 2019: Final paper: ‘The Syrian refugees’.
After a long-lasting struggle to decide where to live, I stayed in Romania. I defended my final paper “The Syrian refugees in Turkey” about a reality that I had observed had not only Syria and its civil war involving the participation of Turkey but many other countries around the globe.
Also, a reality that reminded me of the economical and political crisis in Venezuela and the refugees seeking for shelter in Peru. A reality that reminded me of the diverse reasons for people would leave the country, they would either search for a more meaningful change or they needed to run away to stay alive.
February 2020: A flashback.
Pause. I would not necessarily expect this year to be one full of adventures. What I like about it is that I can sit an enjoy remembering all the experiences this funny and unplanned month has had in store for me. I believe that if I was in Peru in a day like this, I would probably had dinner with my mom and siblings; and if I was in another country, it would probably be in Turkey for a few days celebrating Mehmet Ali’s birthday.
Today I am in Bucharest and I am stealing some minutes of my work time to stare through the window from the 12th floor of a kind of new business building, joking that my landscape view is The Eiffel Tower.
It is winter, not summer as it is in Peru. I can see that in some roofs the snow turned into ice, that sky is gray, and that from time to time some pigeons interrupt what seems to be a sad painting of an ex communist country into a living painting.
There you go, my February memories.