BY YAREN SAĞLIK (TRIN/III)
Name: Chiaki Yamamoto
Country of Origin: Japan
What do you like best about Turkey?
Çay culture! Having çay after a meal really refreshes me. Also, it’s good talking with friends over çay; I think çay is an important part of communication in Turkey. This lovely drink enhances my quality of life here so much.
Are there any similarities between Turkey and your home country?
I would say the languages are very similar. The grammatical structure of Japanese and Turkish is much the same, so Japanese is relatively easy for Turkish people to learn. However, aside from language, I can’t come up with another similarity. The two countries are very different.
What will you miss most about Bilkent/Turkey?
Of course the people here; not only my friends, but all Turkish people. I can’t imagine being able to talk with a stranger I meet on the street in Japan, whereas in Turkey, people are very open to strangers.
What’s your favorite place on campus, and why?
Starbucks in MA Building. The staff is very friendly and welcoming!
What’s your favorite Turkish food and/or favorite part of Turkish culture?
I like İskender so much I can’t help eating it, even though I realize eating too much of it isn’t healthy.
Where do you expect to see yourself 10 years from now?
I’m not really sure about my future, but I want to work abroad.
What’s the hardest challenge you’ve handled in Turkey?
Being in an environment where I can’t speak my mother tongue the way I normally would. But that’s what I wanted from Erasmus, so I’m glad about my situation.
What places have you visited in Turkey, and which one is your favorite?
İstanbul, Bolu, Amasra, Safranbolu, Nevşehir, Fethiye, Köyeceğiz and some others; my favorites are the ones along the Black Sea.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I can sing Queen’s songs in the original key! But I can’t guarantee the quality.
What’s an interesting question or comment you hear frequently about Bilkent/Turkey?
Which does Turkey belong to, Asia or Europe? We (people from my country) think it’s Europe, people from Europe say it’s Asia, and Turkish people say it’s Turkey.