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Thursday Thirteen: Years

When I was trying to figure out what to write for this week’s TT post…I realized that the date would be December 18th. The significance of that date is that it is the day I first arrived in the US. Then I realized…It is my 13th anniversary of my arrival to the US…So since I am all about significance…and 13 is my lucky number…I will do today’s TT about my 13 years here in the US…I have no idea where this will go so bear with me…

1 — I arrived in the US on December 18, 1995. The first clock that I saw at the airport read 4:40 PM.
2 — When we drove to my cousin’s house, as I walked in the door, the TV was on and it was an episode of Fresh Princes of Bel Air.
3 — I was 10 years old when I first moved to the US.
4 — I lived in MD for 8 years and VA for the last 5. I haven’t been off the East Coast of the US. I’ve gone as north as NY and as south as NC.
5 — Before I came to the US, I had gone to a private school for 3 months. I placed out of ESOL here in two weeks.
6 — I was a tomboy back home but my first year here, I was bullied a lot as the foreigner.
7 — Because I was the only person in my family to speak English, I handled all the medical and legal processes and paperwork for all of us to be legal aliens. By the time I turned 11, I could talk my way around better than a lawyer.
8 — Even though we moved here in December, I didn’t begin school until February. Right as we were finishing up the process of me registering for school, the 96 blizzard hit and schools were closed.
9 — The only family we have in the US is my mom’s older sister and my two cousins. My mom’s younger sister moved here about 6 years ago. Other than that, all of our family is back home but my grandmother visits every couple years.
10 — I’ve only been back home 4 times and only for 2-4 week long periods. When I was 13, 18, 20 and this past summer.
11 — I have not lost touch with my roots at all. We still speak Turkish at home, get Turkish TV via satellite and cook traditional foods.
12 — My accent only comes out when I am really tired or I have to say words that have V and W sounds in them. When I speak Turkish, my “American” accent comes out when I am REALLY tired or when saying words that are English (Proper names, etc)
13 — Although it’s hard at times, I don’t mind being stuck between two cultures. I feel very rooted in my heritage but have made a life for myself here in the US.

So…there you go!! If you guys have any questions whatsoever, please, feel free. I know I left out a lot trying to put in a list of 13 things about my THIRTEEN years here in the US.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Lynn December 17, 2008, 9:19 pm

    It’s good that you have not lost touch with your roots. Nice post!

    Happy TT!

    Lynn’s last blog post..Thursday Thirteen – Christmas Songs

  • jehara December 17, 2008, 9:22 pm

    that is so interesting! i love #11. i think that is so important. one of my best friend’s parents are from mexico and columbia. she lived in columbia for a year when she was young. they still speak spanish in the home, my friend is fluent in both languages and they cook traditional foods. and those are some of the reasons i love going to her house.
    happy tt and happy anniversary! 🙂

    jehara’s last blog post..13 things you may have not known about salvador dali

  • Nicholas December 17, 2008, 9:30 pm

    Very interesting, and you have a good memory for details!

  • Miss Attitude December 17, 2008, 9:51 pm

    Great post, thanks for sharing! That was a lot of responsibility for a 10 year old, but I bet it’s helped make you the amazing person that you are!

    Miss Attitude’s last blog post..Please help me feel better by tomorrow (WW #20)

  • Carol December 17, 2008, 10:15 pm

    Very cool T-13! That’s the kind of immigration story that I like hearing.

    Merry Christmas from She Lives.

  • Jaime December 17, 2008, 10:34 pm

    Officially, this is the most wonderful thing I’ve ever read about you.

    Jaime’s last blog post..Thursday13 #4

  • pecosa December 17, 2008, 10:58 pm

    I looooved this blog. I like learning stuff like this about you, questions I had, but never asked.

  • perpstu December 18, 2008, 1:55 am

    Whoa whoa whoa….you haven’t been off the East coast? Time for a trip to Vegas!!!! 😉 This is a great list!

    perpstu’s last blog post..TT#29 – Visions of Christmases Past

  • topsurf December 18, 2008, 4:20 am

    wow, how interesting. I had no clue about any of this. It’s great to learn more about you!

    topsurf’s last blog post..A Girl Can Dream Can’t She?

  • Cassie December 18, 2008, 8:18 am

    my question….were you as big a goofball in Turkey?


  • Caroline December 18, 2008, 11:42 am

    Happy Anniversary!

    I was listening to Turkish music in your honor earlier. I got a tape years ago of Emel Müftüoğlu when I lived in Kazakhstan (everyone on my floor was Turkish, except for 3 Americans and 2 Moroccans). Good stuff.

  • Debbie December 18, 2008, 12:06 pm

    What a neat list, thanks for sharing. I’d love to know what some traditional Turkish foods are.

    Debbie’s last blog post..Thursday Thirteen – Nativities

  • Cookie December 18, 2008, 1:25 pm

    I knew you were a Tomboy, you just have that aura about you. I’m happy you’ve kept tradition going, it’s important for others to learn that “we” (the united states) were founded on foreigners and those traditions brought here. Nice work!

    Merry Christmas!

  • Meghan December 18, 2008, 2:47 pm

    Do all turkish people eat raw chicken while they watch thier turkish TV?

    Love YA!

  • Anita December 18, 2008, 4:11 pm

    Thank you for sharing your relocation adventure 🙂 I am still hoping to meet your for coffee some day.

  • Chelle Y. December 18, 2008, 4:16 pm

    I love hearing stories like that! My mom came from Thailand about 40 years ago. She has come along way. Her only regret is not teaching us the language of her roots. She wanted us to be “American.” I wish she had done both.

  • mielikki December 18, 2008, 4:31 pm

    I have a Turkish sister, named Ipek, she lived with us for a year my senior year in high school. I love the language, it sounds beautiful to me. By the time she left I spoke it a little, and understood it actually fairly well, it surprised her. She was one of the best friends I ever had, and we still keep in touch, and she’s been back to visit a few times. When I can afford to, I am going to go over and see for myself!
    Thanks for dropping by my blog today

    mielikki’s last blog post..Thursday 13

  • grace @ sandier pastures December 19, 2008, 12:37 am

    Great to know about your 13 years in the US. I spend 10 years in Japan and it’s good to look back on those years like what you did on this list.

    grace @ sandier pastures’s last blog post..the numbers 1-13 and me

  • Karen December 19, 2008, 1:40 am

    Thank you for sharing such a large part of your life.

  • Bumbles December 19, 2008, 9:32 pm

    I would like to know why you remember the time on the clock when you arrived – I moved 7 times by the time I was 10 but it was all within the same country (US) – I wasn’t responsible for translating legal processes and alien status for the family! I was shy every time we arrived in a new neighborhood but the experience taught me how to appreciate the differences in people from all walks of life and now I know I can always make a new friend wherever life takes me!

    Bumbles’s last blog post..ON FUN ~ Mr. Commando…

  • Darwin Mason January 8, 2009, 7:30 pm

    good luck

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